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The aftermath
#1
Bowyn Arrow Wrote:You don't forget.

That person is part of you - for life. While distance (in time) will lessen the pain, and there will be longer periods you do not think about him, there will be moments when suddenly that love, that grief and all of that 'stuff' will rush back and be suddenly totally right there in the moment real again.

You will now be measuring each potential mate against him. He becomes the ruler or a part of a ruler depending on previous life experiences. You will be looking for him in others - maybe not 100%, but in tiny things, the details.

Over time the pain will lessen, and you will have longer and longer periods where you do not recall. But he will never be totally gone.

It happens to all of us.

You will be ok.

The above is your response to another member who suffered a bitter breakup.

I'd like some perspective for myself as someone who is currently "dating" (sort of) a person who got dumped after an engagement and two yr relationship.

I'm the "potential mate" who feels he's being measured up against "what could have been." Quite honestly, that could all be in my head, but there are some similarities that have already been pointed out to me. And you might remember my "...am I the rebound?" thread.

I guess I'm not exactly sure what I'm asking, but this is a role I've never played and wonder if you or anyone else has some advice. As this relationship progresses (and it feels like it is) I FEAR (ok I said it) the ex- and my guy will remain "friendly" (they both seem like decent guys) and I expect at some point I'll have to meet him...

This is just uncharted water for me.
Thanks.
#2
You are being measured up and most likely have already been found to be kinda -sorta like X - sharing characteristics, either physical or behavioral that are similar enough to your partner to remind you of X.

We all do this to one degree or another.

Most of these 'choices' we use to pick a potential mate are done subconsciously. Our 'type' is largely defined by past relationships.

This is one reason why abused people tend to get into serial abusive relationships. We tend to find those behaviors and characteristics of our initial abuser to be somehow 'attractive' and our abusers find us because we share commonalities of other abused.

EXAMPLE: I like a specific type of nose. The reason why I like the nose is because my buddy (no sex, just really great friends) Bradley, who was funny and witty, strong and extremely personable had that nose. I associate that nose shape with all of these warm cozy attributes of Bradly. This type of nose is now attractive to me because it reminds me off all of these other wonderful qualities of Bradly. If a date a guy with this nose type, I am hoping to find those attributes Bradly had.

This is how a past relationship influences my future choices.

Is it a 'bad' thing? Depends on the person who is doing it. what are they ultimately seeking (They most likely do not know) if its a total replacement, its a potential huge problem, if its just to find some familiar, good traits, it is a 'good thing' in that it helps to cull the herd of potential suitors and is one way that we humans attempt to find a 'perfect match' to have a long relationship with.

Is it bad for you? Unknown. While he may see a lot of X in you, he might also see that you are not 100% X and you most likely have other 'good' qualities from other past relationships as he attempts to find that 'perfect' man.

It may be a positive sign that he and his X are on friendly terms. They have enough in common to be friends (which translate he is seeking a friend in you too) but there are other aspects that doesn't meet his needs for 'lover' which hopefully with those differences between you and X he sees the potential lover aspect here.

What is happening is normal and to a large degree in general a healthy way to pick and choose a mate - we all do it, it is human nature and includes far more than just physical characteristics - it includes attitude, posture, even scent, all in an attempt to use our past experiences to find a best matched mate.
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[SIZE=4]I told you I had the body of a 25 year old....

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#3
Thanks.

I tried keeping all of this in one thread (my introduction thread--but I had the mod delete it when I felt like I was sharing too much).

Anyway, yeah, the ex- and I have some things in common but some differences too.

And just to be clear, right now, my guy and his ex- are NOT on very friendly terms. My guy still has quite a bit of anger and hurt (aka: baggage) that he needs to put aside. And deep down I FEAR he's still in love with his ex-.

But looking forward (I'm often surprised at the accuracy of my own foresight), I see them fully reconciling. That doesn't necessarily mean getting back together, but let's be honest, it could happen.

