Lately, I’ve made it a point to remain intentionally busy from the moment I wake up until I crawl into bed (sometimes in the wee hours of the morning). As I continue healing, I find that getting out and staying social refocuses my energy on other things and ultimately gives me something to look forward to. I have had plans every night for the past two weeks straight and on weekends, plans during the day as well. I’ve been out with friends I know and met/made several more friends in the process. While I’m dog tired all of the fucking time, doing this has helped me stay happy.
By Friday, I was wiped out, but luckily had the day off. I started off my day with a therapy appointment where we discussed just how often I hide under the fake facade of appearing to be “happy” or “ok” when I’m not. I mostly do this because I don’t like talking about my feelings (outside of blogging) and I hate it when people are concerned about me. My therapist suggested I work on being more open with my emotions. She suggested that the next time someone asks me how I’m doing, that I answer them honestly.
Ironically enough, I got a text from my ex that afternoon. “Hey — how are you?”
Between being drained of energy and tied up wrapping gifts, I wasn’t sure if I was going to entertain his message…but then I got to thinking…It’s the holiday season, be nice, at least say hello.
We small talked back and forth for a few moments until the topic of dating came up. He asked if I was “seeing anyone new” because he had 1) “thought” he’d seen me out with someone in the previous week (this could have literally been any day within the last week) and 2) saw that I was “active” on a dating app that we last spoke on prior to dating.
First of all, none of this was any of his business (any longer) and I was within my rights to not respond to his invasive question. Why would he even care what the hell I’m doing? He broke up with me. I tossed back and forth in my head for a few minutes on whether or not I planned to even respond to his question or completely dodge it by changing the topic entirely, but then I remembered speaking to my therapist earlier in the day and how she asked me to attempt to be more “open” with my emotions…I’ve grown tired of him asking me how I’m doing lately, so I decided to drop the fake, “I’m happy and so cool with you”, act and sort of be an asshole, completely raw in my emotions. I don’t care to be the “cool ex” anymore (note – I paraphrased a great deal of this and omitted specifically intimate or personal examples/references/names from this conversation thread):
Me: No. I’ve casually entertained it here and there over the past few weeks, but I don’t think I’m ready to see someone right now. I need a little more time to heal.
Him: Oh, Sorry. I got out of a relationship last January and you were the first person I dated after that ended.
Me: To be honest, I’ve moved past being sad about this. I am more so frustrated with myself because I’m being impatient. This relationship was very real to me and took a lot out of me emotionally. I took it very seriously. I took a harder blow to my heart than I anticipated. I put a lot into that relationship…and ok…? Is that a bad thing I was the first person you dated after that or…?
Ok, so this is when things went into left field…he replied back and started going into really explicit detail about his past relationship. Granted, I knew that he had been in a relationship several months prior to our relationship, but to my understanding, it ended, he healed and moved on. WRONG. Oh no, he proceeded to tell me that he was *ENGAGED* to this girl (yes, he put stars around the word, “engaged” in his text message).
ENGAGED? What the hell? Pause.
Me: Oh, you were engaged…that’s news. You never mentioned that.”
Him: Oh, well…you never asked…
I literally cannot with this guy. I’ve now got to add in, “were you engaged in your relationship or perhaps EVER?” to my first date conversations. Thanks, asshole.
Our conversation continued and he told me about WHY the engagement was broken off. His fiance’ was abusive to him, treated him terribly…blah, blah etc. GRANTED, I felt TERRIBLE about the fact that he was abused, because no one deserves that. This continued for about a smooth 15-20 minutes until he attempted to dead end the conversation by wishing me a “Merry Christmas”, because I, “deserve it *wink face*
I decided our conversation wasn’t over and he was absolutely not, “Merry Christmasing” me after shitting that out. I immediately demanded to know if I was a “rebound” to him, which lead into another tangent on how he had taken all of these months to wait until he felt like “being with someone again” and how I was (again), “the first person he dated” after and how I was, “absolutely NOT a rebound” to him at all. He then went on to say how he wasn’t a fan of, “dating” and preferred long-term relationships…which, I don’t really think ANYONE *likes* dating, but it’s a necessary evil to figure out if someone is even worth a long-term relationship. It takes time to get to know someone. I asked him if he took time to think about that during the whopping three weeks we dated (before hopping into a relationship) or if the excitement of being with someone new overwhelmed him emotionally:
Him: I felt like you and I just worked. We had so much in common. We just fit very comfortably together and I didn’t want to waste a lot of time going through the motions of dating, because it’s stupid. Plus, you’re a catch. I didn’t want to lose the opportunity there to be with you.
