You always hear that you’re not supposed to talk about past relationships when you first start dating someone new. However, the one exception to that rule is to find out whether he/she is truly available for a new relationship or if you’re just the rebound.
Ask permission to ask by saying, “Can I ask when your last relationship ended?” Then follow up by asking, “Can I ask how long you were together?”
If they were together for at least a year and it’s been less than 6 months since they broke up you should guard your heart. Ask if you’re the first person they have dated since the breakup. If you are then you are the rebound. The longer they were together the more time they need to get past it.
It takes about 5 years to get fully past a divorce. During those years it’s best to date a lot of people and spend time alone to discover yourself.
If their last relationship was a short one (less than a year) ask how long their longest relationship was. If they’ve never had a relationship longer than 2 years they may not be capable of maintaining a relationship. Be careful with your heart.
What To Do If You’re the Rebound
- Protect your heart. If you are the first person to start dating someone who has recently ended a significant relationship, be aware that your relationship will probably be short-lived. “Recent” means within a few months, or up to a year if it was a marriage or long-term relationship. Be very aware that the other person’s feelings are unstable. She will be convinced that she loves you. You should be convinced that she is just feeling rescued. Enjoy her, but don’t believe any of her feelings are real—at least not yet.
- Take it slow. If he starts making plans for a future together, don’t engage or agree with anything until you’ve been together at least six months. He may seem like he’s making all your dreams come true. It is not real if you haven’t known each other for at least six months! If you agree with any of the proposed plans, his feelings will most likely change.
- Don’t literally rescue them. If she just came out of a bad situation and her life is a mess, that should be a major junk-food flag and you should run in the other direction. If you really like her and choose to stay, you cannot become her caretaker. It’s not your job to fix her life. You can be supportive. But do not lend her money or sacrifice any of your own needs to help her. She’s supposed to be an adult. She’ll ultimately have more respect for you if you let her solve her own problems. Keep your focus on taking care of you.