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I recently broke up with my boyfriend of two years after long distance wasn’t working out (he had been fairly lazy on keeping up communication, and I felt I had been taken for granted). I’m not too proud of this, but a few days later I hooked up with another guy and since then have started an extremely physical “friends with benefits” relationship with him. Worse yet, this new guy is a mutual friend of my ex-boyfriend and mine and is fully aware of (and doesn’t mind) his status as a rebound. Although I can confidently say I’m no longer upset over the break-up, I’m still getting used to being single again, and this rebound hook-up isn’t helping. How can I politely block him out of my life without giving in to the temptation? -Addicted to Affection
Addicted to Affection,
This hook-up is causing - or if your ex hasn’t found out yet, has the potential to cause - a lot of pain and anger, and it’s for the best that you back out immediately. Your rebound and your mutual sexual attraction had probably been something you had been conscious of for a while, and it provided more excitement than your last relationship. Of course you’re addicted to affection, everybody is. What you did is totally understandable, and also totally unwise. Dumping someone and then hooking up with his friend appears, regardless of your intentions, like you’re motivated to hurt a guy who doesn’t deserve this insensitive treatment.
Thankfully, your FWB doesn’t sound especially attached. He’s in a hook-up situation, knows it and doesn’t seem to want anything more. When you decide to end things, he’ll likely shrug his shoulders, be sorry the sex will stop, and move on. By dubbing yourself as “addicted to affection,” it sounds as if you are the one you’re worried about. Loneliness is tough, especially after being in a committed relationship. Even when you think you’ve beaten it back, it can pop up again at the least convenient times. In order to completely remove yourself from the temptation to hook up with him again, you’ll need to be fairly brutal in ending contact. “Politely block him out of my life” is an oxymoron. It’s impossible, but you do need to end it in order to move on from this mess.
You need to have one conversation with Mr. Rebound, then totally break off communication. Meet with him somewhere and just tell him the truth. Say what you’re doing is both insensitive to your ex-boyfriend and, in a way, keeps you tied to the memory of the break-up. As I said, I don’t think he’ll be especially devastated, but regardless, stop communicating with him from that point forward. Delete his number from your phone and, if necessary, delete him from any and all social media sites. If he drunkenly texts you late one night, delete it and be done. Fight the urge to even talk to him at all, at least until you no longer feel the urge to sleep with him. Just stop talking to him. Doing this will be both more respectful to the memory of a more serious relationship while also providing closure from that same relationship.