(*thinking*: Quick..name three things we had in common minus being pizza snobs…go! Kidding, we had some interesting things in common)
Me: I understand, but I feel like while dating is awkward , time consuming, emotionally draining and uncertain, it’s kind of important in determining if something should move forward. No one really *likes* dating. I don’t think rushing that accelerates your connection with someone just because you both *like* each other *a lot*. Love at first sight situations are pretty rare…?
Him: Well, maybe…
Me: I just feel like it allows you that period of weeding out someone who may not be right for you or may end up wasting your time. I’m sorry, but I wish we had dated a little longer, because had we done so, we might have saved each other a lot of energy and emotion. We became entirely too intimate too fast and with intimacy comes invested emotions, which is messy.
Him: ……..well, I just prefer to cohabitate….which sort of comes about with a relationship. I just feel more comfortable in that situation. I’m not a fan of all of these “dates”. It’s just draining. I don’t want to tell five different people over the course of a month what my favorite color and food are. It’s not meaningful conversation. I would rather tell you my hopes and dreams while laying in bed.
(*thinking* : well, you’re draining).
Me: But you can’t force or speed through the stages of a relationship to get there… Relationships should grow organically. I don’t think it requires you to go on formal dates where you quiz one another on surface information. I never asked that or expected that of you…?
Him: I think I’m just more codependent.
(*thinking*: maybe try working on that?)
Me: And I’m more independent. I don’t feel like I need someone there for the sake of them being there. I feel smothered easily. I like to process information and think through things. I’m not an impulsive person and I wasn’t playing games with you or this.
Him: Listen. Everything about us was very real to me. Really. I meant everything and legitimately felt everything I told you I felt. I didn’t mean to hurt you…I feel bad about that and it really hurt (me) to end things, because we always had so much fun together and had become comfortable..I just started to feel like we weren’t going anywhere.
(*thought*: expressing that might have allowed us to work on that. But this man is exhausting).
Me: We flew through so much shit so fast that once things sort of settled it became uncomfortable (for you). Perhaps it stopped being entertaining and fun (to you). Maybe too routine (god was it routine).
(*thought*: even the sex was very routine and at times very technical.)
Me: I don’t know…? You don’t stay in the “honeymoon phase” forever. Eventually you have to deal with your relationship.
Me: Anyway, I don’t want to talk about this anymore…because this is like beating a fucking dead horse and I’m emotionally exhausted. I just needed you to know how I felt, because I never specifically told you.
Him: I’m so sorry 😦 .
Me: Ok. I do thank you for always being very kind, respectful, loving, nurturing and thoughtful.
Him: Of course. I feel like if you’re good to people you’ll receive the same in return. I could have honestly been very bitter behind what my ex (previous ex) did to me, but I felt like I came through the same as I was before.
Me: Glad to hear that *thumbs up*.
Him: You allowed me the realize that I am capable of being loved and taken care of. You treated me like fine china. You made me feel special. You made me laugh. You matched me with effort. You were always so patient and kind. You were a really good girlfriend. I had fun.
(thinking: then why the fuck did you breakup with me?!)
Him: No really. I appreciated that. I’m very glad to have met you and while we’re no longer together, I look forward to continuing to be friends.
Me: Yeah, I can only do that from an appropriate distance now. I do wish you well with everything though.
Him: Well, it sounds like you have your priorities straight, so I also wish you the best. You’re a really good friend.
(*thinking*: I’m really over this conversation)
Me: Well, I need to get going.
Him: Ok. It was good talking to you. Talk to you later?
Me: Have a good rest of your afternoon.
