Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Counting the Times

Sometimes it must seem like I keep these laundry lists of every awful guy I ever dated and every horrible thing they did, to which I keep referring back to.  I don’t mean it to seem like that.  I’m just an unusually reflective person and have a habit (maybe it’s a bad habit) of rethinking (over and over) the things that went wrong and right in each of my past relationships.

And sometimes I hit upon things that I should’ve, could’ve done differently.  And hopefully will do differently in the future.  Maybe save myself some heartache.

On Monday, I posted Don’t Catch the “Rebound” Guy by Maya Contreras.   Maya’s an awesome writer and a very wise woman.  The post got me to rethink a couple of my past relationships and why they were the way they were.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have who know about this blog.  And so I frequently censor myself.  Not a lot.  But just a little.  Just enough to make my life a little easier (quite frankly, it’s fucking hard enough as it is).  This is going to be one of those cases where I tell you the truth, the whole truth about what happened, but I’m not going to connect it to the specific ex (so no links).   I guess that’s wimpy of me, but it’s what feels right.

It was our and I knew I liked him pretty much right away.  Not within minutes.  Honestly, the physical attraction wasn’t there instantly.  But after sitting and talking with him for a half hour I knew.  There was something strong there,  But also something troubling.  He kept mentioning his ex-wife.  By name.  Over and over.  Not once or twice.  Lots of times.  I counted ten mentions of her name by the end of the date.

Everything I knew about men and relationships told me that this was trouble.  But I liked him.  And he tossed her name around so casually.  Like she was his sister.  And they’d been together for over a decade, that’s a big transition.  I started to rationalize, started to see it as not a big deal.  By the end of the date it came out that she was already living with someone new, and somehow, in my mind, that made everything OK.  She’d moved on and he seemed happy for her.

It didn’t occur to me that I was his girl.  And that I’d be crushed by it.


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3 to “Counting the Times”


  1. Anonymous says:

    So what about the opposite, where you know he just got out of a relationship but there’s zero mention of the ex? I feel like it gives an even greater false sense of security than constantly mentioning her. Either way it seems Maya is right, throw ‘em back.

  2. babygirl Karma says:

    I was in a similar situation as well. And to this day, I still don’t if I liked the guy, for who he was, or who I wanted him to be. In my situation, when Bob(obviously not his real name), spoke about his ex, I felt so much compassion for him. I think I wanted to “save” him or help him through his rough time. And instead of actually paying attention to the situation and realizing the signs that were in front of me….I didn’t. I made excuses for him and allowed myself to get hurt in the end.

    I mention my experience, because I think we did the same thing… that you were aware that something wrong, like me, but you honestly did like him. And you accepted a flaw that you normal wouldn’t have.

    I think in this case, timing is everything. If it was a different time, we might not have been their rebound girl……

  3. Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles says:

    I hope you won’t feel too bad about your “reflective habit.” I do that, too. A lot of people do. We want to understand why things didn’t work out so we can get some closure and avoid the same mistake the next time. As long as it’s not an obsession that’s holding you back in some way, I think it’s totally normal.

    You know, I feel like my role in life has been Rebound Girl. Just about every guy I’ve dated seriously has been hung up on an ex. Sometimes I wonder if there any men left, especially as I get older, who aren’t hung up on an ex.