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Anyone had any experience with rebound relationships? Confused!

(25 Posts)
casey89 Thu 20-Mar-14 20:51:59

Hi everyone,

I am new to this site and would like to gather some advice and any experiences in relation to a scenerio I was faced with a short time ago!

I am 25 and last year i had finally got myself back to being my happy self after my partner of 5 years cheated on me. It took me 2 years but i felt ready to move on when i met an old friend I used to go to music lessons with as a child. We went out for drinks and we had so much chemistry i was blown away, we could talk for hours and we both seemed extremely comfortable with each other from an early stage. Unfortunately i was to learn that he had broken up with his ex gf of 4 years only a short period before we had met (3-4 weeks) and i expressed my concerns with him stating that i would not be used as a rebound and i had been hurt before and did not want to risk further heartbreak. He stated he had ended the realtionship as he felt they were more like friends and had not been happy for 6 months before the breakup. I was smitten with him and decided to give it a chance after he convinced me he was genuine and decided to take it slow!

I wish i wasn't so naive at the time and could predict what was going to happen! Although it was short lived we had a great relationship.(7 months) All my friends told me how smitten he seemed to be with me making jokes how he would gaze at me all loved up! we did the usual couple stuff like went on weekend breaks away etc. I once had a disagreement with him over something minor and he sent roses to my work with a letter saying how he hoped something insiginicant wouldnt ruin something special blablabla. I saw this as passion at the time to want to make it work but now looking back i see it as a big red flag.! Another red blag i now have noticed is him saying he thought he had met his wife and said 'ily' quite early on.

Out of the blue 2 days after giving me engraved jewellery with both our names on he just completely turned and was very cold with me. He said he had bumped into his ex in the shop and it all hit him at once, how he felt terribly guilty for hurting her and how she was cold with him and he was confused to whether he wanted her back even though he knew she wouldnt take him back. I gave him space and a couple of weeks later when we spoke again he continued to be rude with me and even made offensive comments basically saying i wasnt his ex and i reminded him of her and he was never going to get over her whilst he was with me. That was the last of that and i remained strong and kept to no contact and stated i did not want to be with someone who didnt want me anyway. Time has passed and it has been 5 months since we broke up, from what i gather he tried to get her back and was on a dating site 2 months after we broke up and is still on that site so i doubt they worked out! (ironic saying he wanted space...)

I was just wondering whether anyone can make sense of what has happend or been in a similar situation? Time has passed and i do not feel as broken hearted as i did do but i still feel like i am clinging onto the anger of what he has put me through when i said it from the start! I cant help but feel his actions were extremely cruel, in particular the dramatic switch of behaviour towards me. Any advice to let go of anger would be amazing!!!
I also am still baffled how you can go from being so 'loved up' with someone to then speaking to them like something on their shoe! Makes me wonder whether his feelings were genuine or whether i just filled a void! (he was a great actor if he had no feelings for me)

Experience from those who have had a rebound themselves/being the reboundee would be great to get a perspective on the situation.

Sorry this is long!


NorwegianBirdhouse Thu 20-Mar-14 21:35:44

It's so unfair when you try to protect yourself and even tell the other person that you really want to avoid more hurt and it happens in spite of this. I have not been in your situation but my best friend has and as an outsider to her relationship I could see problems. Like in your case this guy had been dumped by his girlfriend of six years and was heart broken. A mutual friend took him to a night club where he met my friend. Because we had the mutual friend we were told about his being dumped and devastated.

That week he took my friend on a date and proclaimed he was crazy about her. She was more cautious given it was so soon. This went on for some months but often he would talk about his ex and it was clear he was still devastated and finding life hard without her, eg, he turned up on a date, told my friend he saw his ex in a shop, had to leave and get to his car and was shaking. He ended the relationship soon after.

