Monday July 28th 2014

Facts About Rebound Relationships [Will It Last?]

toronto_akiteng-572I intend to cover this topic in a few more posts in the coming weeks, but since “rebound relationships” is the theme of the latest comments, I thought it’d help clarify a few things about rebound relationships.

What is a rebound relationship?

1) A relationship proceeding a long-term relationship, usually short in duration and used to help mend the “broken heart.”

2) A relationship in which a person becomes involved with a new partner to prove to themselves they are worthy of love and affection

3) A relationship in which a person quickly gets involved with a new partner to prove to an ex that they have indeed moved on.

What makes a relationship a rebound relationship?

A rebound relationship is easy to spot and recognize for what it is. It’s a band aid for unresolved pain and the trauma of going through rejection, feeling unwanted or becoming single again. This is true whether one is the dumped or the dumpee.

For people who have an especially hard time moving on after a breakup, it serves as a distraction from moping, obsessing, and even stalking an ex. For others, it is about companionship – someone to spend evenings, weekends, go to parties with, email, call and text. And sometimes it is about sex – just to satisfy the physical desires and nothing more.

Most rebound relationships do not last. How long a rebound relationship lasts depends on:

1) The emotional stability and availability of the person who just left a relationship.

Someone “on the rebound” is often incapable of making a genuine emotional connection with the new partner because of emotional baggage from the break-up – lingering feelings for an ex or unresolved problems from the previous relationship. This ultimately causes the new relationship to struggle and eventually end.

2) The desire to continue distracting oneself from the pain of a break up.

Some people on a rebound after sometime realize that they can’t go on trying to run away from pain. They decide it’s time to eliminate the distraction (rebound relationship) and start the emotional healing and recovery.

3) How long it takes for the “new” man or woman to realize and accept that he/she is a rebound man/woman.

Most people being used as a distraction eventually realizes that the one on the rebound isn’t really ready/emotionally available for a relationship and often end the rebound relationship.

*** It’s important though to understand that not every new relationship after a break-up is always necessarily a “rebound” relationship.

An ex may have actually moved on from you (even if you haven’t) before he/she entered a new relationship. Some people move on in as quickly as hours, especially if they’d already emotionally moved on (lost that “in love” feeling) long before the break-up. Others break-up to be with someone they’ve been interested in/casually seeing for months. So even if it may look like a “new relationship”, the interest and feelings have been there for weeks/months and grown deeper, stronger and stable with time.

And if  two people have a genuinely good connection and are open and hones about their baggage from a just ended relationship, these new relationships can and do last.

If you have recently broken up and your ex is already in a new relationship, what you need to do is study the situation very carefully.

1) Why and how did you break up?

2) How did you handle the post-break up period?

3) How soon after you broke up did your ex enter a new relationship?

4) Is the “new” man or woman someone your ex has been interested in/casually seeing for months or someone who seemed to have just appeared from nowhere?

5) Is the new relationship struggling?

6) Is your ex spending more time and effort staying in contact with you than nurturing the new relationship? Etc.

If it is indeed a rebound relationship, consider it buying you time to improve on yourself and be better positioned to offer your ex a different and improved relationship. At the end of the day, it’s not the end of a rebound relationship that’ll make an ex who still has feelings for you come back to you. It’s the value and attractiveness of what you offer.

But if there are all signs that your ex has indeed moved on from you and happy with the new relationship, then it’s time for you to move on too. Don’t just sit there waiting for the new relationship to end because you’ve heard that all new relationships after a break-up are rebound relationships, are unhappy and will not last. The “rebound relationship” may indeed end, but your ex may move on to someone else (not you)!

What you do when you find out your ex is dating someone new sometimes plays a big role in how long the new relationship will last –  and if you can/will get your ex back.

Readers' Questions and The Love Doctor's Answers...

68 Responses to “Facts About Rebound Relationships [Will It Last?]”

  1. Natt says:

    I agree with this article. There is no golden rule that says that because your ex is dating someone else that it is a rebound and doomed to fail. My “rebound” relationship lasted 5 years. It was definitely better than my last relationship and I have no regrets I met this person less than a week after I broke up with my ex. We both needed each other and became better partners as a result.

