Ask A Dude: I Don’t Want to be Someone’s Rebound

[Got a Dude itch you just can’t scratch? Sick of getting the pity-eyes as you sift through the Self-Help section at your campus bookstore? Over wondering what those boys are thinking?  We got your back, girlfriend. Send your question over to [email protected]. The Dude won’t sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. Like a nice, juicy hot dog, he’ll be 100% real beef, 100% of the time.  So bring it on, ladies.]

I’m later into college and I met this amazing guy right at the beginning of my freshman year. We both had an instant connection. We were very flirty, but when I found out he had a girlfriend, I toned it down. We still talked, but never really hung out. I later found out that was because his girlfriend at the time was incredibly jealous of other girls. Well, he just recently broke it off with his LONG term girlfriend and we ended up making out soon after and more than once. He’s such a sweet/caring guy and when we’ve been together for the time we made out, we were together for SEVERAL hours at a time, and also had amazing conversation! He says that he’s attracted to me, finds me incredibly fun to talk to (he’s said that he honestly can’t think of someone he can enjoy talking for as long), that he’ really enjoyed spending that time with me and that I’m this amazing kisser that can also, well, turn him on. He’s also a virgin and not looking to have sex until marriage, so I don’t think he’s saying things to get into my pants. (Right?!)

We’re very open with each other and he’s told me point-blank that I’m not a rebound, but he definitely wants to be single for a while, which I totally understand! I think people need to take a break after getting out of a long serious relationship to find themselves.  He calls me his friend and we are, but I don’t know if it will ever progress into something else. I’m not looking to jump right into a relationship, but I don’t just mindlessly makeout with my friends, so I’m not exactly sure where this is going – if it is at all. Is it just that the timing is off or will it progress?  Maybe I should take things chill, show him I’m not the jealous type, and down the road he’ll see that things could possibly work.

I would love to here your opinion and advice!
Thanks so much,
Don’t Wanna Be a Rebound

Dear Don’t Wanna Be a Rebound,

Will you live happily ever after? That is the question du jour. Last week we talked about going back in time and starting over, this week we must gaze into our crystal ball to see the future. The problem is: no one’s dealing with the present!

First of all, bravo to the boy in question for getting rid of his paranoid schizoid ex. A lot of men fall into the traps of possessive women. In my experience it’s a sign of a fully grown backbone and self-confidence to leave a crappy relationship. A lot of people can’t seem to believe there’s someone else out there that would respect and trust her/him enough to have her/his own life. The girlfriend/boyfriend who’s threatened by every member of their gender should be stamped with a Surgeon General’s warning. Having the guts to escape from his cell is a big check in the plus column for your Prince Charming candidate.

I am skeptical of a man that says he’s saving himself for marriage; that’s the cynical agnostic in me. I’ve met a guy or two that have used that line as a form of foreplay toward his conquest. However, to be in a long-term relationship and still claim you’re a virgin seems counterproductive, therefore let us take him at his word (you do realize that virgins take time to ripen into proficient lovers, right?). Still, men saving themselves for marriage seem like masochistic submissives unless it’s some sort of a Lent bet (ala Josh Hartnett in 40 Days and 40 Nights, a movie that could have offered so much more than Vinessa Shaw’s cleavage).  Just my personal opinion, don’t take it for gospel.

Your virgin Marvin (instead of Mary, get it? Get it?…my apologies to the Catholics) is in a vulnerable spot. After being a “we” for a long time one feels the need to reconnect with who “me” is. By allowing him room to breathe you’re upping your market value, however, some other fish could snap him up. In the wise words of Sarah Walker, “don’t freak out!” You’ve got options:

Cut out the kissing: You’re not pressuring him for any kind of relationship so he shouldn’t expect you to put yourself out there. This might further entice him as well. Spending time with someone you want to hook up with, but knowing you can’t, can be a turn on. Ah men, how simple we are. Once we have a bite of the carrot all you need to do is dangle it in front of us and we’ll follow unto our doom (or bliss).

Silent treatment: If he wants space then give him space, from you! Perhaps he can’t bear your loss. Perhaps he comes crawling to your door saying he can’t live without you. The flip side is he could distract himself with a bunch of ho’s and forget your number.

Florence Nightingale Syndrome: Nurse him through the post-break up stage. However, you’ll have to set the boundary that neither one tells the other about anyone else you drunkenly make out with. This leads me to your final choice…

Make him jealous: Go out on a couple dates with a hot guy and DON’T TELL HIM ANY DETAILS. The less you say other than, “it was great,” the more his imagination will drive him mad with scenarios where you’re humping his competition in a waterbed with awesome Superman sheets. This insanity will drive him to act. However, this is extremely manipulative terrain.

For my money, I’d go with #1. He’s been honest with you and you should be with him. Be there as a friend, but treat him like one as well. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of – don’t be a door mat and don’t be a booty call either. Be the person you want him to be with, the one he’s yet to find a way to resist: be yourself. Let him know your feelings toward him and then be patient, you can’t force timing. You can’t see where this is going to lead. You can put yourself out there, relax, and enjoy the ride. Don’t worry, my Spider-sense sees the two of you tearing each other’s clothes off on a rainy night within the next 3 months…or was that the movie I saw on Cinemax at 3am?

I wish you love,

Would You Rather…
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