How to determine if you were simply the rebound guy if you started dating a woman who went back to her ex.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who just got into my work about 3 weeks ago. He’s in his mid 20’s, tall, in great shape and makes close to six figures. He has everything going for him but knows that his mindset cripples him. He started hanging out with a girl he knew from college, hooked up with her, and then she bounced, tried to friend zone him and now it appears she went back to her ex.
He asks if he was simply the rebound guy or if there is a chance for something more. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
He obviously has interest in her and you can tell he tends to downplay it a little bit, which you’ll kind of see in the beginning. But it’s obvious he really likes the girl. He started seeing her, he wanted more, so she called things off and tried to friend zone him. He’s like, “I don’t want that.” And now he’s like, “What are the chances she’s going to come back? Was I just a rebound guy? Was I just a plaything for her?”
I just discovered your videos 3 weeks ago and listened to your ebook while I wait for my physical copy to come in. Prior to watching your videos, I’d say I had an above average understanding of relationships through reading books and watching different creators in the past. I’m a guy in my mid-20s that has been all over in terms of success with women. I’m tall, on pace to earn $100k this year, have my own place/car, and actively train at the gym 6x/week. I’m often told I’m a major catch, but I know my mindset cripples me.
What’s so interesting is that human beings, people, we’re going to act consistently with how we view ourselves to be, and it doesn’t matter whether that view is accurate or not. And for most of us, just because of life, society, our upbringing, we’ve adopted mindsets and belief systems about ourselves that are limiting. And when we perceive ourselves as being limited in some way, or many ways, we’re going to act and do and say things in ways that are consistent with that self perception.
With the number one, most important thing that women find attractive in men being confidence, if you don’t perceive yourself in a good light, whether you realize it or not, your vibe, your demeanor, the tone of your voice is going to communicate that that’s how you feel about yourself to the women that you’re hoping to date, and they’re going to pick up on it.
A girl I know from college recently reached out to me looking to hang out. We were friends for 3 years, but she never showed interest and we were both in relationships. She texted me randomly after 6 months of not talking to her to hang out, mainly talking about work seeing as we are in the same field. We went for coffee 2 or 3 times, during which I never thought anything of it, as she was not my typical type. She ended up asking me to go bowling with her, which we did that following week – I never made a move. I thought about it for a few days and decided I wanted to try things with her. After all what did I have to lose?
Also, the thing that brings up is that question men always ask: can men and women be friends? And obviously these two are friends, but neither one of them was available in the past because they were both in relationships with other people. So, there was obviously some kind of interest on both their parts that whole time, but neither one of them was available.
I asked her out to drinks the next time I saw her in person, and she happily accepted, even confirming it with me several times prior to the date.
Well, when you look at that, that would show a high level of interest. She obviously digs the guy. And he’s not some stranger, he’s known her for several years.
She showed me next to no interest, but we had a great time together which ended in her throwing herself at me and us making out for 30 minutes while we waited for an Uber back to my place.
So, you notice how he never tried to make a move, never did anything. He’s not really seeing any kind of indicators of interest. He’s just hanging out. And what happens? She can’t take it anymore and throws herself at him.
She ended up sleeping over. It felt unreal finally getting with this girl after having my eye on her for so long.
So, it’s not that he was just interested in something platonic; there was obviously a connection there and an attraction, but neither one of them could act on it because they were in relationships with other people.
I asked her out a few days later to a steak dinner over a phone call which she happily accepted. I told her what I wanted her to wear, and she ended up going out to buy exactly what I asked her to wear.
Seems like a good sign so far.
We had an amazing time which ended in her coming to my place for sex.
Oh, I guess you’re now no longer just friends. You’re friends with some benefits. So, congratulations.
We agreed to hang out the next day to finish the movie we missed during our hookup.
Well, obviously you’ve got to finish watching the movie, of course.
She came over the next day, we watched the movie together and didn’t have sex as she said she was a bit sore from last night, (we went for several rounds).
It’s possible she was sore, but it’s also possible something else was going on.
Towards the end of the night, she asked me to go out to a date in the city with her the following week.
The one thing that kind of jumps out at me is she’s really aggressive, really trying to spend time with him and really making an effort. And obviously knowing what I already know, because I’ve read the email, she’s recently broken up with her boyfriend. On some level, she’s trying to replace that intimacy with intimacy with this particular guy that she already has a high level of comfort for.
But, as I talk about in “3% Man,” what typically happens is you get involved with somebody that’s in the middle of divorce, or in this case, she’s had a recent breakup, and the emotions are going to be all over the place. She’s going to be hot and cold. The ex could, more than likely, be in the background. Because the reality is, both men and women, the longer after they’ve split up, and they get back into the dating world and they see what reality is and how hard it is to find somebody you really click with, it’s understandable – especially when it doesn’t happen within two or three months – that the other person wants to come back or tries to come back.
