When to focus on just one person & am I on the rebound?

Sevag (aka HWSNBN – read this to see what I’m talking about) and I agree on a lot. It’s not surprising; the OK Cupid match statistics revealed our “technical” 99% match based on attitudes, beliefs, desires.

One thing he told me (and it was like hearing my own words in someone else’s mouth) was he found online dating addictive. Always wondering what / who else is out there, even when you are communicating with good people. He also told me after meeting me he lost all interest in communicating with anyone else; the first time it’s ever happened for him.

I told him the truth; I had been exclusively reactive since going online, and even then responded to just a few men on the site. Only one other was someone new; the other two were former lovers who wanted to reconnect.

He knows there are some other lovers skulking around, but we haven’t talked specifics. He told me he wanted to be exclusive and I said it was awfully fast for him to ask and I had to think about it. He said he didn’t like the thought of me being with anyone else, but he would wait for me to tell him when I was ready. A pretty mature response, I have to admit.

My response to meeting Sevag makes me realize just how different a place I’m in now. I have no interest in the musical chairs of dating multiple men. Part of this is having way better dating criterion – few men actually can reach the height of the bar I’ve set, so there aren’t too many around. I’m only interested in those looking for a relationship, so I eliminate a lot of men. I’m too damn busy to manage multiple dates. I’m trying to focus on friends and family. I’m not desperate to find someone to fill my time nor do I need a self-esteem boost. I’m okay with a slow pace.

And some of it is definitely Sevag himself.

Meeting someone with potential like this? Without consciously letting it go, there is no longer a gravitational force keeping the other men floating around in the outer concentric circles of my life… They could float away and I don’t particularly care.

Since seeing Tony last week, I haven’t proactively contacted him. He sent me an innocuous text and I responded. The conversation ended after four texts. I don’t notice the time gap between communications. I think it’s been a few days but I would have to look. And I’m usually hyper aware of these things.

I haven’t proactively texted Lewis, either. Not in a week or more. He knows this Friday is the first I’ve had free in a while, and he hasn’t asked to see me. He texts me every day, always a picture of a MFM threesome, two black dudes with massive cocks and a blonde, along with a “good morning” or something equally uninteresting. I respond, but it’s become bland.

And sure, a part of me would like to have that MFM experience. I’ve been pondering whether to arrange it with Lewis before I become exclusive with Sevag. He’s not exactly one to share. But is that disingenuous? I’d like to live a moral life, and to do that feels a little grey. No technical obligation is just that – a technicality.

When I met Fox, I did what I thought was the moral thing and proactively reached out to the men I was in contact with and told them I was now seeing someone and I couldn’t see / have sex with them anymore. I cancelled on an Adult Friend Finder date because I knew I didn’t want to pursue something new. I stopped things with a few other new-ish men I was seeing because I knew they weren’t right for me and didn’t want to string anyone along.

It felt like the right thing to do. The goodbye with Tony was the most fraught with emotion, obviously.

The one exception was the Comedian, who had gone silent and I didn’t see much point. I’ve always hated being “ghosted” or discovering after the fact that someone I thought could be available to me wasn’t.

Other than Lewis, right now there isn’t anyone deserving of such an effort. One lover from two years ago spontaneously texted me last week to ask if I was interested in having sex with him again. He’s out of town and I guess he’s run out of partners. Even if not for Sevag, the thought of all that coordination is just too much right now. Blech.

Gosh, what’s happened to me?

Don’t worry, I’m still constantly horny and haven’t forgotten my kinks.

I hid my OK Cupid profile earlier this week. It had been accessible for what, two weeks? And while I used to think doing so was a signal of something super serious, now I just think it’s easier. Why not see what happens with Sevag, without other distractions? It’s not like the men won’t be there when this relationship runs its course. It’s not like this becomes some binding commitment I can’t get out of.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’ve told Sevag I’m ready to be exclusive. I truly don’t want to get ahead of myself. As I said in some comments yesterday, despite being overwhelmed with intense feelings, I’m not going to rush. For example, I’m not going to introduce Liam to Sevag until I think there’s a very good chance he’ll be around for a while. I told him I’m not ready for us to be Facebook friends. I will continue to see my friends and girlfriends on a regular basis (which should always be the case!).

And if you are wondering, he does know how recently I got out of my relationship with Tony, that it was my decision, we’d been dating for a year off and on, and it was a difficult breakup. He asked if he was a rebound but also said he didn’t think he was, based things I’ve said and how I seem.

I researched rebound relationships in Psychology Today, and it confirms what I told him and what I feel. Rebounds are defined by not being emotionally available (not true of me), inability to make a good decision about your partner (I can), motivated by fear of being alone rather than attraction and emotional connection (I’m not afraid of being alone), and anger toward the previous partner (nope).

