I’m posting partially just to vent, but also to hopefully get some emotional counsel. My girlfriend of 3 years and I broke up about 3 weeks ago. It wasn’t a bad breakup; we had drifted steadily into the “friend zone” over about six months, and the breakup was mainly just deciding not to call ourselves a couple anymore, since we mainly just hang out platonically. Last week at a Superbowl party, I noticed my ex kinda flirting with one of my friends, Steven (they had just met). To my surprise, it didn’t really bug me. See, Steven’s the guy who’ll talk to any girl in the bar (he’s very social and friendly). Also, I realized she was fresh from a relationship, and trying to get back out there. Steven is also seven years younger than her (he’s 22), so that helped. Today, though, my ex messaged me to tell me that Steven asked her to come hang out with him tonight. She said it’s not an official date, but that he’s cute, and she’s “rebounding,” and it’d be nice to have someone to flirt with (TOO MUCH INFO). I feel crushed. I know that we’re just friends now, and when we decided to remain friends I realized that, sooner or later, I’d see her dating. I feel like that’s okay. Still, I think I’d feel better if it was someone I’m not friends with. 1) Rebounding is natural, I get that, but if some random guy takes her out for one date, things don’t work out, or she gets hurt, well, it’s not a guy she or I have to deal with ever again. We can buy her a beer and drag the guy through the mud. Can’t do that with a friend. Whatever happens (or fails to happen), all of us share a friend group. 2) Steven never approached me to see if asking to spend time with my ex of three years one-on-one would bother me. We’ve only been broken up for three weeks. I know that’s not an official rule, but it feels like a bit of a “bro code” violation. 3) That it’s not serious and just “rebounding” somehow makes it worse. If they were really into one another, then who am I to stand in the way? They’ve only known one another a week, though. With it being casual, it just feels like the possible repercussions don’t matter. If it’s just a rebound, does it have to be with a friend of mine? I made it clear that I wasn’t crazy about the idea (I owe it to her to be honest, but I didn’t explain all of this ^^^ to her. I don’t want to be Hovery Ex). I am conflicted. I don’t want to be a jerk, and it’s really not up to me. Still, I feel like with all of the guys where we live, she could have a rebound date with someone I don’t know. It hurts. I know part of it is Alpha Male Jealousy as seeing her dating again, but it’s all the other components that really make it bad.