State: New Hampshire
Comment: I just started dating a guy who is newly divorced. We have been dating for 3 weeks and have been together 3-4 times a week since meeting for dinner the first time. He told me on day 2 that I was his first date since the divorce and feels he needs to “test the dating waters”. He told me he would be upfront and honest if he went out with someone else. He had a date today to go kayacking with another woman and told me before the date that he was going. He says that I am amazing, sexy, sassy, funny,intelligent…….The relationship is progressing at a very fast pace….I have been invited to a major family gathering next weekend at his home. We are going to Vegas next month. The question…Should I just be patient and let him explore his options so that he doesn’t feel trapped into another relationship and if so….for how long?
I’m not so sure you should be concerned for his emotional security right now. I think you should be looking out for yours. Everything about this situations screams “rebound” to me. The fast pace, the over-zealous and effusive compliments. And meeting the family? The guy just got divorced! Sure, maybe they had been separated for awhile and he’s had time to process everything. There’s no set or “right” amount of time to grieve a lost relationship. Everybody gets there at different times. But this just feels…off. Really, really off. Too fast.
What really makes me uneasy is the fact that he’s telling you how amazing you are, but also making sure you know that he’s dating other people. As if he’s pulling you close and then, just a teeny bit, pushing you away. Why would he tell you that?
Yes, he’s being “honest.” But for what reason and at what cost? It’s one thing to admit that you’re dating other people. But there’s just no need to go in to detail or alert you to every date he has. He’s doing this for a reason. I’m sure he doesn’t even know why he’s doing it. My guess is he’s just telling himself to move forward and not look back. There is no moment of introspection of self-awareness. It’s just go, go, go.
I think many of us sabotage ourselves and don’t know why. We ignore a phone call, wait too long to reply to an email, we say something inappropriate, have sex too soon, etc. Most people convince themselves that their reasons for doing these things are justified. They don’t think them through or back track because they don’t want to. That would require self-awareness and accountability. To many people that is just too frightening. So they avoid that as much as possible.
Regardless of how you handle this, no matter how much space you give him, my guess is this man will still end up feeling trapped and claustrophobic. He’s working on high speed now, going going going. It makes me wonder if maybe the reason he’s doing that is to avoid grieving or being alone. He seems terribly anxious to announce to his family that he’s dating someone new. Why? That’s what you should be wondering. Why is he in such a mad rush to get back in to another relationship?
There are some people who can’t be alone. Something about being in a relationship provides them with a sense of security. I think many of those people just need the external validation that a relationship provides. It’s not about needing emotional support. It’s not even about the sex. It’s about the attention. It’s about proving to people that just because one relationship failed doesn’t mean they’re a failure or that there’s something wrong with them. The tell tale sign of someone like this is that they can’t wait to make it public. They’ll introduce the new person to friends and family, post photo after photo to their Facebook account, over-use the phrase “my BF/GF.” Look closely at those photos and you can actually see them peacocking, not posing. They’re showing off their new significant other. The disconnect between the two people is obvious.
If I were you, I’d take a giant step back from this guy. You don’t have to cut him off completely. But you definitely should not be getting too invested just yet. There’s another shoe just waiting to drop here.