  2. saria says:

    My ex’s rebound relationship seems to be going strong. He started dating her 2 weeks after we broke up and they have been together for 2 years. They both seem very happy and a friend recently told me they are planning to buy a home together. It still hurts to know that he was over me so quickly.

  3. It does hurt. But you are not doing yourself a favour “monitoring” how they are doing. Since it looks like they are going to be together a long time, it’s time for you to move on with your life and leave this behind you.

    I know, not easy… You owe this to yourself.

  4. scopigirl says:

    This makes sense. My ex left me for a woman he barely knew. Theirs could be considered a rebound relationship because he moved in with her just weeks after we broke up, but they’ve been together for over 3 years now. Looking back, I can see he had emotionally checked out of our relationship long before we broke up and she just happened to be the one he fell for.

  5. Payton says:

    My ex broke things off with me, he wanted to remain friends but I told him I cannot be his friend now, and I didn’t know when or if I would be able to. Now 3 months ago later I think I want him back, but he now has a new woman in his life. She knows about me and since we have mutual acquaintances we bump into each other once in a while. I try to avoid them as much as I can, but I can’t stop thinking about my ex. I’ve thought about telling him how I feel, but I’m afraid it’ll only make things more weird. What should I do?

  6. I don’t know if telling him how you feel is going to change the fact that he is in a relationship. Getting it off your chest might help you feel better and may be, may be if he still has feelings for you, might give him the courage to follow those feelings.

    Telling him you still have feelings for him when he is in another relationship is a risk with potential benefit and potential further hurt. This is why only you can decide whether to take the risk or not. If you do decide to tell him, be prepared for the fact that he may not still have feelings for you/has indeed moved on from you.

  7. The Watcher says:

    One of the most insightful articles on relationships! Thanks

  8. Blu says:

    Is it possible to be over someone before you actually breakup? My ex started dating this woman while we were still together. I found out and he broke up with me. I contacted her and told her he was still with me when he started dating her. She said he told her he was over me even when we were still together. Is that possible or is he just lying to her as well?

  9. It is possible. Like the article says, sometimes someone can “move on” emotionally but not have the courage to end the relationship.

    But whether he was over you as he said or is lying to her, why is that even your business? It is only your business if he is saying he wants to be with you. The question then is, do you want to take back someone who dated someone else while still with you?

    But it seems that’s not the case. He is with her and if she believes him and wants to be with him, let them be.

  10. Crystal says:

    It is very painful knowing that someone you love is with someone else. But he still texts and wants to come over. I have resisted so far but he tells me he loves my body and thinks about me when he in bed with her. Do you think that he is maybe getting bored with this relationship? What can I do to make him desire me more than he desires her?

  11. May be he is getting bored, and may be not. As long as he is with her, him texting you means little. He may just be looking for some piece on the side.

    My suggestion is for you to take care of your own happiness, and if down the road they do break-up and you still want him back, then great! Otherwise any attempts to break them up, may just draw them even closer.

  12. Tina says:

    My ex went back to his ex before me. He tried to get her back before and she would not take him back. Six months later we met and we were together for 3 years. Now he is back with her. I still love him and it hurts so much that they are back together. Why didn’t he pursue me the way he pursued her? What was it about her that he could not let go? I wonder if she knows we are over because the breakup happened only a month ago. His FB status still had a picture of us until about two weeks ago.

  13. I don’t know why he didn’t pursue you. I don’t know what it is about her that he went back to. But I do know that you are spinning your mind thinking about stuff that you won’t get answers to, unless of course he gives them to you himself (which I highly doubt he will). The rest of us can speculate, give you our opinions, and try to make you feel good by taking your side, but that’s all we can do.

    The healing and moving on starts with you. The more you focus on him and “their” relationship, the less time you have to focus on you — and your healing.

