Friends, Dates, ???, FWBs, Exes.

I was slammed (socially) this past weekend and I’m still paying for it. I did dinner, trivia and bar hopping Friday with some friends, brunch with my parents, date with the teacher, game night with friends, brewery lounge on Saturday and Sunday I took a day trip to the beach with some friends to check out a street festival.

You’re probably wondering, “why do you do this stupid shit?” and my response would be, “because you only live once and I’m a dumb ass.”

After having quite a stressful week at work, I really wanted to focus on fun with friends, where I felt I could be completely relaxed and at ease. My plan was not to go on any dates, but the teacher seemed fairly persistent, so I finally took him up on the offer. We met at this public garden where we walked around for about an hour before my allergies started to go crazy and we dipped into a brewery right down the road (actually the one we met at on our first date). I really appreciated his planning. He knew I had, had a hellish week and wanted to take me places that would ease my mind. We even did dinner after downing a few beers (and I was good and lit).

The teacher has kind of been a dark horse in all of this. He’s a very kindhearted guy, makes his intentions fairly clear and has no problem showering me with compliments and support, all while giving me “space”. I think he “really” likes me and while I enjoy hanging out with him, I’m not sure if I feel those same romantic feelings towards him and I’m not sure how to handle that. Hes fun to talk to (I guess), but I’m having a hard time forcing myself to dive into the pool of infatuation and I’m not even sure if the urge is going to come. Part of me knows I’m not going to have those feelings (for him) no matter how hard I try, but the other part of me wants to know why that even is…? Am I just not attracted to him? He’s not bad looking necessarily…Maybe he’s not “bad boy” enough.

Anyway, after date time with The Teacher, I met up with friends for game night and brewery lounging before calling it an early night around midnight so I could get up to drive to a friend’s house for our day trip Sunday.

My friend that I was meeting up with recently bought a house about thirty minutes outside of town (in the country). This is the friend that I reference in the flake post. Anyway, since it had been so long since she, my other friend and I had hung out, we decided to take a day trip to the beach (from her place).

We had an interesting conversation on dating, relationships and love in our two hour car ride. We all kind of opened up about past situations and how/what we learned from them. We talked about how difficult it was to date in your 30s and how all of us thought online dating in particular was extremely draining. Over the last few months, I really haven’t opened up much about my “love life” in that way. I mean, I’ve vaguely mentioned that I’ve been regularly seeing someone (because another group of friends want to know why I’m missing events here and there), but I haven’t elaborated on how that situation or any past situations have made me feel. I haven’t talked about my fears or insecurities in dating. Or how sometimes I get tired of having to decode things. For some reason with these two friends, I felt compelled to really open up to them about everything going on. I told them about Babyface and how I was sort of at a crossroads with him because my feelings towards him lately have turned into more of a physical convenience than anything else (he’s adorable, funny and nice, but very little of that phases me these days). I told them about my ex and how damaged I felt right after our breakup and how I had been taking precautions in dating to never end up in that situation again. I even told them about other misc relationships, like with blast from the past and how the current state of our friendship is at times strained due to him cheating on me so many years ago and never directly apologizing about it. Overall, the trip really put a lot of things in perspective for me. We even had a conversation about what dating was to each of us and my one friend decided that he probably wasn’t “doing dating correctly”, because dating should involve effort form BOTH parties, it shouldn’t necessarily be one person pulling all of the weight.

We ended up having a fun day at the beach and on the way back, my friends suggested that I refuse to make any plans with Babyface because they thought he was being extremely lazy in never (fully) planning any of our dates  minus our very first one and half of our last one (though one of them said he might just be “shy” and afraid I might not like all of his suggestions–he is not “shy”). Earlier that weekend, Babyface had mentioned getting together the following weekend (this upcoming weekend), but as usual, never provided any details or thoughts as to what he wanted to do or what day/time he wanted to do said things. Per the suggestion of my friends, I sent him a text message Monday night in response basically saying:

This weekend is fine. I’m going to step back and let you figure it out though. You just tell me the when and the where.

*crickets*

As I took breaks to type up this blog post, he responded, but not really to my statement. He sent more of a “good morning, how are you doing, how was your trip,” text. Can I say that is another form of text messaging etiquette that bothers me? Like, he blatantly ignored what I said. I know he has to have somewhat of a reading comprehension to have made it through college…

Maybe I’m just annoyed with Babyface because I’m PMSing and  craving some back breaking action from him specifically–ha, sort of just kidding…but seriously, I’m tired and I don’t want to plan anything. I think I deserve a break on that. We could do pizza on his/mine couch for all I care…just plan it.

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Jaded & Empathic

Well, it’s another sunny day in my world—being most sarcastic of course, but it was a mildly interesting day to say the least. We got pizza at work and I ended up explaining my ex’s vasectomy to my mom (don’t ask).

Today, I received a peculiar response from a guy that I had been messaging on an app. He seemed “shocked” that “someone like me” would have been interested enough to respond to him *clutch to pearls and stop the press right now*. He eagerly wanted to know why I responded.

Like…is that earth shattering? I mean, up until now you seemed normal?

I told him in reading his profile he seemed nice and down to earth. He asked me if that was rare, to which I replied, “yes, a lot of guys up here seem to be really jaded and bitter.” Well, I must have touched a sore spot because he sent me a novel in response. I’m not even going to write everything he said because it was stupid. I’ll just summarize:

He basically said a lot of guys have been hurt really bad by women and they were tired and didn’t believe in love anymore. They were so hurt in fact, that they just couldn’t take it anymore and I should feel empathy for them…because poor them. He also went on a tangent about how he knows guys are “sleazy” and he *tries* to take that into consideration with women and tries to make up for the “sleazy” guys they’ve dealt with.

WHAT?!

Y’all exhaust the fuck out of me, I swear. I had to read his message back twice.

In the grand scheme of things, I understood what he meant, but it still didn’t explain or excuse these same hurt men referring to all women as, “spineless, backstabbing bitches”, which I explained to him. He back pedaled a bit, but still advised me to understand, assuring me that HE was not one of these guys.

Omg, go away.

He concluded his soapbox speech asking me how I was doing and how work was going for me today. Well, deputy dog, I’m doing just dandy now that you mansplained who and what i should feel empathy for.

Moral of the story, if you ever read or see a guy in extreme distress calling all women, “spineless, backstabbing bitches”, open up your heart and empathize with him. He’s had a hard life.

Fin.

 

On Mending

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.

flipping over

Check.

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”).

i seent it

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).

meal

(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.

wink

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.

heart break

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.

Traffic, Commitments & Following My Own Advice

I spent the weekend over his place. We hadn’t seen each other since the 4th of July, but we’ve managed to stay in touch via text and phone calls, which is cool.

I had been looking forward to our “reunion” for a few weeks, especially since we had a false start or two with him promising that he would be here for work only to have those plans fall through and him never bothering to inform me until I asked. Read More

A Favor/Advice 

Do yourself a favor and remember this bit of advice :

Anyone who values you and genuinely wants to get to know you/continue a relationship with you (friendship/otherwise), will make it a point to stay in touch with you without you nudging/asking them to do so. Period. Don’t entertain anyone who is not willing to make that effort and invest their time in you. You matter.