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Are rebounders emotionally unavailable no matter what?


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I'm 28, she is 27. I met this girl who was coming off a painful breakup about 4-5 months prior. They dated for 2 years, during the last year he went through some things and became distant, she ended up breaking up with him. Soon after she tried to take him back but he rejected her. The relationship was serious, and she wanted to marry him. She also became pregnant by him but had an abortion, which she feels extremely guilty about to this day.


As I said, I met her 4-5 months after. She had not dated anyone since him. Our "honeymoon period" was incredible and the relationship moved quickly, though I was always applying the brakes (for instance, not allowing to see me every day, which she wanted). Over time though, I reached the point where I began to have serious feelings for her and saw a future with her.


Throughout our relationship we had a TON of chemistry, conversations were always great. We connected in every way and she shared everything with me. I tried to keep things interesting, and we went on several trips together - twice to Key West, twice to the Bahamas, Vegas, and a couple other trips. We always had fun and the conversation and sex was great.


About 5-6 months into our relationship, she went to pick up some property from her ex and he asked to take her to lunch. She said no and brushed him off. Yet she told me that over the next couple of months, she kept wondering what it was he was going to say, and feeling that she never got closure as to what happened to their relationship.


What happened with us is that as soon as she realized things were getting serious, she suddenly began to look at me in a new light and backed away.


I broke up with her after she admitted the problem with the ex and that she had been talking to him for a few days, trying to find closure. I wasn't angry with her, but I can't be with someone whose heart is divided.


What's interesting is that now the ex wants her back (she showed me his messages), but she isn't back with him. She told both of us that she just wants to be alone. She is obviously upset and hasn't been eating or sleeping much. She constantly makes comments about how guilty she feels, how I deserve better, how she is so heart broken, sad, and feels like she has no pieces of her heart left to offer anybody.


She tells me that she is angry with herself because she felt like we were perfect together and she is throwing it away. She told me that she doesn't want to be with him, she just can't handle the feelings. She tells me that "you're more of a man than he'll ever be." Has told me multiple times that "I'm scared I will never find anyone who will be as good to me as you," and "losing you will be the biggest regret of my life." THEN WHY LOSE ME?


I have offered to work things out but she knows that I will move on and not wait around for her. When I met her I was seeing multiple people, and she knows I've always had a very easy time attracting women. So she DOES know that she can lose me. I just can't understand why, if she loves me so much, she can't just let me love her and slowly put away the feelings for her ex.


Right now I am in NC and giving her space. But is there no way that she will one day realize, "I threw away something great?" Is there ANYTHING I could have done to save it or am I just the hapless rebound doomed to failure no matter what? Is there anything I could have done to make this work?


Thanks for your replies.

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A little over 8 months officially together... we dated/slept together a month before that. Talked about 3 weeks before we started dating (as I said, I was seeing other women also, but dropped them shortly after I slept with her the first time)


Some of the trips I was going on anyway, with friends. I invited her along. The first trip to KW was before we were a couple, I just wanted to see how well we could get along alone together over a weekend.

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Some are, some aren't. In your other thread you said "I broke up with her because I sensed her slipping away. It was coming regardless." As I've said before, that was kind of self defeating. You can never really know someone elses mind. If you love someone, why do that? Things can always turn around if you're still connected.


Everything you've done to this point seems like a big game. I know the prospect of being hurt can be terrifying, but you have to take the chance in order to find happiness. You ran as soon as you saw trouble and that never works. It's better to try and face the issues when they arise.


People getting out of significant relationships are almost always messed up. 4 - 5 months is not a lot of time to straightren out your feelings and she certainly didn't seem like she had. But it seems more like you pushed her away, rather than the other way around.


At this stage, I think it's best to just give her the space she needs. Thats about all you can do. Good luck man, I feel for you.

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A quick definition of a rebound relationship is when someone hasn't given enough time to process a breakup and be completely finished with it. Instead, they find someone new who appears to be a reasonably close match, and they jump into a relationship to fill the void in their life. That's why most end when the honeymoon phase is nearing the end and the rebounder realizes this "image" really isn't someone they want to be with.