The concern is that enough time hasn’t passed before healing and learning from the last relationship. I may not be fully healed, but I’ve definitely processed the breakup with Tony. I’ve learned from it. I’m in a good place.

Sevag has made his desires, feelings, and intentions very clear to me. I want to share some of the things he’s said, as they are truly lovely. And while I am working to allow my feelings to be felt, I’m still tempering my behaviors as a form of risk mitigation.

I don’t think I’m overthinking (that phrase makes me laugh), but it seems the prudent approach.

34 thoughts on “When to focus on just one person & am I on the rebound?

  1. Just take it slow with Ali and if you feel like exploring other relationships – fleeting or otherwise – go for it!
    The point is, you’re free, Ann, so live that way.

  2. Amen Hook. I commented on the previous post to take it slow. Nothing’s changed. I may sound a bit cynical, but the two of you have a lot to learn about each other, and exclusivity isn’t going to make that happen any faster. Do you ever worry that someone has crafted themselves to be what they perceive you want? (This is the cynical me.) I found that to be the case more often than not in the beginning – or maybe I was just naive? I don’t mean to sound negative… I guess I’m just playing devil’s advocate today.

    • He hasn’t crafted himself in an image I would like (or I would be shocked if he was that calculated). I had access to his answers on hundreds of questions on the site so was able to do my own analysis of our compatibility. And that was before I ever responded to his message to me.

      It’s not so much that I want to rush into exclusivity or a relationship but I don’t really have any desire to play musical chairs. Since there is nobody else with any potential in my life right now, I’m not going to pursue new people just to try to find someone to counterbalance Ali…

      If I’m going to let myself be emotionally open then the feelings will come as they come. I can’t really temper them (or I don’t want to). But I can ensure I’m not acting on things too quickly – like with Liam or others. That’s how I will take it slow.

  3. Look who’s acting all careful and measured now! We ( even those who don’t really know you) worry about your heart! I don’t think we have anything to worry about.
    BTW, I love the new title photos. Spot on, as usual!

    • I’m glad to hear you think you don’t have to worry. I’m focused on being measured where it makes sense (Liam) while being open to the amazing possibilities of a great connection, as crazy as it seems.

      Glad you like the pics. I decided the circus is over at the moment, so needed a new theme 🙂

  4. Crafting yourself to be what another perceives is not necessarily calculated. Sometimes the romance, the initial intensity brings things to the fore and effects everything about you. In my life, I am so many things, good and bad. How many of those things any one person sees is determined by many things. I have so much potential even though there is a basic me. The idea of just going with the flow of Ali seems to be a good one. I don’t think it is necessary or wise to commit to exclusivity at this time. I agree with Hook. You won’t date others if you don’t want to and if you decide to embrace the universe of Ali he will feel it and you can confirm.

  5. This guy wanting to be exclusive so quickly would give me pause. What’s wrong with dating for a while and getting to know each other better first? I know you’ve gotten to know a lot about him quickly, but there’s a lot you don’t know yet (hopefully it’s all good!)

    I waited a year before introducing my boyfriend to my children. I didn’t want to risk them getting attached to someone prematurely after they already suffered through the trauma of divorce. I think this is one area where you can’t be too careful as a parent. It’s one thing if a guy breaks your heart–it’s another thing if he breaks your child’s heart as well.

    • For me it depends on the vibe I get from him and what my gut says about why he wants to be exclusive. With Tony, I just *knew* he was different than the others and I was keen to shut out all distractions and focus only on him.
      I think that’s what’s going on with Ali. But I haven’t agreed because while I think he’s special too, I just want to give myself some time…. Even if I don’t actually have sex with anyone else.
      And yes, I agree on your point with children. I won’t wait a year, but a few months makes sense to me.

    • Thank you Brazen. Paying attention to instincts / gut is key for me in times like this. While it’s lovely to let the nice feelings wash over me, I need to make sure I’m not drifting too far from shore without a life preserver!

      • “in times like this.” ??? That phrase threw me. I have had “times like this.” once or twice in my life. The stress/anxiety of it was overwhelming! I know you write about how you keep your head in a level(?) place, but you have had several MAJOR transitions in your life in the time you’ve been

  6. Ann, do you think that perhaps you are healing faster, this time, around from Tony because maybe a little part of you knew in your heart that it would not work out? You’ve been down this same road before with him as you know. And as others have said, take your time with Ali. He sounds wonderful btw. I have a feeling he’ll wait for you to catch up to his level of hope if that’s what is meant to be. And I think it’s great that you’re slowing down to get to know him better, and not trying to juggle too many men right now. It does get tiring! Trust me I know!

