The Foreign Rebound

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I’ve always heard that heartbreak can make some people go crazy. Some people change their look drastically, buy a fancy new car or take themselves on a shopping spree — but me, I date. I date the wrong people when my heart is broken.I was in a serious relationship through much of college and a even a few years past college. Our love affair was unhealthy, passionate and constantly back-and-forth. We rode that rollercoaster for years until one day, I had enough. I was gone.

A month or so later, when I crawled out of my breakup black hole, I started going out (yes, partying. Shocker.). I eventually started to think about kissing someone again. And then, eventually, I developed a crush.

He was 10 years older than me. He was in an authoritative position (yes, we worked together) and he was very handsome. Not only did he not look his age, he looked way better than his age. I was a smitten kitten.

And then it happened. We had one drunken night and wound up cuddling on a friend’s couch. The next morning was awkward and awesome and the beginning of something that I really wanted (or so I thought).

My ex and I had only been broken up about two months at this point and I was nowhere near ready to move on. I was definitely not ready to move on with an older coworker that was also not over his ex. I ignored all of these red flags and dove in head first (without my googles).

He pulled out a lot of stops for our first dates. We went to swanky club openings, fancy parties and always ate at amazing places for dinner. Everything was great. We would even make out like kids (occasionally in public). We’d have all night cuddly sleepovers (no sex! I’m a lady.). It was fun – and exciting.

A couple of weeks into our honeymoon phase, I took a trip for a couple of weeks. We Facebook messaged most days and talked about how things were going. I even drunkenly messaged him one night and told him I really liked him. When I got back home, I was elated to see him. I couldn’t wait for things to get back to the way they were…except they never did.

He stopped texting me for the most part. He stopped taking me for dinner. One night we were going to a party with mutual friends and his phone rang in the taxi. The tone was “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. His ex was calling. Another night we went to an after hours club and he was cornered by his ex — and left me alone for nearly an hour (for some reason, I waited) while he “dealt with the situation.” Does anyone else see what’s going on here? Well, the trouble was, I didn’t.

I hinted that I knew what was going on and would hint to him that he was hurting my feelings. (I didn’t even have the balls to stand up to him and tell him flat out that I knew what was going on. I “hinted around.”) One night after we’d gone out together, he asked me to be his girlfriend. This was all I needed…I thought. I thought that word meant something. I thought it meant trust.

The infrequency of our “relationship” went on for a couple of months before I got a phone calling letting me know what I already knew deep down. He was two-timing me. He was back with his ex girlfriend and this was how I found out. This was a 5 a.m. phone call that ruined more than just my day.

I immediately texted “my boyfriend” and asked him what was going on. If the news I had heard was true. A couple of hours later (YES, THAT’S RIGHT…HOURS!!!!) he texted back and ignored the question completely. He just wanted to know how I’d found this out. Yet another red flag.

I was infuriated — and deeply hurt. I’d let someone come into my life for all the wrong reasons and I’d given him a (tiny) piece of my heart. I was still not whole from my previous breakup and I tried to rush into something. I ignored all logic and focused on childish, surface-deep lust. I stopped calling him. I stopped trying to convince him that I was worth his time. I gave up.

I’m completely healed now (although the San Francisco Sociopath may have made me a little better), but I realize what I do and don’t want in a relationship. I know that if my heart’s not ready, I can’t force it. And I challenge everyone else to do the same. Don’t be someone’s rebound. And don’t rebound and potentially hurt someone else.

Happy (healthy) dating!

xo,
Dame Dessa

(Photo Credit: zappowbang, Flickr)

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