Getting into the weeds

I’ve always boasted that I have the precious ability to see the big picture. To raise myself above the situation and see where it belongs on the bigger scale of events.

Guess what? The joke’s on me! With dating I got so obsessed with how, that I totally lost sight of why, what for. My shrink asked me some time ago what I needed a relationship for. I’ve been coming up with multiple answers, listing my needs that only a romantic relationship could satisfy, things a guy had to have to be a good match etc.

But I never looked at it as a big picture question before. As in: what happens if I’m not in a relationship? And the honest answer is – I have no idea! I haven’t been single for fifteen years. And before that I was either “in love” or whatnot. I’ve never EVER been single. 

So here I am, learning how to be single at thirty five. Better late than never I guess. One of the problems it’s that I don’t know anyone who’s single and happily so. The closest to this is a girlfriend who never had much luck with guys, but it’s not due to lack of trying. 

My mom’s been single ever since my dad passed away, but it’s different. She’s been a highly self sufficient person all her life. I’m a social animal. 

Having said that, I know that I have to try out the singlehood. We all fear the unknown. I have to open this can of worms and yet again discover that it’s not that scary. Like anything else in life it’s got to have its advantages. Currently I only know what I won’t have. So to break the unlucky cycle of dating failures, I’ll try out singlehood. Might learn to appreciate my own achievements more and/or quit idealising guys in the process… Who knows!

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Am I doing okay?

In a minute of weakness I messaged you last Monday saying I missed you. I immediately regretted it, but oh well.

A week later you message me back, asking if I were okay, apologising for not answering earlier, saying you didn’t want to make it worse for me.

I’m definitely not replying to this pity text. I dropped my self-respect back then, I’ll admit. But it was a fleeing moment, no more. Too many things reminded me of you that weekend and things weren’t going well elsewhere.

I’m good. Not happy, but content. I’m still getting over the breakup, I won’t lie. But as time goes by, I realise how strong and self sufficient I’ve become. I met someone really great for me, but when it was over, I didn’t break down, there was no feeling of huge hurt or deprivation. Just sadness and disappointment. 

Another thing I’m discovering is that I was always in a rush, measuring time in hours or minutes, never weeks or even days. I’m not anymore. If my personal life doesn’t pick up in the next few weeks or even months, it’s all good. I have other things to keep me occupied.

Breakup chronicle

I decided to write down the whole thing – in case I am writing memoirs when I am old and surrounded by multiple grandkids – I also thought it went funny. Tragicomedy.

(He wakes up at eight and tells me he fell asleep on the couch)
– Can I come over?
– Come over? I didn’t realise we were meeting at my place. But sure.
– I want to talk about something.
– Sure.

Upon arrival – he comes in, sits down at the kitchen table:

– I think I don’t want to date you anymore.
– OK.
– Something is missing. I don’t want to lead you on any further. It’s unfair.
– OK.
– Which is a bummer, we had a lot of fun together.
– Yes, we did.
– I have some of your stuff in the car. I’ll bring it over.
– Sure. Oh, can I get the name of your cologne?
– PAUSES. LOOKS PUZZLED. Um – my perfume?
– Yes. Yves Saint Laurent something… 
  LOOKS EVEN MORE PUZZLED. STARTS LOOKING AROUND FOR A PEN. Sure. I can write it down… Or I will text it to you!
– OK. Do I owe you anything? Like any of your stuff?
– No.

Hugs me after he brings the stuff from his car. Presses his face against my neck – I push away, we say goodbye. He messages me on Monday (August 7th) – link to his perfume and apologises for not sending it earlier. I thank him. He says I am welcome.

Another thing that makes it easy

Getting over a breakup this time around is so easy that I am still trying to figure out what made it so.

I was actually in an exceptionally good mood yesterday. Not the sick feverish mood fuelled by either denial, spite or false hope of “he may yet change his mind” either. Just a healthy contempt mood with a clear realisation of “he’s gone for good”.

It was partly fuelled by my two backups messaging me – JM and my smoking buddy who is also from his town (actually, he’s also Italian and they even look somewhat alike, as well as have other things in common). But mostly because I had so much fun with friends and family over this weekend.

Back to the topic – one of the most important parts (if not the most important one) of a relationship is mutual thrill, excitement and admiration – this piece where you feel warm and fuzzy about a person, feel drawn to them – it also has to have respect, like I wrote few times before – but without it a relationship is doomed. So when JD told me that this part was gone for him, I knew we were through. The only logical thing to do is to drop my end of the thing – otherwise it’s as silly as if you keep holding the phone at your ear long after the other person hung up.

Language is fascinating

Most of the time when we choose words we don’t do it consciously. We just speak. Or write. Or think.

I was texting with my friend yesterday, and used the expression “I got dumped”. And immediately felt something like an itch, or when you’re wearing uncomfortable shoes or clothing.

I reread the post I made here on the subject – and it clicked – breakup is the right word, getting dumped isn’t! 

I’m not an object to feel like someone can dump me. I’m a person with my own will. All that another person can do to me, is quit being in my life. 

Does it hurt? It definitely does so. Like any other loss. You’re upset when you lose your favourite pen/sunglasses/whatnot. Of course you’re sad when a person you had feelings for decides to walk away.

