The One after The One
Do things ever really work out for the one after The One? From what I have seen and experienced: no. Rebounding is a real thing and even if you truly think you are ready for a new relationship, your heart probably thinks otherwise.
I was with my high school/college boyfriend for 4 years and was an absolute fucking mess after we broke up. He was my first love and the boy I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It honestly took me years to get over him, so to think I was ready to date within a few months is laughable.
Enter Harrison. I had just started a restaurant job and quickly hit it off with one of my new coworkers. He was goofy, charming, and unbelievably sweet. After one night of flirting at a house party, he asked me out on our first date. Harrison invited me to his home where he made dinner and we enjoyed wine on the patio to the sound of his roommate playing guitar in the background. It was so cheesy, but completely perfect.
Things progressed and it wasn’t long before we were full-on dating. I was sleeping over at his apartment, spending time with his family, and loving the new companionship…but I still wasn’t ready to commit. We were together, he was definitely my boyfriend, but I refused to give us that title. I was still in love with my ex and completely terrified our chances of getting back together would be ruined. I was playing the part of Harrison’s girlfriend, but secretly waiting for the day Eric would call me and want to get back together. I was a real fucking asshole.
We dated for about 3-4 months before I ultimately ended things. I was still devastatingly in love with my ex and as hard as I tried to feel that way about Harrison, it wasn’t happening. I liked him a lot and loved the time we spent together, but I knew it wasn’t right. I started to mentally check out of our relationship. I think he saw the end coming because he wrote me a letter that said he didn’t want to lose me and would do anything to make me happy. This killed me and I knew I had to end it. I broke up with him a few weeks later in his apartment and cried the whole drive home.
Rebounds are awful, but I think they can be a necessary evil. Sometimes you need someone new to take your mind off your ex. You need to see that life can go on without them. But please know that I am not endorsing rebounds by any means. Even if you genuinely think you’re ready to dive into something new, my guess is that you probably aren’t.
I’ve been on both sides of the rebound coin and as much as it sucked, it was a good learning experience. I’ve learned not to get involved with someone newly single and I know to be alone after my own breakups. I think it’s so much better to take time after a breakup to truly heal. Jumping from relationship to relationship is going to end up with someone getting hurt. Go make out with someone at a bar if you need attention, don’t drag some poor schmuck into your mess.
From what I can tell, Harrison is doing incredibly well. He is successful, following his dreams, and has a cute long-term girlfriend. Some of my friends have implied that I should have stayed with him, but I know he wasn’t the one for me. It sure seems like he has found his person and I think that’s amazing.
So to Harrison, I’m sorry I was not ready for the love you wanted to give me. I was a total disaster human, but you helped open my heart again. That Fall we spent together was really special and I cherished our weekend trips and time spent with your family. I wish you nothing but the best.
And thank you for not writing any jokes about your asshole ex- whatever 😉
Sad Girl Song – The Last Time He Saw Dorie by Copeland
Thank you because you loved me, it’s all on me ’cause I didn’t want to stay.