Being someone’s rebound sucks. You’ll find yourself giving more than receiving. When an individual is insecure and vulnerable, she (or he for that matter) can also be the most endearing and seductive. Some people shy away when they are insecure and vulnerable while others grasp onto the first person in whom they find emotional security.
So how do you avoid being someone’s rebound? It’s impossible to completely tell sometimes but here are two things to look out for during the first 2 months:
1. She just broke up (obviously).
‘Just’ is a relative term. Some people take a week to get over a break up while others take months if not years. Does she still have ‘bad days’ where her past romances affect her present moods? Does she talk about her past romances? Does she behave off of fears developed from past romances?
Action steps: stay friends and keep your distance. Let her get over those feelings before getting into something romantic with her.
2. You don’t give her enough attention.
First of all, we all seek attention in our own ways. Some more than others. If you’re giving her as much attention as you can right now and it’s not enough, then you might want to consider the viability of your relationship. Coming out of any serious relationship most people experience a huge void in emotional fulfilment. It is nearly impossible to get that emotional fulfilment from a ‘new guy’ because emotional fulfillment takes time to build. If within a year of being in this relationship you already sense you are ‘not enough’, she will likely fill that void elsewhere. If she doesn’t fill that void elsewhere then you will likely feel the pressure or frustration of having to give more. Question is, can you give more? Are you at a point in your life where you can give more?
Action steps: take it slow from the beginning. Emotional intimacy takes time to build. Let the emotional lead the physical intimacy. If you feel like you’re not giving enough attention, have a discussion on what is enough and what you are currently capable of providing.
3. She is seeking comfort rather than stability.
I’ve learned that there is a huge difference between comfort and stability. Comfort is a mental state of being whereas stability is an emotional state of being. Comfort is what you experience once you have emotional stability. The mind freaks out when thoughts become overwhelmingly emotional. The mind calms down when you have emotional stability- and thus comfort.
Stability takes time to develop. Stability requires adjustment and flexibility (the only constant thing in life is change). If she resists adjustment she might be seeking the same kind of comfort she once had with someone else- a comfort that was developed over time.
Action steps: Discuss what you both need to feel secure and loved. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t let things heat up to a boil. It’s like cooking rice noodles: pay attention and let off steam little by little rather than let the water boil out of the pot and make a mess (Asian enough for ya?).