FALLING in love to someone who is still recovering from his/her past failed relationship is a dangerous thing, well, at least for me.

Red flags and caution sweep your mind, of course, as you contemplate the possibility of his or her emotional baggage from the previous relationship and your beautiful picture perfect connection becomes clouded.

You become fearful of being called “the rebound”.

However, as much as logic tells you to proceed with caution, your heart takes over.

My ex-boyfriend and I became friends because we were classmates in some of our subjects in first year college, he was from the Creative Writing course, and I was from Mass Communication department.

As a friend, I witnessed how he got busted by the girl she was courting during the first few months of school and that he said he also had a crush with one of his classmates in his course.

Fast forward to our second year in college, he confessed (to me) that he had feelings for me. The feeling was mutual.

He courted me for a few months, and I said yes. We had a relationship for three years.

However, I, later on, realized that he had made me become his — dum duh duhdum cue the horror music — rebound.

It happened because I chose to live in denial for three years because I refused to acknowledge the fact that I was just a rebound.

I used to be there to offer a listening ear and allowed him to talk about the girl who dumped him and his crushes whom he never had a chance to be with (as lovers). What’s worse is he insisted that he was truly over the situation despite him talking about them.

I also found myself dwelling on each little thing he says about them and would start comparing myself to them. They were much prettier and smarter girls than I am.

I also felt that my ex-boyfriend was giving me the cold shoulder or acting off in the middle of our relationship. I started questioning if he did regret being with me, or maybe he was contemplating ending our affair.

As my situation began to sink in, I found myself seeking my friends for help and started hitting the internet for validation if how many celebrity “rebounds” turned into long lasting relationships.

After three years – yes, three years of martyrdom – we broke up during our semestral break back in college, before we graduated from the university.

I had the guts of breaking up with him, and that I don’t know if the guy was sincere about trying toearn me back, maybe it was just for the sake of not being lonely and that nobody might love him back for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, I had more important things to deal with my life and that the message didn’t make a difference between the ex and me after getting rid of the guy – it was time to face the fact that I had to learn how to love myself again.

I wallowed for a few weeks in the company of my thesis, some of my college friends, long distance lakwatsa, and some movie marathon. After a few months of wretchedness, it was time to pack up and make the massive move across the ocean.

Break-ups are horrendously painful, but it definitely serves a great cosmic purpose as you may look back and learn something once it does not hurt anymore. However, a month isn’t enough time for the pain to go away.

But this is not a sad story, however, as it is merely a cautionary tale. Rebounds are destined to hurt the person you’re using and succeed only in prolonging the pain of your break-up.

I understand the “you should have known better” feeling. That would definitely stack the deck against you in your moving on process.

My advice is that after being brokenhearted, keep your good friends close, love yourself more, and using someone as your ‘panakipbutas’ will never make you feel good in the long run. (Alexandra Lachica)