I promised I’d fill you in on my love life as of late, and well, I’m a woman of my word. And yeah, I’m going to somehow try and explain this as honestly as possible, without going off the deep end. Here goes.
I’ve known this guy for 16+ years (ugh, I’m so old), and over the years we’ve developed one of those friendships I’d see in a romcom and be completely jealous of. We have SO much stuff in common, from politics and television to food and writing.
There’s been spots in our friendship where we’ve talked and texted every day, and there’s been times we haven’t talked for months. For years, even though I was romantically interested in him, I never wanted to force it – I liked him in a way where I felt like I wanted him to do what made him happy, even if that meant not being with me.
But these last few months felt different. Our talks were different. His gestures were different. He was very kind, and I’ll be honest here: I was feeling very vulnerable. Almost scared shitless.
He lives states away, and I needed to know where this was headed. Was he planning on staying where he is currently, or was he open to moving? Is he the type of guy looking to get married and have a family (I mean we are 32)?
These are questions I’ve never really had, and they are DEFINITELY questions I’ve never felt comfortable asking. I was in 100% new territory here, and quite nervous.
When I went to visit him though, my fantasy was not quite what I’d dreamt (imagine that, because this always happens to me). On the surface, he said some things that were sweet – that he felt vulnerable, too, that he didn’t like going a single day without talking to me, and that he ultimately wanted me to be happy – these are things no man has EVER said to me before… and well, frankly, I wonder if I’ll ever hear them again.
But despite the kind words, there were… actions… that happened that didn’t back up these words. Actions that made me wonder if he even liked me at all – ever. I felt a little tricked, and I felt like a fool (per usual). And to top it off, he wasn’t open to moving.
On the one hand, yes, I got answers. They certainly weren’t the ones I wished for, but I got them. I really hoped to keep our friendship, but we haven’t really talked since – granted, I haven’t reached out either, because I’m just not really sure how, or if I should, or if it’s worth it.
There’s a part of me that feels really proud of myself for seeing red flags and knowing that I want better for myself; that I cannot settle at this point, and there’s something in my blood that’s telling me I need to continue my adventure as a single woman.
It’s a weird feeling because – as silly as it sounds – I kind of thought this was it! He was so different than the men of my past; there was so much actual connection, and very little talk of sex and that was refreshing to me. But it still wasn’t right in the way I need it to be.
I don’t have any hard feelings, but I’ll say that being on this side of heartbreak – a place where there was no betrayal or lies (as far as I know) – it was just simply a misalignment – it really isn’t that much easier. Okay, so I’m not dragging ass, eating ice cream from the carton, but… There is still a lot of loneliness. I went from talking to someone every day to hardly even looking at my phone.
I all of the sudden have tons of extra time (which explains why I read two whole books last week).
And I know this is just another something I will get over – I’ve done it many times. These experiences, although painful, are important as I continue to figure out who is going to be the right one for me. In the meantime, though, I make pretty awesome company for myself. And I’ve been on my own for so long, I’ll admit I’m getting verrrryyy used to it – not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but it’s happening!
That’s where I’m at now, and I’m just trying to keep things moving. I’m also thinking about the future. I got a good reminder that I don’t really have anything holding me down, and things are wide open for my. It’s a very freeing feeling, and I know that’s something a lot of people can’t say.
Cheers to what’s coming next, even if I don’t know what!
If we were talking, there’s so many things I’d tell you; but I know the chances of that happening are slim-to-none, and for good reason. I’d like to think that our hurtful actions toward each other came from places we don’t venture often; places of anger and insecurity.
But nevertheless, we are here, apart, not speaking – a scenario that is likely our fate given what’s happened, and despite my attempts to reach out.
There are so many times I wish I could call you – times when I feel there’s really no one I could call, and I remember being able to call you almost every day and tell you about all the little things that happened during my day that possibly no one else would care about.
For example, I went kayaking for the first time EVER earlier this week, and 1. I didn’t flip the watercraft, and 2. it was really fun, and definitely something I want to do again.
I’ve also never tried a stand-up-paddleboard, but I saw several people at the lake on them, and despite my lack of balance, I think I could do it – it’s on my list of things to try.
Surrounding the lake are these giant houses up on cliffs, shaded by thick trees and greenery, and I look at the houses and wonder what life is like inside them. Is it quieter there than anywhere in the city, or are their problems the same inside the walls as we face anywhere else?
It is in these quiet moments when I realize just how alone I feel these days – an amount of loneliness I’ve never felt, and sometimes am not sure how to deal with until I realize I just have two options: 1. cry, or 2. shrug it off and find something to do. My choice depends purely on my surroundings.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about a meltdown I had and explained that I often feel like a majority of my life is just me going through the motions and acting like I don’t hate everything. I got many responses from readers saying that’s pretty much how it is for everyone.
And you know what? That made me feel really sad for this life. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about eternal life, but if we only have one shot at this physical being, then I certainly don’t want to spend my years faking my happiness. Right?
After the kayaking adventure, we went to this BBQ place – and it seemed like a place you’d like, given your willingness to try just about any food, plus it had its own beers on tap. I only had one, mainly because I started noticing the more I drink, the sadder I get, and those are just dark places that I’m trying to steer clear of.
My route home took me through the heart of downtown, and I realized two things: 1. All of the downtowns I’ve seen remind me of each other – and Austin is no different. It reminds me of downtown Dallas, Cincinnati, and even a little bit of Chicago.
