Why Be A Rebound?

This weekend, Jon Gosselin took his new girlfriend, 22-year-old Hailey Glassman, on a romantic trip to Europe. (FYI, Glassman is a different twentysomething woman than the one Gosselin cheated on his wife with.) Given the high-profile nature of Gosselin’s marriage, impending divorce, and, um, life, it’s hard to understand why anyone would be happy to be this guy’s, well, rebound. Is it just sex? Is Glassman hoping to get wined and dined with some of Gosselin’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8″ dollars? Or, gasp, does she think it could be love?

Why would someone choose to be the rebound? I’m not talking rebound sex — so long as everyone is on the same page, rebound sex is awesome. But what about being a rebound relationship? Oh, sure, a few of these may actually develop into true love, but more often than not, a rebound relationship burns hot and fast; it’s exciting because it’s fresh and new, but that wears off eventually and what’s left? The recently single one has pieces to pick up, freedom to enjoy, and wounds that need healing. The person who gets hurt in a rebound romance isn’t the one doing the rebounding — it’s the person they’ve brought along for the ride.

I’ve been the rebound and the rebounder and didn’t particularly enjoy either, but they forced me to learn a valuable lesson. I’ll never willingly be the rebound for someone I genuinely care for, or have someone I genuinely care for be my rebound. Even the most perfect of pairings can be shafted by a little thing called “timing.”