  14. Dan says:

    I opened 5 or 6 websites talking about rebound relationships, and this one was the only one that taught me something new. When I read that note about people rebounding “to prove to themselves they are worthy of love and affection,” a light bulb went on. That may be me, and if there’s even a question, I’m probably not ready. And that’s fine — I’d rather deal with that now than later, after I’ve dragged someone else into it. Thanks for your help, Yangki!

  15. Danni says:

    Yangki, I read in your eBook that just because there is someone else doesn’t always mean you do not have a chance. My ex and I were together for 2.5 years before he broke with me. We had no contact for 2 months, then I got in touch with him. Over the course of our texts he told me he was dating someone, and as you advised I asked him if it was serious. He said they had only been seeing each other for 3 weeks. Fast forward, he and I have been texting, talking on phone and gone out for drinks a couple of times. He says he’s not sure whether he wants to be with her or me, he has feelings for both of us. I feel like I am being put on hold until he figures out what he wants. Any insights will really help.

  16. You are right in that you are being put on hold until he figures out what he wants. The question is, are you okay with that? The reason I ask is because I have worked with some people who are okay with it and those who aren’t. In some cases, it’s worked out to their advantage in that over time it became very clear to their ex who he/she wanted to be with. In others, the ex chose the other person over them.

    It’s important when making the decision to keep in mind that this is not just HIS relationship, it’s yours too. Do not put up with what he wants if you do not feel that your needs are being met or that by being put in this position, you are not being respected.

  17. tigress says:

    This makes a lot of sense. We met a week after my divorce and he had just ended a 4 year relationship. We found out we had a lot in common and hit it off immediately. Both my friends and family, and his friends and family said we should have taken more time being single, but we both felt we had finally found the one. 4 years later, some ups and downs here and there, but we still feel the same way about each other.

  18. Anand says:

    We dated for 11 months, then she broke up with me because she was not feeling in love anymore. We remained in contact until she met someone else. I told her I could not be her friend and wanted no contact. After 2 months of no contact, I contacted her because I heard she had broken up with the new guy. We started talking and hanging out. One day she let it out that she was seeing another guy, a different one. I didn’t ask her about him for about a month, in which time we continued hanging out. Eventually, I couldn’t pretend I didn’t know about her other guy, and asked her where we stand. She said she not sure about the other guy and doesn’t know about us. But also said she can not imagine her life without me.

    I’m curious as to 1) why she continues to hang out with me when she’s seeing someone else and 2) why she says she can not imagine her life without me?

  19. The answer to both of your questions is… because you are her friend… like in ‘”just a friend”.

    I know like most, you have told yourself that this means that she’s not happy with the other guy and will leave him, and come back to you. But let me paint the picture for you… she broke up with you because she was not feeling in love anymore… while you were hanging out, she goes and finds herself someone else… she says she doesn’t know about the two of you… but wants you in her life. Translation, “you are a very dear friend and I like you a lot, but you are NOT the one.”

    But something tells me, you’ve heard “you’re just her friend” from other people too, but you don’t believe it, and probably aren’t going to believe me either. That you are going to continue “waiting” hoping that the tide will eventually blow you way.

  20. Anand says:

    You are probably right that she now sees me just a friend. My friends and my whole family wonder why I still want her in my life. I love her and I know she cares about me. I just don’t know why she’s doing this to me. What do you suggest I do to get out of the friend zone?

  21. I was hoping you’d ask me that. Stop “circling” around her like a scared puppy. If she’s interested in you as more than “just a friend”, she’s probably waiting for you to stop acting like her female friend and start engaging her as “a man who is interested in a woman”.

    If she only wants you around as a friend, showing her that you want more than friendship is going to force her to have to tell you directly why she’s keeping you around. You can then decide if you want to continue being just friends or not. It becomes your decision as well, not just hers, which is the case right now.

    In other words, stop playing safe. Take some risks and let the chips fall where they may. The way things are, you really have nothing to lose. Of course, it’s possible that you’ll lose her friendship if she feels “weird” that you’re interested in her in a sexual way, but is it really a “friendship” if you are unhappy with the current arrangement and she’s perfectly okay with it?