I think he and your ex were trying to fill the void as you say, by pursuing something new and exciting to block out the pain. I think when they realise they have not succeeded they withdraw into themselves and the person they were chasing gets hurt. Maybe he was too depressed to make the effort to explain himself. Don't really know but I am sorry you got caught up and hurt.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 20-Mar-14 22:01:47

I don't think that people who enter relationships on the rebound do it to deliberately hurt others, NPR are they always lying when they give reassurances. Often they are in denial as to the extent of the loss until something happens that bursts their denial bubble.

That is why it is so important for the other person to be a bit more detached and realistic about what they want. It took you 2 years to recover from your relationship OP, did you really think that someone else could do it in a couple of weeks?thanks

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 20-Mar-14 22:02:27

Should be nor, not *NPR.blush

casey89 Thu 20-Mar-14 22:32:50

Thank-you for your responses !!

Yeh I do believe I was naive at the time and obviously now looking back I regret not walking away at the first instance, however i think because he had ended it with his ex and did say to me he was over the relationship before it ended i took the chance ( wrongly)! He also didn't show any major signs at the time of not being over her and rarely even spoke about her! I didn't really compare it to my first breakup as I felt the circumstances were different in the sense of I had been cheated on and it was not my choice to end things, where as it was his choice!

Just find it distressing his behaviour switched so dramatically with me, and I feel like he doesn't feel that much regret over the way he treated me which also hurts!! I don't get what was genuine or what wasn't !!!!

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 20-Mar-14 23:12:12

It's difficult to explain OP but I will do my best, so please bear with me.

I have a friend whose marriage broke up last year. Within weeks he entered a relationship with another woman. Within 3 months he bought a house with another woman and is now living with her and her DCs. He believes that they are in love. He thinks they will get married and live happily ever after. He listens to no one who tells him otherwise. He believes that his marriage was over long before it actually ended and he in effect dealt with this while still with his wife.

The reality is he loved his wife. He still does. He has not faced up to the fact that it's over and instead is using his new girlfriend and her DCs as a replacement for his family. At the minute, this "love" and family are a distraction. Anyone who meets him now will believe that he is completely in love with his new GF and devoted to her DCs. Because he believes it. Those of us who have known him for a long time, know that it isn't real and that when this bubble bursts (and it will) his pain will be enormous, and both his new family and his DCs will be devasted. He believes that he is in love. He is not consciously lying to anyone. But none of it is really real and at some point his bubble will burst and his grief will need to be dealt with. Everything he says is genuine, but none of it is real.

It is so painful to watch.sad

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 20-Mar-14 23:13:42

He met one woman within weeks and bought a house with her within months. There has only been one woman.

lavenderhoney Fri 21-Mar-14 10:42:28

Being open and honest with what you want is supposed to protect you from people who will hurt you. Unfortunately people might not have your morals and expectations of how you wish to be treated and respect that.

I doubt he set out to make you miserable. But he underestimated his recovery time and usually when anyone looks back on a relationship they remember the good times and feel disloyal to their much loved partner for moving on. It depends on your break up and how you deal with emotions as an individual.

I do feel sorry for you, the break up of any relationship for whatever reason is painful. I have been in a marriage which in hindsight was all about the rebound. Its very painful to admit that. We dismissed this at the time, as you do when convinced of love and really wanting to get out of the hurt place into a happy one. Plus things go so fast there's no time to think- you both are keen to get on with it. And it makes you feel wanted and neither one of you wants rejection.

Have you met anyone else? Are you dating again?

casey89 Mon 24-Mar-14 10:48:47

Thanks again for your responses, I get the initial part of a rebound in the sense of he probably felt lonely as he was so used to having somewhere there, he needed someone who could be there and I suppose keep a similar routine without changing his lifestyle so much etc

But I don't get the concept of 'fake love' I know I have been on dates when I haven't been over an ex and it just emphasised even more so I wasn't over them, I couldn't even hold hands/sit closely to them- My ex was the complete opposite- really affectionate and genuinely seemed besotted by me, seems weird that someone who doesn't have feelings for you could fake it!

