rebound relationships


Recently I wrote a post about The men in my life  since my divorce. One of the “what ifs” was The raft guide. He and I met on POF almost a year after my divorce. Our first date, he drove out to my town to one of our few bars and we met for drinks. As usual, I was a bit nervous. I hadn’t dated much at this time. I had never hung out at this bar previously. It is a bit of a dive and my ex-husband and I never went out anywhere. I will always remember our first date. Oh my goodness, I laughed so much. I had a great time and could not wait to see him again. We really hit it off. Our next date, we went out to eat and ended up making out in the parking lot a bit. We quickly decided that we needed to be a couple. I actually loved every minute we had together. We would go out at times. We would play on the river. We would cuddle on the couch and rub each others feet. He was very kind and sweet BUT there was an issue. I was so damn insecure. As an avid rafter, he had trips planned before he met me. At the time, I didn’t know how hard it was to get permits for some of these trip. They sometimes are planned a year ahead. I had no idea the protocols. When he got ready and planned for a long trip and didn’t invite me, I was hurt. I didn’t know that part of the permits are who is going. I thought that he just wasn’t that into me. I needed to be the center of his world. I was so damn messed up and clingy. I ended it with him and regretted it almost immediately. We didn’t speak for a long time. He ignored my messages that I would send occasionally. Over three years, I sent maybe a dozen messages, saying hi. There were a few that told him I was sorry that I handled it improperly. One telling him I got a ducky for the river. I apologized to him and knew he would never talk tome again. I was so sad as he was so much FUN. I never stopped missing him.

When I started this job, I would occasionally run into him on the street and we would talk for a few minutes. It was always nice but I still missed really talking to him.  I wanted to be his friend and knew I had probably hurt him. When I signed back up on the dating site, he sent me a message telling me that I really am a good person. We started talking from that moment. I have no idea what the future holds. He says he is not looking for a relationship with anyone at this time but I have the friendship back. We have spent some time together, including paddling down the river this past weekend. It is nice to be hanging out with him again. I wish I had been ready when I had met him and we had taken it slower. Who knows where things would be now. I will never forget his original dating profile. He said he wanted to find someone to grow old with. He said he wanted to be one of those cute little old couples holding hands. That is really what I want, too. I do wonder if I blew it with him but his friendship is more important. He is the kind of man that is a good friend. Only time will tell what will happen here but I am glad he is back in my life. I have missed him a lot in the three years we were not talking.

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The other day as I was walking around town writing tickets, my thoughts kept going to the various men that I have met since my divorce. Some have brought lots of joy, some not so much. I have gone on a lot of first dates, several multiple dates, and even tried relationships with a couple of men. I was thinking about the effect they have had on my current life, my views on dating, my views on love, my mistakes with them, their mistakes with me. It can be very interesting when you spend most of your day alone. You have a lot of time to think.

There have been a few men that I barely remember meeting. I wouldn’t recognize them if I saw them again. Obviously, they didn’t make much of an impression and we only went on one date. There are a couple that made enough of an impression that I remember the date and why I didn’t like the guys. I don’t remember their names or what they look like.

There are a few that almost became special. They are the If Only’s……The builder was the first one that I dated. It was too early for both of us. He was going through his divorce. He is a wonderful man, that unfortunately is an alcoholic. We have remained friends. The Mechanic was a perfect gentleman but took it too far (to the point of being chauvinistic) and closed off to his emotions. Our last date we saw The Fault in Our Stars and he told  me that men don’t cry and that is why he didn’t at the movie. We do not have anything to do with each other now. The Engineer….oh how he makes smile. I think we would have really given it a go if he hadn’t lived on the other side of the mountain-300 miles away. We had a few months together meeting halfway between for the weekends when we could. We had so much fun together. We have remained friends. The raft guide was so much fun and I just wan’t ready yet. I blew that one. I think he really liked me but I was needing so much more than was healthy. I was clingy and felt insecure when he didn’t want to be with me all the time. I wish we had met later. I would give us a try again if he were willing. We talk when we see each other. I wish we could be at least friends.  I actually miss him a lot and think of him often.  Of course, there was the one I called Mr Perfect. I wrote about him this past fall. He became clingy way too fast. I wish all these men happiness and wonder IF with a few of them.

Then, of course, there is the ex-bf. I don’t think I was ready yet but he was so good for me. He truly taught me to love again and that I was lovable. He and I are still close and as much as it hurt to lose him, I will never regret our time together. R is wonderful. I have no idea what the future holds. I do know that he is still looking.

 

One of the most difficult thing I have found about dating is dating rebound men. I have had so many dates with men that I was their first date after their divorce or break up.  The first few guys I went out with all fit in this category. One was so not ready that he quickly ran. Another wanted to go too fast though he said he would never marry again. Ex-Bf and I became serious and were together for a while. I am still friends with all of them. One is alone and drinking way too much the other two are in pretty serious relationships now.

After going out with a few other guys that I was their rebound date, I have realized a few things. One is that I do NOT want to be the rebound girl again.  There are so many issues to deal with. I do not want to have to guide another man through the learning to date process and sex with a new woman again.  I do not want to be the first kiss for a man after twenty years again. They all act sixteen. Yes, I like sex now BUT that is not  what I want with most dates. I am more picky than that. Besides, I have found that “stage fright” is not unusual for them.  I remember how awkward it was to be a first time dater. First date, first kiss, first time being naked with someone besides my husband after 23 years. It is difficult for everyone but I no longer want to be the teacher. The last few first dates with rebound men have stopped at that. There was one real nice man that I got along with real well but I could tell that he wanted to move much faster than I wanted to. I have noticed that with most men that I have gone out with. Statistics actually show that men tend to remarry more quickly than women do. They either are so commitment-phobic that they just want to play the field or they want you to be their girlfriend in a week. The one I met and dated last fall was like that. Clingy after a couple of dates.

I am glad that I have reached a point of contentment without a man. I have hardly been dating (except for R) I have been off the dating sites for four months now. I haven’t met anyone new since Valentine’s Day and he was a rebounder. I am not going out with him again. He was way to handsy too fast. I am going to continue on the path I am on now and see where life takes me but for now, I really do not want to be the rebound girl again. He needs to be ready to date but not desperate to find love. He needs to have confidence in himself but not be cocky. He needs to be over his wife and not tell me how much he still loves her on our date. Yes, I had that happen. He needs to be looking for friendship and a companion that a relationship can build and grow over time.  He needs to be ready for ME.