  22. Trilea says:

    Our breakup was about 7 weeks ago. It was a very messy breakup with lots of shouting and arguments. After one week of no contact, I sent him a text saying that with no contact for sometimes we can at least become friends down the road. He agreed. I didn’t contact him whatsover, and over the last several weeks I’ve been feeling really good about myself. I had planned to contact him in a month as we had agreed, but yesterday I received a text from him asking how I was. I debated whether to respond or not, but decided to. I told him I was doing fine and asked him what he had been up to. That’s when he told me he has been seeing someone for three weeks and he has never felt this way about someone. He told me he felt he needed t tell me because he still hoped we could be friends at some point. What was the need for him to contact me just to tell me this? What does he expects me to do?

  23. I don’t know why he felt the need to contact you to tell you about his new woman or what he expects you to do.

    1. It could be something he did as someone who genuinely thinks of you as a friend to share his happiness with. Based on your story, a friendship is what he agreed to, and not that you will get back together down the road.

    2. It could be because he thought you might still be hoping to get back together and wanted you to move on.

    3. It could be he wanted to make you feel bad or hurt you for whatever reason, including the fact that he might have expected you to contact him sooner and you didn’t.

    It could be any number of reasons. But why he did what he did does not matter at this point. What matters is you now know that you are not getting back together, and it’s good time for you to find happiness with someone else too.

  24. Anna says:

    I didn’t think my partner entered our current relationship trying to rebound since he had been single for 2 years before we met, but I’ve learned he told his ex he loves her after a few years into our relationship. Thinking back, he was never as emotionally available as I’d hoped he’d be.

    Thank you for this article, I realize now that he wasn’t over her yet and I am more than likely a rebound.

  25. Nico says:

    Me and my ex broke up over 3 months ago and I have a hard time getting over the fact that she dumped me the same day she told me he loved me very much. Every time I ask her if she doesn’t love me anymore, she says her feelings have not changed, but she does not think we can be in a relationship. I pushed her away and want another chance to show her how much I love her, but I don’t think that is possible anymore. She is seeing someone else and now wants no contact with me because I interfer too much in their relationship. Do you think it’s a rebound relationship, and if so, what should I do to get her back?

  26. 1. It’s possible to love someone and not want to be in a relationship with him/her. Love is something that happens to us, we don’t control it. A relationship is another story. We consciously choose we want to be in a relationship with. It’s a logical decision we make based on a number of reasons.

    2. I can’t say whether it is a rebound relationship or not. As the article says, not every relationship after a break-up is necessarily a rebound relationship.Time will tell.

    3. I think that you’ve probably “done” too much already, and that’s why she’s decided it’s best not to have any more contact. When someone says they want no contact, have some self-respect and grant them their wish.

    The best you can do is let their relationship run it’s course (without you interfering in it). If it’s a rebound, it will end soon enough, but don’t hold your breathe. Take time to work on you. IF she comes back and you still want her (logical choice you have to make at the time), you’ll be in a better position for a better relationship.

    There are no guarantees in these kind of situations, but I’ve seen people in similar situations make it work.

  27. Dale says:

    Thanks you for this article. My ex and I began contacting each other again after 5 months of no contact. I was broken by the breakup and asked that he don’t contact me for 3 months. I then reached out to him. At first he was reluctant but I persisted and we began texting regularly. That’s when he told me he had a girlfriend but that he’s still in love with me. Being with this other woman has showed him how much he took me for granted. He says he wants to breakup with her but needs time to do it his own way. Everyone says he’s playing me and I should just move on/ What do you think?

  28. I think that if you believe him, then give him the time he needs to end the other relationship. It may be to your best interest to ask him how much time he needs. His response will give you insight as to whether he really means it or just trying to eat his cake and have it too.

    If he gives you a time period, it means he’s serious about it. You have a time frame to work with. If he dodges the question or acts upset, it’s because he does not want to be held to any accountability. You could be “waiting” for ever.

  29. Lemukol says:

    I was the rebound after his ex of 4 years left him. We were together for 11 months when she came back into the picture. He said he was torn but decided she was the one he wanted to be with. They are back together and planning a wedding. I’m deeply hurt as I still love him but I wish them all the best. I will someday find my “one” and this will all be a thing of the past.

