After the rebound? Did he ever care about me?

by Jill
(Seattle, WA)

Hi. I met a man 2 months after his girlfriend dumped him unexpectedly. They had been together for over a year and lived together for 8 months. She discovered before she moved in with him that he was not yet divorced, just separated. She resented this and it was ultimately the reason for her deciding to end their relationship. I knew she had bought a dress, assuming they were going to get married, but I didn't know until recently (and not from him) is that he had bought a ring and was planning to propose to her. From what he told me, he had been in love with his girlfriend, but never his wife of 10 years who he only married for non-romantic reasons.

I dated this man for 3 months; it seemed a very intense, fun, amazingly connected relationship from the start. I was concerned about being a rebound in the beginning, but he assured me it was over and while he may "still love her" he was no longer "in love with her". He met her for a closure conversation just after we started dating and told her that he had met someone else (me) so needed her to move on with her life. Everything was great for the first two months, him telling me that he loved me within the first few weeks, but then things changed. She was getting in touch with him more often, expressing her anger, hurt, and unresolved feelings. I found pictures displayed in his house that were never there before. I eventually found texts between them. We broke up briefly over both of these incidents. He assured me that he loved me, not her, and that while she was confused about making the right decision in ending the relationship, he said he was committed to our relationship and making it work, and said that he told her this. Things were great for another week until he admitted to me that he needed to be alone and work through unresolved feelings. We broke up. I didn't hear from him for a month, and only as a response to my request for my things back and to talk. Over dinner he told me that his feelings for me were real, that he still loved me and I'm an important part of his life, but never dealt with his feelings from the breakup and these were competing with his feelings for me. He is in therapy now and said he is not dating anyone, working on himself and not looking to get back together with either of us. Later in the conversation he admitted he has seen her again, but is not back together with her, however they had been intimate within 2 weeks after we ended. He maintained that he "loves her but is not in love with her", just like he had said before. I ended it with a very final text and am trying to move on. It was a very short relationship but still really hurts.

I have so many questions going through my head...Will it work out between them or do they have too much themselves to overcome, including their unresolved past issues? Was he lying the entire time about his feelings towards me? Does he still think about me, whether he's with her or alone? Is he doing alone time or do you think they are working on their relationship? Did she only come back because of me being with him? Could this have worked if she didn't come back? Will he come back to me and if so, what should I do then? I am trying to move on but I don't understand how a person could spend every day and night with someone for 3 months, then drop that person instantly. Who does this?!? My friends think he's a jerk and have no patience for his behavior; my head and ego agree, but my heart is broken. How did I let myself fall for this guy?!?

My Advice:

Hey Jill,

I hope you've been able to work through your feelings about this relationship. I understand how you were feeling when you wrote this. And I hope that you have given yourself the closure you need.

As for your ex there is no real way to tell what he felt if anything. This is a man who was never in love with his wife of 10 years, but quickly falls in love with 2 girlfriends?

Whether he loved you or not isn't the real issue. He seems very confused and you allowed yourself to become confused with him. And so the real question is... why would you allow yourself to do that?

Why would you be willing to endure the back and forth of this relationship with a man you knew for such a short time. What was going on for you in your life that made this OK?

Those are the only questions worth asking. Because they will help you avoid situations like this again. You deserve more than what he was willing to give you, so focus your attention on finding someone who is available to love you for the long-term.

I hope this helps.


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