I think it's time to unearth this series.
Because it's that time of year, folks. Or at least, it is in Japan. In the west, Spring (and Summer) supposedly make people crazy. Birds are tweeting, mammals are humping and people start looking a lot more desirable. But in Japan, it's that time around December where it starts getting colder and everyone's looking for someone to keep them warm (or hot) on Christmas Eve (Japan's real Valentine's Day).
I'm still plodding along and dating - albeit hopelessly - around and I'm starting to see a pattern in some of the people I have spoken to. Because let's be real here. Today's dating culture is built for men. They can contact someone at the blink of a text message, can make the necessary arrangements and because sex is so readily available both online and off, there isn't really much work to be done like there was several decades ago. The courting method has changed and I'm starting to realise there are far more people on the internet more interested in getting physical as oppose to actually truly connecting, which is making my conquest fruitless.
And there is nothing more fruitless for a person looking to connect when they keep on bumping into people who seek the ominous rebound.
What is a "rebound", you may or may not ask? It's the period that happens just after you exit a relationship where some people don't know how to deal with their feelings. The break up might have been brutal or they simple forget how to be single and so they peruse the clubs, bars and of course the internet in search of someone to comfort them or replace the connection they once had. And sometimes it's planned; it's wanted; it's negotiated, but more often than not, it isn't. Said rebounder gets involved with a new person, gains some relief but ultimately, it's temporary. The rebounder realises that said new person can't really truly replace what they once had and they end up disposing of that new person. And if said new person isn't strong enough, they too might fall victim to the emotions associated with a "break up" and thus the cycle repeats itself.
I have fallen victim to this curse. Never the rebounder; always the reboundee. Thus I can often spot it a mile off. Let's take a couple of cases, shall we?
Case One: The Peurto Rican
I tried a different means of meeting new people at someone's suggestion - Craigslist (I seriously must have hit rock bottom or something). I was contacted by a Puerto Rican guy who didn't really look amazing in his pictures but we had a hellova lot in common. That was until he sent me a more recent picture of himself and I came to see that he had gained an exponential amount of weight. Call me shallow if you will, but let me finish. The distance between the pictures he initially sent and the picture of him recently was no more than a couple of months. I came to find that he had just gotten out of a relationship a couple of months prior and had decided that rather than deal with, he would eat his feelings. He assured me that he was taking back control of his life but I was pretty much assured out the window.
Case Two: Mr. "I Dunno What I Want"
Looked pretty good in his pictures but very early on told me he wasn't looking for a relationship. I shut him down immediately because I realise now that men generally say what they mean and it's a waste of my time, if we're not looking for the same thing. He persisted and asked to be friends. I declined. He persisted again and stated that most of his relationships has started on a whim and that there might be a chance. He then mentioned that he was happy being single however. I later came to find that he had actually just exited a relationship and was supposedly looking for another. I was done at that point.
Case Three: Mr. Childhood Sweetheart
I didn't actually find out about this guy's situation until I met him. He seemed nice enough and had made an effort to find places of interest to take me but as we chilled out for a bit and had an in depth conversation, I came to find that he had gotten out of a twelve-year relationship only six months prior. Now six months sounds like a long time but my alarm bells were going off because twelve years is an insane amount of time (it's a marriage for some people). We didn't actually end up meeting again. He blamed it on the language barrier but I honestly think that he needs to take at least another year off to deal with that kind of loss.
Case Four: The Aspiring Professor
I call him that because he was actually studying to become a professor. Thus he was younger than my designated age range but sometimes I stop and talk to people out of boredom and listen to their stories. (I usually have no intention of meeting them though; I know it's wicked). This one said he was looking for friends but asked a lot of relationship-esque questions. Ultimately, however, it came out that like all the others, he had just exited a three-year relationship and had joined a "dating app" to "find female friends". I assured him that he was probably better off looking for other ways to take his mind of things but what young guy is going to heed wisdom really.
I just see continuous patterns. Lots and lots of guys who want to muck around and "fill the void". Men call us women emotional but I think in their own way, they're not taught how to deal with their own emotions; their taught to keep a stiff upper lip; they taught not to discuss things openly, whereas us girls will cry and vent to our friends and let it all out.
When I became newly single, I purposely remained that way for at least a year and took back my life. It got easier every day. And I will continue to encourage people to do the same. A quick knock about the bedroom isn't going to make it all better again.
I guess I can't just blame the men because some women do it as well. They rope men into a false sense of security, lead them on and then drop them when their hook, line and sinker. But I can only look at the world from my perspective and my experience. So my advice to anyone recently out of a relationship would be to avoid the dating apps and temptations. Take back your life first and then get back out there again.
I'm sure my advice will fall on deaf ears....or....blind eyes though...