Our conversation was so draining to me, that I immediately had to take a power nap to recharge. After waking up from the nap, I felt a sense of relief and closure, like I could finally (and fully) move on from this.
And I do genuinely wish him well (under all of this, he is genuinely a good person with a huge heart and he means well), though I have a feeling he’ll quickly hop into another relationship (or two) and do all of this shit all over again. Won’t be my issue this time though (
I lowkey hope it fails). Anyway, after processing our conversation, I realized that I no longer feel like speaking to him adds any value to my life. I’m not particularly motivated into being a “friend” to him. Speaking to him creates a lot of anxiety/stress or drums up really intense emotions. I rarely feel the happiness I once felt. My emotional well being is important to me and I’ve really been making an effort to work on ME these last few weeks. While our relationship at times was fun (and we cared about each other greatly), I look at it now as being problematic to perhaps both of our psyches.
I’ve decided that I’m going to leave him and this raggedy situation in 2017. I don’t care to drag this into a new year. I want to start fresh, free of baggage. I hope he understands it’s not personal. Well, it is…but like, I don’t think he’s a terrible person.
In other news, I started the process of allowing myself to accept the attention and flirtation of others, more specifically this past Saturday, but I’ll leave that night of adventure for a later post, because this foolish boy in this post exhausted me.
The most compassionate and loving thing you can do for me right now is to trust that I’ll be ok and stop asking me how I “feel” (because if you truly cared, we would’t even be in this situation).
More to come on this later…
I made it a point this past week to continue on the path to “normalcy”. With Christmas around the corner, I’ve started to have a lot more social engagements that have kept me busy. Being busy helps me to feel better. Seeing friends, sharing a meal, doing an activity and laughter all help me to (temporarily) feel like myself again.
While I know I’m nowhere near ready to legitimately get back out there and date again (dating is the fucking worst), I’ve decided to start meeting people (just to rebuild my confidence) and boy did a meet a bunch of people this past week. There was the guy I spoke to Tuesday night while watching a basketball game at Ale house. Like me, he was having a beer while waiting for his friends to show up for dinner. There was the guy I met at karaoke night on Thursday, that I talked to about cars for the better part of two hours. And then there was the guy I met on Friday while out (at a bar) with some friends during our weekly game night.
We had just wrapped up our fifth or sixth round of uno (house rules) and downed maybe our second or third round of beers. The bar was jam packed, the place was hoppin and my face hurt from laughing at my friend Greg as he became more and more inebriated as the night progressed and then he appeared.
“Hey, I noticed that you guys were playing a game. Do you mind if I join in? I’m new in town and I literally don’t know anyone here yet”
He was tall and bearded with tussled dark brown hair and brown puppy dog eyes. He appeared slightly nervous and smiled sweetly as we all looked over at him a bit taken a back by his presence. I found it a little bold for him to interrupt our game, but I also found him to have a lot of courage as well. I immediately welcomed him to sit down and we integrated him into our game. We played several more rounds of uno (I had to teach him how to play) and then we moved to “Cards against Humanity”, a game he taught me how to play and a game that I ended up winning. He found my answers to be hilarious.
During our games, I found out he was from Utah, an ex-Mormon, worked in marketing and was actually visiting for the weekend to tour the area and look at possible areas to live. He explained that while he hadn’t found a job in the area yet, he wanted to move to the area for a, “change” from life in Salt Lake (Utah) and decided to visit to check everything out. He was very warmhearted and had very kind eyes. He seemed amused by the silly things I would say while we gamed and seemed intrigued by the brief bits of surface information I shared about myself. As we talked, I couldn’t help but to find myself really attracted to him. He seemed a little goofy, slightly nerdy, but super intelligent and extremely sweet. I found myself getting lost in his big doe-like eyes. The only weird thing about him was that his voice sounded exactly like my ex’s. I could literally close my eyes and picture my ex speaking. That was a little bizarre and unsettling at first.
We spoke for another hour or so after everyone was buzzed and a bit gamed out. He sat closer to me by this point so that we could hear one another over the echos of the people around us. At this point, only he and I were having a separate conversation from everyone else. He mentioned wanting to explore the city the following day and I offered up some suggestions to him and somehow threw in that I would, “be around” if he needed someone to “explore with”. He took the bate and asked for my number.