I haven't been in his shoes though so I think I just find it ry difficult to get my head around it ! I think now will he be missing me or missing her? Will he feel anything towards me if we ever bumped into each other again?

Lavender honey- I have been on several dates since and i do think it has done me a world of good! I think I still have a problem with low confidence and it sounds stupid but the thought of fully trusting someone again scares me ! I think I felt a false security with him and he did seem so nice and because I knew him when I was a child- it has thrown me and I never thought he would betray be the way he did do and speak to me In a hostile way following the breakup!

Any tips on releasing my anger?/ rebuilding my confidence and ability to trust again?

Thanks again for your responses !

casey89 Mon 24-Mar-14 10:50:19

Ahh just re-read that and noticed some spelling mistakes - I was rushing on my phone before a meeting so please forgive me!

lavenderhoney Mon 24-Mar-14 12:58:29

Perhaps he did feel affectionate which is why he did the hand holding etc.
If you forget about the rebound stuff, perhaps he was going to fast anyway and so were you, ( and its hard not to, if you both want to) and he just thought " what am I doing?"

He hasn't been very nice with his behaviour now, though. I'd say try to think of the times he pissed you off, and perhaps if you hadn't of had the history you might have pulled back or got out. Its not your fault by any means to have trusted.why wouldn't you? But your thinking was skewed by the friendship bond you had.

I would say that to get angry you have to boost your self esteem. You're a nice person right? So its his loss. Carry on dating, its the best thing really.

wildwest Mon 24-Mar-14 13:09:18

I've had a similar experience - also should have known better - it's not good to get involved with people who have just split from someone - especially after something long term. Funnily enough, I held back with this one because of the recent split from a long term relationship. He was so full on with me and I got carried away by it. He said he was really 'falling for me', we talked about being together when we were old, discussed babies, he invited me and my daughter to spend Christmas with his family in France at the end of this year. His friends said they had never seen him like this with anyone else. He said we were serious - he told his work colleagues about me, introduced me to his friends - messaged me one night 'big news - I've told my parents about you'. I allowed him to meet my daughter (which I have never done before with anyone else). I did say to him I worried it was all too soon and he told me one of his friends had suggested the same but that he had met someone 'he really connected with and that just happened to be now rather than later'. One day we were happy with no indication anything was wrong, He had told me the day before he missed me and couldn't wait to see me - then next day it was all over. It's hard to get your head around it and here I am in March (this happened 1st January) and I still miss him, still can't believe it's happened. But maybe they do mean those things when they say them and then suddenly realise it's all too soon and monumental - which is awful for the one who was ready and believed what was said.

I know how you feel and it sucks. But we'll get over it. If he's stupid enough to walk away - be smart enough to let him (and don't drunk text him like I did!). ;-)

struggling100 Mon 24-Mar-14 13:10:38

I've known relationships that started on the rebound and end in disaster. But one of the happiest marriages I know also started in those circumstances. Every circumstance and every individual is different and there are no hard-and-fast rules.

To put it another way, I think that what you are describing here is not the 'rebound effect' but the effect of dating a bastard who lacked the emotional awareness to know his own feelings and the empathy that would have led him to feel shame at his own cruelty towards you. He behaved appallingly to you, and the fact that he wasn't over his previous relationship is no excuse whatsoever. I know you are hurting, OP, but it sounds to me like you had a very lucky escape.

