Is He Just Rebounding?
Q: The entire three years I've known this guy, we've talked lots, and I have always admired him as a man and a friend. He was involved with someone at the time we met, and I thought they made a nice couple. Only this past summer she cheated on him with a guy he worked with and broke his heart. We talked a great deal about his pain. I just let him vent. Then he told me he had feelings for me. He said he wanted to hang out and have fun and just take things slow. I understand that. I have three kids and I must take it slow. My question is this: Is it wrong for me to ask if he just wants a filler or am I just a rebound for him? I have been burned so many times. Guys just seem only interested in sex and when they don't get it or do, that is all they like me for. -- Mandy, 36
Dr. Susan: I suppose it all depends on what he means by "having fun." You've known him long enough, and talked with him enough, to know how honest he is. You might agree to hang out and get to know one another better, now that you're both unattached. But I would hold off on the physical intimacy for at least a while, especially if it's only a couple months since he got his heart broken. It's never wrong to ask what you want to know. He may not admit you would be a rebound affair for him, and he may not recognize that himself. But it's only fair and sensible of you to be leery and cautious. If he runs away when you hold back sex, then you have a fair idea of what he wanted. I would normally say to follow your instincts, up to a point, but since you say you've been burned too often, perhaps your instincts are leading you astray. Go slow, in all ways.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.