Are You Always the Rebound Girl?

Getting Over Emotionally Unavailable Men

In a perfect world, we would all enter the dating field knowing and projecting exactly what we’re looking for, with an abundance of confidence and clarity. In reality, dating frequently resembles a convoluted journey full of mishaps, frustration and disappointment until we find the “one” we happily decide to settle down with. If you find yourself always playing a role in your relationships that leaves you unsatisfied and ultimately alone, take a closer glimpse into what you’re exuding to attract these “lost cause” partners. For now, let’s take a look at a few reasons why some women consistently slip into the role of “the rebound girl.”

Commitment Issues

Generally, dating a man who is not over his ex is dating an emotionally unavailable one. Even if he has feelings for you, they’re clouded by his emotional inability to move on from his previous relationship. If you find yourself in this situation more than once, you may want to look at your ability to commit. If you have a fear of committed relationships, pursuing men who are emotionally unavailable can feel safe to you. This tactic allows you to date men without ever truly risking your heart.

Geisha Syndrome

Some women spend all of their energy trying to be everything to the man they are dating. Similar to the Geisha—a Japanese woman raised from birth to learn how to be the perfect woman to a man in every way—some women sacrifice their very feelings and happiness to keep a man in her life. If he has not emotionally moved on from his previous relationship, your selfless patience with his closed-off heart and accompanying behavior, places you precisely in the role of the rebound girl. Where most women would high-tail it out of that dead-end relationship, you choose to stick around and try to be whatever he needs, compromising your feelings and needs for his. This can only lead to your resentment, his disrespect, and ultimate emotional disaster.

A Little Self-Respect, Please

This is where your self-confidence comes into play. You have to believe that you deserve a mate who is completely into you and what the two of you have together. With self-respect, you will not allow yourself to be taken advantage by a lonely guy who’s still pining after his previous sweetheart. All relationships are a balance, and a healthy one is comprised of two people equally committed and focused on bringing happiness into each other’s lives. Do yourself a favor and leave the brokenhearted beaus to heal while you set your sights on the ones ready and willing to commit to someone new.

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12 thoughts on “Are You Always the Rebound Girl?

  1. Anonymouspixie

    I think I might be the rebound girl. I fell for a man when I was 22 and I had to have a serious, emergency operation. He never even came to see me. Still I chased after him though he wasn’t over his ex and he moved in with me and we had 2 children ( my eldest was named after his ex) but I left 4 years ago. Then I met my current partner. He was still married when we met, I paid for his divorce and we also had 2 children. He has never done anything for my birthdays (every birthday of mine is spent on the phone to his whiney ex) and I always bend over backwards for his. I have given up thinking about marriage because I know that will never happen. We had a row tonight because I have been searching high and low for a bike for my 10 y/o son for his bike training course tonight and instead of helping me, he just complained that I hadn’t cooked him his dinner and then proceeded to shove my son out of the way and sulk in the corner of the sitting room. I’ve had enough but I don’t have the strength to say enough is enough and become a single mum again. So emotionally destroyed!

  2. Liz

    It’s not worth it to date any man who is emotionally unavailable, unless you do not believe that you deserve the love and support and wanted a way to sabotage it. I have dated men like that in the past. It broke my heart when I had a highway accident, he did not even call me while I would risk so much of what I have to be there with him.

    It also would be quite selfish for men who recently got out of a long-term r/o to try to get into a new one just to get rid of the pain. Yes, there might be strong physical attraction and such. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that real love does come with self-love and self-respect and most importantly, self-discipline. I have met a guy like that. I would not stop living my life just to wait for him to get over his old gf. I will keep looking and in the meantime, I refuse to get myself involved with him. He has his friends to support him through this tough time, why me? There is no point to get my heart entangled and then let down later. In this scenario, there would have been no chance of surviving any love anyway.

    I voluntarily took 1.5 years of break from a hurtful long-term r/o and dedicate all the time and efforts into caring for and loving myself. Now I am ready and I just need to meet one guy, who is the right one for me, ready, available and with all the qualities/character I am looking for! Oh, yeah!!

    Take care!

  3. vito sopranger

    i left my husban after years of marriage ….it was the best thing i ever did . and this article is correct ……rebounds don’t work ….tim women are evil (they expect you to read their minds) ……don’t give up. just quit being a sucker ……..@alli2ells your being a sucker lifes too short….@patti you complain yet your fine with being single? wtf? ….typical excuse for someone who drives men (ignore) away ……

  4. Pauline

    It’s tough to be in a relationship with a man who doesn’t know what love really is. Because he never received it, …..he does not know how to give it.

    It’s easy to see what he needs, but because he is unable to “give”, he can’t really “receive” either. Girls…..let a man completely fall in love with YOU…..before you give your heart away, or your heart will suffer. No matter how much you have to give, he can’t receive it and consequently, is unable to fill your cup in return.

    Relationships should be mutually fullfilling, not designed to just meet a mans needs.

  5. alicia

    I can totally relate to this, as I look back over my life, I see that every important relationship with supposed “loves of my life”, have been me bending over back words to make the guy feel loved, cared for, and cherished, while they do nothing, to make me feel loved. The relationship that I am in now is no exception, I’ve been in the present relationship for a year and a half, the man is a widower, and had been married for 24 years, I just cannot do enough to try to win his affection, but he as of yet has not even told me that he loves me. He does wonderful things for me all the time, I guess to show me that in some way he does care, but it would be nice if I could live up to the “best thing that ever happened to him”, his wife, whose memory is constantly coming between us.

  6. Angel Heaven

    Good for you, Patti! You’re definitely not defeated. From this point on you can only move forward since you’ve recognized you own pitfalls, you’ve released this immature boy-man from your life and you’re committed to your own new self! Congratulations!

  7. alli2ells

    i can relate to this the 2 men i have fallen in love with in the 9 years since my divorce i have been the rebound girl, the first had been in a motorbike accident and me being a nurse looked after him and cared for him for 9 months on and off . he even tried again with his ex wife in the middle of it ! and now 3 weeks ago i had to end a relationship with a guy who i met one month after his wife ended their 13 year marriage we dated for 6 months and as he became more and more depressed he dragged me down with him ! it hurts alot and i realise now that i did neglect my own feelings to pander to his depression , he is now on a dating website again looking for the next woman lol his divorce isn’t even through yet but i have let him to it there is nothing else i can do .

  8. Tim

    Sadly I can relate to this but feel more like the woman in the situation, fell for a woman in work who seemed to want me but the deeper I got the more she backed off, I wish there were more articles like this designed for men because we have feelings and want to find love and grow with a partner too.

  9. Patti Bruman

    There had been a story a while back about people who confused pity for love, which is closely related to this one.
    Normally a person could be attracted to self-sufficient people, but somehow end up in relationships where they are more like a caretaker.
    Eventually the “caretaker” is so exhausted that they begin to neglect themselves, and how can you take care of anyone if you are completely broken down?
    As you may have figured out, I have had way too much experience with that. I’ve actually have known it for a while, and have taken many precautions to avoid it. Not enough apparently.
    The last guy actually had “emergencies”, needing to go to the hospital when he wasn’t getting enough attention. That was by far the worst I’ve had to deal with, the only truly crazy one. He was easy to get rid of though, I just ignored him until he decided to break it off.
    Truth is I’m ok with being single, I have never moved right from one relationship to another. After this last one though, which ended in Jan., I still feel depleted.
    I definitely am not defeated.


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