Let’s get familiar with the term rebound. I think Urban Dictionary (urbandictionary.com) has 2 excellent definitions:
1) hooking up with someone shortly after being dumped (by someone else) so that you still feel wanted.
2) the kind of relationship that’s simply happening in order to get over one that recently ended
Ok so in a rebound situation, one (or both) parties has recently gotten out of a relationship and wants to forget/prove something/get revenge/move on, and the idea is that sex with someone new will accomplish this. Sometimes, this can work spectacularly. There are those elusive magical moments where you accomplish this perfectly, finding someone just cute and charming enough to distract your mind and body and give you the gift of at least one night of enough pleasure to boost you towards what’s next. And that is truly a lovely situation.
But. Oh, the but. The timing, more than anything, of this encounter has got to be right. Because sometimes, we get hurt and its more than just a slap in the face or a bump in the road. Sometimes we get caught off guard, blind sided, or really just chewed up and spit out. And I think that if you are really feeling the sting, and trying to figure out what went wrong and what you want, that this is a solitary process. Adding another person to the equation is like trying to find a miracle cure. It’s confusing, because if you are hurt then what do you want this person to say? Should they apologize for that other asshole, fall for you immediately, make promises, tell you you’re pretty, or just leave before you wake up? When you are trying to get your head right, you need to take deep breaths and think clearly. This is hard to do during sex, and during the after sex shower and during the time after you’ve shut the door behind that person when you are wondering why you did that and if they wanna come back and if they know how confused and silly you are.
There is this quote, another Julie Klausner quote (you can read my previous post about her brilliance here) that has been running in my mind. Because I think girls feel extreme pressure to be able to have uncommitted sex and random encounters even if thats not what we always want. As if being modern means being able to serial date and hook up and remember that you shouldn’t care cause that makes you clingy and lame and provincial. She says it better, from the same brilliant memoir-ish book I Don’t Care About Your Band:
“You don’t stop trying to connect. You don’t close up like a clam, even when it gets hard to tell the difference between who you are and how you are treated. You keep trying, in the nature of optimism; in the nature of believing in humanity, like Carole King told our moms to do. And when you cry about things not working out, you’re crying not only because a guy you slept with now doesn’t seem to care you’ve alive for some reason that’s beyond everything you’ve been told by teachers, parents, friends, and everybody else who knows how awesome you are-who helped make you that way-but also, because you’re ashamed of yourself for crying.” (JK)
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you are allowed to want whatever you want, and it’s allowed to change, and you are allowed to take risks or not. But if you are trying to figure it out, or if you took a risk and it didn’t pay off, I think its better to just tap out and deal with the bruises. The rebound can end up adding to the confusion, or digging the hole deeper. No one is going to be able to articulate what you want, so before you start making demands or giving shit away you better damn well know, in your own head, what you are trying to accomplish. Otherwise sex is dangerous and scary instead of freeing and fun and passionate and optimistic.