“Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com.”
If you are a fan of the HBO show “Insecure” then you probably have some opinion of the character Tasha. In season 1, the lead character Issa breaks up with her long-term boyfriend Lawrence who has been unemployed for some time and lacks confidence in his career direction. Prior to the breakup, Issa has grown impatient with Lawrence who claims he is “working on his business plan”. As Issa’s impatience grows and friction builds in the doomed relationship, Lawrence seeks comfort from a brewing friendship with his bank teller Tasha. After the inevitable breakup of Issa and Lawrence, Tasha is there to console Lawrence and “heal his heart” in hopes of becoming his new girlfriend. Unfortunately, Tasha’s plan fails and she is nothing but a rebound chick. Tasha is our perfect example of how trying to heal a man’s broken heart will land you in the rebound chick zone.
Here’s why it won’t work:
The Thirst Factor (you can’t heal his heart)
You are attempting to play the supportive female friend role. You will help rebuild his confidence in ways his girlfriend didn’t. You will assure him that he is valuable, handsome, capable of success, a great catch and etc etc. In your mind, you are doing exactly what his ex-girlfriend wasn’t doing, and filling this void will not only heal his heart, it will make him love and appreciate you. But what you fail to realize is the underline thirst behind all this. Men like the chase. There is zero chase in this forming relationship. While he may genuinely appreciate you for helping him regain his post break-up confidence he will eventually grow bored of this relationship. Eventually your confidence boosting pep talks and supportive listening ear will start to look like straight thirst. And if a part of your healing mechanisms involved sleeping with him, then girl bye! It’s really not gonna happen. Simply put, you are too easy. There’s no challenge. And now that his confidence is back, he will move on to someone he perceives as better (more challenging to acquire). How Assertive Can Women Be in Dating?
He’s Exposed his Vulnerability (you can’t heal his heart)
Men do not like to expose their vulnerability. When you assumed the supportive female friend role during his weak moment, he allowed you to see him vulnerable. You may have seen him cry. You heard him confess his lack of confidence, and etc etc. While it may have seemed like you were getting close to him and gaining his trust, once his confidence is restored he won’t focus on the built trust. He will focus on the fact that you have seen him in his weakest most vulnerable state. He won’t like that and it may make it difficult for him to be with you because of that. He wants a fresh start with a woman who sees the new confident him, a woman who hasn’t seen him crying over his ex.
The Ex Connection (you can’t heal his heart)
You can’t make this man your boyfriend because he is still hung up on his ex. As you console him and lend that listening ear, he is still thinking about and maybe even seeing his ex. Be careful not to agree with him too much when he talks about his ex because you might offend him. While he’s allowed to lament and verbally bash the ex, you are not allowed to join in. Remember he still loves her. If you bash her, even if it’s just a co-sign on the bashing he’s already doing, he may get defensive. Ultimately, even if he doesn’t go back to her, what he needs is a fresh start. If you build your relationship with him based on this breakup event it can never be any more than that. Everything you do will be a comparison or contrast to his ex. It’s the opposite of a fresh start.
The Need for a Relationship Break (you can’t heal his heart)
He needs a relationship break. He needs to be single for a while, and take some alone time to process the break up. On his own he needs to figure out what went wrong in the last relationship. How did he contribute to the problem? How has the last relationship changed him? What is he now looking for in the next relationship? He may even just want to date a bit for casual fun without the responsibility and pressure of a full on relationship. Give the man some space. Allow him a chance to breath. Don’t be Tasha.
If you don’t acknowledge all of this, and you are intent on “healing his broken heart”, more times than not you will end up being the rebound chick. You will spend weeks or months devoted to him and ultimately you’ll be angry. You’ll feel unappreciated. You’ll feel like you gave and gave but never received what you hoped to receive. Are you fixing the right person? How investing too much in significant others can be detrimental to your own growth. But be honest with yourself. Were you giving of your time, patience and listening ear because you genuinely wanted to be supportive and helpful? Or deep down were you giving all of this because you wanted something in exchange (that something being a relationship)? If it’s the latter, then you can’t really be mad. You weren’t promised anything, and this man didn’t ask you to be his support system. You chose to do all that you did. In general, in life, do not give with the expectation of receiving.
When Tasha finally realizes she was a rebound chick she curses Lawrence out. She says he thinks he’s a good guy but he really is the worst. She says he led her on. I totally disagree. Lawrence confessed when he rebounded and slept with his ex. Lawrence said verbally and non-verbally several things to indicate he wasn’t ready to jump into a new relationship. Tasha didn’t listen to his verbal or non-verbal clues because Tasha desperately wanted to believe Lawrence was going to be her boyfriend soon. Furthermore, many men (not all) will take whatever we as women are willing to give. If you are willing to give a listening ear, build his confidence, sleep with him, and etc etc….then a man will take it. Tasha can’t be mad at Lawrence for taking what she put out there, without at least evaluating her own actions and why she was so willing to give so much so fast. What’s up with Steve Harvey’s 90 Day Rule?
Hope this was helpful. And if you’ve been the rebound chick in the past, that’s okay. Live, learn and do better! I can’t wait to read your thoughts on this topic!