Some things you need to consider before getting too deeply involved with a lover who has just ended a long-term relationship and is therefore on the rebound.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who was already following my work when he met a woman through online dating. She had recently broken up with her husband of 14 years after he had cheated on her and asked for a divorce. Her emotions were obviously really raw, and she needed time to heal, but he proceeded anyway. He had read my book several times and felt he knew the material really well. He and this woman had really great chemistry, and they ended up having sex on the third date. They continued to see each other more and more as their mutual attraction for each other grew over about two months.
One thing that did not change was that he continued to call, text, and pursue 20-30% of the time instead of letting her slowly end up doing 100% of the calling, texting, and pursuing. He decided to unilaterally become exclusive with her and not date any other woman, although he never told her about this. He became a little too fixated on having a relationship with her instead of just hanging out, having fun, and hooking up. Things moved so fast that she started telling him things like she needed to “come up for air” and “clear her head.” She also told him that she was still dating other men and had a date with another man the next night after he and she had had an all night sexual marathon. Now he has not heard from her in a week, and it’s obvious she has been pushing him away. He asks my opinion on what he should do next because he thought he was doing most things right.
I’m a huge fan of your work. Your book and videos have helped me immensely. I wanted to send you my story in the hopes that you could critique the situation and tell me what, if anything, I did wrong or could have done differently – or else to use this as a cautionary tale about dating women on the rebound!
I met a woman on a dating site. She approached me, and asked me out. Her profile stated, “wants to date, but nothing serious.” (In other words, she’d like to hang out, have fun and hook up, and not get committed.) When we met, she explained that she had been separated from her husband of 14 years for 3 months. He had cheated and had asked her for a divorce, and she had been devastated. However, the marriage was 100% over and she was ready to move on with her life. I’m 61, in great shape. She’s 51, and drop-dead gorgeous. We met and there was immediate chemistry. She followed up by emailing me and asking me out again, and the second date was even MORE amazing. We slept together on the third date, and things just progressed from there, each date better than the last, and fantastic sex. This went on for a couple of months, and despite her declarations of strong feelings for me, she said she didn’t want to be exclusive. She said this was the first time since the age of 19 that she hadn’t been in a relationship with either a boyfriend or husband, and she wanted to enjoy the freedom of dating and exploring her options. (You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free. She’s telling this to you to help you.) I was disappointed, but didn’t say anything, as I didn’t want to come across as needy, jealous or possessive. (This tells me you are not focused on hanging out, having fun, and hooking up, but trying to lock her down.) By then, I WAS exclusive. It had nothing to do with her. It’s just the way I am. I don’t multi-date. (In your mind you are in a committed relationship, and you’re treating her like your girlfriend. However, she is communicating to you, she wants to date the strongest, most dominant man and come and go as she pleases.)
After about 2 months she wrote me a long e-mail, basically saying that her feelings for me were so intense, that she was falling in love with me. I replied that I was happy to hear that, and that I felt exactly the same. The next day, she sent ANOTHER email saying that this was totally insane, and there was NO WAY she was looking for a boyfriend or serious relationship at this point in her life. She said she had fallen waaay too deeply, waaay too fast, and needed to “surface for air” and “clear her head.” (You are coming on way too strong because you’re ready to be exclusive and giving off the vibe you want to be in a relationship.) I said I’d give her all the time and space she needed, and was ready to walk away if that’s what she wanted. (You should have just communicated it was okay and continued to set up dates to see each her. Women are intuitive and emotionally connected, and she can feel the needy vibe you are sending out.) Even so, she continued to pursue, although I could sense a subtle “pulling back” on her part. (At this point, she should have been doing 100% of the pursuing.)
