Home Breakup Girl To The Rescue! - Super-Advice from Lynn Harris




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July 13, 1998 e-mail e-mail to a friend in need



In Webster's dictionary, "rebound" -- as in "stocks rebounded quickly from Monday's decline" -- means recovery, the connotation being that you, or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has already made a healthy comeback. But in Breakup Girl's dictionary, as you no doubt know, "rebound" -- as in "Steve rebounded quickly from Monday's breakup" -- is a means to that end (i.e. Steve has a date/hookup on, say, Tuesday). The rebound doesn't mean you're "over it;" it's part of the process. In the face of loneliness, rejection, and free time, rebounds are your basic fix. They scratch the itch, make us feel wanted and noticed; they remind us that we've still got it going on. They are Chicken Soup for the Loins.

At least that's the idea.

Now, Breakup Girl is not going to get all preachy about whether the act of rebounding is Good or Evil. That all depends. I would, however, like to point out that the context of relationships, the word "rebound" is most frequently used in sentences such as, "Well, it was supposed to be just a rebound, but..." or "S/he didn't tell me s/he was on the rebound...!"

In other words: it's just never that simple.

But that's exactly what Breakup Girl is here for. A few essential points:

1. First, let me say that one of the most common complications is the lopsided rebound, where the parties' intentions do not match one another (e.g. he's dusting off his mack, while she's dusting off her hope chest). For this reason, let me send out a plea to the makers of the indispensable Lovegety: You have a setting for "KARAOKE;" why not "REBOUND?" This feature would match up ... like-minded people for We Both Know What This is liaisons. It's honest, efficient, leaving little room for misunderstanding and hurt feelings. Just a thought.

2. Rebounders: be circumspect. As an advice-seeker named Taylor-Belle recently wrote: "Friends have told me that the best way to forget a guy is in the arms of another guy. Well, I have tried that. And no one else even compares to [my ex]." Right. Advocates of safe(r) sex warn you that when you sleep with someone, you "sleep with everyone else they've slept with." Well. Breakup Girl would also like to remind you that when you sleep with someone, you "sleep with everyone else you've slept with." Got it? Keep that in mind.

3. To all you third parties who are huffy because your ex has started seeing someone else in no time flat (like the advice-seeker named Greg, who recently wrote: "I'm not sure she's worth chasing if it was that easy to get over me"): hey listen, seeing someone else has nothing to do with whether s/he is over you. Consider that you are the odd point on the rebound triangle or that your are in, if you will, a threebound situation. It may be not so much their way of getting over you as their way of getting through the breakup. Which isn't that pretty, either, but still.

4. If applicable, complete the following worksheet to make sure that you're in the rebound situation that's right for you (it's written for the ladies, mainly to avoid cumbersome gender-neutral pronoun usage; except for the "goatee" part, it pretty much swings both ways.):

1. The situation should fit one of the following categories:

a) "I'm only in town for one night." A fling with someone so inappropriate that he unleashes your wildest passions while remaining harmless and inconsequential (e.g. the mysterious raven-haired stable hand, the Basque terrorist in the U.S. for a 2-day pavement kayaking tournament, Richard Simmons)

b) "I Came in At 2 With a 10 and Woke Up at 10 With a 2" A shameful, regrettable episode that will cause you to shudder/shower frequently for weeks to come

c) "Uh, hi."Choose one:

- the guy in the next cube
- the guy in the next room
- your ex-boyfriend's best friend
- your best friend's ex-boyfriend
- your little sister's boyfriend
- your ex-boyfriend's stepfather

2. He must be someone you

a) just met

b) always knew you'd hook up with

c) swore you'd never hook up with

3. You met him

a) at your high school or college reunion

b) at a bar in another state

c) at a Monster Truck show

d) while haggling over the house phone bill

e) at your ex's apartment

4. He must be someone

a) your mother would love, but he puts you to sleep

b) you love, but he would put your mother
    on the phone to the police.

Checklist to assist you with #4

Select choice (a) if he has:

­ a calendar or watch
­ a steady job
­ a car*
­ a clean shave
­ library card
­ utensils

Select choice (b) if he has:

­ a goatee
­ a goat
­ a 2­week old ink stamp
   on the back of his hand
­ a tattoo
­ a tattoo parlor

*but if he lives in a van,check (b).

5. For the episode, you must wear

a) something your ex­boyfriend gave you

b) something your ex-boyfriend wants back

c) patent leather pumps, official footwear of the
    sunrise Walk of Shame

5. And finally, your letters.



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