When your dog ripped your beloved teddy bear to shreds, Mom got you a new one, nice and fresh and soft. So you hugged it. A little. You put it on your pillow at night. For a while. But you just didn’t love it. It wasn’t the real Mr. Snuggle Beans.
When a man is on the rebound from a breakup, he still wants someone warm and cuddly next to him, but he may not be ready to accept another woman as anything but a substitute. She may be just a weak shadow of his true love, with none of the rich history that gave them a real bond.
This phase will pass, but it it’s not worth your time to be the surrogate he will never love while he heals and moves on. Here are some red flags to watch out for when you’re dating a man after a recent breakup.
Does he approach your relationship with a clean slate?
Does this man seem to be just picking up where he left off with his last girlfriend? He should be starting things off at the beginning, with a “square one” kind of first date. It should feel new and a little awkward.
There should be those initial “getting to know you” conversations, and he should be quite reserved with his physical advances. You have your own history to create together, and you cannot simply assume the history of your predecessor.
Is he rushing your integration into his life?
- Is he trying to insert you into the slot his ex vacated?
- Are you filling her spot on Sunday volleyball?
- Does he want you to be the third bowler on his couples team?
- Is he bringing you to family get-togethers after one week?
You might just be a stand-in.
“Take a break if he is not coping
properly with a new girlfriend.”
Is the sex too soon and all his way?
Couples get into patterns with their sex lives. Does he seem to take for granted that you are ready for sex, or does he treat you like a new and special lady? Does he automatically go from position to position, as though that is the natural order of business?
That’s his routine with her, not with you. You have your own desires and expertise to contribute to your sexual style.
Is he friendly and casual but detached?
Sometimes guys on the rebound don’t rush you into their ex’s old slots, but they are still not ready for a new relationship.
- Does he go through just the motions of a date?
- Do you feel invisible?
- Does he notice special things about you?
- Does he talk a lot about his ex?
If you notice a few of the rebound red flags, it doesn’t mean you should run. Just take things very slowly, insert yourself and your uniqueness into situations and see if things normalize as he heals.
Don’t fool yourself about what is going on, and take a break if he is not coping properly with a new girlfriend. But your love and tenderness can also help him to be ready for you sooner.