Scornedwoman67 Mon 24-Mar-14 14:55:18

casey You sound like such a lovely young woman. Sadly you've had your fingers burned (as have I!) and I think the lessons learned are that things shouldn't be rushed. If you are going to be together forever, it doesn't have to happen within weeks or months. I now treat each experience as a learning curve. You become more cautious - in a good way. The advice about not getting in too deep with a newly-single person is also wise. I ignored it to my cost a few years ago. I'm sorry this happened to you, but you clearly have your head in the right place & I have no doubt you will find somebody who deserves you. Good luck flowers

casey89 Mon 24-Mar-14 20:47:31

lavendar honey/scornedwoman67 - I completely agree with the advice with taking it slowly and staying away from individuals that have just got out of a long term relationship!! it is something that will definately stay with me! I actually had exams at the time of meeting him so it was my choice to keep it quite relaxed, throughout the relationship i saw him approximately 2-3 times a week with the odd weekend away and i also spent 2 weeks away from him on a girls holiday, i thought this would allow him time to adjust/deal with his emotions, but evidentially not!! i would like to say i was a caring person, i did a lot for him and i hope he will realise it in the future!!

Wildwest - im sorry this has also happend to you too!! its crazy how similar our experiences sound!! How has his attitude been with you since?? what was his actual reason for ending it with you?? Likewise hours before he ended it with me we were in the car and he had his hands on my leg and before i got out he told me he loved me not once...but twice, then text me calling me gorgeous when i got home! then bammmm the end!! seems really really heartless in my eyes, if you had second thoughts about the person you were with, surely you would back down with the romantic gestures?? the best way i can describe it is he threw me off a cliff metaphorically!!

Struggling100 - Thanks for your post, i think you really have hit the nail on the head. I think for a while I felt like everyone thought it was 'acceptable' (not posters on general!) what he did to me, because everyone could 'understand' how he was not over his ex - without considering how he has handled his emotions which has caused me great pain- aka giving me engraved jewellery with both our names on 2 days before ending it, then afterwards actually trying to blame me by saying 'i did things his ex would never do' - he was referring to an old friend of mine who had moved to america who had text me who so happend to be male (i told him about it) and pretty much summarising saying i wasn't her, when all along he said he had ended it with her and was ready to move on with me. Its interesting you have pointed out the fact he has no empathy also- i also thought this from an early stage, yet at the time didnt think much of it. When he got with me shortly after he broke up with his ex, she found out and obviously was extremely upset like any girl would be.Although what he did to her was not technically wrong as he was single, he seemed to lack empathy with her and simply told her 'well i am single'. I know that it is difficult when you move on with someone, but i think i would feel bad on the person i loved if the split was pretty amicable- and would try and sympathise a little more. Interesting to see it took 6-7 months for him to finnaly feel the guilt towards her- which ultimately ended our relationship! Just waiting for the same to happen to me if it ever will do!!

--- Sorry if i have rambled on a little here! Think the overall lesson is to trust your gut instict with a newly single individual and not get sucked in by them if they arent as genuine as they seem!! i obviously hope that one day he will realise what he has done is wrong and show a little more remorse. Hes still on a dating website so he obviously cant handle been alone for a length of time! Hopefully in a few years time, when i am happy with someone else he will come grovelling back, and i can be like 'your loss loser'! shouldnt really need the ego stroke but it would give me a little bit of satisfaction haha

wildwest Tue 25-Mar-14 08:22:36

He's not talking to me at all now and has blocked me from facebook - hard to reconcile that with the man who told me I made him happy. Thing is I slept with him four weeks after we split up. His best friend even said 'I knew you two wouldn't be able to keep away from each other'. After that I told him that I didn't want to be his fb and quite clearly we couldnt be friends. He again said he wasn't ready for a relationship. Then I saw him about 3/4 weeks later - had too many shots because I'd seen him and stupidly messaged him. He just completely ignored then blocked me which I think is a bit harsh. (He told me I was lovely inside and out and he'd never met anyone like me - so he knows I'm not a psycho even if I was after the alcohol). So clearly he wants nothing to do with me and I have to respect that. Its been 4 weeks of nothing and I haven't seen him either. Just wish I could stop thinking about him. I wake up and he's my first thought. You are a bit further along I think - are you finding it any easier? I really liked him. He's not the greatest looking guy but I loved being with him so much.