That was Wednesday night, she texted me on the Sunday night calling things off with me. She said she has strong feelings for me, finds me attractive, and saw us developing into a couple; but she can’t see me as more than a friend.
Hmm… so, what does that mean? It’s interesting, she talks about “us developing into a couple,” but what do we have to have? She’s got to be ready, willing, able and open to having a relationship. It’s also possible, because he’s new to my work and didn’t know these things, maybe he was a little overeager. Maybe he was a little too nice. I don’t really know what he was saying and doing when they were together, because he doesn’t say.
But if you look at her actions, her actions seem like somebody that’s really super interested. And to go from really super interested to, “Oh, let’s just not go out” and “Let’s just go back to being friends,” how do we handle that when we’re not interested in going back into friend zone? And why would she want to put him in friend zone? She’s basically saying, “Hey, time out. I want you to be my backup plan.” That’s typically what’s happening.
I called her and calmly told her that I respect her decision but told her we can’t go back to being just friends, which she got pretty upset about but understood.
The strongest negotiating position is being able to walk away and mean it. It’s like, after all this, he liked her, she liked him, they hooked up, now she wants to only go back to being friends – which means, if he was to agree to that, that he becomes the emotional tampon and therapist every time something goes sideways with the boyfriend.
The best thing to do is to remove yourself from the situation, because she’s going to have a lot more years in or time in with the ex-boyfriend. And so, she’s more emotionally bonded to him than she is to you, even though you’ve known each other for three years. Therefore, with the ex being in the background, every time he screws up or it looks like it’s going sideways, who’s she going to call? Obviously, this guy, so she gets the attention and validation she’s not getting from her boyfriend.
Meanwhile, he’s going to want to try to see her and do things, and she’s like, “Oh, I can’t.” She’s going to be making excuses. And so, now his personal life will be on hold and in limbo while she vacillates back and forth between the ex and him. And that’s why you just simply don’t get involved in those situations. Because, if you love somebody, if you really, truly care for somebody, you want them to be happy, even if it’s not with you. So it’s like, you want to dare them to find somebody better.
In other words, you want to interact with her in a certain way, and she’s saying, “No, I only want to interact with you in a platonic way.” And as a man, you say, “No, thank you. I’m interested in this way.” And that’s why he says, “I’m not going to just be friends with you. That doesn’t work for me. Go play with your ex-boyfriend. See how that goes. Give it another shot. I wish you guys all the best. Hopefully, you’ll live happily ever after and get the white picket fence and all those good things. But if it doesn’t work out, give me a call. And if some cute girl hasn’t scooped me up already, maybe I’ll give you a shot.”
I was extremely confused, as we had great times together and she was all over me, both in person and over text, initiating contact with me daily. I then discovered your videos and I’m now realizing she may have gotten back with her ex, as they had broken up about 6 weeks prior – which was roughly the time she reached out to me.
There you go. You make those connections. “Ahhh, now it makes sense.” Because she was obviously hurting, and she slid you right in there because she had a high level of comfort. Obviously, there was attraction between the two of you. But, more than likely, when things go sideways like this, it’s because the guy came back in the picture.
I also saw that she posted a photo on Saturday night at an event, her ex was in the photo and commented on it.
There you go. That tells you everything you need to know. She’s spending time with her ex. And if he’s commenting on the photo, they’re talking again. And, again, because she’s more emotionally bonded to him, he’s got the leverage and you’re in a position of weakness. That’s why you just don’t participate in that. It’s the art of the deal, the art of negotiation.
Prior to this I had never seen his name pop up. I’ve been no contact with her for the past 3 weeks, but I feel awful about the situation.
Hey, it’s nothing to feel awful about. You got to hook up with a girl that you’d always been into. And the reality is, if it didn’t work out with the ex the first time or the 10th, how ever many times they split up or things went sideways, it’s probably not going to work out in the future. And guess who she’s going to call when it doesn’t work out… you. But that’s why you’ve got to be clear that you’re not going to hang out with her in a platonic way. It’s romance, or “call me if you change your mind.”
Because what will happen, say something goes sideways with this guy, in a few weeks she calls, you hang out again, and then it starts to resolve itself with the other guy, then you get pushed back into friend zone. And so, you’ve got to make sure you’re always congruent, you’re consistently congruent. You can’t tell her no to the friend zone and then two weeks later hang out and be her therapist or her emotional tampon. Because your words and your actions are different, they’re not congruent. You’re saying, “I’m not interested in something platonic,” and then you hang out with her and do something platonic.