But what differentiates a mature approach to the whole thing from infantile one is that I don’t feel like a victim, don’t accuse the guy of betrayal, don’t feel like I’m broken. Things break. I just feel sad, upset and down. And from experience I know that this, too will pass.

I was also listening to Roxette on my run this morning. I don’t like their after breakup songs anymore at all. All this sitting around, staring at walls, thinking about the guy and hoping he’s thinking about her too crap is well, crap. 

It’s surrendering, it’s self victimisation. Self pity. Gloating over your own misery. 

I have now developed a rehab program that works for me – getting together with friends and family, watching movies, shopping (clothing shopping can be tricky though – I keep swinging between slutty and kinky stuff and dark and ugly stuff), running, cleaning (of all things!!!).

Still alive and kicking

I guess it takes the lowest low to assess one’s progress. Two years ago I was in shards and shreds. G. took advantage of it and I ended up in a six months of bullshit sex only.

Sounds like I blame him, right? Not at all. I was the one who felt like a hurt sheep and let a wolf who donned a sheep’s skin approach me.

I’m not doing it again. I only shed few tears so far. And this time I think I had more reasons – the guy shortened the distance way further than anyone before him.

And yet, I’m relatively alright. I did pick up smoking again and drank few beers. Was also more hopeful about JM than I had in a few months… But now I’m mostly relying on my friends, not a guy to support me through my recovery. So far so good. 

I like to date it, date it!

I saw JD briefly the day before yesterday. Then went out with JM last night – for bowling and beers. Tonight I am supposed to go to movies with JD again. And that’s on a super busy week at work too!

This time around JM was more active in flirting than before (over three months ago!) He didn’t just wink (his all-time favourite flirting tool – super crazy efficient one, right?!), but tried complimenting, called me his dear and even hugged me lightly when we were bowling. The goodbye kiss was somewhat better than the last one as well (although the bar was low).

He was also way chattier, especially after two beers – I forgot that the guy could be this talkative actually. I guess I was always trying to fill the air with my blubbering before.

It was all nice and exciting (the slight guilt pangs spiced up the whole thing for me), but the best part was me staying realistic throughout the whole date – fat chance this guy becomes highly interested in dating anytime soon – and for him and I to have a shot he has to be – the one hour distance between our places is bad enough, the fact that he works crazy hours at his multiple jobs as well as commutes another hour away from my city for his main job make the whole idea of us dating nearly impossible.

Besides my blindly following my own agenda of what I thought would make him happy, the fact that he had been realistic about the above all the time were the two main contributors to our failure last time. Nothing really changed since either. Well, he got divorced, I learned things about how to actually empathise with others – but elephant is still in the room.

So for now he is my pen pal that I may go out with every few months or so. Even if JD story ends, I will go look for a new story to start.

Or maybe not

Ugh. Dating is stressful! To me at least – half of the time it feels like listening to someone speaking a language you don’t know and trying to understand them.

One thing for sure – I was right to defer the final judgement until there was more clarity – and didn’t initiate any questioning rounds myself.

JD picked up his trailer last night – and the way he was all urgency about it made me wonder if he was about to end the whole thing once he recovered it.

Turned out he wasn’t at all. Moreover, to my utter surprise his behaviour towards me hasn’t changed at all – still caring and attentive. Now I feel stupid. As in: okay, I guess I took it too far in the gloom land – just like I used to take it into the happy land in the previous cases. Interesting!

So the conclusion from it all is – I did the right thing – when in doubt, wait it out!

PS He’s not going to CA and we are getting together tomorrow – at his suggestion.

Deja vu

We all have those triggers – where we overreact to something big time – usually not being able to explain why.

Well, that’s one of the benefits of having a blog – I was able to pinpoint my exact trigger for my yesterday panic – in this post from two years ago. Less than a month after that we were history.

Tuesday night I asked JD if we were getting together yesterday (it was the first time I asked for a date too – I decided I could do it after almost four months of seeing him).

He said he’d love to, but he had to get the house ready for Friday and why didn’t we have dinner and watch GoT instead? I replied that I didn’t necessarily asked for an outing, so sure, dinner and show would be great, asking what was up on Friday. Turned out his son was having a surgery and he wanted to get the house ready and welcoming for his recovery.

I suggested cancelling the date or at least cooking or buying us dinner. He said he’d love to have me hang around while he cleaned and that he’d also take care of the dinner. I offered to help with cleaning and wished him goodnight.

Yesterday I messaged him around six asking when I should be coming over. He replied half hour later – saying how he was stuck in traffic forever and how he wasn’t sure – it would be nice to see me but he felt spent and “wouldn’t be great company“. Also contemplated if he should clean up or have a nap (YAWN). All I said was sorry about traffic, let’s cancel tonight. He said OK, apologised and complained about hard day at work.

I think the three things that sent me on a full blown crazy fit were:

  • The “won’t be good company” trigger
  • The fact that it seems that we won’t see each other for almost a month now (which he doesn’t realise yet)
  • His mood swings – where there were only few days between “I love you, I’m so happy” and “I am spent and don’t feel like getting together” – I was able to not join him on his emotional roller coaster before, but something finally dragged me onto it.