Shortly after we exchanged numbers, he called it a night because he was tired from traveling (had just gotten in town nearly 2-3 hours before game night). I couldn’t help but to feel like I had, “won”, because I saw a guy that I found interesting, spoke to him, HIT ON HIM, GOT HIS NUMBER AND secured an exploration date of sorts. This is so far out of my character. I don’t usually pursue guys so quickly, but I had it in my mind that I liked him, found him attractive and wanted to spend more time with him separately from my friends (who by the way were all guys that evening).
The following morning, he…(let’s just call him, “Jake” – not his actual name, but slightly resembles a darker haired, more average-looking Jake Gyllenhaal with brown eyes) texted me and asked if I still wanted to explore the city with him.
We agreed to meeting up for brunch and started the day from there. I made it a point to shower, put on makeup and to not put on sweats (Yes, there have been days lately where I have been physically unable to get out of bed–mostly weekend days).
We met at this cute little southern cafe’. He looked even cuter than he did the previous night. It’s like his adorable factor tripled. I guess everyone gets hotter once they get sleep! He wore a button down shirt, jeans and black pea coat (he seemed a little more dressed up than someone just exploring a new city and more dressed up than the night before). He gave me a huge hug as he walked up to me (as if we had known each other for years). He had a smile from ear to ear and seemed even taller than he did the night before. He smelled like sunshine and happiness.
Over brunch, we spoke more intimately. He went into more detail about himself, his interests, his hobbies, his family, his ex-faith etc. And admitted how nervous he was the night before when he approached my friends and I about joining in on our game night. He said everyone gave him weird looks, minus me. He appreciated that I smiled at him and immediately welcomed him to join us. He said he could tell I was very kind. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him and barely touched my brunch as we continued to chit chat. Everything about him seemed happy, peaceful and kind.
We walked around the city for several hours after brunch and continued talking. He completely allowed me to be his “guide” and trusted everything I said about the city. My tour guide skills are a little raggedy, since I don’t usually have to explain the city to people. He seemed excited and intrigued anyway.
We brushed hands and shoulders a few times while walking and bashfully blushed and smiled at one another like school children. After several hours of walking and rambling on about our lives, I realized that I didn’t have my phone on me!
I frantically dug around in my pockets and purse, but there was nothing there. He could tell I was
a bit concerned and suggested that we retrace our steps back towards our brunch spot. Low and behold, my phone was safely tucked away by staff at the cafe. Thank god, because I just got this phone a month ago.
We toured around for a few more hours until it started getting dark and we started getting hungry again. We stepped into a BBQ joint (the staple food of this area) for dinner where we discussed the day’s adventures. He kept saying how much he appreciated me showing him around and how he really enjoyed our time together. The entire day felt like an exaggerated date, but I knew we were just two people meandering around the city, enjoying each other’s company.
We parted ways after dinner as it was starting to get late and we’d literally knocked out 20K steps walking around all day. He thanked me once more for the lovely day, gave me a huge bear hug and told me he’d keep in touch about relocating here. He gave me a kiss on the forehead and wished me a goodnight.
This morning I woke up to a message from him letting me know he was on the way to the airport and thanked me again for such a great time. We agreed to keep in touch and that was it.
While I had such a great time with “Jake”, It’s not realistic to think of a future with him. Who knows when or IF he’ll move here. Even if he DOES move here, it’d probably be months before that even happened. Nobody can promise what life will be like months from now. While I enjoyed his company, it would be foolish for me to wait around for him (which I won’t).
I will say this though, confidently pursuing”Jake” and spending time with him really helped take my mind off of my ex. It also gave me some hope that maybe I’m not doomed in regards to love forever and always. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to find someone that makes my
woman bits heart flutter in that school girlish crush way that “Jake” did. It’s like god dropped him off friday night as a late night treat. He was refreshing. Maybe I’ll be open to dating a bit further on down the road. Maybe I can find a, “Jake”.
