Case Study

Welcome to the Case Study: Personality Type & Rebound Relationships.

The case study is influenced by a recent audio discussion deriving from Toxic Encounters: Why People Pursue Rebound Relationships. The book references personality and rebound relationships but does not fully explore the topic of how one’s personality type influences one’s pursuit of a rebound relationship.

The audio discussion argues that there may be a direct link between personality type and rebound relationships and further explores that there may be a direct link between family background/childhood experience and people pursuing rebound relationships. The discussion, along with the book, briefly introduces the Big Five personality traits.

This case study extends the discussion of possible factors leading to people who might pursue rebound relationships as a short-term mating strategy and who might use the rebound relationship for long-term considerations in the case of an individual who is married. The psychology research considers individuals who pursue rebound relationships as struggling with relationship termination, with a partner’s mate value, with mate retention, with insecure attachment, and with mate switching strategies.

People who pursue rebound relationships often do so out of need to sustain relationship benefits during a breakup from the core relationship. These same people may not be willing to exit the rebound relationship even when they return to the member of the core relationship.

Because there may be some people unwilling to exit the rebound relationship, this suggests issues with personality type and how one’s personality may influence their desire and/or need to retain a short-term mating partner and balance the existence of that partner with the expectations from the core partner.

In other words, one person is willing to return to the core partner but is unwilling to give up the rebound partner. What does this unwillingness suggest about the person’s mindset, belief system, and personality type? This is a question that will help to guide reading and research.

Therefore, this case study is at the beginning stages and may coordinate with other research projects, especially the Marriage Recovery Research project and any research related to setback housed on this site. All research projects are in progress and ongoing. This project may result in future audio discussions, blog articles, and possibly a full-length book. This project may also result in a workshop.

Audio Discussions

The audio discussion that influences this case study centers on using the Big Five personality traits as a guiding strategy to best understand how personality might influence pursuit of rebounding and rebound relationships. Here is the audio discussion and the general description. The same audio discussion is housed under “Toxic Encounters Books” tab on this site.

You can find the discussion in Chapter One of the book. The discussion is based on the link between personality type and rebound relationship.  

  1. What is the direct link between personality type and men/people pursuing a rebound relationship?
  2. What is the direct link between family background/childhood experience and men/people pursuing a rebound relationship?

These questions will serve as the preliminary research questions for this case study and may inform a measure/survey.

Analysis for the link between personality type and rebound relationship focuses on the following Big Five personality traits, which are scored on high/low dimensions:

  • Neuroticism (N): anxious/calm
  • Extraversion (E): outgoing/isolated
  • Openness to Experience (O): risk-taker/careful
  • Agreeableness (A): work well with others/difficult
  • Conscientiousness: (C): organized/lazy

What the Big Five personality traits suggest is that one’s personality may serve as a basis for the choices and decisions one makes. For example, a person may be upset about a personal situation, which creates anxiety (Neuroticism).

The feeling of anxiety leads to a choice to cheat on a romantic partner, which creates a short-term mating opportunity to pursue a rebound relationship until the core partner says it’s okay to return to the main relationship. The link between the personality type and the rebound relationship is the cheating incident.

Thus, the discussion explores the sub-categories of cheating, financial instability, and rejection as examples of links between the personality types and one individual’s pursuit of a rebound relationship.

Viral Post

This case study will further explore a viral post about a man who challenges what he believes to be his current girlfriend’s entitlement over his life while he is currently exercising his entitlement to her life and her resources.

The viral post has gained notoriety and criticism and several articles have been written about the topic. I believe the writer of tweet is utilizing his right to rebound in a relationship with the current girlfriend and rebound out of the relationship once he gets a decent job. What this suggests about his personality and/or personality type will require further research. Here is the viral post.


This post is included in at least two blog articles written for this site and includes the following general description. The description derives from the blog article titled “Let Men Build on Their Own.”

The man’s decision to exit his current relationship that he has with his girlfriend after he gets a better job is symbolic of using her as a come-up woman. My stepfather always told me to listen to what the man is not saying to get a real clue about how he thinks as a person, what he thinks about his woman, and where he is going in his life.

