Rebounding After a Breakup, Pt 1: Why He Does it

It’s over.

After two years of spending countless days and nights together, sharing your most intimate thoughts, feelings (and, in a pinch, even his toothbrush) – you’ve broken up.

You’re an emotional wreck. You know you shouldn’t call him. Oh, it’s so tempting! Better delete him from your phone. Good. OK, what next?

Yoga pants? Check.

Pint of mocha java chip ice cream? Check.

Box of Kleenex? Check.

Marathon of The Real Housewives of Wherever- on Demand? Check.

Most of us (myself included) have done some version of this breakup ritual; The one where we hibernate for a few days – hopefully not weeks! – and just mourn the end of our relationship.

And then, it happens: Blooooop! Text message from your best friend:

OMG. I just saw Dave MAKING OUT with some redhead in the Whole Foods parking lot. They both put their shopping bags in his trunk. WTF?


Your Dave?!?

You haven’t even been broken up for two weeks! You still have that box of his stuff to return sitting by the front door…and he has a new girlfriend?!? (He doesn’t even like redheads!)

It’s like someone slapped you across the face: It hurts, it stings, sure…but it’s more humiliating than anything else. You can’t manage to get out of your PJs yet HE can somehow start up a whole new relationship?

How could he get over you so quickly? Does this mean he never cared that much to begin with?

Actually, you may be relieved to know that it’s just the opposite.

Most men pursue rebound relationships because they simply do not want to feel the pain from their breakup. I’ve interviewed countless guys who have confirmed this. (check our our Dating Advice For Women From Men guide here for more)

Women…well, we’re in touch with our emotions. We know how important it is to process our feelings and work through the sadness, anger and confusion. We know the value of a good cry.

This is healthy. It makes us feel better and it allows us to learn the lessons from our breakup. When we give ourselves time for self-care and reflection before getting involved with someone new, we give ourselves a much better chance at a happier, healthier, more lasting relationship the next time around.

It’s too bad for guys. Men have not been socialized to cry or show their emotions. When their heart gets broken, they’re told to “suck it up,” “forget about it,” “just move on,” and “aw, screw her, man- you can do better!”

So what better way to push down the feelings of sadness and loss than to just go out, get drunk, and find someone new to suck face with?

Hooking up with someone totally inappropriate and opposite of your ex is like a male relationship-ending rite of passage.

Of course it still hurts (oh let’s face it, it’s just plain nauseating) to think of him with someone else, but trust me — chances are good he is not really into this new woman. He’s just trying to get his mind off of you.

Some rebound hook-ups do turn into actual relationships, but they usually don’t last long. That’s because your ex is making decisions at a time when he’s really not too concerned with his own best interests. In other words, unless he just lucks out, he’s probably not choosing a woman who’s a good match for him.

Plus, without taking time to even think about your breakup, he’s doomed to repeat some of the same mistakes he made with you… with her.

So when you get that practically inevitable email, text or call letting you know that your guy seems to have blissfully moved on to a Hooters waitress and they’re already talking about moving in together, take it with a grain of salt.

In a way, consider it a (really twisted) compliment. You are an amazing woman and if he let himself be alone for one moment he wouldn’t be able to handle how much he misses you.

When you think of it like this, rather than feeling jealous, you might find yourself feeling compassion for your ex. He’s hurting and he doesn’t even know it.

At least you’re on the road to truly moving on.


Men aren’t the only ones who jump into rebound relationships after a breakup. We women are guilty of doing it too….but for completely different reasons. Find out what those reasons are — and why you shouldn’t go there in the first place — in “Rebounding After a Breakup, Part 2: Why You Do it”, next week.

Have you had an ex rebound (move on really quickly) from your breakup? Share your experiences in the comments!

Image courtesy: LianaAn