More likely (--or wishful thinking--) I see me and this guy growing closer and the ex- more involved with his life than I'm comfortable with. I almost wish they weren't both such great guys, and they'd just write each other off. But I don't see that happening.

I guess it's the same for straight folk who divorce but NEED to maintain a relationship with their ex- due to children. As difficult as that may be for their new partners/spouses it's a plain reality that needs to be accepted.

blah, blah, blah...too much time on my hands with a case of verbal diarrhea...

Thanks for reading and responding.
Smile
#4
I have to agree. That since leaving my ex I have noticed my `type` has changed. I used to be attracted to tall, muscular straight acting guys. Now I am attracted to short skinny feminine twinks. My only reasonable explanation for this is that I am comparing the guys I am looking at now to my ex boyfriend and trying to find someone like him.
#5
i went through a straight marriage divorce and would NEVER compare anything to it. I can say this in jest.

serious:
-how much time between you and the X? Generally at least 6mo is necessary to dissipate most of the rebound.
-Life is an interview, dont fret your being compared to a previous relationship. A good thing is you can ask what failed with the previous person.
-You should assert first debs on any X boy friend interaction. 4example; i would ask my partner if I could call, email, text, visit my X. If he says no it is really a no. I also make sure he is in the room when i talk to her and put her on the speaker phone. I show him emails etc.
-My reaction after dealing with my X ... usually in tears afterwards but I am not private about my emotions. Her reaction; varies but always ends in a "I love you". The partners reaction; he tries to be constructive and offer his opinions, somewhat removed but he is constructive, NEVER negative.
-If you meet in person you have to have the confidence to shake the X's hand and say hello.
#6
pellaz Wrote:i went through a straight marriage divorce and would NEVER compare anything to it. I can say this in jest.

serious:
-how much time between you and the X? Generally at least 6mo is necessary to dissipate most of the rebound.
-Life is an interview, dont fret your being compared to a previous relationship. A good thing is you can ask what failed with the previous person.
-You should assert first debs on any X boy friend interaction. 4example; i would ask my partner if I could call, email, text, visit my X. If he says no it is really a no. I also make sure he is in the room when i talk to her and put her on the speaker phone. I show him emails etc.
-My reaction after dealing with my X ... usually in tears afterwards but I am not private about my emotions. Her reaction; varies but always ends in a "I love you". The partners reaction; he tries to be constructive and offer his opinions, somewhat removed but he is constructive, NEVER negative.
-If you meet in person you have to have the confidence to shake the X's hand and say hello.

I'm short on time, but I appreciate your response.

--How much time? It's hard to say! At first he told me 8 months. Then he told me 2 months. Later he explained they hadn't had sex for the last 6 months, so that might explain the disparity. I think he knew those last 6 months they were splitting but he tried to save it until it realized it was hopeless. As I said, they were engaged and he loved (loves!) his ex-.

--The interview, yes, we've talked quite a bit about it. Well, actually he talks, I listen. It's a real drag for me, but believe me I'm pretty sure I understand what happened. Biggest fear: once they reconcile, the ex- realizes how bad he screwed up and asks for a second chance (BASTARD! I already hate him).

--I do intend to assert my #1 status if/WHEN I can ever get this relationship to the next level (moved locally with full time dating vs. long distance, part time dating).

--As sick as I feel whenever he talks about his ex- I FORCE myself to smile, maintain eye contact, LISTEN as hard as I can, be supportive and positive and confident and keep only HIS (my guy) best interests in mind. This is VERY difficult and really raises my blood pressure.

--I think a face to face meeting is inevitable if this relationship continues the way it is. Earlier today I was taking a walk and imagining just this scenario. I was trying to think of questions to ask about his job (in order to show interest, but stay professional. We're both professionals and I know this is one key trait that is very important to the guy I'm seeing, as is our age, race....

Those for sure are his types.
But we also share the same name and birthweek, believe it or not--those are incredible coincidences.

Rolleyes

Thanks for the comments.
Smile


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