Why Men Rebound So Quickly

Reader “Nikki” asked me my thoughts about why men rebound so quickly after a “relationship” ends.

If you’re not aware of what “the rebound” is, it’s the time period between when you exit one relationship and feel like attempting to enter a new one. If someone breaks up with a bf/gf/wife/husband and you meet them before they get over it, that’s called “catching them on the rebound”, like in basketball.

Once they feel like being involved in relationships again, they’ve exited rebound status. Just because you meet someone shortly after they break up with someone doesn’t mean they haven’t gotten over it already.. especially if the breakup was THEIR idea to begin with.

If there were actual statistics, I’m sure they’d indicate that guys in general get over relationships ending more quickly than gals do. That’s what we’re going to discuss in this article.


The relationships that I believe in are the ones that are real. Those could be between friends, family members, co-workers, lovers, friends with benefits, frenemies, enemies, whomever.

The relationships that I DON’T believe in are the ones that are declared without collateral:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collateral_(finance): In lending agreements, collateral is a borrower’s pledge of specific property to a lender, to secure repayment of a loan.[1][2] The collateral serves as protection for a lender against a borrower’s default – that is, any borrower failing to pay the principal and interest under the terms of a loan obligation. If a borrower does default on a loan (due to insolvency or other event), that borrower forfeits (gives up) the property pledged as collateral – and the lender then becomes the owner of the collateral.

What that gibberish you just read means is that you say “Lend me $10” and the other person says “How do I know you’ll pay me back?” and then you say “My hat costs $15, so if I don’t give you your money back, you can have my hat”.

When you don’t pay the money back, you have to hand over the hat, which you don’t want to do, because it’s worth more than what you borrowed from the other person, so not giving up your hat is your incentive to actually pay the money back like you initially claimed you were going to.

In boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, there’s no collateral. None. Relationships end faster than you can say “WTF? o_O”. In fact, they end faster than you can say “What?”. Now you see them, Now you don’t. Poof. Houdini. And like that… s/he’s gone.

A lot of women feel like they have protection against this if they’re married to a dude.

They do not.


The only situation where they do have protection/leverage is when he’s not willing to part with his money and pay alimony. Sometimes, this results in a guy remaining in a marriage he’s not satisfied with. Other times this results in “Cheaper To Keep Her”, which is that dude goes about his life as if he were single, yet never divorces his wife. It’s actually financially better for him to have her sleeping under his roof and eating his food than to break up with her.

One of the reasons this arrangement works so well is that when women get mad at you, what do they do?.. That’s right.. Withhold sex… So while they’re thinking they’re cockblocking you by not giving it up, you’re lampin’ with your goomah in the apartment you’re renting for her with the money you’re saving from not having to pay alimony because your wife never left.

So, other than “Cheaper To Keep Her”, women have ZERO collateral in relationships. They think they do, because the guy has to TELL HER she does in order to get her to lay down. This is where R&B music comes in handy, because you can get the radio to tell your girlfriend things you’re not actually feeling yourself and that wouldn’t sound convincing if you tried to kick that game on your own.

Now, you might think that there isn’t any collateral in the other types of relationships I mentioned, but there actually is. In a REAL relationship, the collateral is the goodwill that you feel towards the other person, based on who they’ve been for you during the time that you’ve known them.

To go back to our hat analogy.. If you lend someone that you have a REAL relationship to $10, you don’t have to ask them for collateral, because you know that their DESIRE is to pay you back what you lent them. They desire that because that’s what you’d desire if you needed to borrow money from them.

Similarly, you DON’T want them to have to give you their hat. You want them to keep their beloved hat and return your relationship to equilibrium by paying you back the amount they borrowed. You’re lending them the money because you want them to be able to buy whatever they need to buy with it. It’s not a business deal. They don’t need collateral and you don’t want it even if they offer it.

You Gonna Eat That?

A lot of people think that what I just said describes their relationship to their BF/GF.

A lot of these people are wrong.

Some relationships, maybe even many or MOST “romantic” relationships (I have no idea of the percentages) are based on REAL relationships. The foundation is two people that want the best for each other and have teamed up to form a unit, whether that unit is formally recognized (marriage, titles) or not.

