When we find out that we have a little competition, we so often react with intense feelings of rage and anger. Our first reaction is “how could you do this to me?” This is followed by blaming the new man or woman. The third stage is trying to pull out all stops to end the new relationship.
We put pressure, ask questions, over dramatize the situation, call in our social networks for support, beg, cajole, insult and degrade, monitor our ex’s actions — sometimes hourly.
All these actions seem reasonable in the moment, but these same actions may actually end up forcing your ex to decide in favour of the new man or woman. With your rage, anger, desperation and neediness dripping all over, you don’t stand a very good chance of coming out on top.
So what should you do instead?
1. Stop over dramatizing the situation
Most men and women who go on a rebound do so not because the other person is necessarily better but because they want to know what it feels like being with someone new.
Let me say it like this: The rebound man or woman is not necessarily better. The reason your ex may be with the rebound man or woman is because they are not you.
By asking too questions about the other person and over dramatizing the situation, you are making the other person more important, attractive and desirable than they really are. The reality is that they are nothing special. They are not superior to you. They may just have happened to be in the right spot at the right time– and offer something a little different. Not better just different.
Over dramatizing the rebound relationship is you and your low self-esteem and insecurities beating yourself up.
2. Stop putting pressure
As unfair as it may sound, the last thing someone torn between two people needs is you trying to extract some kind of reassurance. Do you still love me? Do you love him or her more than me?
Think of the “Romeo and Julie effect” (some of us growing up at some point or other experienced this or know someone who did). When our parents tried to stop the relationship, the other person became more critical to our happiness and even sense of identity and belonging.
The most common reaction is rebellion and wanting our “beloved” more. This may be so even if we initially didn’t really like the person that much. Most people experience more passion, love and romance when they think it’s just them and their “beloved” against the world, more than at any other time in the relationship.
The more you try to stop your ex from contacting or seeing the other man or woman, the more they will want to contact and see them. Your ex gains more pleasure from the rebound relationship because it makes you act needy, insecure – and crazy.
Don’t give someone else the power to mess with your emotions. The more power your ex has over your emotions, the more control they have over you.
The best thing you can do for yourself is not to act needy, insecure or crazy. This will take some effort. It might even take some coaching or therapy in the beginning, but it will become easier as you learn that just because your ex is in a rebound relationship doesn’t mean the rebound man or woman is necessarily better than you.
3. Give your ex good reason to believe that you’re who they want
Your ex dating someone else doesn’t have to be the deal breaker. You are not together, your ex can date whoever they want.
If you still love your ex and want them back, a rebound relationship can be good insight into what your ex is looking for in a relationship.
Get to the bottom of what makes your ex feel attracted to someone else other than you. From experience, my own and those of my clients, we never grow out of that desire to fall in love again and again and again. Even when we’re in a happy, stable, loving relationship, we still want to feel that feeling of “falling in love” with someone new.
Recreate the feeling that your ex is “falling in love” with someone new by making necessary changes, having new interests, doing new things, etc.
This can even be an opportunity for you to move the relationship the direction you want it to go, if you hanker down and do what you have to do.