Saturday, November 14, 2009

THe Rebound Guy

Last week I had a two hour lunch with a girlfriend - - oh how I LOVE two hour lunches….especially those that include a nice bottle of wine!! These girlfriend lunches are times to share our hearts….our experiences…our hopes for the future.

On this lunching occasion, the conversation gravitated towards relationships (I know…shocker….girls…lunch…wine….talk of boys)….specifically of rebound relationships.

The rebound relationship is just that…..a rebound relationship….that relationship you have when you are not quite ready and quite healthy enough to have a long-term relationship. It is not necessarily a negative experience…..and sometimes it is even important.

Rebound relationships can tell us that we are likeable just as we are….that we are important….good enough to care about….beautiful….wonderful. Some would say that we should find these things on our own without involving another person. While that may be true….it may not be reality.

My rebound relationship was somewhat unexpected. I can remember countless conversations with my girlfriends about whether or not we were actually “dating” or just friends. I had not planned on being in a relationship - - I had been married for a bazillion years and the prospect of dating scared the bejeezus out of me. Our relationship taught me a lot - - mostly that I could communicate with a member of the male species without breaking dishes…..hanging up the phone….or slamming doors. The relationship taught me that I could breathe….if only for a moment….and enjoy life. It taught me that I could be liked for myself and not have to apologize for who I am.

In the end, the relationship was not to be long term……our lives were going in two different directions. Although we were compatible and had lots of fun, our differing expectations of life eventually drove us apart.

I can remember being so brokenhearted….so distraught….so determined that this relationship could work. Stepping back, I see my determination was more about being able to hold ANY relationship together than holding THIS relationship together. See….I was desperate to show to myself (and to my ex, if I am completely honest) that I am capable of having a healthy, happy relationship. That was of the utmost importance to me. I was determined this was not going to be the clichĂ© rebound relationship……. In the end, if my rebound guy wouldn’t have been firm with the terms of our break-up, I would have walked on nails….swallowed my pride….tried to become someone I am not….simply because I wanted to stay together. Holy Cow….that was just like being married to my X…..

It was so difficult…..I thought I was going to be alone forever. My girlfriends consoled me….my guy friends took me out…they would tell me things about myself that I could not see….I became even more determined that I was not dating material…..that I had no interest in a dating relationship (see last year’s posts)…… I had to take some time to figure out what I wanted in life….to see who I am….to learn to make myself happy (and quite honestly, learn what makes me happy).

So as the holidays are approaching, I see many relationships turning to survival mode - - oh my goodness….I have been there…..”just give it until after the holidays….” “but we have plans for Thanksgiving at my parents so we can’t break up now…” “but I will never find someone who will do those things for me….” “but,,,,He might propose…” and on and on and on and on. Girlfriend (and guyfriend) don’t loose sight of yourself……don’t loose sight of the fact that some relationships are simply ones of transition. If you find yourself holding on to something that just isn’t working……let go. Loosen your grip on the relationship…..allow it to float away….see what it is that your need in a relationship AND what you bring to a relationship. Don’t hold on to something because of fear… fear is the opposite of love.

It’s a scary thing……realizing that you are in a rebound relationship…..but don’t let your pride…or your fear keep you from happiness…..


Lara said...

saw your blog on BlogHer...lord - I've been there w/the rebound. What you said is so true: trying to hold together ANY relationship more so than just this particular relationship. It's still crazy how it hurts to go through it, though!

Can't wait to keep reading.

Becky P said...

Thank you, Lara for your encouragement....that rebound relationship is so very hard...I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and the other person to make it work...even when it shouldn't. Glad you enjoyed the blog!

Take care!!