Just in taking the post at face value, the man thinks that the job he currently has (or not have) is sufficient for the relationship he is in. In other words, he is suggesting through this post that the woman he is with does not expect more from him than what he has now. He is also equating where he is financially with the type of woman he believes she represents. In other words, she is not his romantic preference, and when he gets a decent job, he will seek out someone who reflects his new financial capacity.

We don’t know what kind of woman he is with, but if he doesn’t have the decent job, then that means somebody in the relationship is carrying them both financially. He is also suggesting that just because his girlfriend may be doing financially better than him, he is not going to reciprocate the investment. She is investing in him, but he is not investing in her.

The irony with this situation is that the man feels entitled to whatever resources the girlfriend is providing, but he believes she should not feel entitled to whatever future resources he will obtain after getting the decent job.

Therefore, the woman who believes that the man she is helping will one day reciprocate will die believing that lie and never fully walk into the manifestation of that expectation. She will continue to pour resources into an empty well. She will invest time, heart, body, and money into a man who has no clue about building together or advancing the family unit forward economically and financially. As soon as he gets his decent job, he will drop the woman for some woman who did nothing for him. This is not bitterness talking. This is what the man outlines in his post!

Audio Discussions of Viral Post

The following are video discussions of the viral post, focusing on the topics of preventing entitlement, risk assessment, gap assessment, mate switching, and financial planning. The videos are branded as Favors Single Life Tips on multiple social media platforms.

Favors Single Life Tips: Preventing Entitlement

Favors Single Life Tips: Gap Assessment

Favors Single Life Tips: Risk Assessment

Favors Single Life Tips: Financial Planning

Favors Single Life Tips: The Mate Switching Hypothesis

Social Psychology Topics (Theory)

The following audio topics fall under social psychology specialization.

The discussions encourage theoretical application of the topic of romantic relationships. The Social Psychology Topics provide various lessons from romantic rebounding to chronic homelessness. Exploration of topics is not empirical, but the lessons are supported by empirical research.

Therefore, the purpose of the series is to explore multiple topics, analyze arguments, and propose tentative solutions for future research projects. These social psychology lessons reflect a work in progress for intervention and prevention solutions for all concepts explored. They represent the equivalent of a select audio bibliography. Additional sources are forthcoming.

You may find a few of these audio lessons under the “Readiness” tab on this site. These videos are housed also on YouTube for further consideration.

Power Dynamics in Rebound Relationships: Introduction to the Six Power Principles

Investment in Romantic Relationships: Introduction to the Investment Model

Four (4) Parenting Styles & Implications for Romantic Relationships

Rogers’ Person-Centered Theory, Self-Concept, Distortion & Moving Forward

Identity in Romantic Relationships: Introduction to Social & Role Identity Theory

Related Articles

The following articles influence the development of this case study.

Romantic Hastiness: Let Men Build on Their Own:

Romantic Hastiness: Reconciling the Come Up Woman:

Romantic Hastiness: When a Man Feels Forced:

Romantic Hastiness: Sex is Not a Solution for Laziness:

Romantic Hastiness Affects Finances:

The list of articles is not exhaustive. Click the “Blog” tab to access articles under the Romantic Hastiness Series.

Selected Resources

The following selected resources are connected to multiple YouTube series and research projects conducted on the topic of rebounding and rebound relationships. The following themes represent a select view of the topic. A comprehensive bibliography is available on this site. Click the “Rebounding” tab for more information. For this case study, resources on personality type will add to this bibliography.