Depending on the person, a rebounder can certainly be emotionally available to you, but, they still may have not closed their emotions to their ex. That's the crux of the problem. 4 to 5 months is a pretty short amount of time to heal after a 2 year relationship, especially given that she was thinking about marriage and the pregnancy/abortion issue. That's a lot of baggage to process. When she picked up her property and saw him again, the old feelings probably rushed right back to the surface.


Because you guys made it past the honeymoon phase, I think there may be something there on her end, so this isn't your typical rebound. All you can do is give her time and space to finish her process.

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Thanks, great post.


For the next few weeks I am sure that NC is best; but I'm really torn on whether or not to go LC after that.


She has been in contact me with since the breakup, sometimes every day, sometimes every few days. I have been polite but distant for the most part.


I'm also not sure if I should contact her (since I initiated the NC) first after a few weeks (or months) to be friendly and establish that I am OK with things as they are and don't want us to feel like we can't contact each other. I'd prefer her to contact me; yet I'm not sure she will since I asked for NC and told her that it would not be "appropriate" for us to talk now (while feelings are still raw), or later, when we will "both probably be with someone else anyway."

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From what you've said about her emotional state, I would definitely wait a couple weeks before contacting her. Also her awareness of your past dating habits will work in your favor. You don't want her to think you'll be waiting around indefinitely for her decision. And remember to take her words with a grain of salt. You don't really know what's going on inside her head - she may be leaning one way or another, or maybe she wants to walk away from everything for a while. I'm sure that will be changing several times over the next few days and weeks. Of course it would be best if she were to contact you first. But after a couple weeks, I would send something really short, like a simple text saying "hi," just to let her know you're still thinking about her and to give her the opportunity to respond (break NC) if she wants.

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I don't think this girl used you at all. She obviously cares for you, but it sounds like she still has unresolved feelings towards her last relationship and her ex. Some experiences are really hurtful and leave you with residue for a long time, and it seems like she's still dealing with those emotions.


I'd just give her space to figure out her feelings. Could be a case of bad timing.

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I agree, it is really bad timing.


And speaking of timing - my greatest confusion now is giving her the right amount of time. If I go NC too long, it could be negative. Yet if I initiate contact too soon (though I plan on keeping LC and making everything light, no relationship talk unless she brings it up), maybe she will push me away. I'm not scared she will forget about me, I know she won't. But I feel so helpless and emasculated, not being able to do anything. I feel like the decision in her hands, and after everything I invested in her, that really sucks.


There is a lot more detail I could share, I just don't want anyone to have to read a novel.


There are good days and bad days... the last two days I have been absolutely torn up over this. I can't focus on anything else, though I have been going out and doing things with friends. My mind keeps going back to her.

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People on these forums always say that if something is meant to be, it will happen in time.


Is that honestly true? It doesn't seem that way to me.


My greatest fear is that this relationship is right and it is what will make us both happy in the long term, but one or both of us will be so hurt or confused that we let it slip away... then after it's been long enough, you just close your heart and let it go forever even if that is wrong.

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And speaking of timing - my greatest confusion now is giving her the right amount of time. If I go NC too long, it could be negative. Yet if I initiate contact too soon (though I plan on keeping LC and making everything light, no relationship talk unless she brings it up), maybe she will push me away. I'm not scared she will forget about me, I know she won't.


As you said, she won't forget about you. So don't worry about what's the amount of time you need to stay away, contact, etc. Just give her some time and space and worry about you right now.


But I feel so helpless and emasculated, not being able to do anything. I feel like the decision in her hands, and after everything I invested in her, that really sucks.


The best way to gain back power and self esteem in times like this is to place all your focus on yourself. We can't control other people. But we sure as hell can control ourselves. That's an awful lot of power. And by proceeding with yourself/your life you'll slowly start to understand that the decision isn't all hers to make.

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