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Read Letter

Rebound Relationship

My dear Jack, yes, I do find the proverbs of Solomon incredibly fascinating. They’re like the laws of economics. Sometimes they state the incredibly obvious. But if you’re a student of life you’ll notice the obvious is not so obvious. And it’s where we falter.

It’s because the issue is not so much about the knowing of the obvious but the application of the principle in the obvious. Commonsense can prove a stubborn oxymoron. Wisdom is the process of adaptation of knowledge for experience.

Let’s look at one of the most obvious things in life. I want to teach you about application of principles. If you’ve ever been terribly hungry… I mean really hungry, you’ll notice you don’t care about the taste of the food. No man truly hungry fusses over flavours and ratios of condiments in food. You just want to consume the food and satiate your hunger, kill the hunger pangs. The man who’s fussing over the delicate balance of flavours and condiments in food is not really hungry. This is what Solomon says about that kind of situation: “A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.” It’s an obvious statement isn’t it? And yet it’s so consequential. And it has to do with your state right now: you’re hungry! You’re hungry for love, and you’re hungry for affection. And so any woman will do right now. You’ve just come out of a relationship. You’re desperately lonely and you need affection. And so any woman will do for you right now, including a woman you’d not ordinarily date. It’s about needs fulfillment. You’re driven by your need and so you’d date anyone who’s available. Your discriminatory capacity is awfully compromised and diminished because of your desperate need for affection.

When you come out of a relationship and jump into another, the latter is called a rebound relationship. You’re like a basketball bouncing in and out of relationship nets. You’re on an emotional rebound. As long as you have those impassioned needs this new relationship will subsist. You’re not really thinking clearly. It’s your needs making decisions for you. You can’t really see. Everything takes the shape of your emotional need, which can manifest as physical needs as well. But time heals pain. Time thins out the solution of need-driven affection, like turpentine to enamel paint. And so over time you’re going to find out you don’t REALLY want this woman you’re with. She will not be as attractive to you as she was when you first got into the relationship. The attraction then was driven by a hungry desire for pain amelioration as well as need for affection. But the woman doesn’t know that. She won’t understand your withdrawal. You had this hot thing between you. Now you realize you were hasty, and could, theoretically at least have had wider choices or done better.

In your desperate need for affection you said things you meant, only they were induced by desperation. The woman rightly read those words as commitment. She can’t understand why you’re developing cold feet. She can’t understand why your text responses are slower, why you’re not picking your phone. She can’t get why you suddenly don’t find her as attractive anymore. And it’s worse if sex is involved. She’s going to feel used. Moreso if there’s a new love interest in your horizon, or she senses some moves. It’s going to be like you used her to get over your pain and having served as pain reliever, her usefulness expired. She was your friend and your comfort. Everyone knew you together. It seemed she was the one. But in truth she’s just your rebound relationship, the love you bounded into. And that can be painful.

The sincerity of need and commitment by both sides is what makes it so tough. It’s not as if you set out to deceive her. And her commitment was genuine. But Solomon’s proverb kicked in: To the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. I’m just saying be careful how you manage this relationship, lest you hurt this woman big time. I’m not saying she can’t be your friend. You DO need a friend. But the marriage commitment bit? You should let her know you can’t take those kinds of decision now. Until you heal. You’re wounded. If you don’t let her know, you’re going to hurt her badly. Or both of you will end up making an innocent mistake. Discriminate your needs. Right now is not when you should be making marriage promises, or rushing into marriage. When the pain clears away, that kind of marriage will be redundant. And if I were you I won’t allow physicality define such a relationship. It’s going to hurt more if you pull back. You will turn her into life’s casualty. Some people never recover. Don’t be responsible for that. Just be forthright. Tell her, “Jil, I really appreciate you’re there for me, and God knows I need your friendship… But that’s all I can give right now. I can’t commit to marriage. I’m not sure about so many things.”

Now, it’s possible you end up marrying her. But at least it will be a sound and well-considered decision. Your warning may not stop her from falling in love with you. And it’s her opportunity. But the statistics of rebound relationship leading to marriage is negligible. Some happen of course. But that’s how it seems that one girl does the clean up and the wet-nursing, while another reaps out of the blues. Don’t put yourself in a position in which you’re responsible for someone’s emotional damage and bitterness. You have to be mindful of the fact you’re a very attractive proposition right now due to your circumstances. I keep saying it: the rule of conscience is, don’t date someone you can’t marry. And you may get trapped. There are many traps in life.

As per your ex, you need to forgive if you want to move on. You can’t afford bitterness. Or life-long anger. Life is a journey full of episodes, each episode a shot in a movie reel.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : rebound

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