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The Art of Rebounding
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The Art of Rebounding
How to spy a potentially "Rebound-Ridden Relationship" ... from the DATING KING

~So you met this hot guy at a bar last week, and after some slick flirting moves from both parties you've managed to score each other's digits. After he gave you the classic "I'll call you line," you anxiously waited by the phone to see what prospects lay in waiting. Thinking you had at least a 2-3 day hiatus before he would call, you were more than surprised (however pleased) when the phone rang early the next afternoon. It's him. You talk, you flirt, you establish a date. The date goes well and boom, a second date. Things are looking good, maybe too good. He's snuggly, smoochy, adorable, and you can't help but wonder if there may be some wound that you're destined to play the role of salve for. So, is he or is he not on the rebound? Before jumping to any hasty conclusions to sever ties first consider the following.

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Rebound Recall #1: Opposites Attract

Though it's true that quite often opposites do in fact attract, that doesn't mean you get to be the polar opposite of his ex. If he was attracted to short, curvy, brunettes and you're a tall, lanky, blonde don't sell yourself short just yet (you may be just as, if not more attractive than his ex), just keep in mind that you are a physical antithesis to what's her name. This fact, paired with the knowledge that she loves basketball but you hate it, she loves contact sports but you're a dancer, she's not so smart but you're a bookworm, etc. all point to your man's desperate attempts to get over the bad ex relationship by diving into something that is new and completely different.

The important thing to take into consideration however, is how substantial was the first relationship (i.e. how long did it last)? If he was with this girl for a year or so chances are she possessed a certain level of compatibility with him. If he keeps reminding you (however subtly) that you're her exact opposite he may be dating you not because of who you are, but who you aren't, her! If that's the case you may want to reconsider finding a guy who is able to value you because of who you are and not because he sees you as a refreshing difference from his ex.

P.S: His constant reminding you of how you're not like "her" shows that she is still on his brain: e.g. he's not ready to move on just yet.

Rebound Recall #2: "Stage 5 Clinger"

Recalling Rule # 5 from the comic "Wedding Crashers", if you're new guy is what you would call a "Clinger" you may have a wounded puppy on your hands. When you date a rebound guy you're dating an open wound. Rather than pouring salt on it (that's the ex's job), you're there to play nurse, to doctor, care, love, and baby his owies until he's all better. Or, not. Though it's great that a guy can show his sensitive side and allow himself to be seen as potentially "needy" and/or dependent, the last thing you want is for a guy to date you just because you're a warm shoulder to cry on, (besides, you know who that crying will concern: yup, the ex). What's more, by playing the role of nurse, or "surrogate mother" you run the risk of having him pull the age old trick of leaving you once he's feeling better. If he looks at you as his "healer" then he may likewise associate certain maternal logistics to your relationship and that means your relationship heads quickly into the platonic, rather than the romantic, realm. If you're dating a guy that just seems to "need" you all the time, protect yourself by maintaining your personal time, space, and independence. Make him work for your love and affection. Don't let a "rebounder" take advantage of your generosity.

Rebound Recall #3: Mr. Quick Commitment

If your relationship is still new and should be within the realm of casual, but your guy is all about discussing wedding plans, kids, and all things oriented around long term and the future, then chances are he may be a little too eager to get back on the horse. A man recovering from a bitter relationship is often only too happy to fall into the tempting trap of getting caught up in the fantasy of the perfect relationship, which always seems to come conveniently just after a devastating break up with someone else. Was your guy dumped by his last girlfriend, or was he dating her for several years with the intentions of marrying her? These are things you need to know before letting him talk about long-term commitment with you because pending his answers, he just may reveal that he isn't as ready to take this relationship to the next level as he may like to think. That's not saying what you two have may not be substantial, it's just to warn you that you want his commitment because its an earnest one and not just part of some whimsical fantasy.

Rebound Recall #4: The Shrug Off

Switching gears a bit here, the past three warning signs have all dealt with super clingy and dependent rebounding males. But what happens when you're guy begins to act too independent, too aloof, too nonchalant, and quite frankly, too indifferent?

If your guy is constantly "missing your calls", going out with the guys, taking other girl's calls, and most importantly avoiding any talk relative to the status of your relationship (be it something as simple as "how do I introduce you to so and so tonight?"), he may be freaking out about getting involved too fast with another woman.

A man that has been wounded, particularly because of infidelity, a betraying of trust, or because some other ugly factor resulted in his being let go from the former relationship, may fight all urges to get involved anytime soon thereafter.

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Though the prospects of physical intimacy will always be invited (sorry but just being honest), still, a rebounding guy may not be ready to give you more than a one night stand. To protect yourself from those potentially selfish and destructive rebounding types play it cool for the first couple of dates: avoid physical intimacy, or at least any extremes of, for as long as you can until you get a clear, concise message as to where your new guy stands. If he's all jittery and hesitant to talk about your status as a potential "couple", chances are your guy is a regular, wounded Romeo looking for a little less talk, a little more action and that's about it.

Everyone is bound to date a "rebounder" or two at one point in their life. After a certain age everyone brings baggage and broken hearts to the table. The important thing to remember is to keep that baggage in check: don't use it as an excuse to take advantage of someone's generosity, or to engage in multiple, casual relationships with careless abandon and a complete disregard for others feelings. If you feel like you may have a potential "rebounder" on your hands, you need to remember to first and foremost protect yourself from any of their tricks: premeditated, unintentional, or otherwise.

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