The “pulling back” turned gradually and subtly into “pushing away.” I was away on business for a week, and when I came back she couldn’t wait to see me, took me out to dinner, and we had an incredible all-night sexual marathon. (Look at the impact time and space away from you had on her.) Over breakfast the next morning, she reiterated that she wasn’t looking for a full-time boyfriend, and even told me that she had another date the following evening. She said she was concerned that I was falling in love with her, and even encouraged me to date, as she was doing. (She is helping you because she likes you, and trying to prevent you from fucking up.)
Things have now deteriorated to the point where we haven’t had contact in a week. I don’t know if there’s another dude in the picture, but I wouldn’t be surprised as she told me often that she LOVES cock! (She has been telling you there are other men the whole time.) I WILL not contact her, the ball is in her court. I still believe she will contact me at some point when the dust settles, if not to get back together, at least to provide closure rather than leave things hanging. (You are not “together.” You should just be hanging out, having fun, and hooking up. You were making her feel like she was losing her freedom.) She’s not an evil or heartless woman, and what we had was pretty intense for both of us – at least I THINK it was. Maybe she was gaming me all along and being the exact same way with other guys at the same time. Before meeting her I had discovered your work. I read your book, if not 10-15 times, at least 5, with frequent reference to the relevant sections and videos. I was diligent about letting her initiate 80-90% of the email, text and phone calls. (She should have been doing 100%, but you never backed off.) I never pursued, and tried to be “alpha” at all times. She often complemented me on my alpha-maleness, although I DID make efforts to be affectionate and romantic. Early in the relationship, I told my best, platonic, female friend about the situation, and she basically told me that this was TOTALLY wrong, and that I should stay away from a woman in this situation as she’s toxic. (Not necessarily, but you need to let her come to you instead of forcing her into a relationship.) Cocky me, I said, “Nooo problem, everything’s cool, I GOT this!” (Choose very carefully who you spend the rest of your life with, because 95% of your happiness or misery will come from that decision.) Pride goeth before a fall and all that. Thoughts? (At this point, do nothing. You should proceed as if it is over and you’re never going to see her again. If she reaches out, then set a date. You need to take your power back. She needs to come to you and hang out, have fun, and hook up at your place.)
P.S. Please feel free to use this as the topic of a video, I would be honored :).
My response to him:
The one thing that jumps out at me right away is that you were still pursuing 20-30% after a couple of months of dating. As I state in my book, as a woman’s attraction level for you grows, she starts reaching out to you more and more to the point where she’s contacting you several times a day. There’s no reason for a man to still be doing 20-30% of the pursuing at that point. It sounds like you kept pursuing too much because you really liked her, and she simply never got to that point. Plus, she’s on the rebound after many years of marriage and is openly dating other men. You ignored reality and decided to become exclusive with her even though you knew she was dating other men. Women who come out of a 14-year relationship, especially one where the husband was cheating, their emotions are going to be raw and they need time to heal. I even discuss this in my book. You saw what you wanted to see, and you ignored reality. If I were you, I would simply stop contacting her for good, move on with your life as if it’s over and keep dating new women. Simply wait to hear from her, and when you do, assume she wants to see you and make a date. Hang out, have fun, and hook up like I talk about in my book. It’s obvious from your email that you are completely focused even though you don’t say it, on locking her down to a commitment and getting her into a relationship. Your job as a man is to create an opportunity for sex to happen, and let her bring up the relationship topic when and if she’s ready.
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“It’s always best to date potential long term relationship prospects who are completely single and have been out of their previous long term relationships for many months. When you become involved with a new lover who has just recently ended a long-term relationship or marriage, you must understand that their feelings are going to be raw. Their behavior will also often be unpredictable, indecisive and flaky. Because they have not healed completely from their previous breakup, their attraction for you can be very hot and cold. If you’re going to date people who are on the rebound, it’s best to have other prospects and make sure they have the freedom to come and go as they please. Otherwise, they can quickly change their mind, and bounce you out of their life unexpectedly. The bottom line, proceed with extreme caution when dating people who are on the rebound, or you’re going to get burned.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne