“How Should I Handle My Ex Boyfriend Who Is In A Rebound Relationship?”

(Go back to part 5 here.)

Sujee writes in and says,

“Hi Clay and Mika,

This is a continuation to my question during the last RIG session. Thanks for answering my question last time.


Two days after I got the email from D saying,

‘Hello, Sujee, now that I am in a committed monogamous relationship, I ask that you do not reach out to me nor send inappropriate messages


Which I knew was not D’s language. D unblocked me on whatsapp and texted me.

He said he wasn’t able to sleep all night after we met. He also said that email was drafted by his rebound and she made him send it. He said that she has a strong personality. Also, she is the one who made him blocked me everywhere.

Since then, I’ve kept my contacts to a minimum responding only when he messages me, since I’m still digesting everything.

This week he texted me his conversations with his therapist about our relationship. She apparently told him that if we had to work things out, it has to be a complete restart and not a “resume” of our previous relationship. I asked him how he feels about it and he said that he still has mixed feelings.

I asked him to meet today (Sunday, 12th Aug), for coffee or something to talk in person. He said that he thought about that too, but not sure if he/we will be able to control ourselves.

I feel there’s attraction is still there and still very strong and it’s a good sign that he’s talking with his therapist about us.

Our common friend called me just now. He said D brought his girlfriend to the business breakfast today and they looked very happy and looked a little like a little happy couple. They even kissed at breakfast. He was trying to help me to let go and move on. D asked him not to mention to me that he had brought his girlfriend to breakfast it seems. She has been so controlling and demanding. How could he tolerate it? Yesterday D messaged me saying that he has mixed feelings about me and that his therapist said if we had to work things out, it would have to be a restart or resume. I am not able to understand, but I have a pit in my stomach that is making me nauseous.

How do I handle this situation when we meet?

Do I inspire him to hang out more as just friends and not worry about crossing the line?


It is pretty clear from what you’ve written here that your ex boyfriend is still very much attracted to you. He’s very much interested in seeing where things go with you.

It’s just that your ex boyfriend has kind of painted himself into a corner because he is in a rebound relationship with somebody else who is very controlling, jealous and who he probably doesn’t trust. She obviously doesn’t trust him and he’s probably not very crazy about her either.

So he’s not very happy in his relationship. It might look good because people always try to look good whenever they’re out at a business breakfast or on Facebook.

Nobody posts negative photos unless they’re trying to be ironic on social media like, “Hey, look how much of a train wreck my life is. Here’s whatever’s going on.”

Instead, people try to present the best image of themselves that they possibly can because everybody likes to look good.

So when your ex boyfriend went to this business breakfast thing with his new girlfriend, they obviously tried to look good. They obviously tried to make it look like they had it together and all of that stuff.

That is not necessarily a reflection of reality and is not necessarily how things actually are in real life.

This is evidenced by the fact that he’s talking to his therapist about you and the therapist says that if the two of you were to work things out, it has to be a reset, not a resume.

The fact that he wants to get together with you and he’s afraid that he will not be able to control himself around you shows that there is a lot of attraction for you still there within him in terms of the two of you getting together for a coffee.

August 12 has obviously that has passed already, but I hope that meeting with your ex boyfriend went well.

I were to give you advice for meeting up with your ex boyfriend in the future, this is what I would tell you.

Focus on making sure the emotional connection between you and your ex boyfriend is strong.

The attraction is already there.

You don’t have to worry about making him feel attracted towards you.

You don’t have to worry about flirting with him.

You don’t have to worry about turning him on.

You don’t have to worry about trying to avoid being put in the friend zone or anything like that.

He already wants you on an attraction level. You do not have to worry about that.

What you DO have to worry about is the quality of the emotional connection between you and your ex boyfriend.

If the quality of the emotional connection between you is very strong, then he will want to move mountains in order to be with you.

He already finds you attractive. The only thing keeping the two of you apart is the emotional connection.

Now, when you think about this, it makes complete sense because you know he is in a relationship with somebody who he probably doesn’t have a great emotional connection with.

His rebound relationship is probably very strange, with a lot of jealously and controlling behavior— but if you show up and the two of you can have a great, strong emotional connection where you can connect and talk about things for hours and hours on end, feeling and understanding each other on an emotional level— then it’s pretty clear which one of you he would rather be in a relationship with.

Obviously you, because being in a relationship with you feels good on an emotional level.

Being in a relationship with his current girlfriend does not feel good on an emotional level because of her controlling behavior, insecurity, jealousy and all of that other stuff.

Focus on the emotional connection between you and your ex boyfriend.

Don’t worry about the attraction.

Just continue to build that emotional connection notch by notch.

Continue to check in with him, continue to see where he’s at. Continue to ask him questions like:

“What was that like for you?”

“How did that make you feel?”

“Tell me more about that.”

And continue to bring things down to the emotional level.

Use those relate-reward cycles like we talk about here.

If you want to throw an occasional flirt with your ex boyfriend in there, there’s nothing wrong with that, but just remember, you’re trying to build an emotional connection.

Your goal is not to be physically attractive.

Your goal is not to arouse him.

Your goal is not to avoid being put in the friend zone.

Those are things that are already taken care of.

Those are not things that you need to concern yourself with.

What you do need to concern yourself with is the emotional connection. There’s nothing wrong with flirting with your ex. It’s great and is fun, but attraction is not a problem that you have to worry about in this situation.

I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here.

Continue to part 7 here.

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