My Passionate Rebound Guy is Pulling Away From Me. How Can I Stop Him?

I am a 40 year old woman with 2 amazing kids (10, 12) and I’m in the middle of getting divorced but have already found someone else (my soon to be ex and I agreed that we can start dating). We’ve spent the last 8 weeks together and fell for each other hard. It’s been a very intense 8 weeks and if we aren’t together then we are on the phone or texting with each other. I am 40 and he is 34 and never married or been in a serious long term committed relationship. I have asked him to agree to not date anyone else and just be exclusive with me and he has said that he can’t do that and now he’s also backing away because he doesn’t think he can see himself as a step father to my two children.

We have shared everything with each other over the last 8 weeks and there isn’t anything that we don’t know about each other. He is my best friend and I can’t imagine him not being a part of my life. The thought of losing him absolutely kills me and I don’t know how to show him that ending things with me would be the biggest mistake.

I’m not asking for him to marry me and it seems like he’s jumped from a to z without going through the middle letters. How do I get him to slow down, date me and not freak out about what may or may not be in the future?

Thanks,
Emma

Emma, by the time you read this, your ill-fated affair will probably be long over. The only question is whether you’re still going to be clinging to your fantasy or accepting reality.

Your fantasy is that, in the middle of your divorce, you fall in love with a younger man who has never been in a serious relationship who decides that despite the huge differences in your life experience, he wants to continue to date you and maybe eventually marry you.

This is the vision you’re holding onto. It’s just not reality.

Reality is that you dove into a “very intense 8 weeks” as you said, and that, when your 34-year-old paramour finally came up for air, he realized that despite his passion for you, he didn’t want to invest any more time in a relationship that was doomed.

This is the vision you’re holding onto. It’s just not reality.

Whether YOU think it’s doomed or not is irrelevant, Emma. Fact is: HE thinks it’s doomed. He knows that if he stays with you and things get serious, he’s going to be forced into the role of pseudo-step-dad, and that’s not a role he wants to play. That’s his right.

What you seem to have trouble seeing through your hormone-induced haze is that what works for you does not work for him. You’re almost willfully naive and childlike in the way you’re seeing this situation. Listen to the 15-year-old girl who is not getting her way:

“I have asked him to agree to not date anyone else…and he has said he can’t do that and is backing away.” That would be a good indicator that your long-term goals are out of alignment. You shouldn’t have to convince a man to be exclusive with you.

“We have shared everything with each other over the last 8 weeks and there isn’t anything that we don’t know about each other”. My wife and I are discovering things about each other seven years into our relationship. You’ve got it all covered in less than two months?

“He is my best friend and I can’t imagine him not being a part of my life.” 1) If a guy can be your best friend in 8 weeks, you need some other friends. 2) Remember what you were doing in August? Evidently, you CAN imagine him not being a part of your life.

“The thought of losing him absolutely kills me and I don’t know how to show him that ending things with me would be the biggest mistake.” No, from his perspective, STAYING WITH YOU would be the biggest mistake – especially if he doesn’t want to fall in love with a woman with two children.

“I’m not asking for him to marry me and it seems like he’s jumped from a to z without going through the middle letters. How do I get him to slow down, date me and not freak out about what may or may not be in the future?” I routinely chastise readers for trying to read the last page of the book before they read the book. At the same time, if there’s a major impasse, what’s the point of reading the book?

He can spend two years with you (which would make you very happy), but if he STILL doesn’t want to marry a woman with kids and would prefer to either not have kids or establish a biological family of his own, what is the point of him spending two years with you?

It’s not only about what you want. It’s about what he wants as well.

That would be wasted time on HIS part.

Love is always a two-way street, Emma, and until you can see that, I think you’re going to struggle in all your relationships.

It’s not only about what you want. It’s about what he wants as well.

Appreciate your rebound fling for what it was and next time, find a divorced dad who wants to have a Brady Bunch family instead of trying to convince some young guy that he SHOULD want one.