Rebound! No, I’m not referring to the inflated number on Ben Wallace’s stat line, but rather that tricky follow up relationship to the one you recently ended. Rebounds can be great, and they can also be awful; it all depends on how you go about them. So as usual, I’m here to shepherd you safely through the dawn of a new day with the following personally tested tips…

1. No sob stories! It never ceases to amaze me how despite most men’s innate better judgment, they always think that discussing their ex with the rebound girl will somehow be a good idea. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but if you’re from this school of thought you probably also spend at least $365 a year on Lotto tickets. Sure, she’ll really get to know you—and know she wants little do with you at the same time. Would you want to sit down and listen to some girl on the rebound go on and on about her ex boyfriend? No! It didn’t work for Mikey from Swingers (Jon Favreau) in the trailer scene and it won’t work for you—so avoid discussing your past relationship! Failure to exercise self-restraint in this regard could leave you feeling bad about not one, but two failed flings.

2. Tell it like it is. Most men aren't forthcoming about being on the rebound because they fear rejection. Trouble with not doing so however, is that most women exercise most of their caution in the trust arena, and once they get a sense that you’ve failed to be forthcoming or have been disingenuous with respect to your circumstances—you’re done. So rather than pretend you’re boarding the flight with nothing but carry-on, let RG (Rebound Girl) know there’s some checked baggage. Face it, you’re sorta damaged goods, but if you let her know exactly what she’s getting into (like: “I just got out of a relationship”) then the choice to be involved is hers, and you can’t be blamed if you get back with the ex or aren’t ready to settle in with her down the line. Not to mention some women actually enjoy the idea that you may not be after something serious!

3. Play the field. I recommend approaching the rebound in pluralistic fashion for a few reasons. Chances are that RG is among the first women that you got any play from since your last relationship. To ensure that your affinity for her has something to do with her and not just her timing, stack her against other options. This is a good way to “diversify your portfolio” (for you finance guys), keep things light with everyone (for you cold feet guys), and not set yourself up for serial monogamy (for you OCD guys).

4. Be realistic. Rebounds generally stem from an emotion that isn’t the foundation or impetus for a healthy relationship. They are a form of escapism or anesthesia from whatever your past relationship left behind. Sometimes they serve as a validating, self-esteem building reminder that someone out there doesn’t seem to think you are as bad as your ex makes you out to be (The “Stuart Smalley”). Sometimes they are weapons designed to exact spite and alleviate anger over feeling wronged by your ex (The “Eat Your Heart Out”). And other times they are simply blissful indications of a new chapter in your life (The “2nd Coming”). Notice though, that regardless of the reasoning, in all three instances the rebound is about you, and no healthy relationship is about just one person.

So before you begin to think there’s a real future with RG, ask yourself how much of that feeling is completely disassociated from your past relationship. In the early going, the honest answer to that question is usually “not much", but with time, you will filter your options, and perhaps even find happiness again … in a rebound girl.

Think of a version of the real life “Van Wilder” and you have found Oliver “Ali” Nejad. With a broad and rich knowledge of everything from cars, computers, and hi-tech gadgetry; to dating, collegiate culture, and sports; to music, movies, and poker, Nejad is the ultimate envelope pushing “man’s man.”

Recognized for his success in the poker world, Nejad has made a career out of more than just the gamble of a good hand. The multi-talented Nejad has been coined “The King of Poker Commentary,” having hosted or served as the play by play man and color commentator on a variety of shows including: FSN’s Poker Superstars II, NBC’s National Heads-up Poker Championship, the internationally seen Ultimate Poker Challenge, NBC’s Poker After Dark (on in 13 countries), and ESPN’s Pro-Am Poker Equalizer. Nejad also contributes as a Men’s Lifestyle expert to a slew of shows and sites including TheUltimateTailgater.com and FOX’s Red Eye. For more info: www.olivernejad.com

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