Other relationships are actually mutually parasitic arrangements, where what’s holding it together isn’t love or the determined formation of a tight unit, but rather that each person has something that the other person wants.

Typically, a gal might be with a guy because he has more money than other guys or because she doesn’t want to consider herself “single”. Typically, a guy might be with a gal because he thinks she’s hawt, or he likes having sex with her, or sporting her on his arm makes him look good to his friends. If two people like this were to meet each other, they might end up “dating”, if he’s rich enough and she’s hawt enough, and there’s never actually any cohesion which binds them together mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. “Physically” is handled, because if it isn’t, dude’s gonna bounce. 😀

To confuse matters even more, people’s positions change while they’re in relationships to each other. People “fall in and out of love” with each other at different times. This causes people to sound really sincere when they’re saying nice things to each other, because they actually feel that way at the time. Instead of accepting this as an indication of how that person feels right now, at this very instant, people take these statements to mean that that person’s going to feel that way forever…

This leads us to Nikki‘s initial question.. Why men rebound so quickly…

The End

For the reasons I’ve outlined, as well as many others that I haven’t, you can’t count that instantaneous, split-second where people go from “We’re in a relationship with each other” to “We’re NOT in a relationship with each other” as the beginning of the “rebound” period.

In fact.. Whomever’s idea it was to break up, they probably came up with the idea a long-ass time ago, and you’re just finding out about it now.

It’s not easy to break up with a girlfriend and have her *NOT* cause a scene. I learned this when I was around 15 and never forgot it! 😀 .. This means that guys are going to ease themselves out of relationships gradually, instead of announcing when they’re no longer feelin’ a chick that they’re done with the relationship.

In effect, this causes guys to begin the rebound process way before the gal even finds out the relationship’s over. Most likely, he’s completely over you BEFORE he tells you anything at all, so while you’re just finding out and going “Why this and that?” and saying “Can’t we talk about this?” and all the other typical conversations that follow breakup announcements, it really doesn’t matter because he’s already emotionally moved on.

This assumes that he was emotionally attached to you AT ALL while he was dating you. Maybe he was. Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he fluctuated between believing he wanted to spend a long time with you and feeling like he wanted to date other women, or just not date YOU in particular.

If he wasn’t attached to you in that way, there’s no rebound period at all. He’s with you and then he’s not, and it doesn’t make a difference to him either way… Is he going to tell YOU any of this? Nope. Guys have to maintain the romantic facade or else lose functionality of their chicks. It’s like how you have to keep gasoline in the tank of a car if you want to be able to go anywhere. As soon as you don’t feel like going anywhere, there’s no point in gassing it up, is there?

Say What?

Let’s say all things are equal, or even that instead of it being a mutual decision to break up, the guy gets completely blindsided and finds out that he no longer has a girlfriend in that split second when you inform him… Unless he had plans on having kids with you, or you were like the most intelligent and cool woman he’s ever met, or he liked living in your house or driving your car, what he hears you telling him is “You don’t have guaranteed sex anymore.”

The first thing he’s going to reacquire will be sex.

The way he’s going to do that is by beginning to date women.

This is why it appears that men get over being on the rebound so quickly. The first thing that’s important is physicality. The second thing that’s important… maybe… is having a girlfriend. If you have a chick to have sex with, but she’s not your girlfriend, that’s called “Friends With Benefits” or “It’s Complicated” (which, nothing is complicated. People just don’t want to admit they’re hooking up with no formal agreement of exclusivity), both of which are as good as, if not better than having one girlfriend, because you’re still “allowed” to get more until you declare an alliance with one and forsake all the others.

Meanwhile, even if the female’s the one that did the breaking-up, she’s typically going to want to feel emotionally attached to a dude BEFORE having sex with him. This is what’s confusing to her when she sees her ex chillin’ with girls and enjoying his life one week after she broke up with him. She’s wondering how he was able to shake off the residual emotion from the relationship that quickly. Maybe he didn’t. Since guys don’t need to feel emotionally attached to gals in order to hook up with them, you might still be his #1 girl as far as he’s concerned, but you’ve abdicated your position. His options are to try to get you back and suffer through a lot of whining and demands, or go out with new girls that are GLAD to spend time with him, FLATTERED that he asked them out and HOPEFUL that he wants to have a relationship with them (or, even just hook up with them, if they’re feelin’ him that way).