  30. I’m really sorry this happened to you. But like you said, someday someone will come along who will choose you as “the one.” Hang in there.

  31. Erick C. says:

    This is well informed and thoughtful article. My ex got in a rebound relationship a month after we broke up. I found out that she had been texting this guy for months while we were still together, but only started going out with him after we broke up. I was hurt by it but I had hurt her by sleeping with someone else, and that’s why she ended the relationship. We text each other everyday but mostly I’m focusing on working on myself. I think that she’s seeing the change in me because for the first time the other day, she asked me if I think of us and why we never communicated the way we do while we were together. I told her I didn’t know how then, and she said neither did she, but glad that we still talking. Then she said she thinks she’s got in the same pattern with this other guy that we had and she blames herself. Even though I KNOW nothing is certain, I have a clear advantage because I KNOW what she wants in a partner and working on being that partner for her. Your article and book have been a great help.

  32. Unless the relationship is serious or they’ve been together for over a year, the presence of another man or woman doesn’t mean you can not get back your ex.

    I think that you have the right mindset and are set in the right direction. All the very best!

  33. Hillier says:

    Yangki, I contacted you about my situation with ex in a rebound relationship just over two and a half months ago. She said she had moved on and wanted me to move on too, but you told me her actions said something else. I took your advice and continued contact with her. Three weeks ago, the rebound relationship ended. Initially she told me she just wanted to be on her own to deal with the issues with herself. I told her I understand and will respect her wish. Two days later she texted me and asked if I wanted to go out for a drink, which I did. For the last week, we have texted each other everyday and have long chats. Although I’m pleased with the new turn of events, I can’t but help feel that she’s using me to get over him just like she used him to get over me. I want her back but don’t want to be another rebound?

  34. I agree with you, you have good reason to be concerned. Continue talking and seeing her, but do not rush into anything. If she asks you why you are holding back, be honest and tell her you don’t want to be another rebound. If she’s in it for the long haul, she’ll understand.

    If it’s just another rebound, she’ll act up or disappear hoping that you will go after her. Don’t. If she’s not capable of sticking it out and working with you to make the relationship work, she’s not worth it. Let her run from one rebound to another. At some point she’ll have to deal with her issues.

  35. Nina says:

    My ex treated me like crap but I still love him and want him back. I contacted him only for him to tell me he doesn’t want to come back and I should move on. He said he doesn’t have time for me because he has a new woman in his life. He has only been seeing her for like two weeks, but before that he texted and called me every two days asking if he could come over. Do you think he means what he says about not wanting me back. He has said these things before and came back.

  36. You’ve probably heard the saying: The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.

    If in the past he’s said he doesn’t want to come back and you should move on and he came back, chances are very high that he doesn’t mean what he’s saying. He will come back.

    And if we go by his past behaviour, when he comes back, he’ll still treat you like crap.

  37. Ceendee says:

    I was hoping that time and space will bring us back together. But it now seems unlikely as he is in a relationship with a woman he’s been friends with for years. I pleaded and begged him to come back and stopped when I realized I was pushing him away. He says he still loves me, but just in a different way now. I still want him back. Do you think I have a chance?

  38. If he still loves you, you may have a chance, but it depends on how serious things are with the other woman. If they were friends for years, the relationship may last simply because they already “know” each other well. But it may also not work out for that very reason.

    If he’s still open to contact, keep it light and friendly while you work on the things that made him change his mind about you. Don’t try to get between him and the other woman, let that relationship run its course.

    But as I’ve everyone else here in the same situation, go out and date other people if you want to. Don’t put your life on hold… for what may never happen.

  39. Tracy L. says:

    My ex of 7 years said he wanted a break. I asked him how much time he needed and he said he didn’t know. I told him that was okay, and to contact me when he was ready. In the meantime, I decided to join an online dating site just for the fun of it to see what was out there. I had no intention of getting into a relationship, but then I met someone I really like. We’ve been seeing each other every weekend. But a couple of days ago, my ex contacted me. I had not heard from him for over 2 months. He says he wants to talk abut how to we can fix our relationship. I still love him, we were together 7 years, but I’m not sure if I want to get back with him. I also don’t know if I should tell him about the other guy. I have a lot of fun with the other guy, but at this point it’s just a good time relationship. I don’t know what to do. Btw, we’re both in our late 40s.

