Actual Factual Advice

I’m still riding that wave of being (mostly) at peace. After all, I’m not perfect by any means and there is still a itty bitty part of me dusting off emotionally, but I’m so much better than I was, omg! It feels amazing to want to get up, to want to be social, to be able to focus on other aspects of my life that I had been neglecting for months. Most importantly, it feels nice to have the courage to “get back out there” and KNOW that this person nor that situation “ended” me. While I’ve been hurt or a little sad about ended relationships before, this was my first substantial heartbreak because I was so emotionally invested.

I don’t think being “emotionally invested” is a bad thing. It means that you believe in that person and your connection with them. It means you’re putting faith in things and giving it a go and you’re being vulnerable. A lot of risk comes with that and before this relationship; I realized I had never really been that vulnerable with anyone, even with guys that I *thought* I “loved”. I was always overly cautious, which led me not to be emotionally connected or invested in any past exes. Even one I was with for about a year. I deserved so much better than that.

Not to sound “cheesy”, but this whole situation reminds of a scene in the Black Panther movie where T’Challa (Black Panther) is laying in a bed of snow (he is near death and feeling defeated. While in this coma like state he is speaking to his ancestors who are inviting him to join them in the afterlife) and one moment he’s clinging to life and is powerless and then the next moment he realizes he has unfinished business to tend to, regains the “Black Panther” strength and emerges more powerful than before. I wish I could find that image online, but I’ve searched for about ten minutes and I have other things to do…

Anyway, it’s amazing how when you’re “heartbroken” the world seems like it is ending and the advice everyone gives you goes a little something like this:

“It will get better”

“You’re better off”

“He was a/an [insert insult here] anyway”

“Everything happens for a reason”

“You’ll find someone new/better”

“Smile. It will hurt less.”

Just don’t *think* about them”

“Go out and rebound”

“Maybe you’ll get back together”

 

Let’s be honest, none (well, most) of these things aren’t sinking in to your brain, which is diluted with negative energy and sadness by this point. You are exhausted and you can barely think about tomorrow, let alone “the future”. I really wish when I went through this painful experience I was told:

“It’s going to really HURT and for a while. Like physical pain level of hurt.”

“It’s going to suck and there are going to be days where you feel like you can’t function, but over time you will feel better.”

It’s ok to cry and to feel sad. You’re in mourning. Actually go through the stages of these emotions. Allow yourself to feel this raw emotion.”

“Don’t hold things in. Talk to loved ones or professionals if you can.”

“Blog it out.”

“You’ll go through a roller coaster of emotions. Some days you’ll feel a little better and then several days later you’ll feel sad again (sometimes without reason), but as time moves on you’ll have more good days than bad days until eventually the majority of your days are good again.”

“You’ll long for your ex and even act on seeing them. That’s normal. While reuniting (even on a friendly basis) sounds like a good idea, it’s not (shortly after a breakup) and will set both of you off course emotionally. Wait six or more months and if you’re able to have a genuine platonic friendship, go for it, but keep your boundaries in check.”

“Cut communication as much as possible. Even if you’re cordial to one another, it’s just not necessary to be “in touch” right after.”

“Go out and find new hobbies, experience new things, travel, make new friends. These eventual distractions will prove to be pivotal in your recovery.”

“If going to a certain place reminds you of them, don’t go to that place if it is at all humanly possible. Protect your peace.”

“Stop re-reading their text messages, emails, listening to their voicemails, making googly eyes at photos of them (you both as a couple counts too), in fact,  remove the photos from your phone, or at the very least place them in a “hidden” folder or store them on a hard drive. Social media wise, hide their updates and hide yours from them too. If absolutely necessary (wasn’t for me), delete them from your social media pages. At least for now. Protect. your. peace.”

“When you do dust off and get back out there again, try not to date someone just like them. Try to date someone different from your ex. They might surprise you (in a good way). You will naturally compare your new bae to your ex, but don’t be too critical.”

“Take things slow in your next romantic encounter. Consider the reasons why you and your ex didn’t work and strive to not repeat those things moving forward. Be logical and tell your heart to pace itself.”

“Take your time and only get back out there when you feel as though you’re all better. Don’t date with a revengeful heart or even for the purposes of rebounding or making your ex jealous. Those situations will never end well and might potentially hurt the other person in the crossfire of your selfish behavior.”

“You’re probably going to date a lot of cornballs [see guy #1] and fuck boys post break-up. Go out, have fun, keep an open mind and know your worth. Eventually, your “prince charming” will come around.”