Try To See It My Way

In another scenario, the relationship goes sour and people spend time “trying to work it out” with each other. One of the likely occurrences during that slow demise period is that she gets upset at him and starts withholding sex, which causes him to immediately start lining up new girls before the relationship’s even over.

As a side note.. This is typically mentioned by guys that get caught with wedding rings in their pockets, or on their chain around their neck, hanging below the collar of their shirt, so the chick they’re kickin’ it to at the bar can’t see it… Instead of giving up the rap, he says “It’s not working out between us” or “We’re not having sex together anymore” or “We have an agreement” or “We’re staying in the same house because of the kids” or “We can’t afford to live separately, even though we’re not together anymore”, or whatever he has to say to make you feel like you can give it up without becoming a homewrecker.

Even though most times, that’s just a boldfaced LIE and his relationship to his wife is perfectly fine, you can see my point. Lots of guys are trolling for girls between the time when they decide they’re going to exit their relationship in the future and when they actually tell you it’s over.

Some guys never stop picking up girls. You say what you have to say to one of them to lock her down as your best girlfriend and then let her feel like y’all are exclusive while you live the single life you always had and always intended to have.

When They Say “Why?.. Why?”

The last reason I’ll mention is that for some people, monogamy isn’t natural at all. It just doesn’t make any sense. Why would you NOT hook up with a chick that you wanted if she wanted you as well?

Unfortunately, being that the majority of the country is trained to request exclusive relationships, in order to gain access to some people, especially women, you have to lie and claim that you’re down with the program.

If that’s the case, then it’s actually A HARDSHIP, being in a relationship with you and when you break up with him, he returns to nature… Immediately! >:D

All of a sudden, The Game’s back on, and even if he’s rusty from having spent so much time with one woman, he’s going to enjoy the thrill of the hunt.. getting out there and seeing what he can do. Who’s he going to meet today? What will she look like? Will she be interested in him? Will he have to work for it? o_O

All the stuff that he didn’t get to do (or didn’t have to do) while he was with you is now available to him, and the adrenaline can be intoxicating. In fact, not only might he NOT experience a rebound phase, but he might actually be wondering how he had been able to spend so much time with only one gal before you broke up with him.

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  1. Uuugggghhhh dayyym you men folk!!! Thanks for breaking it down. Girls tend to feel like “he musta never really loved me” when they see the ex with another chic right after a break up. I hate being an emotional creature.

    1. You’re welcome, Panama. 🙂

      That’s partially why I wanted to write this post. I hear exactly that sentiment all the time.

      It’s like “How could he be out on a date the next week? :O”

      Basically, as soon as y’all bounce, it’s like “Who’s next? >:D”. I keep telling people that monogamy isn’t natural to begin with, and if dudes were allowed to get away with having multiple girlfriends, a lot of them would do it. It’s not much of a reach for a guy to start dating immediately, if he feels like the relationship’s actually over.

      Pretty much, if it’s not you, it’s gonna be somebody else. There’s no point in not having any girls. 😀

      This is something that women refuse to get. Y’all don’t want to be considered sex objects, but if you’re NOT, you’re going to have a problem in your relationship.

      As relationships end, and people posture and flex against each other, it can become tougher to hook up with your own girlfriend than some random chick that you don’t have any history with. Guys are going to go for the path of least resistance. By the time y’all actually break up, he’s ready to hit the ground runnin’.

      Even if it’s not about hookups, guys will be glad to go out with a chick that looks good, has a pleasant demeanor and doesn’t bring any drama to ruin the evening. Just about ANY chick will be better than his complaining, confrontational girlfriend.

      So what he does immediately after the relationship is over (which, as far as he’s concerned, he may have “left the relationship” a long time ago) doesn’t have anything to do with how he felt about her DURING the relationship, or even how he feels about her now that they’ve declared themselves broken up.

