~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.
Rebound Recall #1: Opposites
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
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
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
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?
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.