Unfortunately, I am one of those who repeat their mistakes.
I had to be dumped by three different men on the rebound before I learned my lesson.
Three times, and I’m happy to report that I finally found the real reason why men on the rebound are a thing to be wary of.
The first time it happened, I didn’t see it coming.
My friends have warned me against dating someone who was still living with his ex. But I couldn’t stop myself from falling in love.
I thought the worst of my worries is his wife, and that they might decide to work things out between them.
Little did I know, that what I really needed to be concerned about is his inability to deal with a real human being.
He seemed to be as eager about us as I was. He planned our mutual future and mapped out when and where we would move in together.
Then I did one wrong thing and his entire enthusiasm took a nosedive. With it, our lives as a “we” collapsed. And my heart suffered from its biggest heartbreak ever.
What was my mistake, you might want to know? Let me tell you.
In the few weeks we were together, we decided to wait before having sex.
We made plans for when and where it will happen.
Then, we had a prompt opportunity to spend a night together, and he joked about how we’ll be having sex. But I didn’t laugh. I thought he was serious, and I felt awkward.
A few hours later, he called the entire thing off, and that was the end of our short-lived relationship.
The second time it happened, I should not have been so surprised.
The guy lived far away so we only had a few phone conversations.
His ex already moved out a couple of months prior. To be honest, he did speak about her more often than I thought was healthy. But she didn’t really pose a threat. I still didn’t come to the conclusion that when dating someone who is recently out of a serious relationship, it’s not the ex that I need to worry about.
We were looking forward to the first time we’d meet. He was ultra enthusiastic. He changed his plans so we could meet a day earlier; he said he can’t wait to see me.
Then came my mistake.
I misunderstood something he said, and I thought he wanted to see me on both the originally planned date and a day earlier.
I thought that this was a simple misunderstanding. However, he thought differently.
All of a sudden, he backed out. And that was the end of it.
We never even got to meet.
The third time, my friend looked at me with her “seriously?” expression when I told her the guy I am seeing is only recently separated from his wife.
She already anticipated what will happen, but I was still in denial.
Surely the fact that it happened twice does not necessarily mean it will happen again?
But it did.
From going the extra mile to spend time with me and doing everything he assumed I wanted, there was an immediate drop of contact as soon as I revealed a side of me he was not expecting.
This time, my mistake was more severe. He was going out of his way to deliver my hat which I forgot in his car. But since he arrived late at night without warning, I was upset. I felt vulnerable and I couldn’t sleep that night… And my reaction was a reflection of that.
I sent him a text message at 11:30 pm asking him not to appear uninvited to my house. I was probably too tired and confused and did not articulate it nicely enough.
I know. He had good intentions and I blew it.
Still, if he liked me as much as his efforts indicated, wouldn’t it make sense to take a little time to work it out?
The real issue with men on the rebound.
After three times I was dumped by men who were recently separated, I finally found the common ground.
All three men I dated were really keen. I guess I was completely different from their ex that it was refreshing for them. Perhaps after a long period in which the relationship with their ex deteriorated, they were fully ready to let their heart soar with excitement for someone totally unlike her.
They flooded me with their attention and made me feel special before they truly got to know me. In me, they saw an imaginary perfect partner which would be the antidote to the recent relationship that only just crumbled.
The problem, though, is that all three of them were not ready for a relationship with a real person. Someone that has more than one dimension.
So as long as what I said and did was in accordance with their unrealistic vision of who I was, they were exuberantly passionate.
However, their relationship that just ended was overburdened with arguments and friction. And at the first sign of discord in the newly emerging relationship with me, their fantasy has evaporated into thin air. They had no capacity to deal with any disagreements. No matter how small or insignificant they were.
Does this mean I will never date a recently separated man again?
I never say never.
But I am sure as heck going to be extra cautious next time I end up dating someone on the rebound.
And maybe, just maybe, next time a man on the rebound wants to date me, I would ask him to wait a couple of years before contacting me again.
Then again, maybe I won’t.