I was dating someone I met at work for three months at the end of last year. We met on a work conference and hit it off, then began flirting via email and catching up for lunches until hooking up after work over drinks. The next two months were incredible and the best I can remember with a girl. Our chemistry, banter, sex, laughter, desire to be with each other was sky high. We had exchanged ‘I love you’s’, discussed travelling together this year and even alluded to moving out together when our respective leases expired. So we got pretty serious, but both agreed it didn’t feel rushed because of the connection we had. Then her ex (they broke up 9 months prior) found out about us and was contacting her to say he wanted her back (she broke it off with him). Anyway, whenever he contacted her it would drastically affect her mood and she’d go from a bright, bubbly fun girl to being distant and withdrawn. She insisted she was over him, didn’t want to go back to him, that I wasn’t a rebound and that she was so happy we were together. Yet despite this, he seemed to control her life by contacting her repeatedly despite her telling him she didn’t want to be with him again. In the end it all became too much and I said I needed to walk away so she could figure out what she wants. I did this in the hope that my absence would cause her to see what effect this had on the awesome thing we had started. All it’s really done has sent her further into her shell to the point where I have emailed her just about general stuff and her Xmas/NY break, but have received nothing back. Do you think I actually was a rebound and that she only said those things and acted so in love to fill her hurt after the emptiness she’d felt from leaving her ex. Or that her sudden change of mood could mean she’s met someone else? I think the hardest part is not knowing WHY she retreated and changed so much, aside from her ex affecting her mood and her not being completely over him. Anon
We all do the rebound thing. It fills the void after a relationship demise, and helps connect us back to warmth, sex, closeness and other human beings after we think that part of us is closed forever. It feels great, but there are few women who would actually say ‘I love you,’ or allude to moving out with someone they consider a rebound. I’m guessing at the time, she really was having strong, committed feelings towards you. And you were a refreshing, fun tonic after a painful breakup. The problem with this fairytale is that she’s not over her ex. She’s really not. As much as she protests she doesn’t want to see him or be contacted by him, it’s pretty easy to get a mobile phone number changed. She could even move out and start afresh if she didn’t want him popping over uninvited. The fact is – she took his calls. She pressed ACCEPT when he called, talked to him and then went all quiet and distant afterwards. Huge red flags if you ask me. You really did do the right thing walking away from her and the drama. Although it must have been a very tough call, because it sounds like you really liked this girl and were planning for a bright future together. Her further retreat and silence when you emailed her to say hey, means one of a few things. She’s ) back with her ex; b) found a new bloke or c) not ready to take the relationship with you any further. I wish I had better news for you, because you sound super cool. Not knowing why something promising didn’t quite pan out is a mind-trip. Information helps us process break-ups. So if you want to know why, you’re going to have to try to approach her for a meet up and hear it from her directly. Ask the tough questions if you really want the answers. Was she really in love with you? Is she back with her ex? Where do you stand? Is it really over? If she seems like she’s still adrift in indecision, then cut her loose. Don’t make the mistake of getting sucked back into a relationship you’re not entirely happy with, with someone who’s not entirely happy.
Love, reality chick