Wifeys and Gentlemen,
Sometimes, after being out of the dating game for a while, it becomes endearing (and hilarious) to watch your friends go through dating trials and tribulations that you experienced in the past. Although it might sound like it, I don’t say this to be mean.I laugh at the nostalgic awkwardness of it all.
Of course, I’m not speaking about the awful break ups, really really bad dates, broken promises (& condoms), or those events that horrify us all as we plow though our search for “the one”. I’m talking about those hilariously awful comments on your Tinder page that you can’t help but share, the blind date from hell who didn’t stop clearing his throat, the guy who brought his pet ferret with him to your first date, & the handsome guy who is perfect in every way…except that he won’t stop picking his nose! It’s funny, it’s sad, and it’s great because we’ve all been there with you!
Across this litany of misadventures experienced by both me and my friends, I was all to recently reminded about the unique struggles of being ‘post relationship’ single. That lovely transitional time between “attached” and “finding yourself again” that we all love to hate.
& I don’t care who you are, unless you are completely anti-dating and relationships/commitment and have been since you were in middle school or you were in an arranged marriage since about the age of 9 (which I realize it totally possible and I am 100% not judging if you are) you have had experience with rebound relationships. Just in case this concept is a little fuzzy the set up goes something like this:
You were in a relationship, (a long(ish)term one) it was great (probably not as great as you thought), you were in love (or at least really really into them), things were going well (you had a toothbrush at his place and shaved your legs regularly) and then all of a sudden, it’s over. For whatever reason, you’ve broken up.
You might be depressed at first, hell, you might still be depressed right now, but at some point you and/or your best friends are going to give you just enough of a drunken pep talk to make you decide it’s time to start dating again. Phrases like “get back out there” or “you are totally cute and you need to get laid” or “omg, you are a total package! Anyone would be lucky to have you” or “go enjoy being single” get tossed around like old laundry until you’re
hyped too tired to come up with any more excuses to say no! Before you know it, you’re setting up a profile on Match.com, scrolling to the left on that latest “hook up” app, and donning that great pair of totally impractical “do me” heels that you only reserve when mama is ready to rumble. You feel good, you’re in the zone, and it works! Yes! It works!
But, let’s be honest…it isn’t pretty!
Sure, you’ve gotten laid, but it wasn’t very good. Or maybe it was really good, but the guy/girl you’re sleeping with is a total douche bag in every other conceptual way. Everyone reminds you of all of the worst things about your ex; his hair, his smell, the way he chews his food, and once again, you’re spending your Friday nights ignoring phone calls and pounding back double cheese burgers while watching reruns of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Bad Girls Club …
Perhaps? Or is that just me?…
That’s when “he” (or she) appears. This guy is so nice. When he first approached (or chatted, or bumped into you at the store, or whatever) he was respectful. He complimented you in a meaningful way and did not try to get into your (yoga) pants. You feel like shit, and he still managed to make you feel cute, fun, and confident. He takes you out to dinner, a movie, an art show, etc…and he always pays. He listens when you talk about how you’ve been hurt in the past and he is okay with sharing his feelings because he’s been hurt too. He’s might even be a little pudgy and not obsessed with working out, making you feel fit and appreciated. No matter what, he’s grateful for your time, gives you space, and lets you come to him when you’re ready. He’s all about YOU! & You can spend hours talking, you can bring him around your friends, and even though he’s almost perfect, for whatever reason…
YOU’RE JUST NOT THAT INTO HIM
(was that not a PERFECT movie?)
I know…I know…but it’s true! It’s a reality we all must face. Wifey’s and Gentlemen, if this sounds like you, you’ve likely found yourself a “rebound guy”. Don’t panic. It isn’t the end of the world…and if you pay attention, I am about to make you feel so much better about yourself in 500 words or less (whew!):
1) Rebounding is a perfectly healthy psychological response to relationship trauma.
Relax! It’s science. If you just got out of a long, shitty, and exhausting relationship, if you’ve just had your heart broken by a guy/girl you thought was “the one” but turned into an ass-bag, if you are feeling used by people who don’t respect you for who you are, your psyche is eventually going to gravitate to someone who is the polar opposite of all of those things! Hence, the “rebound guy”; a perfect manifestation of everything your ex is NOT.
2) Rebounding is a good way to figure out what you do and do not want.
Sometimes, when we date on the rebound, we go too far into that opposite direction. We get someone who is so nice, so safe, so completely nothing like the man or woman we once gave our hearts to and we realize that, while we do NOT want an asshole, maybe we want someone who is super super sweet, but with an edge? Maybe we don’t want a workout freak, but we want someone who can keep up with a healthy, active lifestyle. Maybe we don’t want a pill-popping party monster, but we want someone who isn’t scared to #TURNUP (yes, I just hash-tagged my blog, wanna fight about it?) with us on those special occasions.
Dating is about finding our balance. No one person will ever give us 100% of what we need. But we date to find out what works, what doesn’t work, and where we can compromise.
3) It is totally possible that this “rebound guy” is truly the love of your life. Don’t throw away a relationship if you have some interest/feelings there, unless you’re sure he’s not what you want. Dating is about taking chances.
As my beautiful granny used to say “you gotta take some chances” and believe me, she took PLENTY. Hehe.
While I know it is rare, there are SOME PEOPLE in this world who are really really lucky. They leave a bad relationship or have their heart broken and out of 7 Billion people on the planet, when they pick their “rebound” guy/girl, they chose correctly. They might have some reservations at first, and that old relationship might come back and rear it’s ugly head, but they stick it out to find a deep, loving, and meaningful connection that truly lasts!
No matter what kind of dating situation you’re in, if you have feelings for a person (who isn’t hurting you or causing you any emotional damage) you owe it to yourself to check it out. See where it goes. I know I literally (yes, literally) JUST said this, but I think it bares repeating: no one person can ever give you 100% of what you need. But does this guy/girl give you 60%? 75%? Dating is an adventure! Make it fun!
4) Finally, if you’re one of those
completely insanefun people who is currently with a “rebound guy” who is a carbon copy of your ex: I have no advice, God help you.
Until next time, Wifeys! Have an awesome weekend 🙂 ❤