You won’t win being the transition person
BY CHERYL LAVIN November 17, 2013 5:48PM
Updated: November 19, 2013 9:00AM
Spring and fall are the transition seasons between summer and winter. The teens are the transition years between childhood and adulthood. And Christopher was the transition person between Skylar’s husband and a whole world of men.
If there’s one person you never want to be, it’s the transition person. It rarely works out well. You meet someone when they’re at their lowest, just coming off an awful breakup or disastrous divorce. You pick up the pieces and put them back together, and then when the person is whole again, they feel so good about themselves — thanks to you — that they want to explore the whole big wide world of dating. Without you.
Which is exactly what happened to Christopher. He met Skylar at a business seminar. He says, “She was perhaps the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.”
They went out once. They went out twice. On their second date, Skylar told Christopher she was going through a divorce. They spent five hours discussing loss, pain and heartache. Mostly Skylar talked and Christopher listened.
“I didn’t preach or offer advice on how she should feel or what she should do,” he says. “I just listened.” At the end of the evening, Skylar gave him a hug. A big hug.
That date pretty much set the pattern for their relationship. They would have long, serous talks about loss and pain, Skylar would get weepy, and then they’d hug. That was it.
One night as they were talking, Skylar asked Christopher to hold her. She said she was embarrassed to ask, but Christopher told her he had wanted to hold her for a long time, but he was trying to be sensitive. Women like sensitive men, don’t they?
(Readers: Do they or don’t they?)
Christopher was very happy holding her. Actually, he would have liked to have done a whole lot more. He was falling in love with her. Skylar seemed to be falling, too. She couldn’t wait to see him. They’d have a date planned for Saturday night and she’d call him Tuesday and ask to get together sooner than that.
And then one night, after they’d progressed from hugging to snuggling, Skylar suddenly said, “I don’t want to hurt you.”
(Readers, you don’t have to be a linguist to know that “I don’t want to hurt you” means, “I’m going to hurt you very, very badly.”)
Christopher was warned, but he refused to listen. So they continued to snuggle-date. And, as Skylar got further and further away from the pain of her divorce, and as Christopher continued to fuel her ego, she got stronger and stronger and needed him (and his cuddling) less and less.
Just like that, she started to pull away. First she got moody; then she got distant. She stopped answering his texts and calls. When she did, it was with one or two words. One of the last texts Christopher received from her said her divorce was final and she was seeing a few guys.
For a while, Christopher felt used. Then he felt stupid. Finally, he realized that Skylar had taught her a valuable lesson: Never date a woman who’s been divorced for less than a year.
“It’s a rule I still follow.”
Have you ever been the transition person? Have you ever mistreated your transition person? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.