#tb: You can tell everybody.

The following was written in 2010; nothing has been changed. Like what you’ve read? Enjoy my #tb (throwback) blog series as I count down the days until my second book, How to Make Lemonade, is released on December 2nd!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Today is the day The Frisky says I should tell all my friends—so hello, friends. I’m telling everyone from friends and family to coworkers and neighbors that I, Holly A. Phillips am SINGLE. According to The Frisky, this act will have the effect of ripping off the band-aid—it will make things real and final.

No turning back now. This is my only true chance to rehash what went down, how I’m feeling (the good, the bad, and the fugly). So here goes that band-aid, now where’s the salt shaker for my wounds?

I was dating my, now ex, boyfriend for around two years non-exclusively. I hated that whole non-exclusive thing. It’s complete bullshit. Sure, I went on dates with other guys, but he was always my number one—because when I like someone, my whole heart is in.

What kept me going was our time together. I loved talking to him, loved cooking for him, loved just being around him. With him, I felt incredibly safe and sound; as cliche as it may seem, I didn’t care about anything or anyone else when we were together. He was a true southerner, loved country music, and was a Republican through and through and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Around October, our relationship changed for the better. We both had a change of heart and decided to date exclusively. Of course, I was happy, but it didn’t change the fact he lived an hour away. Sure, it was just an hour, but between work, family, and a social life, we really had to plan to see each other.

As a creature of routine, I reveled in our Saturday evenings—he’d come into town, I’d cook us dinner and we’d eat over place-mats at my dining room table. Often, we’d watch TV or a movie, or maybe spend some time on the balcony.

Recently, I’d introduced him to more friends—all of which agreed they couldn’t believe I was with someone who was just so nice. There were times I couldn’t believe it either. My past is peppered with tools, jerks, and douche bags who’ve left (no, literally) me wondering if I honestly deserve love after their manipulating ways.

Since I’m supposed to be honest here, I have to say that sometimes those previous relationships reared their ugly heads into my life with Mr. Nice Guy. I have some of the worst baggage with abandonment that has taken me years to deal with; sometimes I realize I’m still scarred from the men of my past. I tried my damnedest to keep my cool and not let baggage get in the way, but we all make mistakes.

The breakup, for me, began Tuesday evening. I sent my man a text to see how his day was and he wrote me back, saying he was writing me an e-mail. Why e-mail when you can call or text, I wondered. Then, I had that awful, familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach. I asked him not to dump me in an e-mail, to which he responded that he wouldn’t do that, because it wasn’t appropriate.

I called him to see what the deal was. He said he would be coming in town the next evening and wanted to stop by to “talk.” Shit. Damn. Fuck. The Talk?! The tears came immediately.

He simply told me he didn’t feel a spark with me anymore. Didn’t feel as emotionally invested as he should for the amount of time we’ve been together.

Talk about a buzz kill. WAMP! WAMP! I don’t know if there’s ever been a time I’ve felt more ugly, less sexy, and completely at a loss. I mean, I can’t turn myself into a lightning rod for Christ’s sake. And, to channel Bonnie Raitt, I can’t make you love me and I can’t make your heart feel something it won’t.

Anyway, he felt bad about having the conversation over the phone and wanted to say it face-to-face. I thought I could use the closure…and I sure as hell needed my house key back (the hardest part of breaking up, is getting back your stuff…2Gether, anyone?).

Like I do when any guy problem arises, I called my boobie Sheena to cry in her ear that I was getting dumped. We men-bashed for awhile and I searched for jobs in China, because frankly, I want nothing to do with this city, state, and country at the moment.

I stayed up until 3:30 and went to work with bloodshot eyes, hoping no one would notice. Breaking up is one of the worst pains ever. And it’s one of those things I’ll never get used to. It’ll never be easy or fun and I’ve never seen a breakup coming. Getting through the workday knowing he was coming over later was awful. I didn’t know if he would drop another bomb on me—was there someone else? Did I do something? Did he hear a rumor? Did his family hate me? How long has he not loved me?

I never got my questions answered, because I didn’t want to torture myself. He came to my place after work and was gone in ten minutes. He simply said the same thing he said on the phone, gave me my key, and said he hoped I would answer if he called me. His hug and kiss goodbye was so hard, in fact it brings me to tears knowing it was the last one. But the worst part was closing the door while he stood outside and said bye. After he was gone, I did well. No tears. I hate being sad over a man, but you know what? I also hate being single. And I hate having to act like I don’t hate being single. If I had it my way, I’d tell everyone how I really feel—that no, I make a great girlfriend, not a great single person. I’m 2 months out from being 25, I deserve a good man in my life, and dammit, I hate being single! But when I shout that from the mountaintops, all the men will think I’m psycho and just want to be married or whatever. It’s complete bullshit.

But bullshit aside, I do respect that fact that he told me the truth (at least I hope it was) and he said it to my face. More than half of my breakups in the past have involved the guy just ignoring me and never explaining what went wrong—those breakups were absolute hell.

Nice Guy told me he could live happily in our relationship for another year or two simply because nothing was wrong, but didn’t know if he could marry me. He said it wasn’t fair to keep me in that relationship, because I was such a wonderful woman (well duh, but obviously not wonderful enough to turn on a light bulb). It sure as hell sucked to hear, but I’d rather hear it now than while I’m wondering where he ran off to at our wedding.

And speaking of weddings, that dream with Nice Guy sure is shattered. Call me crazy, but yeah, after almost three years with someone I’d thought about the engagement, the wedding, the family. I’ve thought about it with other guys, but it was never as pleasant as these ideas were. However, my creative brain works in many ways and those thoughts simply torture me now. The thought of someone else filling my spot is sickening. But I must think positive, for I too, will move on and someone else will fill his spot.

Nice Guy didn’t want me to take away all communication with each other, but I’m not wired to be friends with an ex. We weren’t friends before, why start now? I think the whole idea of being friends with an ex is nice, because you don’t have to deal with mourning the loss of someone. However, there is always going to be that one person who still has hope the friendship will turn back into a relationship and things get real ugly when the first person starts dating again. No thanks.

I told him I felt betrayed since he’d obviously been faking his happiness through our relationship. He said, “I would say that is the correct word to describe that feeling.” Thank you Mr. Trabec, I’ll take BETRAYAL for $1,000.

Betray: (verb) to be disloyal to.

To add icing to the cake, I told him I didn’t see the point in wasting my time being chums with someone I knew didn’t care for me, when there is another guy out there who will appreciate me, and by God he’ll be afraid to touch me ’cause I got dat fire.

Of course, looking back, I can see the small signs that maybe he wasn’t thrilled about things. After we went to Beauty and the Beast (less than two weeks ago), I told him I was really happy in our relationship. He just said, “good.” Not a “yeah, me too.” Or a “So am I, I love you.” But was I supposed to analyze that and flip out about it? In the words of Kevin McCallister, I don’t think so.

But hey, it’s over and done. My wound is now visible for all the world to see. So, dear readers (if you’ve made it this far), what I need from you is advice. Give me your best relationship tips. What have you learned? What have your friends told you? What gets you through a breakup? Or really, what do you think of my breakup? How about Mr. Nice Guy? Spill it!

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