What Is Monkey Branching? How To Avoid Being A Victim Of Rebound Relationship?

We can say that monkey branching is almost the same as cheating. The definition is quite similar, after all. Monkey branching happens when people consider other options while they are still in a relationship with their current partner.

Why do they do it? Because they want to place a safety net and a backup plan in case something goes wrong or something happens. Essentially, someone who is dumping you but already has a safety net emotionally cheated on you.

Both men and women monkey branch. From a moral standpoint, it is a despicable thing to do. People who do it have low moral standards and low self-esteem. Most people agree it is unethical and unfair to the current partner. But it still happens. Today, we will look at the definition, signs, and how to avoid being the victim of it.

The Definition of Monkey Branching

We touched on this topic a bit in the beginning, but let’s try and give a clear definition. Men and women have a slightly different view on what exactly is a monkey branching relationship. But there are common characteristics in both definitions.

Simply put, it is a person who pretends to be single so he/she can flirt with other people. They flirt with other people to the extent they almost cheat on their existing partner.

That flirting includes giving away cell phone number, messaging other people, flirting in a sexual manner, and even actually going on dates.

Some people view it as a way of rebounding from a relationship that hasn’t quite finished. They say it is a way to make sure that when the current relationship ends, you still have a romantic relationship.

The Most Obvious Signs of Monkey Branching

So, what are the signs? How to recognize them in your boyfriend and girlfriend. Let’s take a look. Remember, not all of the signs are present in your partner. He might show just one or two of the signs. But it is worth keeping track and paying attention to.

Using the cell phone a lot

This is a common sign that your partner is not interested in you. When your partner spends a lot of time on the cell phone during your together time, it is a red flag sign he/she is flirting with someone else.

The problem is you cannot read the messages. And you cannot know if they are work-related, something important related, or anything else.

You can ask your partner directly, but you might not get an honest answer.


Vague About Whereabouts

When your partner is being vague about his/her whereabouts, it is a sign they might be seeing someone else. They are doing this to sidestep conversations about what they are actually doing.

Constant Going Out With Friends

There is nothing wrong with going out with friends. And you definitely do not want to be that jealous, obsessive, and controlling partner, right?

But there is definitely a limit to how much time your partner spends with other people. If you notice your girlfriend or boyfriend suddenly starts spending more time with friends, something is not right.

Even if your partner is actually going out with a friend, it might be a chance to use that time and find a new person else to date.

Or they might be lying to you about who they are with. Friends might be just a cover story.

Becoming More Secretive

You will notice that your partner has suddenly become more secretive. They think the love relationship is nearing its end, and they do not want to share too much information with you.

It might also be a sign they are already dating someone new.

Affection Changes

There are two ways this can happen. Your partner can become overly interested in you. Or he/she might become cold and distant. Both are obvious monkey branching signs. Your partner might use the extra attention toward you to mask your eyes and make you feel secure, while he/she is looking for someone new.



This is one of the most obvious signs of monkey-branching. When your partner is suddenly indifferent, and he doesn’t care about anything related to you, he/she has emotionally checked out.

Sudden Changes In Hobbies And Activities

Hobbies and activities are great for relaxing and having fun. They are also a great way to release negative energy. But if you are in a long-term relationship, you probably know your partner’s likes by now. And then, he/she suddenly changes her likes.

For example, she never liked salsa, and now she suddenly wants to go to dancing lessons without you.

Why Do People Monkey Branch?

All people look for happiness. And often, they look for it in the wrong place. That is when some people start believing that monkey branching with a new person will solve their problems.

In reality, what happens is they bring their previously unresolved problems into the new relationship. You cannot learn anything and cannot grow if you jump from one previous relationship to another.

Girlfriends usually do it because they refuse to work on their insecurities and issues. They want their new partner to be better. But the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Monkey branching is a weakness. Relationships require full commitment. Among the many reasons why people do it are:

  • Emotional dependence
  • Low self esteem
  • Low moral
  • Overdependence on others for emotional support
  • Expecting the new partner to solve the problem
  • Looking for an external source of happiness
  • Fears and insecurity

Do Monkey Branching Relationships Last?

This is the question many have. It is a question the people on the wrong side ask as well. Often, this type of romantic relationship starts badly and ends up even worse. Why? Because the new branch starts with all the bad things. Without a healthy basis for a relationship, you cannot expect it to last.

And secondly, it is often built on false expectations. The brancher, or the one who leaves the current relationship for a new one, truly believes his new partner is the answer to all the problems. He/she expects the new partner to fill the emotional void.

But most importantly, a monkey-branching relationship lacks fundamentals that make up a healthy and successful relationship. Those are trust, patience, understanding, security, and respect. Nobody wants to be with a monkey brancher. The problem is to identify that person.

Also check:

Can You Prevent Monkey Branching?

Sadly, there are some things you cannot prevent in this world. And monkey branching is one among them. You cannot prevent your partner from doing it. And you should not desperately try to do it. Because if he/she already checked out, you cannot have a healthy relationship. It is best that you let go.

Controlling your partner’s behavior will result in a downfall no matter how you do it. There are, yet, some things you can do:

  • Stay secure and believe in yourself, confidence helps
  • Control what is in your power, and that is making sure your partner is happy
  • Work on the relationship and intimacy between you
  • Be the best version of yourself

How Can You Tell If You Are A Victim Of Monkey Business?

The sad thing is that it is difficult to tell if you are a victim of it. And that applies to both people who are left by the brancher, or the new partner. For example, if you are a man, it is hard to see if you are one of the men that she uses to get what she wants.

The best thing to do is ask outright. The same thing applies to knowing if you are a rebound. It varies from man to man and from woman to woman. But if you feel your partner is not over your ex, or they see you after a big breakup, it might indicate you are in a rebound relationship.

Essentially, monkey branching is a form of a rebound relationship.

Written by Steven

Steven is a young student from San Francisco who is obsessed with computers.

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