In typical rebound fashion, things moved very fast, but I’d never met anyone like this guy. Within our four-month relationship, we were together nearly every day, and we saw each other through some of the roughest emotional parts of divorce. I practically moved in with this guy, who’d moved back home with his parents to regroup. I met his parents and siblings, and they all kinda adopted me when I needed people the most. I had a family to have dinner and make s’mores with and to drink beer and tell jokes with, and I had a guy I was becoming very fond of. (My own family moved to another state ten years ago and hasn’t been back to visit since; we were pretty dysfunctional and were never all that close anyway).
As I realized I was catching serious feels for this guy, I knew it would only lead to more heartache, plus I hadn’t even dealt with the pain of my divorce yet. I decided to end it before I ended up the Transitional Relationship girlfriend that ended up heartbroken once he felt better. We liked each other very much though, so we agreed to stay friends (after a 60-day, no-contact period that I asked for) and said we’d like to revisit our relationship in several years after what I could only hope would be some serious healing.
It’s now almost three years later, and we still talk nearly every day. I’ve remained single, dating one or two guys here and there, while he had a steady girlfriend just about this whole time (he fairly recently broke it off). We never really stopped seeing one another though except for that 60-day break; we went back to doing all the fun things we’d done before like concerts, drinks, dinner, the beach, lunch, etc. I can admit now I pretty much started seeing this guy again while he had a girlfriend, and, of course, eventually we started sleeping together again. Before I knew it, I was back hanging out with him and the family who missed me and adores me (as I do them) like he hadn’t been seeing another girl for over a year. I managed to never cross paths with her, and I’m not proud of the cheating part, but I’d be lying if I said I felt guilty about it. I believe we genuinely care for one another, but the timing is just wrong.
I’m still a bit raw emotionally, but I think that, because of our history, I feel bonded to this guy. Not to mention the whole great family thing. He tells me his parents speak of me all the time, as though I’m just on away on a trip, and that they are hoping we pair up again once I move back home. I moved out of state for a little while to finish school, but, like I said, we still talk everyday, sometimes more. Now that he’s single again, whenever I’m in town, it’s like I never left; we go back to hanging out at cool shows, hooking up, and playing house. It’s . . . weird.
I guess I’m wondering if I need to sever ties completely, or just be okay with this sort of back-burner relationship. I mean, it’s never easy talking to him about a guy I met, or hearing about a girl he met, even though neither of us seems to want to be with the other seriously now (nor can we with me in another state for another year). I finally feel ready for my own transitional relationship, and, even though I’m not looking for marriage or anything, I really want to get it right and be in something healthy; I’m not out to hurt anyone. I don’t want to lose the people I really consider my friends, either. What would you do? — Ready for My Transitional Relationship
Oh, good grief! Do you want to be with this guy or not? If so, just be with him! All this talk about not being emotionally ready or living too far apart or needing a transitional relationship first or whatever other excuse you’ve come up with is just BS to cover up the fact that YOU’RE SCARED. Divorce sucks, I get it, and it left you reeling. You don’t want to go through that again. But what you’re doing now? This limbo thing you’ve got going on? It’s not going to save you from ever feeling hurt again. It’s only keeping you from feeling fulfilled. It’s only prolonging this “transitional” period you have been insistent on having for three years since your divorce.
Decide whether you truly want to give a relationship with this guy a shot, not because you adore his family but because you adore HIM. If the answer is yes — yes, because you can’t imagine losing him (which is what will likely happen if you continue playing this game you’ve been playing with him for three years) — then act fast. Be proactive, be brave, and take a risk on love. All the details, like your not being in the same state for another year, will work themselves out. And if they don’t? Well, then you will have had that “transitional relationship” you’ve been telling yourself you need before the real deal. But, girl, maybe this IS the real deal. In which case, stop trying to fuck it up.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.