Q: Hi, Chris:
My ex-boyfriend of 9-months and I broke up in May at my choice. He was ready to get married and I was scared. He started dating again in June and is now planning a wedding!!!
I sent him a couple of cards in July and August, telling him I was sorry and had made a huge mistake (and if the chance came up, I would LOVE a 2nd chance with him.)
He was married for approximately 15-years and divorced 14-years when we started dating. We’re both in our late forties and went to school and grew up together.
What's the chance of him really being IN LOVE with this 'rebound' (and IS IT a rebound?)? How can he date someone for 4-months and decide to marry her?
Thanks for any advice!
--- Killing me softly in Kansas
A: Dear Bachelorette:
Ouch and double ouch.
Something similar happened to me many moon years ago (not once, but twice; not because I was scared that I know of, but rather other circumstances, which shall remain private.)
It wasn’t a nine-month relationship as you had, but five-years and six-years respectively. While I didn’t officially break up with them, I may as well have—I pushed my time limit with these two men wishing to marry me.
One got married 6-months after our break-up, and the other got married barely 3-months afterward. The latter got divorced several months later (and then remarried AGAIN), and the first gentleman is still presumably and hopefully happily married for almost 20-years now.
I may have dodged a bullet with the second guy, but it still didn’t take away the sting and devastation when it happened—but enough about me!
Regardless of who broke up with whom, the man YOU loved has fallen in love with another woman, and so soon after YOUR break-up.
Now you find out he’s planning marriage only months later with somebody else, and you want to know is it a rebound?
Well, yes of course it’s a rebound. You rejected him big time. He asked for your hand in marriage!
You begging him to come back didn’t help, did it? No surprise there. I’ve learned long ago, if something is meant to be, it will happen organically (or not.) The phone also works both ways. If he wanted you back, he'd be in your arms already (but he's moved onward and forward, and you must, too!)
Crediting author Greg Behrendt as I’ve done before (from the book, “He’s Just Not That Into You”), they call it a “break-up” for a reason—it’s broken!
Not everything broken can (or even should) be fixed.
I also agree with another author, John Gray…Men ARE from Mars and Women ARE from Venus. We truly are wired differently.
So does it surprise me your boyfriend who wanted to marry you (but you weren’t ready and broke up with him) got back in the saddle so soon again? NO.
IT HAPPENS (and not just twice for me as earlier mentioned, but three times if you count back when I was just out of college—so consider me the poster child!)
As an expert, though, in this crazy world of dating and matchmaking (I say with LOVE in my heart and much experience), I see and hear everything—and I must say, once a man is seriously rejected, HE MOVES ON. Especially men in their 30’s, 40’s and older. There isn’t time for any doubt—they want a woman who wants what they want—WHEN they want it.
Basically, when a man wants to marry you and is ready to set a date—don’t mess around IF you love him unequivocally.
You weren't sure marriage was right for you at the time with this man. Accept things as they are and don't beat yourself up anymore—regardless how horrible it feels to be replaced in a millisecond.
Marriage itself isn’t right for everyone (says the deer caught in her own headlights.) You CAN have a loving relationship without marriage—particularly if children are not involved. That is a whole different topic I’d love to address one day, so readers, bring it on! (And NO, I am NOT anti-marriage. I am for whatever works as an individual.)
Meanwhile, treat yourself to something wonderful (maybe a trip to Madrid, or a luxury hotel spa weekend in your own city, or even a new hairstyle!) If you’re still suffering emotionally, please consider professional help. Whatever it costs, it’s worth talking things out in person.
Finally, I am truly sorry this happened to you. Through my own mistakes and some wisdom, I can tell you with conviction cut off ALL contact with your ex-boyfriend, DO NOT send him any more letters wishing for a second chance (never again, no matter how tempting!), and just LET HIM BE.
You WILL survive this “indignation” and be a better person for it.
You will also find love again or it will find you…on both your terms next time and when you’re truly ready for a long-term-relationship. Remember, not everything has to end in marriage either (true love can and does prosper in other choices of lifestyle, too.)
I'm sending you lots of warm wishes and healing karma (please revel in it!)