Being a rebound sucks. But maybe the worst part of it is that you can't really fault the person that's using you to rebound. Unlike other "relationship crimes," they're likely not even doing it consciously. It's just a combination of unfortunate timing and the fact that you're available and they're vulnerable. Keep in mind that just because you came into the picture right after a particularly vicious breakup doesn't mean your relationship is doomed in the slightest. But there are some warning signs to look out for.
1. He just got out of a relationship.
Well, duh. You can't have a rebound without missing a shot in the first place, so to speak. Now, he might be dealing with a recent breakup, but that doesn't mean you're a "rebound." But it's smart to proceed with caution. There's no reason to automatically discount a guy just because he had a girlfriend a month ago. It's like drinking milk one day past the expiration date. Is the milk going to make you sick? Probably not. Is there a slightly higher chance the milk is going to make you sick and also fuck its ex-girlfriend when she booty calls it one night? Yeah, I guess.
2. You heard his last relationship was incredibly serious.
This is another necessary qualifier. Did he date someone for a few months and things fizzled out? It's probably not so damaging that he needs to rebound from it in the first place. Did they date for eight years? Was she his high school sweetheart? Did everyone think they were getting married? That's the kind of relationship someone can't quit cold turkey.
3. He's always in a relationship.
Some people, for whatever reason, need to be paired up with someone at all times, which means they almost instinctively grab someone after a bad breakup. If there's a pattern, it's unlikely you're breaking the mold.
4. Things are moving way too quickly ... or maybe it's just that he feels too comfortable with you.
Does it almost feel as if he never left the old relationship? If he's basically trying to act like things are serious less than a month in and constantly sleeping over (or expecting you to do the same), it might be because he's having a hard time relearning boundaries.
5. He's got a major event coming up that he needs a date to.
You're not even a rebound in this case as much as you are arm candy, unfortunately. This is especially true if his ex is going to this same wedding/benefit/party. He feels like he needs to "win" by showing her he's moved on. Unfortunately for everyone involved, he probably hasn't. If this describes things perfectly for you, make sure you have transportation so you can bail at a moment's notice. This is almost a guaranteed shit show.
6. Sometimes you feel like you have nothing in common.
The relationship feels sort of forced. Maybe you also got out of a relationship, creating some sort of double rebound black hole you've both sucked each other into, and you're too afraid to let go. In a case like this, for your sake and his, cut ties and deal with your feelings on your own. It's OK to bond over some bad breakups. It's not OK to create a sense of codependency because you're both afraid of being alone. If you do that, you're just going to get stuck in a relationship that's founded on nothing but convenience.
7. His expectations of the relationship seemed forced.
It's almost as if he can't let go of how things used to be. He gets upset if you don't want to go to the movies or expect him to come to your place instead of his. Maybe he thinks you text too much (or not enough). He's always annoyed about things that don't even qualify as pet peeves. It could be because he basically wants you to replace his old girlfriend. Until he comes to terms with the fact that his old relationship is over, things won't change.
8. His friends don't really want to get to know you.
It's not that they're mean or distant. But you get the feeling they don't think you'll be around for long. That's (probably) nothing against you, and everything against your new boyfriend. They likely know his M.O. and his current situation.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.