      BTW.. The declaration of the breakup doesn’t mean anything either, just like the declaration of BF/GF status didn’t mean anything. This is why you hear gals saying they hooked up with their ex. No you didn’t. If you hooked up with him, he’s your CURRENT, even if you’d classify your relationship as FWB or “It’s Complicated”.

      That’s another reason why women are so hurt by guys enjoying their lives and hooking up with other women immediately. Sometimes, the “breakup” is supposed to teach him a lesson about how much he really needs and wants her, and, instead, it teaches HER a lesson that she was only in position because he considered her the best woman for him at the time, and because she tried this power play, she opened the door for her competition to slide right in and abscond with “her” man.

      1. well, for womens sake of keeping their dignity and respect a must, dumping them is better regardless. Theres not reason to stay with a man that wants to be with many women, so your position isnt that great to begin with. Ide rather open the door and let the dog out, than have a house full of bitches in it, raiding my damn house with fleas.

      2. This is not true not all men are like this even attractive men are not like this, listen when a man loves you, he would wait to cool down a break up to see if it can be recovered because he loves you but once you move on it’s time to move on (I consider myself a model) and when I love a woman I fight til I know it’s over a then move, women don’t get discouraged thiers men out there that love their one and only aslong as their a great bond

        1. Thanks for the comment, Mzero. 🙂

          I agree with you that not ALL of everyone do any particular thing.

          If a guy loves a gal, he can wait all he wants to see if a breakup can be recovered while he spends time with other women.

          I think you’re correct that women should be encouraged rather than discouraged, but some of them will have to face the fact that when they remove their basic functionality from the situation, a lot of guys (not all of them) will immediately start looking for the new replacement, if they didn’t already have her waiting in the wings or weren’t already actively hooking up with her to begin with.

  2. I think the main reason lies in the way men and women approach relationships.

    Most guys approach relationships like a business if your dating a chick you have certain requirements you expect of her despite how you feel emotionally. If she doesnt meet them she either gets fired (breakup) or you bring in other chicks to subsidize her performance ( i.e adding to your roster or bringing girls of the bench)
    Another thing is how friends respond to breakup. Girls tend to gather a crisis team of friends and proceed to talk all sorts of trash about the ex ( while consuming mass quantaties of ice cream and chocolate). This is counter productive because there is no moving on from the ex, he is still getting shine even if its negative. Guys on the other hand try to get their friend laid asap following a breakup because as the saying goes aint no p***** like new p*****.:)

    1. Good points, C Jay.

      Women are selected for attractiveness and functionality, not some supernatural connection that can’t be explained.

      Meanwhile, women feel like they “just fall in love” with guys and they project that same behavior onto us. It doesn’t work that way.

      Part of what you’re saying is what I was trying to explain in the post. By the time an actual breakup occurs, or even A CONVERSATION ABOUT BREAKING UP, the chick’s already been deficient in her duties for quite a while.

      Not that “Basketball Wives” is a good example of ANYTHING, but the *ONE* chick that’s actually married to a basketball player on the show is on her way towards divorce. They didn’t talk about why that was for the first several episodes of season 02 (I hadn’t heard of the series when season 01 was on, so I have no idea how much they explained).

      Eventually, the information surfaced that the husband had cheated on the wife lots of times. She found out / he admitted it, and she stopped giving it up. This is exactly THE WRONG direction for women to go… If your man’s already hooking up with chicks, the only way to get past that is to BECOME his sexual interest, not WITHHOLD SEX FROM HIM. Whatever props you MIGHT have had while he was doing his thing go directly out the window, because you’ve rendered yourself useless to him. There’s no point in him *NOT* hooking up with other chicks if you swear on a stack of Bibles that you’re not going to give him any.

      So this chick on the show froze her husband out, causing him to just plain not be around her at all, because there’s no reason for him to be around her. After all that, she gets in a conversation with him, talking about “we”…. WE need to figure this out. WE need to decide this and that. I was amazed that she didn’t realize that there IS no WE if she’s not hooking up with him.