  40. Kelly Jo says:

    I found out that my ex started dating. I haven’t contacted him for 3 months and he hasn’t contacted me either. I still love him and want to have another chance together. Is it too late?

  41. There is only one way to find out…. contact him. If he responds and continues responding, may be it’s not too late. If he ignores your first, second, or third attempt to make contact, then you know that it’s too late.

  42. You don’t have to make a decision to get back together right away. Be upfront with him about how your feelings have changed in the last 2 months he was AWOL. If after hearing him out on how he thinks the two of you can fix the relationship, you think there might be a possibility, start things off very, very slowly. Just because someone has been away for 2 months doesn’t mean things will be different… in my experience, it always means exactly the opposite.

    Be upfront about the other guy too. No need to go into the details of a “fun relationship”, but let him know there is someone else. It’s also decent to inform the other guy that you are talking to your ex again — and the nature of your “relationship”.

    Bottom line, don’t make a rush decision either way. Things may work out with your ex, or they may not. The new relationship with the new guy might last, or it might now. Only time will tell. But don’t keep both men hanging on for too long. That’s just cruel.

  43. Zoe says:

    Good article and good timing for me. I just found out my ex is seeing another woman. I was going to cut off all contact because I thought it meant it was completely over for us. After reading this article, I’m determined to fight for him.

  44. If the relationship just started, it means that he’s probably just getting to know her and hasn’t made up his mind if she’s “the one” or not.

    If you still have the desire to fight for your man, and he’s open to contact, go get him! Just make sure you are giving yourself the best possible chance. What you had isn’t good enough anymore. She represents “new”, you better show up “new” as well (worked on yourself).

  45. Anwar says:

    Yangki, my ex broke up with me and is now in a new relationship. I was angry and mostly blamed the other guy for our breakup. I told her not to contact me as long as she’s with him. But upon spending lots and lots of time on your blog, I realized that the problem is not the other guy. The problem is that we both never expressed our feelings. I reacted to situations by withdrawing and burying myself in my job, and she chose to end the relationship. I have since reached out to her and the response has been positive, which surprised me given that I had told her never to contact me.
    I have work to do on myself and hopefully with your advice, I will be able to win her back.

  46. The positive response is a good sign. There is still more work to do, but if you go with the mindset you have and do what needs to be done, things will work themselves out.

    I just wish many more people would realize what you realized, take responsibility for their share in the relationship ending, put pride aside and give love a chance.

  47. Lucia says:

    Me and ex broke up last summer. We both right away got into new relationships. He after 2 months and me after 5. His rebound relationship ended within a month and mine after 2 months. I texted him first and we started dating again. We’ve never been happier. Sometimes a rebound is what you both need to realize that the other person is your one and only.

  48. Morse says:

    I like the positive tone of this article. I broke up with my ex eight months ago. She wanted no contact but at the time I didn’t understand why she didn’t want to talk to me. I overwhelmed her with texts and calls and she told me she wanted no contact, so I left her alone. Three months later I met my current girlfriend and fell in love again. About a month ago my ex contacted me, and we have been texting back and forth. I still have strong feelings for her but I also have strong feelings for my girlfriend. I am not trying to give her false hope, I am genuinely torn right now.

  49. It’s a tough place to be in. It’s not up to me to decide what’s best for you, but I think that you are putting yourself in a situation where you may find yourself without either woman.

    My suggestion is sit down with your ex face-to-face, and have a really good talk about everything. Ask her directly what has changed. Don’t fall for “I’ve been thinking…” or “I now see (more clearly)”. Introspection is not the same as change. And don’t buy into promises to change either. You may find that nothing has really changed, and you’ll find yourselves in the same situation once again.

    The sooner you make a decision the better for everyone involved.

