As I suspected, M was more interested in spending time with her new guy, who I will refer to as Rebound, than me over the weekend. Rebound is an acquaintance from undergrad, who M has kept in touch with via Facebook. He's a nice guy and seems to have done well since I last saw him, eighteen years ago. About three weeks ago M's relationship with S ended, and she began talking with Rebound, who lives in Chicago. Thus, her trip to visit me transformed into a trip to visit him. This should not have surprised me.
M arrived on Friday evening and went straight to Rebound’s condo. I texted her at around 6:45 p.m. to find out her plan for the evening. When she responded to my text nearly two hours later (despite that her phone is practically a third appendage, so I knew she was purposely ignoring me), she told me she had plans with Rebound and his friends, but invited me to come. This was not a true invite. It was the type of invitation a person gives out of obligation, not because the invitee is truly wanted or welcome. M wanted alone time with her “date” to be showered with attention. I’ve seen this side of her enough, so I opted out. I was tired anyway, and we had a big day of shopping planned for Saturday. I texted her back the lock code to my front door so she could let herself in at the end of the night. An hour later, I was informed that she planned to sleep over at Rebound’s.
The next morning, she texted me at around 10 a.m. I had been up for two hours and told her to come on over. She arrived at around 11:30 a.m., looking exhausted and scarily thin. She confessed that she was hungover and tired, but that “nothing had happened” with Rebound. I highly doubted this, but let it slide. Then she filled me in for an hour on the demise of her relationship with S, and the events leading up to her visit with Rebound. Apparently S has been cheating on her for the past year, and she knew this because she hacked into his Facebook, Myspace, e-mail, and text messages. (Cue the crazy alert!) She thus kept track of all the other women he was talking to and sleeping with, yet did not end the relationship with him, although she did confront him about it all. He denied it, and she let it slide. For a year. S also started disappearing for nights or days on end and wouldn’t respond to her messages. Then he'd show up and act like nothing had happened. About three weeks ago, he moved all of his things out of M’s house (they’d been living together for the past two years) and hasn’t responded to any of her messages or contacted her since. It was this – not the cheating or disappearing acts – that propelled her into the breakup blues. (None of this makes any sense to me, and when I asked her why she didn’t kick him out long ago, she told me that “time just went by really fast.”) Shortly thereafter, she started e-mailing with Rebound. The timing couldn’t have been better for her. Rebound provides a nice distraction from actually having to deal with the fallout of the breakup. And “since I was still hopeful that S and I could work it out, it gave me someone else to focus on for the time being.” Yes, even after all of the cheating and crappy behavior from S, she still wanted him back. I'm not convinced she still doesn't want him back.
She wanted to take a nap, so she camped out on my couch for around the next hour, until I complained that I was starving and ready for lunch. We grabbed some lunch, then took the train downtown. Our shopping trip consisted of visiting two stores, where she walked around in a fog and sat down in the chairs by the dressing room, before she admitted that she felt horrible and needed to go take a nap. (You can only take so much "I wish I felt like shopping" complaining until you give up.) We went back to my place and she slept for two hours. So much for a day of shopping and some quality friend time. During this time, she also told me that “She wishes S knew what she was doing!” (This is not the sign of a person who is over the other person. And I seriously doubt he even cares what she is doing. He’s probably out banging his entire city and enjoying the freedom.)
When she woke up, she texted Rebound to find out what he wanted to do that evening. It was around this time that I noticed she hadn’t brought any bags with her. She had left them at Rebound’s, as she planned on spending the night with him again. Because all of her things were at his place, she left me in order to change clothes. This was kind of hurtful to me, since for the past two or three weeks she’s been texting me “Can’t wait to see you!” “I really need some girl time!” Etc… But, since we are both 36 years old, I guess she’s entitled to do what she wants and stay where she wants. And I’m used to it by now. However, I can’t help but think this is the wrong way to approach things with Rebound. After all, the point of the trip was to visit me, and instead he ended up with a house guest all weekend. I can’t imagine any normal person not seeing this as a huge, desperate red flag. At minimum she should've stayed at my place on Saturday night.
The three of us went out to dinner and got some drinks. It was a fun evening, and I was home by 12:30 a.m. The next morning she called and asked if I wanted to go watch football at Rebound’s friend’s house, and I declined. Again, this felt like another non-invite kind of deal. (When you’ve known someone for 18 years, you can tell the difference.) Plus, why would I go somewhere else when I have NFL Sunday Ticket all to myself? At around 7 last night she called me on her drive home and talked about Rebound for an hour. All I said during the call was “Yes,” “I think you should take it slow,” "No," and “I don't know.” She just talked and talked and talked. Like I said, she examines every word, facial expression, and gesture that the guys she dates make to the point of excrutiating detail.
I found out that she did The Unthinkable. She had two “Where Is This Relationship Going” conversations with Rebound. Two! In three days! (She always does this. She must talk and mull over every detail of everything. If I were a guy, this would drive me crazy.) Rebound told her that (1) he wanted to take it very slow since she had just gotten out of a relationship; and (2) he did not want a long distance relationship. He very clearly said all of these things to her, and she acknowledged them, yet she is already attempting to twist what he said into something else. M has a remarkable ability to import what she thinks a man means rather than listening to exactly what he is saying. You'd think she would know better than this by now, but she doesn't.
So, M now wants to move to Chicago. Well, I shouldn’t really say “now,” because she has wanted to move to Chicago for the past 14 years. I’ve heard all this before, many times, and at length. But this time she’s serious. She claims it is because she wants to, not because of Rebound, but I have my doubts. It's never a good idea to move somewhere for a man. She also told me she might come to Chicago every weekend now, since “I’m planning on moving there anyway.” I don’t want a house guest every weekend, although it appears that she may stay with Rebound, which is fine with me. Until he gets tired of it, that is. And he will. And I will have to deal with the fallout, which will be ten times worse because it will be S + Rebound fallout, which could truly be astronomical.