For the better part of a month or so, I’ve had some pretty intense cramps, indigestion, nausea, dizziness, headaches, mood swings and unexplainable fatigue (like going to bed at 7 p.m., exhaustion). I’ve mostly ignored it for the past few weeks because well, you know, been a little occupied being depressed.
Anyway, I googled these symptoms and stumbled upon some articles that said, “could you be pregnant? Here are the common symptoms” Tell me why I pretty much had every single symptom. Bitch, nah.
First of all, I don’t even want to entertain this. I’m tired (mentally, physically and especially emotionally). And secondly, no. These symptoms are probably all separate of each other. Like maybe I’ve had these weird unsettling feelings with my stomach because I keep taking my medication without eating, and maybe I have indigestion because I’m eating really fast and inhaling a lot of air….maybe I’ve been nauseous because I’m eating really shitty (holiday) food (that I’m craving) this time of year, perhaps the dizziness and headaches are from stress, the and the moodiness and fatigue from being depressed/anxious. Yeah, that’s it.
Even so, the chance of that happening with a(n) (ex) partner who is (intentional medically) “sterile” are like 1-2% at best. Yeah, I’m going to go with, “NO for 500, Alex“.
Anyway, I typed all of that ridiculousness to basically insinuate attempting to diagnose yourself will leave you thinking that you have cancer, are pregnant or dying. 9 times out of 10, you’re probably ok and your mind is doing backflips into the pool of “assumptions” and “what ifs”.
All I want for Christmas is for my heart to heal. I know I’m not perfect, I know I’m not always “good (though I really try to be)”, but being able to heal and recover would mean the world to me.
Feel free to leave the doctored up version of my broken heart under the tree (or well, plant, since I cannot seem to find my Christmas spirit this year) and please leave it unwrapped for immediate use.
I promise to take better care of my heart moving forward to ensure that it is not so easily damaged.
Google, “heartbreak” and “how to deal with heartbreak” on the internet and you’ll find a wide spectrum of advice columns on the subject matter. Some are particularly encouraging and motivating and suggest doing things like taking up yoga (wait, I did actually do this) or volunteering in your community (that too) to feel better and others are negative and basically state that not only will you experience again (and most likely worse), but it most likely happened to you this time around because you’re a terrible person (so ok, I’m exaggerating just a tad).
I take everything with a grain of salt these days. There is no easy “fix” to heartbreak and everyone is different. There is no sound proof recipe to follow. Everyone’s relationships are different, the reasons behind why those relationships failed, the people in them and the reasons why they started in the first place are all different. Maybe one person’s way to get through heartbreak is to jump out of a plane, while someone else’s might be to throw themselves into work (not recommended for me).
If there’s anything that I’ve discovered about myself over the past six weeks or so is that no amount of yoga or skydiving is going to “fix me”. I have to essentially find ways to self-reflect and readjust my energy (and attitude) to focus on more positive areas of my life like my friends, family and even acquiring a new skill. It’s been going ok so far. I still don’t sleep particularly well at night, but I’m working on it.
Recently, I’ve found myself diving into skills that my ex either did or we did together. In a strange round about way, it’s therapeutic to me to accomplish these things on my own. it’s almost my way of proving that I can do it and in some cases do it better than he did (of course, he wasn’t great at EVERYTHING, but he mastered A LOT of really cool skills well. I of course mastered smearing makeup on his pillow cases, falling asleep on him while watching almost ANYTHING on netflix, never being able to finish whatever portion of food he made for me and unintentionally becoming inebriated after one glass of bourbon–where is my cookie for this outstanding craftsmanship?!). I did this with Kayaking while visiting the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago (kayaking was not one of these things that I was better at–but I managed to do it and didn’t die in the process). Will I ever do it again? Maybe…perhaps in a lake on a non-windy day.
Cooking is another thing I’ve started to focus more energy on. I’ve never considered myself a bad cook, just lazy. My ex however, was a marvelous cook and regularly made these masterpieces for us to share just because he wanted to. I never cooked anything for him, because again I’m lazy, but I DID bake for him a few times and he seemed to be appreciative of that. On our second date, he invited me over to his place where we made homemade pizza together (we’re both pizza snobs) while
drinking sipping bourbon neat (which I’m learning to appreciate). This was not only a fun activity to share, but a knowledgeable one as well.