      Dude was just ready for her to go get a lawyer and dissolve the marriage. What’s the point in dealing with her shenanigans? Regular dudes don’t have to put up with that, much less, rich basketball players with groupies throwing themselves at these dudes left and right.

      So, while this chick is all emotional about her marriage ending, the dude is like “meh”, because he’s been over it for a long time. Even though it’s his fault for catalyzing the situation, her response took her out of the running for his best girlfriend.

      ANY girl is better than a girl that definitely won’t hook up with you! o_O There shouldn’t be any surprise when dudes are seen the next week or even the day after the breakup, kickin’ it with some “new” chick. Most times, she’s not “new” at all. It’s just that the women FIND OUT about her right after the “breakup”, which is in quotes because dude probably broke up with her a long time ago and just didn’t tell her.

      The ‘friends’ part that you mentioned is critical, too.

      When a guy breaks up, his boys try to hook him up with girls immediately, if not hookers.

      All a guy might get in the way of sympathy is “Damn. Too bad. She had a nice ass. I know you were enjoying that.” and then the commercials end and the football game comes back on and the entire thing is forgotten. It’s like “Too bad, dude. Get another girl. You need some help with that?”.

      Meanwhile, women get all kinds of commiseration and sympathy and affirmations that just drag them down:

      He didn’t deserve you.
      You’re lucky you didn’t waste more time with him.
      He’ll always be a dog.
      You don’t need a man.
      Pass the ice cream.

      Just like you said, a) it’s not progressive, and doesn’t help her to get out of the hole she’s currently in, and b) the dude stays in the limelight, because all this commiseration keeps reminding her of him.

      Meanwhile, he’s at the strip club, currently not remembering that she ever existed.

      1. Hi Bill,

        Well you can’t blame her for not sleeping with him if he cheat on her some people have AIDS. So she may not want to catch anything or she may not be that into him anymore. Some people view marriage as a business deal where they get pay-offs from divorce. sad but true.

        1. Hey Jade. 🙂

          I certainly wasn’t low-rating her for not hooking up with a guy that admitted he’s been having extramarital sex.

          I agree with you 100% that she would be taking her chances, as far as health/death risks, if she were to jump in the cesspool with him.

          I also agree with you that the fact that he “cheated” on her could cause her to lose sexual and/or romantic interest in him.

          What I’m saying is that when women do that, they need to realize that they’re on their way out the ******* door. 😀 It’s not a power move. Stopping hooking up with him is making her LESS appealing to him, not MORE appealing. If she’s not down with the program, and he’s already demonstrated that he can and HAS gotten other women recently, what’s his incentive to keep her as his #1 chick, other than “Cheaper To Keep Her”? \o/

      2. I wonder who introduced the idea that a sex embargo solved anything. Maybe its because i grew up and still live in highly populated urban enviroment but it seema to me that the idea just doesnt work in terms of logistics. I mean its not very hard to understand no sex from you doesnt mean no sex at all, so you holding out while still claiming to be the girl friend just means that we are gonna go get it some where else. Just like the united states has oil reserves in case there is trouble in the world we have girls deep down in our contacts just in case you impose a sex embargo.

        1. That’s exactly my point. All she can do is stop HERSELF from having sex.

          Especially considering that the reason she’s mad at him to begin with is that he was ALREADY hooking up with other women, she should know that that’s exactly what he’s going to do if she closes up shop.

          Unfortunately, part of the draw of “relationships” is that people feel like they have control over other people… which they most certainly do not. If she didn’t have control to stop him from “cheating” when she WAS hooking up with him, she should know she’s going to have even LESS control after she kicks the embargo off.

          The weird part in watching the exchanges between them is that she kept saying “we” this and that, like “We need to figure this out”. Figure what out? \o/ .. Dude likes sex. If he’s not getting it from his wife, he’s going to get it from someone else. If she doesn’t like that, she can bounce. Hit the lawyer’s office and file for divorce.

          It was weird, watching her acting belligerent about not giving it up, on the one hand, and then crying that her relationship was ending, on the other hand. They asked her when the last time was that she hooked up with her husband, and she named a ******* MONTH! 😀 hahaha Not even a DAY! She named a MONTH, and then the other chicks started laughing their asses off and telling her she needs to dust off the cobwebs.

