Q: I’ve been dating a guy since mid-March. He was in an 11-month relationship that ended last November. He called her once after meeting me – not begging to come back, just kind of feeling her out. She wasn’t interested as she’s moved on. Was this just that call to see if he was okay with ending that relationship? Is this just “bruised ego” because this is his second attempt at a relationship that failed or is he not over her?
Signed: Afraid of Being “Rebound Girl”
A: Dear Rebound Girl,
In any new romance, it’s common to feel insecure about a new love’s old loves… It’s also common for people to “rebound” and rush from a breakup into something new, as a way to avoid facing the pain of their loss. Here’s the thing – you need to watch his behavior closely, and trust how you feel with him. If his feelings for you are sincere and strong, then his behavior will match that. If you’re just a band-aid for his broken heart, then his actions towards you will be less enthusiastic and consistent. If you have reasons to doubt his “relationship readiness” you should speak with him about your concerns in a loving, positive way, letting him know you understand and support his position, whatever it may be. If he’s not over her, it has nothing to do with you. And if he’s ready to be in a relationship with you but still cares for her, that’s not necessarily unhealthy – it’s human. What matters is if you’re both being honest and open, and if he’s giving you and your budding romance the time and attention you deserve.
Q: I care an awful lot about a man that I’ve just had a bad breakup with. I’d like to be there for him, but he’s suddenly very cold toward me, and I have learned that he’s already back with an old girlfriend and that, unbeknownst to me, she was living in his house when he was first pursuing me. I don’t want to have this kind of drama. I have lots of friends and he has none…
Signed: Guilty But Gone
A: Dear Guilty,
You haven’t really posed a question, but you seem conflicted about being out of touch with this man even though he’s showing you he’s immature. How do I know? 1) He never told you he had a girlfriend when you met, so he did the old “overlapping lovers” routine, which tells me he can’t be alone, he’s duplicitous (i.e. a liar), and basically weak, and this is all the more true since he ran right back to her, further proving that he can’t be alone. And now he’s being cruel to you. I’m sorry – why do you want to be “there for him?” Honey, let this “broken-winged” bird fly away! You’re so lucky you got out of his cage! The fact that he has no friends is also a red flag. Next time you give your heart to a man, make sure he’s “relationship material” – not just good with women, but good to his family, his friends, his neighbors, his coworkers, etc… A man who has no relationships with anyone won’t be a good partner in a romantic relationship.