Self-Perceived Mate Value

Arnocky, S. (2018). Self-perceived mate value, facial attractiveness, and mate preferences: Do desirable men want it all? Evolutionary Psychology, 1-8. Retrieved from Https://

Mate-Switching Hypothesis

Buss, D. M., Goetz, C., Duntley, J. D., Asao, K., & Conroy-Beam, D. (2017). The mate switching hypothesis. Psychology and Individual Differences, 104, 143-149. Retrieved from

Mate Retention Inventory

Buss, D. M., Shackelford, T. K., & McKibbin, W. F. (2008). The mate retention inventory-short form (MRI-SF). Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 322-334. Retrieved from

Perceived Partner Uniqueness

Dillow, M. R., Afifi, W. A., & Matsunaga, M. (2011). Perceived partner uniqueness and communicative and behavioral transgression outcomes in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 29, 28-51. Retrieved from

Living with Sexual Boredom

Tunariu, A. D., & Reavey, P. (2003). Men in love: living with sexual boredom. Sexual and Relationship therapy, 18 (1), 63-94.  Retrieved from

The Mate Value Scale

Edlund, J. E., & Sagarin, B. J. (2014). The mate value scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 64, 72-77. Retrieved from

Men’s Mate Value & Mate Retention

Miner, E. J., Starratt, V. G., Shackelford, T. K. (2009). It’s not all about her: Men’s mate value and mate retention. Psychology and Individual Differences, 47, 214-218. Retrieved from’s_not_all_about_her_Men’s_mate_value_and_mate_retention

Becoming Irreplaceable

Murray, S. L.., Leder, S., MacGregor, J. C. D., Holmes, J. G., Pinkus, R. T., & Harris, B. (2009). Becoming irreplaceable: How comparisons to the partner’s alternatives differentially affect low and high self-esteem people. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 1180-1191. Retrieved from

Rebound Relationship Investigation

Brumbaugh, C. C., & Fraley, C. (2015). Too fast, too soon? An empirical investigation into rebound relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32 (1), 99-118. Retrieved from

Coping with Breakups

Shimek, C. & Bello, R. (2014). Coping with breakups: Rebound relationships and gender socialization. Switzerland: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. Retrieved from

On the Rebound & Focusing on Someone New

Spielmann, S. S., MacDonald, G., & Wilson, A. E. (2009). On the rebound: focusing on someone new helps anxiously attached individuals let go of ex-partners. Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc., 35 (10), 1382-1394. Retrieved from 

What Predicts Romantic Satisfaction?

Conroy-Beam, D., Goetz, C. D., & Buss, D. M. (2016). What predicts romantic satisfaction and mate retention intensity: Mate preference fulfillment or mate value discrepancies. Evolution and Human behavior, 37, 440-448. Retrieved from  

Is She Really Going Out with Him?

Hoplock, L. B., Stinson, D. A., & Joordens, C. T. (2019). Is she really going out with him? Attractiveness exchange and commitment scripts for romantic relationships. Personality and Individual Differences, 139, 181-190. Retrieved from 

Partner Similarity for the Insecure

Hudson, N. W., & Fraley, R. C. (2014). Partner similarity matters for the insecure: Attachment orientations moderate the association between similarity in partners’ personality traits and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Research in Personality, 53, 112-123. Retrieved from  

Mate Value Predicts Partner-Directed Insults

Miner, E. J. & Shackelford, T. K. (2008). Mate value of romantic partners predicts men’s partner-directed verbal insults. Personality and Individual Differences, 46 (2), 135-139. Retrieved from  

Take It or Leave for Something Better

Nelissen, R. M. A., van Someren, D. S. I., & Zeelenberg, M. (2009). Take it or leave it for something better? Responses to fair offers in ultimatum bargaining. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Retrieved from  

Mating Market Dynamics

Regnerus, M. (2012). Mating market dynamics, sex-ratio imbalances, and their consequences. Springer Science, Business Media New York, 49, 500-505. Retrieved from  

He Said, She Said: Men’s Reports of Mate Value

Starratt, V. G., & Shackelford, T. K. (2012). He said, she said: Men’s reports of mate value and mate retention behaviors in intimate relationships. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 459-462. Retrieved from  

When Men Murder Women

Violence Policy Center. (2020, September). When men murder women. Retrieved from

Intimate Partner Violence World Health Organization. (2012). Understanding and addressing violence against women: Intimate partner violence. WHO. Retrieved from

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