          Having said all that… Dude completely messed up, IMO.

          I don’t believe in “cheating”, personally, because everybody has free will and does what they want to do, especially grown-ass men and grown-ass women.

          I DO believe in people living up to their word. By cheating after swearing on a stack of Bibles that he was going to be faithful to his wife, he broke his word to her, and depending on whether he meant it or not when he married her, he broke his word to himself. Both of those suck.

          So I totally understand WHY she’s upset at him. I understand WHY she doesn’t want to have sex with him. I don’t understand why SHE doesn’t understand that if she’s decided to make herself sexually useless, she’s getting ejected.

  3. Hi Bill. I recently started reading your blog and really appreciate your perspective. Basically what I’m reading here, the backbone of rebounding is sex. Well my ex (36) got bored with me (34) and got back with his ex, and probably a long-ass time ago before telling me as you point out. We had our issues but sex was not one of them and I like to think I was very good to him. He said he didn’t think I loved him but he was with me over 2 years! (Do a post on why men don’t communicate).

    While I never let on how much this crushed me, and I loved him more than even I knew at the time, I blocked him out of my life because it hurt too much see him on Facebook or have him ignore my calls (nothing to call for anyway). So if all of a sudden he declares his love for her, which one of us were the rebound? She isn’t some emotional/sexual band-aid, he says he really loves her, but he once loved me too. Love sucks.

    1. OOH!!! “Why Men Don’t Communicate”??? hahaha Coming right up! 😀

      That’s a great topic, Mainea! 🙂 haha Thank you! 😀

      It’s always a good “Chicken or The Egg” question as far as which person is the rebound… To me, someone is a rebound when they’re selected during a period where the other person is out of his or her right mind.

      So, for instance, if someone has a girlfriend for 3 years and then she breaks up with him, he might hook up with a chick just to have sex, or to get back at his girlfriend by screwing a different gal, or he might be the type that can’t ever stand being out of a relationship, or he actually misses companionship or whatever, and he gets into something for the wrong reasons.. I mean, they’re the right short-term reasons, but the wrong long-term reasons, and they’re usually not mentioned to the person they’re rebounding with.

      I think, in your situation, you have to look at the timeline. If he was with you for two years, that’s way longer than it takes to finally get rid of a rebound, so I would consider that a real 2-year relationship. That doesn’t mean that his relationship to her didn’t continue that entire time, or re-start before he told you he was going to get back with her.

      Ultimately, it’s like you said.. “Love Sucks!” and there are No Guarantees In The Western World.

      In a situation like yours, your best bet is to attempt to achieve closure with him. If you want to know WHY he left you and/or why he got back with her in particular, ask him. If he’s actually a friend of yours, he’ll attempt to give you that closure by responding authentically. If he isn’t, he won’t respond to you at all.

      On top of all that, sometimes people never love anybody at all, ever.. and sometimes, people love more than one person simultaneously… It’s people’s rigid adherence to the fantasy of romance that television and the movies sell us all that make situations like this so confusing. You don’t understand how someone could do what they did, but they just don’t see life the same way you do. \o/

      Good Luck! 😀

  4. Hey i came across your blog and have a problem that maybe you could help me out abit. So this guy whos 22 i dated for 4 months broke up with me right out of the blue we got along fairly well and what not so it caught me off guard. So i decided to go no contact since he didnt want to get back together so a couple months later he messaged me saying he missed me and wanted me back but he had been seeing someone and it didnt work out btw them so i told him off thinking he wanted me back since that other relationship didnt work. I thought that was the end to hearing from this guy. However now its been 7 months since ive seen him and talk and he contacted me again saying he really wanted me back. why would a guy 7 months after a break up want to get back with a dumpee. He has hooked up with 3 other girls since we broke up and none of them have worked for him as gf. so its not like the guy is not getting any lol so im just wondering why would he want to come back to me if he isnt having troubles getting with girls. And could i trust this guy to not cheat on me or leave me cause he left me before. thanks for trading this.

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