  50. Chelsea says:

    I think it depends on the people involved. I met my now boyfriend 3 weeks after my ex and I broke up and everyone said it was a rebound. We’ve been together for 3 years and planning on getting married in 6 months.

  51. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

    Precisely why I wrote the article. There is a misconception out there that every relationship immediately after a break-up will not last. You are proof that it depends on the two people involved, and on the relationship.

    I wish you all the love marriage brings…:)

  52. Penny says:

    I agree with the comment that it depends on the tow people involved. My ex met someone less than a month after we broke up and within a year they were married. I was with him for 4 years and he said he was not ready to commit. I feel deeply hurt but I’m also accepting that he wasn’t the one. There is someone out there for me.

  53. Logan says:

    Ex and I broke up 4 months ago. We had no contact for a couple of months. I contacted her and she said she’s okay with us being friends but not lovers. We have been texting and calling each other, but I recently found out that her rebound man broke up just 2 weeks before I contacted her. Is she just using me for emotional comfort and attention or I’m a rebound?

  54. It’s possible she’s using you for emotional comfort, but until she tells you she wants you back, I don’t see how you are a rebound. For it to be a rebound, she has to express interest in wanting you back.

    There is also a third possibility you may have not considered. She thinks you are just friends — and you are okay with it.

    In my eBook, I advice against offering to be “just friends” because it makes harder to later transition to “lovers”. BUT… I also say if it’s offered to you, do not reject it. Take it as “opportunity/space for you to try to get your ex interested in you again”. How you use that opportunity/space could make all the difference.

  55. Logan says:

    Thank you for your quick reply. I think that you may be right that she now sees me as a friend. I just bought your book and will follow your advice. I still have a question. How do I know that I’m not just being used?

  56. PrinceT. says:

    She broke up with me 4 months ago, started dating another guy and now she says she wants me back. I asked her about her other guy and she said he was terrible. This has been the pattern for the last 3 years. We broke up twice last year and each time she dated other guys. We’ve been off and on so many times that although I still have feelings for her, I’m not sure I want her back this time. Any advice?

  57. I don’t believe you’re serious about not wanting her back. You wouldn’t be asking for advice. I think you wish there was some way to stop/break this pattern. To break the pattern you have to understand why it’s there in the first place. But since you didn’t tell me why you break up or how you got back together in the past, I can’t offer specific insight into your situation. I want to help, so give me something more to work with.

  58. PrinceT. says:

    You’re right and if I am totally honest I am no where near being over her. We have been together on and off. for over 7 years. We don’t get into big fights and if we fight we usually talk about it and all is well. Her problem is that she does not feel with me the butterflies in the belly. She loves me but I don’t excite her anymore.

    The way we get back together is that I don’t contact her for several weeks or months when she’s with the other guys. She contacts me and pursues me and we get back together but we breakup again, that’s why I’m calling it a pattern. I want to break the pattern because this is the woman I want to marry. I appreciate your help.

  59. The first thing you should do when she contacts you is respond but not agree to get back into a relationship immediately. Tell her you want to talk about this pattern you have fallen into. Make it very clear to her that if you can’t work on why she runs off to another guy every time she wants to feel a certain way, you don’t want a relationship. She has as much stake in this as you do, so don’t be afraid to negotiate and don’t be afraid to hear the truth of what she has to say.

    Ask her to break it down in specific verbs the kind of attention she needs from you. See if what she wants is reasonable and if it’s something you can give her. Then work on making her feel those feelings she wants to feel — the key word is FEEL. If even after you give her what she wants, she still runs to another guy, let her go. At least you know it wasn’t for lack of trying.

    If after you find out what she needs from you, you feel that you need help, I’m happy to work one-on-one with you.

    Good luck.

  60. Tickler says:

    I am in a some what similar situation. Her ex is now all of a sudden back in the picture. They broke up last year and agreed to remain friends and see what happened. That’s when she and I hooked up. Things were really cool until he showed up. She talks to him everyday and tells me about it. This has been going on for 2 months. We constantly argue about her calling him in the middle of the night every time we have a fight. She wants me to convince her not to talk to him anymore because he’s trying to convince her to break up with me. I just don’t know if I can fight for a relationship this way. I’m not even sure what kind of help I need.

