Can rebound relationships ever go the distance?

Photograph from @flavorflavofficial on Instagram.

Sure, Pete Davidson and Kim K look like they're having a great time. But will they be together for a long time? Different story, mate. THE FACE's sex and relationships pro, Charlotte Bayes, breaks down exactly why you should be wary of rebound relationships.

Last week, Kim K and Pete Davidson made their relationship Instagram official, after weeks of being papped at theme parks and giggling on date nights.

This is Kardashian’s first relationship since splitting with husband Kanye West (that we know of, at least). And over the past few years, Davidson has become synonymous with fun, short-lived flings, having worked his charm on some of Hollywood’s hottest women, like Ariana Grande and Margaret Qualley. He’s the king of celebrity dating. She’s the queen of celebrity culture. Sure, the match is surprising, but you have to admit that it kind of makes sense.

But while I hope that Kim n’ Pete’s new relationship is fun and fulfilling for both, to me, this screams rebound relationship. As a (former) queen of rebound relationships, I find myself wanting to run to them – and anyone else who’s stuck in the cycle – screaming, making them aware of potential red flags ahead.

A study from 2014 tells us that a rebound relationship – that is, any relationship started within three months of the end of a significant past relationship – typically lasts between four months and a year.

So how do we end up in rebound relationships?

Well, when leaving behind a dry-dead-tired relationship, finding someone completely fucking different to your ex is incredibly enticing. All the things that annoyed the hell out of you about your ex? This shiny, brand new shiny person does the exact opposite!

For example: the Kanye West we often see is a deadly-serious, hyper-focused, super-driven guy. Without knowing him it’s hard to guess how fun loving he is in private, but in public we rarely see him crack a smile. I mean, this is the man who wrote No More Parties in LA while married to the world’s biggest socialite influencer.

Pete Davidson, on the other hand, is famous for being about as unserious as you can get, a chaotic SNL comedy king who loves to par-tay.


I once left a relationship that was passionate sex, drugs and rock‘n’roll (but without the money), and rebounded with someone who can only be described as Captain Sensible… then married him.

From experience, I can attest that, despite being everything your ex was not, dating someone who’s their polar opposite isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Above anything else, the reason we choose a partner is compatibility. That includes things like attraction, sex and, most importantly, things you have in common.

This might be a bit of a misnomer: a relationship isn’t perfect only because you both love ambient house, dogs, baking sourdough and hiking. Opposites attract and all that.

But in a rebound relationship, once you stop fucking each others brains out and you can’t actually think of any activities you both enjoy doing or talking about together, you are left with two people with not very much in common at all.

Over time, having absolutely nothing in common with your partner will very quickly break down the relationship. At one point in our relationship – after the sex had died down, we had got married, had moved across the country and even opened up our relationship to spice things up – listening to and talking about Radio 1 was legitimately all my ex-husband and I had in common.

You can also end up rebounding with the same people over and over again. I, for instance, didn’t seriously date a man who wasn’t an edgelord IT nerd, musician or both until my early 30s.

It’s pretty easy to see why we seek comfort in jumping from one relationship to another that’s very similar. Once you’ve forged intimacy and closeness with someone, it’s very hard to readjust to sudden loneliness. It is far easier to make a new bond with a person who is, consciously or unconsciously, familiar to you and your sensibilities. At this stage of processing your break up, it’s important to remember exactly why those previous relationships with edgelord IT nerds and musicians didn’t work.

That should bring you back down to reality pretty fast.


If you end up in a rebound relationship, that usually means you haven’t taken the time to grieve and move on from your previous relationship. Which probably also means that you haven’t worked out what you do and, most importantly, don’t want in a new partner.

It’s a cliché, but taking some time out between relationships is important for lots of reasons. If we move on too soon, we often bring old habits and hang ups with us into new relationships and create repeating patterns. This can then get you stuck in a cycle of relationships that just don’t work out… over and over again.

Being single is a great time to put yourself first. If we don’t create enough space for ourselves to work out exactly what we want for our lives, careers, goals and achievements, you won’t know what you want to get out of a new relationship. Hook-ups, however, are great and thoroughly endorsed.

It might hurt for a bit, but giving yourself the space to think will ultimately mean that, instead of boomeranging around from relationship to relationship, you will find someone and something as great as Barack n’ Michelle, Bey n’ Jay, or even J‑Lo n’ Ben Affleck.

Do I see Kim and Pete working out? Well, with Pete’s dating history and knowing what we know about rebounds, I predict the relationship will last as long as a Kardashian spon con. QuickTrim, anyone?

At the very least, let’s hope they have lots of fun figuring it out on the way.

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