A few months ago, I left a major relationship which was very unhappy for a number of years. I have since met a lovely guy, with whom I have a ridiculous amount in common. I am attracted to him, and I get the impression he is interested in me, too, but he has reason to be cautious with his heart at the moment (he was hurt pretty badly a year or so ago in a relationship of a similar length to my own). Every time I think maybe something is going to happen, I start panicking.
I worry that I don’t have my head on straight – that I’ll break his heart. I’m driving myself insane, while I don’t actually know for definite that he’s interested! How can I stop this mental rollercoaster? Should I just forget about him? I’ve been like this for six months, and my feelings don’t seem to be going anywhere. Maddy
Moving on from a major, very unhappy relationship is no picnic, so your mixed feelings on this new guy make perfect sense. But forget about him? Nah. Nice guys you’re compatible with don’t come along every day. And generally, while I am wary of rebound relationships, studies DO show that they can have some benefits. They can make you feel positive about finding new love, and help facilitate the whole letting-go process of your ex. Even if they crash and burn spectacularly, which most – as we all know – are apt to do. I know that kind of leaves you in limbo, because you clearly crave a deeper connection with this guy, but you want guarantees that there won’t be any pain for either of you. I can’t give you that.
What I will say is that it’s doing you no favours obsesssing over someone you haven’t even played tonsil hockey with. So the first thing you need to do is find out if your hunch is real – that he’s as interested as you are – and armed with that knowledge, figure out if you can get past your penchant for freaking out to just go on a proper date. To simply have some fun. Don’t overthink it. You don’t have to make any promises to each other. But if you have a lot in common and you really like him, I think you should go for it. He may end up being just your rebound guy. But he could also be the love of your life.
Love, reality chick