  61. Most people in your situation would feel the way you do. She may be using him to keep you on your toes by letting you know that another option is there for her, and doing the same thing to him that she’s doing to you.

    If she really wanted him back, she’d be with him. She wouldn’t tell you to convince her not to talk to him anymore. Whether or not she’ll go back to him should be the least of your worries. This woman sounds very immature and insecure, someone who wants you to have to constantly defend your turf. This should be a red flag for you. May be you should seriously consider dating other women and see what other options exist for you. Let her sort out the issue with her ex and if you’re still available, you and her can try having a healthy mature relationship. Just don’t devalue your worth by playing her game.

  62. Marybeth says:

    Yangki, my ex left me for someone else. She broke up with him and now my ex says he loves me and wants me back. I still have feelings for him. Should I take him back?

  63. That’s really up to you. I take it that you have forgiven him for leaving you for her, and I admire you for that. But don’t jump right in. Take it for what it is – a rebound. He did not break with her to be with you, she broke up with him. What happens if she changes her mind and wants him back? Let him prove that he wants you for keeps.

  64. Joelly says:

    Someone I was with for over a year broke up with me because they could not handle the “stress” and said that they were too worried all the time. They said they wanted to stay friends multiple times and two times we talked about serious matters (never about us or anything like that)and they requested to talk on the phone and was not quick to hang up. At the end they asked if we could still be friends and I stated “You left me when I needed someone the most. Not even a friend does that.” And we have not talked since and quickly after my ex started dating someone else but I have been told it is not the same between them as it was between he and I. I am not interested in getting back with this person, but I am curious about the feelings I guess. Is he on a rebound? Thank-you.

  65. There is obviously a lot of history to this, but to answer to what you’re curious about. I do not know what his feelings are. No one really knows what any one’s feelings are unless the person feeling them says what they are.

    I can only try to piece pieces of information you’ve given me and what I know about this type of situations to try to make sense of what’s going on. My take is that your ex may have hoped that things might work between you but was not sure if the “stress” problem was behind him. He may have wanted to use the “let’s be friends” zone to try and gauge for himself if things would be different this time. You obviously were either still hurting because of what happened or angry that he left you when you needed him most, and you turned the “let’s be friends” request down. Note: I’m not saying what you did was right or wrong. You did what you felt was right for you at the time!

    He may have concluded things would just be the same – stressful — and decided to date someone new. Whether his new relationship is a rebound or not remains to be seen.

    Now I’m also curious about your feelings… if you are not interested in getting back with him, why does what is happening in his new relationship even concern you? As long as you are still “curious” about his feelings, you will never move on. Your ex on the other hand may have actually moved on even if he still has feelings for you (and I’m not saying he has or does not have feelings for you. I don’t know). What I do know is that someone can still be in love but not want a relationship with that person — for so many various reasons.

  66. Beth says:

    Two weeks a go I found out that my ex had been lying to me all along. He had not broken up with his ex when we started dating and continued contact with her throughout our 8 month relationship. I confronted him about it and he admitted he is still in love with her and has been trying to get her back. Needless to say, I am furious and also an emotional wreck because I’m so madly in love with him. I’m wiling to wait it out but I don’t know if I should drop of the face of the earth to create mystery about myself or continue contact with him?

  67. I can understand why you are furious, anyone would be. I also understand that you are still madly in love with him. I’m the last person to tell you not to give things a chance but you have to know what you are up against.

    1- Your relationship started on a lie.
    2- He’s obviously in love with her and wants to be with her.
    3- Whether he’ll come back to you depends on whether she’ll take him back or not.

    In other words, your chances don’t look too good. But like I said, if you want to give it a chance, that’s up to you.

    Will dropping of the face of the earth help your chances? I don’t think so. If his feelings for you are strong, it might create a little curiosity, but that’s all. If that gives you satisfaction, then give it a try, but keep in mind that it won’t make him come back to stay.

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