It was a Friday night brimming with possibility and excitement. Single in a new city, I was excited to meet my evening date, Rob.
Before the date, I took a couple of sips of wine for a little liquid courage, as it was the first “real” blind date that I had ever had from a dating app aka online.
I took a deep breath outside the restaurant, settled myself, and walked into the building. Rob was waiting at the entrance for me, and the moment we locked eyes, it was instant chemistry. Rob was handsome, charming, and funny, and for the first time in what felt like a lifetime, I had butterflies.
If you had asked me that night, I would have guessed that we would end up dating. We saw each other for a few weeks, but then I realized something was off.
Although I was ready for a relationship, it felt like Rob wasn’t on the same wavelength, and these were the unmistakable signs indicating I was his rebound.
They have been very recently married/divorced.
Although Rob and I disclosed a bit of relationship history on our first few dates, nothing was too in-depth.
Randomly out of the blue, one morning, as we were drinking our coffee, Rob said, “I feel like I need to let you know… my divorce was finalized a month ago.”
The divorce was not what instantly sent the warning bells ringing in my mind. However, as Rob got into the story, he revealed that he had married his high school sweetheart very young.
Whether he knew it or not, Rob needed to experience what life was like outside of a serious relationship, whereas I had been single for some time and was ready for something a little more stable.
Rob tried to convince me that the bombshell of news was no big deal, but in my mind, I made a mental note that he had just gotten off the marriage/divorce train.
They play the “boyfriend/girlfriend” role without actually committing
Recently I saw a single close friend who made an off-handed remark that she won’t ever date someone who has just gotten out of a serious relationship.
When asked why she answered, “They play the role of a boyfriend because it’s what they are used to, which makes it hurt more when they don’t commit to a relationship.”
Her words rang a bell. In the beginning, Rob was always making plans with me, texting daily, and treating me like his girlfriend. It wasn’t until after a month of consistently seeing each other that he pulled away.
The calls and texts stopped as quickly as they had begun. When I reached out, Rob was cold and said that he didn’t owe me anything and that it was my fault for expecting more.
They don’t take the time to grieve and feel what he had just experienced
Although he brought it up in passing, Rob didn’t want to talk about his divorce and said he had already put it behind him, except after a few drinks.
It was very apparent that the divorce was tough for Rob to acknowledge and feel because when he was intoxicated, all he wanted to talk about was the divorce. When sober, not a word would be said, and he would clam up if I tried to bring it up, but if he had a few drinks, he would muse on how complex relationships were and that he couldn’t understand what had gone wrong.
It quickly became evident that instead of tackling his grief head-on, Rob faced it in an unhealthy and avoidant manner.
Ultimately Rob helped me break a long-time pattern.
I would develop feelings for other men like Rob throughout my dating history. Overlooking the red flags, I would seek love and a mutually beneficial partnership from emotionally unavailable men.
Instead of prioritizing my needs and knowing my self-worth, I often settle for someone’s rebound/or fallback choice.
Rob was the final person in that pattern. Something within me awakened, and I realized that I didn’t want to be the second choice and that it was time to stop repeating past mistakes.
Instead of wasting months or even years as someone’s rebound, I began prioritizing time with people willing to put me first and eventually found someone who did.
Leave a Comment