Your first date was amazing … until you find out they just got out of a long-term relationship. You’re their first date after their breakup.
You’re probably seeing a red flag. You don’t want to be the rebound relationship that distracts them while they take time getting over their lost love, and you certainly don’t want to have your heart broken by someone who isn’t ready to commit to another serious relationship so soon after a breakup.
While not ALL rebound relationships are doomed to fail, there’s reason to proceed with caution when entering into a rebound relationship — especially if they’re not over their ex.
Look for these 8 signs that show this rebounder isn’t ready for dating:
1. He just broke up with his ex
This may seem like an obvious one, but when you’re head over heels for a new guy, it’s not always so clear. Falling in love takes time, but so does falling OUT of love. If he’s moving on too quickly and trying to speed up this process, he’s only fooling himself and taking you along for a bumpy ride to heartbreak city.
2. He’s a serial monogamist
I call this the “George Clooney factor.” Yes, he’s married now, but we all remember the string of monogamous relationships he had for years — one right after the other.
If your new relationship is with a George Clooney type, I say roll the dice and hope you’re the lucky one who gets the ring and the commitment.
But, if he’s is a regular Joe Schmo (maybe not quite Clooney caliber), let him wait.
3. He wants to be exclusive right away
If your new relationship goes from one or two dates straight to the “Are we exclusive?” talk, things are moving way too fast. This is too fast even if it isn’t a rebound relationship.
Bringing up if you two are exclusive too soon in the relationship can be a red flag — watch out for desperation or a controlling personality.
4. He loves (duh) or hates his ex
Obviously, if they still say they love their ex, then you have a problem. But watch for hate too — extreme emotions toward an ex can sign that your guy is still heavily emotionally invested in his past relationship. Intense anger or bitterness (or feeling all lovey-dovey) are signs that they haven’t emotionally moved on. Expect to see shades of gray with all these emotions, but look for the predominate sentiment of “I don’t care what they’re doing anymore.” What you WANT to see is indifference.
5. His ex’s stuff is still in his apartment
Don’t be fooled — if you walk in and see the ex’s picture still prominently displayed on the bedside nightstand, they’re still in the picture. And worse, if you find the ex’s clothes, toothbrushes and toiletries in his apartment, just get out while you can. It’s either a SUPER fresh breakup, or they are still together.
6. He’s still good friends with his ex
Follow the new social rules: when the relationship is over, the relationship status needs to change and the ex needs to be dropped (temporarily at least) from being his Facebook friend. This also holds true for texting, snap chatting and other various ways of connecting. It’s not that exes can’t (eventually) be “just friends,” but if you’re the new person in the picture, you need reassurances that the old relationship is over.
7. He just wants to have sex
If your relationship is more about sex and less about getting to know each other on a deeper, more emotional level, you’re probably just the convenient sex rebound. A real relationship requires both parties to open up to their deeper emotions and show vulnerability. And, the vulnerable feeling I’m talking about here isn’t about being seen naked by someone new.
8. His friends are giving you the shifty-eye
If, when you meet their friends, you can feel the tension and sense their discomfort — take that as a sign. Friends know the history of his past relationship, and they know the relationship patterns that their friend usually defaults to. Keep an eye on how they interact with you around him to make sure you’re making the right move.