When Trevor posted a Facebook suggestion that we go somewhere tropical where he could “teach me to scuba dive” and we could “smile again,” I jumped at the chance.
Trevor was six foot one, built like a SubZero and fluent in, at last count, five languages – several of which were dead. I was almost exactly half his size – a slender 120 pound, 5 foot 7 brunette with overwhelming ambition. We’d dated in graduate school, nearly eight years before, and after I joined Facebook we’d flirted back and forth.
Our dating life had been hot, but tumultuous: a naked cage match between him, a 27-year-old Conservative Catholic Republican, and me, a 21-year-old Liberal Jewish Democrat. Our official relationship lasted for six months; the late night instant message marathons and lazy mornings in bed, almost a year. He broke up with me when he decided we were too different to have a future together.
Nearly a decade later, I still had feelings for him. So I said yes to the trip, booking flights and the hotel in less than a week, before my friends or common sense could talk me out of either.
I’d had other boyfriends since, but when I needed a daydream, I remembered his deep voice, the image of his muscular arm wrapped around my body. Trevor was my kryptonite, the only boy who could turn my insides to KY Jelly with a look. Now we’d have a week alone in a Caribbean paradise with nothing except each other and a pile of scuba equipment.
In the weeks leading up to our scuba adventure, Trevor texted me sweet messages about second tries and how our trip could be life changing. He promised this time would be different.
We met in Miami and shared a connection to St Croix. He had gained a few pounds, but otherwise looked the same. I hoped he thought I had aged well. Arriving at the hotel in St. Croix, we quickly picked up where we had left off eight years before and were naked within 15 minutes. Still, good sex doesn’t equal a successful relationship and before the trip was done, I knew the daydream and Facebook flirts were also finished. This time wasn’t going to be different.
Even still, a month later, when he texted that “I’ve kind-of met someone,” I allowed myself a good cry before reloading my online dating profile.
To break the hold Trevor had on me, I decided to try to date his clone, just local, Jewish and maybe about 20 pounds lighter. In true Trevor fashion, I wanted shoulders broad enough to balance dinner plates, a back that stretched for meters, a chest like Paul Bunyan. I wanted a big, strapping giant – someone whose size demanded attention and respect and was big enough to fill the hole in my heart Trevor left.
Joe’s profile picture fit the bill. He was in the water, outfitted with snorkeling equipment, one massive arm holding up a large starfish. Even in the thumbnail I could see his muscles. I’d tagged him as a favorite to let him know that I was interested. But he checked out my profile and didn’t write back.
Seriously?! No way. I want this.
I wrote him a quick one-liner asking where he had found such a starfish. He took the bait, writing back two full paragraphs. Game on.
We met for a first date at a local wine bar. A few days later, we had a second date at a boisterous Japanese restaurant. A third date soon followed, then a fourth. We broke Yom Kippur fast together. I liked him. He had a Master’s degree, a scuba certification and was tall enough for me to wear heels. He was everything Trevor was, but local, Jewish and, ok, still a Republican.
I didn’t realize how much I had succeeded in finding Trevor 2.0 until Joe took his shirt off for the first time. A large blue tiger tattoo graced his right shoulder, the same location as Trevor’s large blue lion. When he rolled over in bed, I kissed his tattoo, just like I’d done with Trevor’s.
I probably should have known better – in sci-fi movies, cloning always has a disastrous ending. Sure enough, within two months Trevor 2.0 was ready for Breakup 2.0 with the same, “We’re too different to have a future together” reason.
I’d love to say that I’ve learned my lesson and moved beyond my lust-inspiring linebackers to tall, trim boys in dark suits and black-framed glasses, the educated and socially-aware ones who use MacBooks, eat local veggies and always remember to vote.
But I’m back online, this time searching for Trevor-Joe 3.0 and hoping that this one, like the next iPad, is a bit more advanced. At least I can say that the next time I see a shoulder tattoo, I’m putting my clothes back on.
Tell Us: Have you ever dated someone like your ex in order to get over him?