Dating tips and relationship advice from Dr. Neder...


The Rebound Relationship

Hi Dr. Neder,

I met a girl (21yrs old) a little while ago, and have been going go out with her for 2 months. I now sense that she was on the rebound from another relationship; emotionally hurt and confused, but she does not make it clear to me that she is.

This is affecting my relationship with her. She may be into me only because of my trustworthiness and only for her to regain the self-esteem that she lost from before. I may be wasting my time here.

Could you give me your experience when it comes to relationships with women that are on the rebound from another relationship? (I believe they are destructive and don't last.



What are you - her boyfriend or her therapist? You're putting all this unreasonable weight on her past relationships and are simply reacting rather than dealing with the situation.

Ok, she's been hurt in the past. Boo freakin' hoo! Who hasn't been? All I can say to her is: "welcome to the club!"

It's not your job to make up for all the past hurts in her relationship. By focusing on it - and giving it any weight whatsoever - that's exactly what you're doing. You're reacting to it and trying to solve it for her.

Now, many women will try to get you to do this, but if you play that game, they lose interest in you pretty quickly. Even at 21 she's still an adult and is involved in the adult game of relationships. She has to get over these things on her own - you're never going to "fix them" for her. Trust me - you're simply too close to the situation.

So, the question then becomes: how do you handle all of this?

The answer is simple: you EXPECT her to be an adult and to deal with her issues just like you and everyone else has to. You DO NOT react to them or try to sooth them or deal with them at all. You simply can't do this effectively and still build a relationship with her at the same time.

Trying to fix them is that "waste" you feel in your gut.

Further, I absolutely DO NOT believe in "rebound relationships". It's a nice sound bite, but nothing else. The reality is that people enter relationships for personal (and usually selfish) reasons - seeking whatever benefits they offer. Yours is no different.

Best regards...

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