SpringyReframed Tue 25-Mar-14 08:45:42

Oh Casey, my heart goes out to you, and wildwest. Even though I am twice your age the same has happened to me - and with an old school friend. I could have written your post. The flowers, the early ily, the loads in common etc. Also the ending of it so suddenly and without warning, is so similar, especially the speaking so unkindly at the end.

I was totally aware of the rebound thing and yet it really did rebound on me right between the eyes even though I thought I had taken every precaution on that! It all ended for me last June and I am still furious with him and myself too, for letting it happen. What I am glad about is that I told him never to contact me again. I felt he would string me along, picking me up and putting me down when it suited him and I wasnt going to have that. What saddens me the most is that I've lost him as a friend but I could never stay friends with him after he treated me like that.

I have thought and thought about it but I still dont know the answer. Was it real or was it all a lie? Do women do this to men? They must do but I cant recall an instance with my friends.

I'm not sure whether it would be possible to find it but I posted about it when it happened and maleview70 (think that is the right moniker!) gave some interesting and helpful comments from the opposite perspective.

wildwest Tue 25-Mar-14 13:05:58

I think it's harder for women when the break-up comes out of the blue. If there were warning signs you could at least think 'well, yes there was that...'. I'm not one to get over relationships quickly, when my heart is involved, it's involved. And now his ignoring me has made me feel bad about myself but oh well - what's done is done. He's not the person I thought he was - because the person I thought he was wouldn't have led me to believe there was a future when there wasn't nor would they now be so callous (I did apologise for the drunk texting - not sure it was even that bad!). As Sylvia Plath said 'I think I made you up inside my head'. I think that's part of the problem. And letting go is hard. I've stared to count whenever he comes into my mind as apparently you can't count and concentrate on something else at the same time!! ha ha ;-)

Springyreframed - would like to see it from a different perspective! Will search maleview70 later!

Munchkin08 Tue 25-Mar-14 17:26:35

Casey and Wildwest - your stories are so like mine. Met someone last year - look it really slowly and was having a fantastic relationship or so I thought. Spent New Year together then he had a massive row with his ex and since then says he has had a breakdown and I've seen him twice since. He txt me and said some horrible things - which he did apologise for but still we had never said a bad word to each other. I haven't spoken to him in a month. I too think about him all the time and he was so lovely and he txt all the time and what upsets me is when at the end I used to txt him and he hardly replied It mad me feel terrible like I was pestering him or something but when our relationship was good it was him who chased me. I still can't work out if he is ill or just wants nothing to do with me and it annoys me that I most probably think about him much mor than he is thinking of mehmm

wildwest Wed 26-Mar-14 13:03:39

Munchkin08 - I feel the same. I bet I haven't even crossed his mind whereas I can't seem to get him off mine (though I'm working on it!). It makes you wonder if they were just saying what they thought you wanted to hear. I would never lead someone on though if I wasn't interested - you wonder how they can do it? Or why they would do it? I guess you just have to think it's their loss and there's bigger and better out there. I've been divorced 3 years now and this was the first guy I thought I wanted a relationship with. Life goes on though - with or without them.

Spickle Wed 26-Mar-14 13:47:14

I have also had this happen to me but I'm now over it and have moved on.

When my ex finished our relationship without warning one year after we met, I was devastated - my children and my friends told me that it was his loss but it was a whole year later that I finally agreed with them. Now I look back and realise that actually it was his loss, he didn't deserve me, he had a lot of baggage and wasn't a great catch in all honesty. He could be very charismatic and very kind (accomplished at reeling the women in), but underneath all that, there was a selfish, demanding man who thought everyone and everything revolved around him and that everything bad that had happened in his life was someone else's fault. I now believe I had a lucky escape.

