He was In Rebound ...
Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
I started dating one of my neighbors since Labor Day. This was someone I had had a crush on for years, he was always gentle and kind. His live-in girlfriend died within the last 3 months, so I just tried to let him know I was there for him. I had always assumed that he took care of her, but now that I know him better, it may have been the opposite.
She was 20 years older than him. I am older, but not that much older. I have a good job working for a law firm as a legal assistant. He does construction-type work, but from what I see, he hasn't been working. He has stood me up for about 3 dates so far. We have made love once so far.
I'm sure I've already gone way past what I should be putting up with. He gave me a gold cross to wear and a couple of CDs. He says he wants to give me a lot of artwork that is in his house. I invited him over for dinner Monday night. He said sure, but I need to take a shower. It is now Friday and that is the last I've heard. I tried calling a couple of times, but no answer and no answering machine.
I heard his dog barking and thought maybe he was severely depressed and possibly even dead. My daughter said, mom, don't go there. Then I saw his door moving as my daughter and I were walking up the street. I said to her, It's Alive. Just trying to make light of this painful situation. I have said to my friends, be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. I don't know what to do at this point.
I know you were trying to be a friend, but I really, really have to warn against ANY relationship that involves someone in rebound - especially if the previous love has died. That can easily take months to years to fully recover from. If you try to get involved before then, you are adding all sorts of extra strain to your relationship. Where your relationship might have been perfect if you waited say a year before starting, you might destroy the relationship by starting it in rebound and not have any chance to try again.
I wouldn't judge him too harshly right now. Undoubtedly he feels pain and guilt and unfaithful towards his dead love and wishing he could have saved her and not sure he deserves another girlfriend. It's probably not you at all - it's him and the grief he is going through. He's probably now thinking "I deserve to be alone, just look at what I did to my new girlfriend" and moping even worse.
I would take a big step back and be just a friend to him again. Stop by with a casserole or cookies. Bring him a movie to watch. Give him time to heal and give yourself time to learn what he's really like as a person. It might be that you are meant to be great friends and nothing else. It might be that you can be great partners - but in a few months, once his past is really resolved.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com