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Am I a rebound for him?

Read More: Relationship and Dating Advice about  Ex-Girlfriends and Boyfriends

Dear Guys,

I met my current boyfriend when I transferred schools last year. Now, both of us are graduated and starting our life in the “real world.” When I first met my boyfriend he was with his ex. She cheated on him after three years together. He told me that he had feelings for me since our first conversation and he didn’t want to act on them because of his girlfriend at the time. Even though we’re together, he talks about his ex (of three years) at least once, practically everyday. However between the point where they’d broken up and the point that we’d gotten together he’d also been with two other girls. One, who was just a hook up every once in a while, and the second, who he attempted a relationship that lasted for one week. Both of which he talks equally as much of as he talk about his ex.

Is it possible that he still has feelings for all of them? He says he loves me, but am I just a rebound?

I don’t want to get attached to someone who is not fully invested. But he says he is fully invested all the time. (When he talks of them he gets angry, has a panic attack, and/or begins to cry.)

Am I wasting my time here? Would it be best if I removed myself so he can compose his feelings?

Please Help! Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing your advice.

Best,

Amber

Dear Amber,

Thanks for your question.

Yes, he still has feelings for his ex, but he loves you too. And that’s why he talks about the past. He feels comfortable and knows that he can share his innermost feelings with you. (He probably doesn’t have anyone else to share with.)

That said, enough is enough. We understand that people might need to share about their past, but in general, dumping your emotional baggage on your current partner is downright disrespectful, and frankly, never a good idea. Clearly, he hasn’t gotten this memo. Maybe he’s young. Maybe he’s clueless. Maybe he doesn’t care. Whatever it is, you’re going to have to be the one to tell him unfortunately.

You ask: Is this just a waste of time? Are you a rebound?

Maybe, maybe not. When someone feels the need to talk about their past repeatedly, you have to wonder if they’re still pining away for what they’ve lost. That said, it’s a reasonable assumption that he has no idea that engaging in constant talk about his exes is bad form. Once you bring up the topic, you’ll have a better sense of where you stand. If he pushes back, tries to reverse things on you, or tries to tell you that relationships are all about sharing, then you’ll know he’s living in the past. But if he apologizes, and reassures you that he isn’t living in the past, and says he’s going to change his behavior, then it’s possible your relationship has a chance. In some regard, all relationships are rebounds. But most rebound relationships ends quickly, never getting past the superficial stage with some sex thrown in. Yours seems to have gone beyond that. Still, it’s far from being on solid ground.

Our advice: Talk to him. Ask him why he feels the need to talk with you about his past. Then see if you can get him to understand that what he’s doing is not okay, and that you’re not okay with it. Don’t be afraid to assert yourself. You’ve been an understanding partner, now it’s time for him to reciprocate.

In conclusion: Much of how this goes is up to you. Ask yourself: How do you feel about this? What is your gut telling you? Are you getting enough out of this relationship? The last thing you want to do is settle.

Keep us posted and take care.

THE GUYS

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