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Does Rebound Sex Actually Help?

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The question is, “Does rebound sex actually help?”       

rebound sex break up revenge

via She Knows

Everyone dates. Sure…once in a blue moon, two people meet in middle school or high school – fall in love and never separate, but how often does that actually happen. Answer: Not very often. To be exact, Elite Daily reports the results from a 10,000-people survey concluded that only about 14% of couples meet in school. Which means the rest of us in the 86% most likely experience break ups – and break ups have been scientifically proven to be the worst.

Sure, the falling in love part is the greatest thing in the world, especially the honeymoon phase – a magical time during which everything seems to be cuddles, selfies, and sex – but after that, reality tends to set in. 

“Call it drunk in love or seeing stars, the honeymoon phase is a real phenomenon that’s so powerful, it can’t be replicated. Enjoy the sex three times per day and happy-for-no-reason feeling because, once it’s gone, it won’t happen again,” said Elite Daily.

rebound sex breakup honeymoon phase

Unfortunately, this phase only lasts anywhere from six months to two years. When the novelty of the relationship does fade seems to be when it’s really tested. At this point, couples either grow closer together or grow apart – whether they consciously realize it or not. If it isn’t meant to be, more likely than not the relationship will end. It’s the unfortunate reality of the dating game. People lose and sometimes it’s you. 

Once heartbreak happens, individuals will take serious measures to help mend their heart. People will replace their significant other with a new addiction, like working out, eating, drinking, or maybe even a new puppy. Others will hang on to every last piece of the relationship in total denial without deleting their ex’s number, changing their Facebook status, or trashing couple photos.

But, one of the most popular attempts to recover is rebound sex.

Rebound sex, which is sometimes considered revenge sex, is incredibly common. So much so, that scientist decided it was worth studying just how useful and/or harmful this tactic actually is. According to Women’s Health Magazine, scientists from the University of Missouri conducted research to find out if rebound sex helps you handle the split.

“In the study, 35 percent of college students reported engaging in rebound sex — to help ease their pain or boost their self-esteem — within four weeks of splitting with their significant others. Nearly one in four said they’d had revenge sex to ‘get back at’ ex-partners during that same period,” Women’s Health

rebound sex revenge breakup

via Science of Us

Researchers found that those people who were the dumpees in the relationship, obviously angrier and more resentful, were more likely to be the ones who took to rebound sex as a coping mechanism. Furthermore, the University of Missouri researchers concluded rebound sex is a damaging and ineffective response to a breakup.

“In fact, the study showed that people who used these emotions as fuel for sex remained hung up over their breakups for a longer time. After eight months, they were less likely to have settled into a new relationship than people who had post-breakup sex for more positive reasons,” (Women’s Health Magazine).

Psychology Today, confirms that rebound sex can magnify the extent of the loss. Of course, there are many variables to take into consideration when examining what does and doesn’t qualify as rebound sex. In addition, it’s important to understand and acknowledge these variables so when you or someone close to you finds themselves in this situation, you can make better judgments and possibly avoid the temptation of rebound or have sex for revenge. Psychology Today says that – to our surprise – the deeper the attachment of the relationship, the less likely rebound sex is to happen.

Levels of commitment to the relationship while it was in existence also served as predictors of rebound sex involvement. Those with higher commitment to their ex were less likely to have rebound sex, at least immediately after the breakup. However, when they did have rebound sex, they were more likely to admit that they used it to help cope with their loss,” (Psychology Today).

The take away: people experiencing a breakup with a significant love to whom they were deeply committed naturally register that rebound sex won’t mend that kind of a wound. On the flip side, people who are less committed are naturally more ready to engage in sex with a new partner, but not as a method to help them cope – they’d do it just because they wanted to.

breakup rebound sex

Ultimately, researches found that the individuals who most often and consistently engaged in rebound sex were people driven by four motives:

The desire for revenge; self-affirmation; coping; and getting over the partner. 

Overall, it’s concluded that rebound sex is not helpful and not healthy. Majority of people only feel worse afterward. Breakups are hard and no one is in a position to judge you for how you want to cope – but anyone who loves you would tell you rebound sex is not the way.

For healthier ways to cope with a breakup, check out this awesome article by the Huffington Post, Dealing With A Breakup: 7 Healthy Ways To Cope With Post-Split Stress.

Thinking that you might want to end your relationship? This article will help you tell if it’s time – 20 Signs It’s Time to Break Up With Your Current Relationship.

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