I’m happy I had the balls to finally show interested and sleep with my college crush…
Notice he kind of downplayed it like, “Oh, she wasn’t really my type,” yeah, whatever. You always wanted her.
…but I hate how things ended abruptly.
It’s like, there’s no reason to feel bad about that. She just went back to her ex. And quite frankly, when you started hanging out with her again, you didn’t know that.
I’m bothered that she would use me like this for a week and destroy a 3-year friendship in the process…
You don’t miss the friendship, bro. You miss the cunnilingus.
…(I know that was a feminine sentence).
See, this is what gives away his mindset. Remember what he talked about in the beginning, how he knows his mindset cripples him. And think about this, people are going to act consistently with how they view themselves to be. It doesn’t matter whether the view is accurate or not. This guy’s everything going for him; he’s got a car, he’s in great shape, he’s tall, women tell him he’s a catch all the time. I mean, he’s got the world by the balls. But here’s his mindset: “I’m bothered that she would use me like this for a week and destroy a three year friendship.” What does his mindset tell you about that statement?
He doesn’t think very highly of himself. He automatically assumes she was using him and that the interest wasn’t authentic. I would say the interest was definitely authentic, but she’s more emotionally bonded to the ex. And women make their decisions based upon their emotions. They’re more emotional beings than us guys are. So, you’re in a weak position of leverage. And if I was a betting man in Las Vegas, and I know she’s talking to the ex, and she’s hanging out with you and had all these great times, I’m putting my money on her going back to the ex. I don’t even have to think about that. I know how that bet is going to turn out.
But, like I said, it’s probably not going to work with the guy in the long run. And that’s why it’s best to leave these situations and move on to dating other women – especially this guy, because he’s new my work. He should be reading the book and applying it with other women and getting experience, because that will grow his confidence. He’ll have a little more swagger, so it kind of starts to erase the mindset that would lead him to think and say, “I’m bothered that she would use me like this.” That’s not the mindset of a confident guy.
The confident guy would be like, “Hey, it was cool. I got to hang out with my college crush. I understand why she went back to her ex.” If you understand the book, then her going back to the ex is totally predictable and understandable. You have to see the situation as it is and play it properly. The thing you don’t want to do is stay engaged with her, be the friend, and then that can go on for months and months. You’re just raking yourself over the coals emotionally, you’ve taken yourself out of the game, and on top of that, she’s going to lose respect for you, because she knows you shouldn’t be sitting around waiting and back up position. Because a man who loves and values himself ain’t gonna be nobody’s backup. You’re either going to be a priority to her, or she can be in your rear view mirror and come running after you.
Watching your videos has helped me understand my shortcomings in an area I thought I had mastered.
Well, everything in life is about mindset. And you’re young, dude. You’ve got to give yourself a chance to fail and learn from it and get better.
I understand I didn’t give her time to miss me, over-pursued her, and that her re-kindling with her ex was out of my control.
Thanks for your help Corey. You are one of the most genuine and helpful people on the internet.
There you go. He admits he over-pursued. But like I said, it doesn’t really matter. It was going to happen anyway, especially with the ex coming back in the picture. So, if you’ve told her you’re not interested in being friends, the important thing is to be congruent with that, because more than likely, she’ll come back at some point. And if the other guy is still in the picture, she’ll try to use the “F” word, the “friend”word. And you’ll just say, “Look, I’m not interested in that. I’d love to see you, but if you’re still seeing your ex and you’re not sure, I’d rather you go resolve that with him. And then once you’re sure it’s not going to work out, then get in touch with me.”
That’s a hard thing to do when you really want somebody, but you must love in such a way that the person you love feels free. You’ve got to love and value yourself first. Therefore, if you love and value yourself first, you’re not going to interact with somebody, and play second fiddle, or be a chick’s backup plan, or her plaything, or whatever. You’ve got to be man enough to say, “I’m not going to be involved with her in any way, shape or form while she’s still hanging out with the ex. But if she finally resolves it and that goes by the wayside, and she’s 100% certain they’re never going to get back together again, and it’s completely over, when that happens, then I would love to interact with her.”
It’s hard to do, but that’s part of exercising emotional self-control. That’s the best way to handle a situation like that. Because then, when she does come back, she’s ready, willing, able and open to something new with you. And then the ex is no longer going to interfere. And then you can start off and live happily ever after for the rest of your life, for a couple of months, or a year or two, whatever it ends up happening to be. At least this way, you get what you want, you don’t give your power away, and then you act consistently congruent, as a guy who loves and values himself and is not going to be a backup to anybody.
So, if you’ve got a question or a challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.
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