“You may have days where you are not your ex’s biggest fan [2]….EVEN if you guys ended things mutually or in a very peaceful way and they treated you like gold while you were together. That is OK. It’s natural to have a bit a resentment, try not to act on it though.”

“There will be times where you’ll be worried about them. Wondering if they’re ok, if they’re lonely, if they feel guilt, if they have second thoughts, etc. Yes, they probably do indeed have these thoughts and go through these things, but it’s not your job to “protect” them anymore.”

***

I could easily go on and on with this, but what is most important is that I made it through the worst of it and I am on the other side now with a renewed sense of self. I don’t regret meeting my ex or even being in a relationship with him, not for one second. I’m glad I let my guard down and took the chance to let him into my world. Imagine had I not let my guard down, I would have potentially missed out on having someone really amazing in my life. I would have missed out on truly understanding what it feels like to have someone love me unconditionally and to meet my effort 110%. I cherish those moments that we shared and I feel honored that of all people, he chose to share those moments with me. I wish him all of the success and happiness in the world, I really do.

One of the best gifts he gave me was learning how to truly love and trust and ALLOWING someone to love and trust you in return. I just hope that moving forward I can approach love in that way with someone new, which I’m sure I will in time. And if I never do, at least I can say I did have the pleasure of experiencing it.

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(Almost on) The Other Side.

With each passing day I feel more and more like myself. For a few months now, I’ve been waiting on that feeling of “waking up one day and feeling better”. While I haven’t hit that day yet, I feel that I’m dangerously close and it feels amazing. I no longer listen to sad songs or songs about love and cry. I can pass by places we went and not be overwhelmed by sadness. I can look at photos of him and not be depressed (though I did delete all of them off of my phone).  I can think back to time we spent together and be reminded of good times instead of being bitter and resentful. All I do now is genuinely wish him well (internally) with each passing day. Breaking up around the holidays is particularly difficult (difficult in general), because the entire world around you seems to be happy and you’re in the pits of hell trying to muster up the ability to pull yourself out of bed and simply exist in a world that seems so cold and dark. Dramatic, I know…but I don’t know how to describe that any better. That shit is depressing.

I can tell I’m starting to feel better because the idea of dating isn’t entirely off putting. As I go out more and more, I feel more confident to possibly entertain it. I find myself looking at/meeting guys that I find attractive or not entirely obnoxious. I also find myself being able to quickly identify guys that I could entertain and guys to stay away from (guys that would potentially stress me out or eat away at my peace–BIG no-no in 2018). And while looking/meeting these guys, I’m not necessarily comparing them to my ex. Not that he’s a bad guy, but comparing every guy to him would be dangerous and destructive. I’m not even sure if I want to date someone exactly like him, even though I don’t hate him as a person (he’s a kindhearted person). What I DO know is that I most definitely, under NO circumstances want to ever RUSH a relationship ever again in the way that I did with him. Nothing good ever comes from that. If you EVER feel rushed through a relationship like I did, SPEAK UP and let your voice be heard before going down that bumpy road. I feel like he was subconsciously destructive and careless with my heart for his need of companionship and cohabitation because I showed him genuine kindness and love and he chased after it like a wild animal. I feel like he was in love with BEING in love and I stupidly went along with it. We’re human, it happens.

Last night, I went out with some friends (as I’ve been consistently doing now for the better part of a month or two) and managed to meet some guys while bar hopping, that bought me drinks. I honestly was trying to save money and cut myself off at $20 worth of drinks, but certainly didn’t turn down the offer for more!

Ryan G - buy you a drank

While this has been a common theme lately (going out), I can’t remember a more vibrant time in my life where I’ve just been able to go out and let the world be my oyster. I mean, even last year this time I was “seeing someone” and dated throughout much of the time between that guy and my most recent ex. I haven’t really had enough time to just fly solo. It’s been fun and has helped me to brush up on my flirtation skills–which reminds me, I’m super doper goofy when it comes to flirting. I mostly just end up being silly and making the guy laugh, which usually ends up breaking up any awkward tension.

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I’m not taking any of these interactions seriously right now, I’m just having fun being single and free. I find all of the interactions as practice and “dusting things off” so to speak. Which by the way, I have “interacted” with guys here and there, but it’s not important enough to disclose on this post…Outside of this guy.

I think I can do this again in time. I’m happy that I’m not entirely broken or defective merchandise. I AM lovable. A month, 3 months, 6 months from now, I look forward to what life might have in store for me, but for now I’m just going to sit back and continue on the journey back to normalcy. This is certainly a change from a time where I couldn’t imagine seeing the sun again.

Brown Eyed Boy.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Gurrrrl. Whet?!

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”.