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Dealing With Rebounds After a Breakup

"I'm Stuck in a Bad Rebound Cycle"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Ever since I broke up with my ex of four years — which happened a year ago — I've had a pattern of rebound guys who either got really clingy, moved too fast, or disrespected me. Throughout that time, whenever I did anything with a guy, I felt guilty. I still do. If it's even just to kiss a guy I really like, when it's over, I beat myself up about it a lot — as if I wasted a kiss on someone I thought really cared about me. I know it's dramatic, but every time I think about it, I feel cheap and horrible.

Truth is, I feel like my ex was all I'd ever known. I've had two rebounds, and one of them I really liked, but he became possessive and told his friends that we did things we didn't do. Lately I've realized that my self-esteem has become low. Why, I don't know: all I know is that I started chatting to guys. They pick me up and drop me back down. One guy that I spoke to, he was so cool, we had so much in common, and we spoke all the time. But when I told him to stop calling me after several attempts to get me to his house for a first date, he said: "I only wanted to have sex with you anyway." He made me feel special, then dropped that line and disappeared. Since then, the guys I've attracted have been horrible and I run away before anything happens — and when anything does happen, big or small, I beat myself about it. Why does this keep happening?

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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Join The Conversation
sharky89 sharky89 5 years
I'm a strong believer of the idea that we attract people similar to us.  If we feel negatively about ourselves (ie low self-esteem or self-worth), we end up attracting and keeping around people who in a sense validate our low self-worth or esteem, and keep us stuck in a negative cycle.  In retrospect, I seemed to be date d-bags and was too scared to give nice guys a chance when I felt low about myself.  Instead of brushing off my bad dating experiences, I began to feel worse about myself.  The more negatively I felt about myself, the longer I stayed with d-bags or in unhealthy dating patterns, and worse I felt when things ended.  The best thing I ever did for myself was to quit dating guys for a while and date myself (I went to events I got excited about, got involved with projects/activities I wanted to do, picked up new hobbies, traveled to new places by myself or with good friends etc).  It was fun and when I returned to the dating scene, I had a much healthier outlook towards dating and attracted much nicer guys (and gracefully handled the ones that weren't so nice without going through much drama) :)
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Take care, OP. You can get past this. It's about changing yourself, and watching how people react to your change. It's about believing the good things about yourself, and reinforcing those things, and letting go of those worthless feelings about doing perfectly normal things. I think you've probably had a lot of help teaching yourself to feel this way, and you can certainly look for help in counseling and therapy to help you dump this destructive way of thinking. Find yourself a good therapist, a good resource who can help you learn the skills to do this. take care, girl, be well. You're worth it!
henna-red henna-red 5 years
It's happening for a couple of reasons. When we have low self esteem, we don't feel confident. When we don't feel confident, we don't project confidence. You describe yourself as feeling like a're not feeling good about yourself, not confident, not secure, not happy with yourself. We project to all those around us what we feel about ourselves. And when we feel badly about ourselves, and we project that, we are vulnerable, and the people we attract are the people who take advantage of the vulnerable, who victimize the weak....the guys who get clingy, who want only to use you, or abuse you. And since you're feeling bad about yourself, your standards are low, as pax has said. We hold the people in our lives to our own standards for ourselves, good and bad, and when we undervalue ourselves, we allow everyone else to undervalue us because it resonates with what we're feeling ourselves. Do you understand what I'm saying? Whatever we put out into the world is what comes back to us.........if we project confidence, other confident people respond to us. If we project "whore", (whore in our culture means prey on me), then we get predators. Also, since you're not feeling secure about yourself, and not holding a healthy self image, you're not able to recognize the predators...scumbags.....users as who they really are until they've shown you, over and over again that they mean you nothing good. You said this guy kept trying to get you back to his place, you went through the same scenario many times without ever telling him, straight up, no, I'm not interested in sex right now, and so I'm not comfortable going to your place. And even if you did tell him something like continued to date someone who constantly tried to get you to do something you didn't want to do. That's a signal that he doesn't respect or care about what you want, and you ignored the signal.....or just didn't recognize it. For him, the fact that you kept coming back for more meant you were ok with his behavior, because if you weren't, you wouldn't be there. So when someone is doing something you're not ok with, and you tell them that, and they don't stop, you dump them, immediately. You listen to the behavior, not the words. you pay attention to what they're doing. The only way to raise your standards for other people is to raise them for yourself. To do that, you have to, as Bi say, build your self esteem in a healthy way. You have to believe for yourself that you're a good person, a strong person, a person who makes the right choices for the right reasons. To attract happy, healthy, strong people to you who respect and care for you, you have to respect and care for yourself. If you believe that you're worthwhile, that you're a good person, and if you're happy with who you are, you will project that, and people with similar characteristics will be attracted to you. Don't get me wrong, the world is full of predators who will take a shot at taking advantage of anyone they can. But when you know who you are, and what is acceptable in your life, when you hold yourself and everyone in your life to a certain standard of behavior, you can spot those people more easily, and cut them out of your life quickly, before they have a chance to do damage.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
First off, stop "slut shaming" yourself. Kissing boys when you're 19 is not whoreish behavior. Having safe sex when you're 19 is not whoreish behavior. Being a serial monogamist (which most people are) does not make you a whore. It is healthy to have multiple relationships, most people are not going to stay with a jr high/high school sweetheart for the rest of their lives. It is naive and irresponsible to stick with someone because you feel like you're a slut for discovering that you're not actually in love with them. Don't be so critical of yourself. Finding the right person isn't about finding them right away, it's about gradually discovering what it is that you need and want from a life partner (or even just a long-term partner). It's about finding your self and your boundaries. I highly recommend people staying single any time they're finding that they keep attaching to bad types of people or otherwise very conflicted. Get a strong sense of your self and your identity as an autonomous individual, then get back out into the dating pool. Build your self-esteem in a healthy way and be the most authentic you that you can be.
pax4pax pax4pax 5 years
Raise your standards. You should do what you want to do and, if you hold yourself up as a woman who will not be used to meet other people's appetites, you can decide when, who, and where you do what you want. Work on raising your own standards and then you can make a man love you first, put you first, and lay down his life for you first, before you let him be with you.
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