What do you do with the rebound?
I started hanging out with a friend I've known for years after the divorce and it turns out he doesn't see it the same way I do. He is such a sweetheart and I've loved the attention and feeling attractive again, but he wants way more from the relationship than I can give. We are great talking on the phone and hanging out once in a while, (he lives a couple of hours away so we don't see each other much,) but I know I can't build a future with him. We are way too different and would want to change too many things about each other. I haven't/won't sleep with him because I don't believe in sex outside of a committed relationship and I know that when this ends it will be way worse for both of us if we have shared that kind of intimacy. On the other hand, after a long marriage where lack of sex was not an issue, I definitely miss it. I know he can tell and doesn't understand my faith or why I won't just enjoy sex for the sake of pleasure.
I'm so torn between feeling like I'm using this relationship to stall going through what I need to to heal from the divorce, but also loving feeling warmth, affection and emotional intimacy, (all of which was sorely lacking in my marriage.) I've actually been very open in my communication. I've told him this is rebound, he is going to get hurt, I need to date and figure out what I want in life, that I won't sleep with him, and that our differences in faith are a deal breaker, but he just patiently listens, nods, and changes the subject.
I feel like I'm being a selfish jerk letting this go on, but I crave time with him so much! I want to push him away because some of his lifestyle choices drive me so crazy, but I don't want to be alone. If I end the relationship, I'll regret it, if I keep going, I'll regret it.
Is this what everyone goes through after divorce?