    • This time around I feel I really accepted Tony for who he was. And yes, when I could no longer ignore what was still happening with him and his marriage, I just knew I couldn’t do it. A year of that hurt in various forms was too much. I guess I felt like I gave it everything I could, relaxed into it, and really accepted there was nothing I could do.
      Ali does seem wonderful to me too. I’m curious where things will go with him 🙂

  7. I just want to thank you for being brave enough to share your true thoughts about love, sex, and relationships, with us somewhat anonymous readers. I am enjoying experiencing your life vicariously through these blog posts. I have been married for almost 13 years, the last time I had an affair was in 2011 and I hope to never repeat that mistake. I just hope that someday you get exactly what you want, whatever that is.

  8. I don’t think you’re on the rebound, like you say, you’ve processed the break up, perhaps because you saw it coming. Although you wanted it so much to work with Tony I don’t think you were ever 100% convinced it would. A tiny element of doubt, call it a self preservation mechanism was planted there, to which I can relate. Right person, wrong time, I do believe this is entirely possible. Similarly to your experience, afterwards I felt I needed to reach out, not to replace that person, hell I don’t know why, but not with someone new even if I did the obligatory opening up of OK Cupid/Tinder et al and then shut them down again when I started to chat to random guys I didn’t have the energy for starting from scratch again, Instead I was thankful I had kept up a particular friendship. An opportunity through my work meant we were both suddenly in the same city, and so inevitably we reconnected. I was surprised of my strength of attraction towards him in spite of not seeing him for a year and the sexual chemistry we have was still there it is raw and animalistic yet tender and I needed that because it sharpened my focus, that my judgement was right. I learnt that part of healing is moving forward, other men, don’t feel bad about it, if it happens after two days, two weeks or two years.. so what, but don’t over analyse this, although as a psych that’s v.v. hard, I appreciate,. You need to reflect but while finding/sharing new experiences as you are, at your pace. Lewis is too funny, he’s a proper bore-fest, although you have to admire his dedication to the cause! Enjoy exploring with Ali but give yourself time to get to know him, read Sternberg’s theory 😉 you’re the one driving the bus!

  9. I was just pondering on this earlier, driving around. Reflecting on what happened last night, thinking about singing and dancing and, of course, The Bouncer…
    Thinking along the lines of “The Dancer broke me!”. I have no interest in having sex with anyone else if he’s not around. Which doesn’t mean that we won’t keep playing, but… it’s more of a playing with him through others for me. I think it is similar for him. He is still enjoying the thrill of the chase, but I don’t think it’s led to much lately (his own words in a sense).
    Also, I don’t seem to attract as many people any more. Why? Probably because I am not looking, I’m not really open to meeting new people right now. What’s the point? I have a relationship that fills my heart and satisfies my body, warms my soul… Why should I need anyone else?

    Now, I’m ready to accept this. I don’t need us to be exclusive, but I have no interest for others. And I’m fine with it!

  10. I’ve been reading these in the wrong order so sorry for posting here but believe me when I say I have read right up to date.
    I know you posted about being tearful on your split with Tony and who wouldn’t be? But over the last few posts it does feel from your writing that you have turned some really big corners and I have to say it suits you. I’m loving the new confident strides and (I’m not sure what word to use here as do not want to insult as that is not what I mean) more mature attitudes towards how relationships interact. Happy for you Ann.

  11. While you may not agree, I still believe that it helps to move on from a past love when you have a new one in sight to focus on. That doesn’t mean Ali is the one, I am just saying, of course it is easier to look at Tony in hindsight when you are getting so much good stuff (especially the emotional goodies) right there in front of you and fully available to you.

    While I think you had control of the Tony relationship at the end in any case, I still feel the Ali is helping diminish any leftover feelings towards Tony. Even if Ali is moving very fast….that’s the only thing that’s concerning

    • If you read that Psychology Today article, it says that absolutely sometimes having a new person helps you get over the last one. For me, it’s not so much about that piece, but whether I consider this to be a rebound. For me, judging by those criteria, it’s not. But of course having someone else around makes moving on easier.

      • I agree by those criteria he is not a rebound and you are in a mental/emotional place where he is not a rebound (IMHO)…I’m just saying that I think he is a big help in moving forward faster.

    • Damn, I didn’t think it would notify anyone. I unreleased a hidden post from “he who shall not be named” because it wasn’t mostly about him. Yes, it was from Feb. Sevag is Ali, he’s been otherwise removed from my blog.

What do you think?