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When I use the words "men" and "rebound" in the same sentence, male minds might quickly conjure up thoughts of their favorite NBA teams.  Women, however, understand that I am addressing the phenomenon of rushing into a new relationship after the dissolution of an old one.  And while men aren't the only ones guilty of this relationship ricochet, they are, by far, the most-likely to engage in this particular type of reactionary behavior.

So what causes men to so quickly move from a break-up with you to the arms of another woman?  Understandably, you might think it has to do with him not being particularly invested in his relationship with you.  You could easily believe the rapidity of his action indicates he isn't at all broken up about your break-up; that he had no deep feelings for you and he cavalierly is humming to himself, "Another One Bites The Dust."  Those assumptions would be perfectly reasonable.  They would, however, be completely wrong.  You see, when men actually emotionally invest in a relationship, their feelings (whether they show it or not) run as deeply as your own.  So when their relationship crumbles before them, it causes a huge emotional void.  But unlike you, men don't have the social support network to buoy them up in their time of pain and sadness.  They can't cry to their friends, seeks solace from their mothers, or drown their feelings in a bucket of "Chunky Monkey."  If they thought that kind behavior would be acceptable, they might engage in it.  But men are all too aware that stoicism, soldiering on, and "walking it off" are fundamental guidelines in the male handbook, and breaching these would cause them to be a target of ridicule, pity and serious lampooning from their male "comrades-in-arms."

So what's a guy to do?  He's hurting, but he can't tell anyone.  And grieving and wallowing in private are likely to only lead to consuming mass quantities of Jim Beam, to dull his pain.  Thus, he realizes, with such limited options available, he must speedily move to contain his about-to-erupt emotions by filling the vacuum created by the demise of his previous relationship.  And how does he do this?  By seeking out someone else to focus his attention on, both emotional and sexual.  And the sooner, the better, for it is this new woman who heals his wounds by allowing him to step back into the comfortable, acceptable space of being the tough, unruffled, man that he is supposed to be.  She facilitates his return to a state of being where he can once again feel masculine and in control of himself and his emotions.  Order is restored and all is right with the world again.

Thus, it can be stated that the speed in which a man moves from a bitter break-up to a new amorous attachment is directly proportional to the pain he's feeling: The deeper the hurt the quicker the hook-up.  So if you see your ex in the arms of another within days of your break-up, don't write him off as a horny, uncaring, slime-bucket.  Instead, recognize that he was deeply hurt by the end of your relationship and is doing the best he can to mend his broken heart.  Then, with that understanding in place, it is perfectly reasonable to go home and cut his head out of all the photos of him you own, and incinerate them in your barbecue.  Hey, he deals with his pain one way, you deal with yours another.  Who's to judge?

(C)2008 David M. Matthews.  All Rights Reserved.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Aug 28, 2008
    • David,

      This is a fantastic article. After reading this article I have a completely different perspective on “Men on the rebound“.

      You are completely correct, men are not good communicators, and rarely share their feelings.  I wrote a blog once where we had a male friend over for two days, I spent a day with him and my husband spent a day with him. After he was gone I expressed my concern to my husband and said that I worried about him. His reaction was “What about“, I said:

        - What do you mean? He is having an affair, his wife is going through major midlife changes and his son is on drugs.

        - Strange, was all my husband said.

      So I asked him,  

        - what did you talk about for the whole day?  

      He said,

        - tennis, politics, economy.

      I couldn’t believe it.

      That’s men for you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lillyandria wrote Aug 30, 2008
    • David, thanks for:
      -trying to close the gap in our ways of communicating to one another
      -giving hope that, maybe, down the road there can be a better communication between the opposite sexes.. who knows it might end war or at least the battle of the sexes

      Personally, I’ve had tough time with the non-verbal, unspoken rules, subtle cues and my guesses/speculations/interpretations/assumptions have landed me in some hot spots many times.  