One day you will think the same but until then, try to keep busy with work/leisure, friends and family. If you get an invitation to go somewhere "get up, dress up and turn up", it will help you to see that there is still a life out there. Time is a great healer but how long an individual needs is not known.

casey89 Wed 26-Mar-14 16:41:28

wildwest - yeh i can completely sympathise with you, its strange how they make you feel like you are the one in the wrong!! and dont beat yourself up at contacting him, i did the exact same thing 2 weeks after we broke up and rang him, i was taken aback at his sour attitude towards me and he even had the cheek to keep trying to put the phone down on me!! I'm also like you i find it really really difficult to detach myself once i have begin to fall for someone, it takes me longer to get over someone then it takes most of my friends! i think im quite sensitive so unfortunately the burden stays with me for quite a long time! It has got a lot easier for me though, time definately helps. I go through periods of thinking im over him, but then suddenly out of the blue i will have a period of the odd week thinking about him loads again and feeling down! i also go through periods of feeling so much anger towards him for what he has done but then other days i forget and just remember the times he was really nice to me and we had good times! your right though we will do better and we don't deserve someone who can lead us on so carelessly! Not only that but the brutal way they treated us after the break up is disgusting!!

Springyreframed- yeh i have felt the exact same as you! i was also totally aware of the rebound and felt like i had done enough to ensure that it wasnt going to end terribly but it didnt work and i completely fell for it all! I think when its an old friend you trust them more than you would with anyone else as you would never think they would betray us that much! Good on you for being a strong woman and telling him to never contact you again! i remained strong too and tried to turn it round by saying i wouldnt want to be with someone who isnt sure about me anyway. I will try and have a look for that post, thanks a lot!!

Munchkin08- Its terrible how they think its okay to treat us so badly. I feel like i miss him a lot more than he misses me and i often wonder whether he thinks about me anywhere near as much as i do him! I was the one who was chased too and he was the one who seemed a lot more into me than i was him! they act all loved up with us then out of nowhere end it and then act confused when we still have feelings for them after they have broken up with us! I would like to think that one day they will look back and realise what they had when we are well and truly over it - only time will tell!!

Spickle- Its good to see that you have gone through it and are as strong as ever and can look back and realise the person he actually was! sometimes your emotions can blur your vision and it takes stepping a way and seperating your emotions to see that person clearly. I try and focus on the negative and tell myself that i was a good catch and i deserved better. In your case was there an ex gf involved also?? did you ever hear from again or have you been in contact since? Thanks for sharing your experience it really helps!

Spickle Wed 26-Mar-14 17:58:41

Casey - you did deserve better and you are a good catch. Please believe this, it's not your fault. Some men are so fickle, they like their egos stroked and it may be that his ex paid him some compliment that made him feel good which made him question what he had with you. If she has not wanted to rekindle their relationship, be aware that he may come crawling back if he would rather be with someone/anyone than no-one. The fact that it has been 5 months and you are not as heartbroken anymore indicates you are doing well. Men do seem to switch their feelings on and off very quickly though - my BIL was heartbroken when the lady he was totally smitten with ended it. The very next day he was on a dating site and making several dates with women for the following week. No crying into the pillow for him.

In my case there was an ex involved - she was the mother of two of his children, so there was always going to be a connection between them. He said he still wanted to be friends, so for a year after we split up, we had this "friendship" going on, basically him feeling free of any guilt and me clinging on to any crumb of affection he threw my way. Once I saw sense, I cut contact and moved on. Life is good.

casey89 Thu 27-Mar-14 20:23:45

Thank you slickle!!! I think a big part of it was realising that he couldn't have her anymore, I think he had reassured himself that if he wanted her back he could- like he even made a comment about if he wanted her back he could but didn't want to (to me before he well did end it for that reason) then when she was cold with him when they bumped into each other and didn't wish him happy birthday I think it sunk in for him it really was over and panicked and it made him want her back! That's just a little theory of mine!! I'm actually glad she didn't go back with him as like me I think she also deserves better!!!

It would be interesting to hear from the other side of the spectrum and get the opinion from someone who has got into a relationship too soon, to see if they understand it better! It's weird how many of us have gone through the same thing with very similar behaviour patterns!

michael442 Fri 13-May-16 21:13:27

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