Develop a Strategy for Midlife Bachelor Success
Step 1: Set your short-term and long-term dating objectives / page 3
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Rebound – Does fear of being single drive your behavior? This whole discussion concerning the notion of “rebound” behavior is critical because I’ve seen it happen so often. Hell – it has driven my own behavior countless times in the past so I am extremely familiar with it on a personal level! As you work to establish your short- and long-term dating objectives, you need to be certain that “fear of being single” does not overly influence the goals you set for yourself. “Fear of being single” is essentially the key characteristic of someone who is on the rebound – and making any sort of decisions or goals based on fear is likely to lead to mistakes. So how do you know if you are “on the rebound”, or if “fear of being single” is what drives you? The pre-qualification is, of course, that you just got out of a long-term relationship … and then most or all of the following are true about you:
- Your friends give you the nickname “Rebound”.
- You become instantly enamored with any woman who pays even a little attention to you.
- You ignore obvious major flaws in a woman that you want to date.
- You feel overwhelmingly alone at all times.
- You will do just about anything to get a date, any date.
Your friends give you the nickname “Rebound”. Sometimes people are so obviously on the rebound that this label becomes automatic. Consider my friend, James – whose wife had an affair on him after ten years of marriage. They subsequently parted ways, and James was like a lost puppy in the world – not knowing who loves him [“lost puppy syndrome”]. He absolutely HAD to have a woman in his life, and he was looking for a woman everywhere he went. Not that he was a perpetual scammer – don’t get me wrong here. Rather he looked at every woman like a puppy would … attention would really get him interested quickly (even if the attention was innocent). [I call this “puppy syndrome”.] All of these traits were so obvious with James that I called him the nickname “Rebound” – which he didn’t necessarily appreciate at the time, but it was so accurate! When he used to get mad at me for calling him that or introducing him that way, I would tell him privately that he should just embrace reality, and go with it.
You become instantly enamored with any woman who pays even a little attention to you. I just explained how my friend, James, so obviously and constantly exhibited “puppy syndrome” … where any woman who was nice to him became a target for his love. I’m talking ANY woman here – waitresses who were good at their job would be misinterpreted by him … women who worked retail and were especially helpful or friendly … basically any woman he came into contact with was deemed a dating candidate if she said anything even remotely nice to him. There were several occasions where I reminded James that sometimes women are just nice people, or behave nicely because it is part of their job. Often times, guys who are in a rebound mode will fall in love several times each day. Best to keep those rose-colored glasses in your pocket.
You ignore obvious major flaws in a woman that you want to date. Probably the best single “rebound” characteristic that my friend, James, displayed at the time was when James fell in love with a stripper at a local strip club. First recognize that James is this extremely conservative guy who although not religious is easily lumped into the category of being one of the pillars of his community. We are talking school volunteer, great father to his two young children, decent, kind, intelligent, educated, etc. With that as a backdrop, imagine him going into a strip club alone after his wife left him. Imagine what an easy target he was for the strippers in that club. The guy made a lot of money at the time, and was eager to absorb any attention from any woman … so of course the smartest stripper would figure this out, and encourage him to come back and see her. I remember James telling me at the time, “Dude – I think this stripper at the <censored> club wants to go out with me … she is so nice to me. And Dude – she is so hot, and she keeps telling me she wants to see me more.” You get the idea. I remember telling him at the time, “James – she’s a stripper! Of course she wants you to come back … because you keep feeding her $100 bills!” He eventually figured this all out – but it took him a month or two. I’m not sure if he ever asked her out, and just didn’t tell me – but he did stop talking about her rather suddenly. A woman who is a stripper has an obvious flaw – she gets paid for showing her body to men … or worse! This is an extreme example, but someone in a rebound state of mind will look past the obvious.
You feel overwhelmingly alone at all times. I’m kind of on a roll here with respect to my friend, James – so I’ll continue using him as an example. After James became suddenly single, he could not stand to be alone. He had his two young children three days each week – and was occupied those days. But on the days and nights that he did not have his kids, one would think that he might need some down time? No way – he had what I would call paranoid tendencies … especially at first. He just didn’t want to be alone – it was like he was afraid to be alone. Now at the time I sympathized with the guy quite a bit, and went out of my way to do things with him. [Plus he was fun to do things with because he was always looking at all the women as dating targets all the time … which I found extremely entertaining.] The point I am making here is – that if you recently got out of a relationship, and feel so alone that getting a date seems obsessive … then you are exhibiting a sign of being on the rebound.
You will do just about anything to get a date, any date – describes the sum of all of the characteristics of being on the rebound that I’ve described so far. My dear friend, James, was the most extreme example to me of these. It might help you to know that time heals things – and that James ultimately calmed down, and settled into a permanent relationship. I, myself, have been on the rebound plenty of times in my life – and I’ve exhibited many of the same traits that James did – but each of us have different degrees of rebound behavior that make up our respective personalities. So although you may not find yourself going to the extremes that I described James as going through – you might still be on the rebound if even a hint of such behavior applies to you.
This whole discussion about being on the rebound is meant to make you cognizant of what can be driving your thought patterns at this particular midlife bachelor point of your life. In order to effectively set realistic short- and long-term dating objectives, you have to understand yourself well enough to know what may be exerting undue influence on the way you think … simply because of the time proximity to your last relationship. Being on the rebound is fine – you can have a lot of fun with it. Letting rebound behavior determine your long-term future, however, may not be in your best interest … so keep all of this in mind.
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