How can I make rebound relationships work?
Question Submitted by Dave, Sales, St. Petersburg, Florida
Okay this is the second rebound relationships that has happened to me in 6 months. I meet a woman at a club. She is beautiful and warm etc. etc.. She is also on the back end of a bad relationship. Right about the time they are leaving.
The latest one is still bound to him until their house is sold. I can tell if she is mad about me or not. I am a hopeless romantic and the intensity and passion has already escalated to boiling. She is getting all she hasn’t gotten for so long.
The problem is I know once she is “free” my fate is sealed. She will want to explore her new found freedom and that will not include me because yet again I am the first after the breakup.
How do I keep her in the “this won’t last” category as far as falling for her and ultimately getting hurt or should I bail out now and wait for better timing. I so enjoy her company and she is a good friend, If I get my heart pulled out of my chest yet again I may lose that and that would be sad. Can we, like moths, dance around the flame in rebound relationships without getting our wings burned off?
To rebound or not to rebound
People get into rebound relationships for any number of reasons: they’re lonely, they’re seeking a distraction from the heartbreak, they’re trying to get back at their ex, or they may even feel like they’re ready to move on.
None of those reasons make a foundation for a solid relationship. That’s not to say they don’t sever a perfect purpose in lessening the pain of a breakup. The problem with that is whoever is not rebounding comes into the relationship with a fresh (and mostly unbroken) perspective and thinks that they are building a real relationship. Meanwhile, the rebounder is tortured with feelings of loss, abandonment, betrayal and might even be holding on to the idea that they might reconcile with a lost love.
Either way, someone is a little too distracted to put both feet in and start building a fresh, new love.
What do you do? If you are in rebound relationships with a recent dumpee, you need to take his mind completely off his former girlfriend. That’s a pretty big statement there! Yes it is, but it’s not impossible if you know how to wake up his inner LION. This is a book that teaches you subtle ways of capturing his heart and waking him up to a new mission in life. The mission: worship you!
What if you are the one recently dumped? Then it’s time to Heal Your Heartbreak before you try to start something nice. You don’t need to dump the new guy, but you do need to come to terms with how you are feeling and how to learn to love yourself again.
Defining Rebound Relationships
Im sorry to tell you this, Dave, but there are several different things that are working against the possibility that this will last.
First, lets look at whats really happening here. She is coming out of a toxic relationship and judging by how you mentioned they have to split up assets like a house, that indicates they have been together for a long time (possibly married?). When long term relationships reach the point of divorce, there usually has been a long period of pain, anger, depression and maybe even hatred.
Its also possible that one of the partners (him or her) is dealing with the fear of commitment and left the relationship in a very abrupt, inconceivable way. The abandoned partner gets crushed in all the activity and is essentially trapped in this hope that he or she will one day return. Some people get so distraught they engage in some form of stalker behaviour or another.
Some relationships just end because they are not good any more so its important to figure out how things ended because it will spell out what the next year or the rest of your life might look like.
Either way, you need some perspective right now. You need to ask yourself what you need out of rebound relationships, but you also need to figure out why you want to keep this one. You should read Should You Stay or Should You Go and discover where you’re coming from before you get too deep into rebound relationships that might ultimately break your heart.
Find out who left the relationship and why
People often follow patterns throughout their lives. We as humans have standard ways of dealing with things like pain, grieving, and loss. If youve ever heard of the five stages of grief, then you know what Im talking about.
What you need most now is information to see if rebound relationships can work. This alone will foretell your future with amazing accuracy. You want to know who backed out of the relationship first and how they did it? How did the other person react? Did this loss leave her heartbroken or was she OK about it?
From what youve described here, you have found a woman who is terrified of commitment. In the book, He’s Scared, She’s Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships by Steven Carter and Julia Sokol, they describe your situation step-by-step:
- Intense passion from the very beginning.
- Soon the commitment-phobe starts to feel trapped and starts to put up barriers. Maybe she does not call as much as before or acts distant when youre together.
- As the trapped feelings get more obvious, this person will start acting out in often cruel and inexplicable ways.
- She or he may even get a new boy/girlfriend they fall madly in love with so fast that its inconceivable. As a way to put up a wall between themselves and the abandoned partner.
- This is almost always followed by moments of panic when they continue to hook up with the abandoned partner.
The guy or girl that got left behind is left as a complete basket case and dearly struggles to hold on. This sounds like where you are nearing in your rebound relationships.
You are the person rolling in at the end of this relationship. No matter what shesays about it being over, are they still together? Do they still see each other for time to time and is it apparent they might still be sleeping together (i.e. she does not answer the phone on nights that shed be hanging out with him)?
Get the hell out of there! What are you doing, dude? She is using you as a barrier to stop her ex from having any hope. Sure, you guys are great together, things are ultra passionate, and the sex is probably some of the best youve ever had, but you are standing in the way of them confronting any legitimate issues they really need to take care of.
Commitment-phobic people do this to ALL of their lovers. They also leave all of them pretty much the exact same way.
Right now, youre thinking that you are saving her from this boring or stupid or abusive guy, but youre actually just another dude in a long line of… sorry to say this… suckers.
If she truly is afraid of commitment, then you will go through everything her ex is going through within a year or two. It will break your heart and it will be a long time before you find someone who might even come close to the boiling hot rebound relationship you currently have.
Moving in on a dying relationship is not a very honourable thing to do. Let both of them deal with their pain and let them heal. This is a terrible foundation for a new relationship and does not bode well for any extended future you two could have together.
Best advice for rebound relationships
If this is just something fun and casual, then by all means, go for it! You actually have a much better chance of keeping your rebound lover if you don’t try to push them in any direction. Be cool. Lay back. Never act jealous in any way and just get to know each other. There is a great book, 1000 Questions for Lovers, that has tons of great questions that one actually would want to know about someone they’re in to. The great thing about something like this is that you are really making an effort to get to know your lover that NO ONE has ever done to them. You will stand out in their mind and elevate yourself into something more than a rebound.
If you feel you’re getting too deep into rebound relationships, do yourselves both a favour and walk away. Tell this person to figure out their life and if they figure out that you two really had something special, then they should come find you. But it has to be a conscious decision and one they really wants.
Dont base your decision on your own needs. Its so easy to want to be selfish and do everything you can to hold on to your rebound relationship, but the re-bounder is conflicted. He or she will hurt you.
I spurned lover needs time to rediscover herself and find out who they are without the prison of going from relationship to relationship. Believe me, you will have a much stronger love if they return whole and ready. Rebound relationships can be great because it helps you avoid the pain of loss, but by avoiding that pain, you can never really grow. You can never really have a completely meaningful relationship if you never put your past behind you.