      As Azdana pointed out, are we allowed to express them? I don’t see men jumping the wagon on this topic, unlike the Men and Breasts:)

      Probably, human race, as a whole is not ready yet but there is nothing wrong with starting and continuing since previous method seemed not to work well, at least for some of us.. and it will save the barbecue for the meat:)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Drjlade wrote Sep 18, 2008
    • David, thank you so much for giving the male perspective on why they move to another relationship so quickly. I thought my ex never really wanted to be with me because he quickly found some other woman BUT now I understand, he was deeply hurt. Wow, now I feel guilty—ugh!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Celestia wrote Sep 21, 2008
    • I can understand how a man needs to deal with hurting, however this type of behavior and lack of communication can also destroy any hope of repair (for me).  I had a really bad experience recently.....   I was having a really hard time dealing with an awful childhood experience that resurfaced.  I wanted support from my fiance’ and I couldn’t have sex for a while because of painful memories of abuse.  He was not willing to listen to my needs because he could only focus on that fact that he wasn’t getting any.  I could not stand to see him so miserable so I told him to leave and move on.  I didn’t want this because I loved him.  He did move on and quickly moved in with another woman.  He didn’t tell me about this and continued to call me every day and come by to visit (me and my 10 yr old daughter) and tell me that he loved me.  Our relationship was very rocky but I still believed we were in one!  He was sick because he had recalled mesh in him and was in a lot of pain.  He needed help and couldn’t get it.  The woman he was involved with helped him find a surgeon to operate and remove the mesh.  He came back to me because he said I was his soulmate and he always loved me.  I felt the same way.  Now I can’t forget about his actions and it is probably never going to work.  Yes I love him more than life but I can’t let it go.  It is a shame.  He wants to pretend that it was nothing and says that I should love and trust him the way I use to.  This hurt is worse than him just moving on.  He jumped right into someone’s arms and didn’t think twice about it.  He also lied about it.....  Is this normal rebound behavior for men?



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Drjlade wrote Sep 30, 2008
    • .
      Now how can you trust him? He has now involved yet another person. Instead of jumping into another relationship men would do better to go and see a counselor or some other professional. Especially when they say they still love the woman they are walking away from, regardless if she told them to leave. Do you think you can rebuild trust? Do you want to rebuild trust? What do you want? Outline what you want and what you are willing to do to get what you want. If there is no trust there is no soulmate. Ask this of yourself, can I truly love that whom I do not trust? What do you think?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      L J wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • men have been doing this kind of thing since the beginning of time, and it is cool in other men’s eyes, but you let a woman do it and she is looked down on to the end of time, or called every name in the book behind her face. i have seen other women’s friends shun them and belittle them and not want them to be around their husbands, because they were frightened that she would hit on them, or try to take them away.
      women and men look at everything different!
      go figure!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Nov 5, 2009
    • So, he thought he was hurting me and he only hurt himself. That’s funny.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Tweety007 wrote Dec 4, 2009
    • that’s the way it goes!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tweety007 wrote Dec 4, 2009
    • I guess you can try but there will always be uncertainty



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Affie wrote Jul 2, 2011
    • 1 month ago I got mad at my husband for being snippy with me.  I told him that I never wanted to talk to him again and that there are plenty of people that want to talk to me.  We had been married for 7 2/2 years.

      1 week later he asked for a separation and that I was right and that we do not get along.I asked him of there’s someone else and he said no. So I said let’s just get a divorce. He told me that he and his client (wealthy older woman with two kids) are going to see each other.  

      She had been emailing him not knowing that I reply to his emails (we run a construction company together).  She would always sign off as thanks Uncle Rob.  I had told him that she is coming unto him but he said she was manipulative.

      She is not very attractive and supposedly I am.  But he moved in fast with this relationship.  She offered her deceased husband’s condo for him to move into and he did so after 3 weeks of separation and since I have filed for divorce.

      He is a conservative and she is a liberal.  He like petite women and she is tall.  She is a couple of years older than him.  She is extremely successful with her job and her deceased husband life insurance and other money that he had.  My soon to be ex is a contractor.  He was working on her house and coming unto him all the time, although subtle.  

      She has a 2 year old and a 5 year old.  But my soon to be ex loves and adores my daughter and he comes by often and calls often and he has told his friends that he feels guilty.  Well too late now, but what am I to think?  I know he is on a rebound and I know that I will most likely not take him back.  The only thing that makes me want to take him back IF AND WHEN he comes back is to get back at that other woman.

      I am hurting but I think it is mainly my ego.  He deposits large amounts of cash into my account and after he spends weekends with her he comes by the house with newspaper articles for me and to take the trash out.  He takes my daughter out to dinner and texts her all week except on the weekends when he is with her.

      Thoughts????



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