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Sex + Relationships

Real Live College Guy Dale: Am I Just a Rebound or Something More?

Tired of having to sort out the “nice guys” from the “bad boys”? Want to move up from one-night stand to full-time girlfriend, but unsure of how to do so? Stop worrying, because Real Live College Guy Dale is finally here to help with all of your collegiette love kerfuffles and help steer you clear of any unnecessary drama during your brief but ever-important time in college.

For a few weeks now I've been talking pretty consistently (four to five days a week) with this cool transfer who broke it off with his on/off high school girlfriend of three years a couple months ago. We get along great, we have a lot in common and we’ve been hanging out a lot, and while he hasn't pushed a hook-up much, we recently made out. He had the option of choosing her college to go to, but flipped a coin and stuck with my college. If he really wanted to stay with her, wouldn't he have? Should I be concerned that I'm in a rebound relationship? –Don’t Want a Rebound at Ramapo


Sound the alarms, boys; it sounds like we’ve got ourselves a hero.

It seems to me that this particular guy has found a way to––and I can’t believe I’m saying this––move on easily from a past relationship. Most men have trouble with this kind of thing. Either a guy breaks up with his girlfriend, regrets it and melts into a puddle of misery for some amount of time, or she breaks up with him and he spends the next few months (or years) wondering why.

I’ve heard some people say that the time it takes to get over someone is half as long as the length of the total relationship. But I think the amount of time is going to be different from person to person.

So he’s moved on, or so it seems. You’re right about one thing, that’s for sure: if he wanted to stay with her, he would have. The two of you have been talking regularly, you’ve apparently got a lot in common and the two of you finally sealed the deal with a kiss. Things are moving at a regular pace, which doesn’t suggest to me that you are simply a rebound. He moved from one college to another, and it seems like he found something better along the way: you.

But let’s hypothesize for a minute that you are in fact a rebound. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Rebounds have a negative stigma about them, and too many people fall for the idea that nothing good can come of a rebound relationship.

Outside of being a way to get over an ex or a horrific tool of revenge, rebounds are full of possibilities. Maybe he’s moving from a bad relationship (you did say it was on/off) to something good! Not only can you help him move on, you might end up finding someone you can spend the next few years with.  While there’s no doubt that some rebounds are purely physical and utterly hollow, I’ve seen a few of my friends turn rebound relationships into relationships that were better than the ones they were trying to get over.

He chose a new school, he chose to end things with his ex and he chose you. Those are all signs that he’s ready to move on from a toxic relationship. On the other hand, if he compares you to her (while you’re around him) or consistently brings up things she did that were either good or bad, it would be reasonable to assume that he isn’t over her. However, as I said, it seems to me that he is. Have confidence in the fact that he’s ready to move on with you by his side.

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Dale Lavine is a 21-year-old college junior majoring in Media Studies & Political Science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Outside of Her Campus, his words have been featured in publications such as USA Today College, Esquire, Fearless Men, CoolAppsMan.com, and The Commonwealth Times. When not penning his weekly columns, he enjoys hot showers, naps, Starbucks, and Jameson (neat). Want to know more? Need real-time relationship help? Readers are more than welcome to follow Dale on Twitter (@misterlavine).
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