The relationship roulette
Are you a regular rebounder?
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
""Being suddenly alone, when you have been so used to being within the cocoon of a relationship can be really tough.""
I think I’ve been on the rebound my whole dating life. The thought crosses my mind as I watch an episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show around the aforementioned topic in my local gym. My pace on the treadmill slows down as a result of this revelation. Jolted by the speeding floor beneath, I am back to reality, switching the station on the flat screen to the nearest music channel (there is nothing quite like Rihanna dancing on a beach to distract one's thoughts.)
However, that night as I lie in bed, listening to a well known late night phone show which coincidentally happens to be discussing rebound relationships, I am reminded of my earlier ‘epiphany’, and so I ask myself: ‘Am I a regular rebounder?’
From the age of 16, the thing that I most wanted was a girlfriend, preferably in the form of Jennifer Aniston but I would have settled for a Mel C lookalike. Up until the age of 16, I had mainly spent my evenings and summers hanging around with a few lads who lived in my estate. However, around the time that we turned 16 there was an undeniable shift in the group. Our conversations on ‘the green’ changed from discussing the different skills of a number of football players, to talking about the assets of various girls on the estate.
This in turn signalled the end of my friendship with these lads. This was partly because I, being a girl, was beginning to be seen as an outsider within this male testosterone filled environment. However, this wasn’t the only reason. My jealousy at their abilities to get girls with an almost imperceptible nod of the head, or a very brief and crude text was becoming apparent following every post football game discussion. Having a girlfriend for me was like the ULTIMATE thing one could have. Yet it was something completely unattainable to me at the time (and for what I thought would be forever.) So, could this be why I have constantly been in and out of relationships since I realised that I too could ‘get the girl’?
At the risk of having a Bridget Jones moment and being TOO honest (offending any girl I have ever dated who happens to be reading this in the process), I don’t think I have ever started a relationship with a clean emotional slate. What I mean by this is that someone, an ex or even a crush that never was, has always been in my mind when I have embarked on a new relationship. Without divulging names and dates, I can honestly and somewhat shamefully say that I have always been hung up on an ex at the time before I begin a new relationship.
I know, I am horribly messed up. Someone phone the Jeremy Kyle hotline immediately. I need a lecture from the man himself, perched on his pedestal which has been designed in the form of a step. No but seriously, at the risk of sounding completely emotionally screwed up and majorly slutty, I have only had three serious relationships since I came out at 19, whilst I could count the number of girls I have dated casually on one hand. However it is not quantity that matters it is quality, and how can a relationship be of any quality when one person is still pining after an ex?
Yet in my defence, I am far from the only regular rebounder out there. Being part of a set is something that the majority of us are drawn to. The kisses, the cuddles, the long talks, the whole sexual aspect and in general that feeling that you get when you know you have someone to care for and who in turn cares for you. So, when that person is no longer there, due to a mutual break up or in the majority of cases, one that is one-sided, the natural urge for most of us is to fill that gap up in the form of someone else. Yet, is this really healthy? Particularly if you are not over your ex? Is it really fair to the other person that is 100% emotionally available and dedicated to you?
Being suddenly alone, when you have been so used to being within the cocoon of a relationship can be really tough. How do I know this considering I am constantly on the rebound, always on a mission to fill up that emotional fissure? Well, let’s just say that after my last relationship ended I made the decision to stay single for the foreseeable future. Sure, it was hard. Breakups are painful, especially when you haven’t got a rebound relationship to ease the heartache. However, with the passage of time and through the support of friends, I got through it – single.
It has been almost a year since that relationship ended, and apart from a brief period where I casually dated someone, I haven’t entered into another serious relationship since. I will be honest, lately I find myself looking at friends who are in relationships and day dreaming about meeting ‘the one’. Thankfully, I can say that I am over that last relationship, so if I do meet ‘the one’, she will not only be at the top spot metaphorically, but also literally. There will be no one else in my thoughts when I do eventually meet her. ‘Somehow... someday... somewhere.’