I’ll never forget coming home after being away on business for a week. He invited me over for dinner the following night where he made this elaborate moroccan dish with like 500 ingredients (so ok, I’m exaggerating–but it was at least 50–because I SEENT IT…most of them were seasonings, herbs and spices I couldn’t spell or pronounce), including one spice that tops out at $20 a jar (was this gold dust? He was probably flexin–why would anyone spend $20 alone on a spice? By the way, it was called, “Saffron”).
The dish took him an entire day to “prep” and nearly 2 hours to actively “cook” and god know how long to shop for all of the ingredients (this most certainly was love). While I didn’t really help with this one (I did stir, brown the chicken and introduce him to merlot!), it really motivated me to be more creative in my “masterpieces” in the kitchen. Like bloody hell, why am I not prepping for an entire day and buying exotic spices? I’m happy to report that while I didn’t recreate this specific dish (girl, bye), I have managed to do my thing in the kitchen with a few elaborate meals. I’ve even used cast iron (his prefered method of making said masterpieces) as well as teaching myself how to season, clean and maintain the skillet (doable, but labor intensive and I’m still lazy).
(Actual moroccan dish he made AND the merlot that I so graciously provided-full of NOMs–I flexed FOR him on the ‘gram)
Another Check. Difficulty level, 2 (scale of 1-5).
In a bizarre way, accomplishing the things I mentioned as well as running, picking up a new sport to get into, hanging out with friends/family, volunteering/learning how to make/bottle bourbon (and others I’m too lazy to type out), it makes me feel better and more at peace. It’s almost as if it allows me to take him off of a pedestal and remove the notion that I need him there (of course there are some very specific things that he did quite well (QUITE with a capital “Q”) that I’m not physically able to do (at least on my own)–ha, but that’s not for a public post.
I’ve still been keeping up my goal of not being in contact with him for a little while and I’m happy to report that I’ve done well. Tomorrow makes two solid weeks. While we haven’t communicated via text or verbally, I’ve seen him here and there (in traffic) around our side of town. In living ten minutes from one another and knowing each other’s routines and shopping habits, that’s bound to happen (I just really hope we don’t run into each other in Walmart). For instance, he was at an intersection I passed early last Saturday morning. He’s a fan of grocery shopping once a week on Saturday mornings.
My emotions still kind of shift and level out from day to day, but the fluctuations are becoming less and less frequent and my moods are starting to remain a little more consistent. I have moments of sadness, but not nearly as many. I notice that as long as I try not to sit idle for too long, not read texts from him, peruse through photos of him (or us) and actually stay on top of taking my anxiety medication, I am ok.
I’ve also come to realization that this particular breakup hit me hardest of all because I
was on the verge of being in love(d) with him and he loved me too. He treated me far better than any other guy, even right up towards the end. It took this relationship for me to realize that I’ve probably never truly been in love in the way I thought I was (even with another ex who was emotionally unavailable and is STILL a terrible friend to this damn day). Strong like, yes….even strong toleration (see above), absolutely, but never true love.
I’ve read that our brains really treat heartbreak like an illness. Your body goes through all of these periods of attempting to “fight it off” and you’re basically out of sorts with yourself for a little bit…even the one who initiated the break up. It’s just a weird period of time. I like to think my ex WENT or is going through this, but outside of saying he was a little sad, drowning himself in work on purpose, not sleeping and looking like death warmed over, I’m not sure. It’s not my place to ask. I hope he’s able to eventually heal/mend too.
So there you go, I’ve officially experienced true heartbreak and I’m still standing (queue Elton John’s, “I’m still standing” with some shimmies, glitter and body rolls–YASSSSSS). I am also proud to admit that I honestly don’t resent my ex and have found no true reason to “hate him” (and I shamefully DID try to find a reason a few weeks ago). He’s a good person with a huge heart and while it didn’t work out between us, I still wish him well with his life. I just appreciate that we were able to do this peacefully.