When times get tough for me, I have a history of reaching out to those who may not have the best intentions for me. And I hope that’s not the case here.
I suppose that’s what they mean about timing, and possibly fate, too. And perhaps the silence between us will eventually sink in, and I’ll have my answer.
But I do know that wherever you are, whatever is happening in your life, I do hope it’s something good.
When I was in elementary school, I had this board game called “Forbidden Bridge”.
The concept was pretty simple: get your plastic hiker safely across the tattered bridge and, in return, you were rewarded with red, plastic jewels.
The catch? The bridge was controlled by an evil statue that came to life at the unlucky drop of the dice – his anger shook the bridge in hopes of keeping his precious gems for himself.
It’s been about six weeks since I published a series of blog posts that described, in great detail, the last…sort of, dating encounter I had.
Before hitting publish on those posts; that was life on the safe side of the bridge.
The posts, publishing day-after-day turned my life into a frenzy, with inboxes full of messages-some hateful, many thankful.
But although quite some time has passed since I weathered the storm, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder if I handled it the right way.
Whatever glimpse of a relationship had budded over the course of our 14-year friendship was solidly shattered way prior to the publishing of these posts, and I used the blog like I always do: as a place to share my unedited thoughts, and in this case, my broken heart.
I could have very-well lived my life like most people without a blog, and ignored what happened to me, what happened to us, and moved on with a very similar outcome – him and I never speaking. And he would continue his life choosing to believe that what he did to me was perfectly okay.
But I’m not most people; and I am the CEO of this blog, and blog that revolves around the relationships we have with others – romantic and platonic.
Our “fling” did not warrant a label, and it’s probably taken up more bandwidth on this blog than it deserves, though today, and probably tomorrow, I don’t and won’t feel any better about the situation than I did prior to testing the rickety bridge.
It has less to do with the fact that I suck at dating, and more to do with the number of lies I was fed throughout the course of us knowing each other.
When the first few blog posts were published, I was presented with two things: 1. An apology, and 2. An offer to “fix this”.
There’s no doubt in my mind the apology was delivered out of fear, and for no other reason than to serve as a plea to save-face. Regardless, it was an apology.
It was the offer to make things up that’s got my gears grinding today. Because guess who I haven’t heard from since? HIM.
The simple fact that I haven’t gotten so much as a message from him, proves my original theory to be true: all of the “I hope I can make this up to you” lines were his dangling carrot, his red plastic jewel, rewarded to me if, and only if, I stopped posting the blogs.
I didn’t stop, because I did not believe (and I still don’t) that there was any reason not to post them. Despite him gathering a team of people to rally against me, I kept on, because my story deserved a home.
During a rather heated conversation one night amidst the postings, he made a comment that I can’t get out of my head: “You are loving this,” he said.
He was referring to the fact that I said on Facebook “#twirl” in regards to people trying to keep me from publishing the blog.
My reference was a Beyoncé lyric, not anything else. I’m not someone who revels in the downfall of others; and there wasn’t even a reported downfall.
So why do I feel like I’m to blame for the fallout? Calculated manipulation, if I had to guess.
It was more than a metaphorical game of “Forbidden Bridge”, it was a series of them: Twister, Pretty Pretty Princess, Trouble, and the oldest game in the book, Telephone.
At the end of the day, he’s got me blocked in every way possible, as if even the idea of having the digital communication lines open between us would set the road from Texas to Indiana ablaze.
I’ll be honest, there have been nights post-wine bottle drain, where I’ve stared at the phone and wished for something to happen that would make things feel fixed – like I was promised.
But it doesn’t and morning eventually comes.
There is a saying, “The hell you know is better than the one you don’t”, and it is the fuel that’s kept me mentally attached to so many of the wrong men of my past. I find comfort in dating failures, because that’s all I know.
But when did we decide to cut people off at the first sign of crossed opinions? Are we stronger for weeding out the weak, or are we heartless and cold?
I don’t want to be the woman who’s stuck on that one situation, that one heartbreak; especially when I’m sure he’s moved on to someone else, continually replacing a void from decades prior. One red jewel in the ocean after the next.
Time is my only option at this point, and I’m guessing I’ll need another six weeks to forget about 14 years. Okay, perhaps a case of rosé and my John Mayer records, too.
A few weeks ago, I got into a pretty nasty argument with the guy I was “talking” to. Needless to say, we aren’t talking anymore; I even blocked his number.
Our argument was so ridiculous, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so mad in my life. I was shaking, and spitting off insults about to him to my best friend.
“He’s a nutcase,” I told her. “I seriously cannot believe what a prick he is.”
A few days later, my friend brought to light what I’d been wondering all along but didn’t want to admit: maybe this “prick” was actually dating someone else, and he was just treating me poorly to let me down easy.
The thought of him with someone else made my heart sink.
When the anger subsided, I recalled that classic line I’ve heard for years, “Everyone’s an asshole.” Cynical? Maybe.
Google the phrase and you’ll be delighted to see the video explanation from College Humor: “Bradley will brag about how much he’s paid, and still he’ll complain of the cost of his maid.”
We all do things that would categorize us as assholes to at least someone in the world. Whether you’re the person talking in a movie theatre, the cheap tipper, or my upstairs neighbor making laps in his apartment wearing cinder blocks for shoes, it’s likely you’ve pissed someone off at one point or another.
Me? I’m definitely an asshole. Sure, I volunteer once a month, I am always on time to meetings, and I say “Thank you” anytime a waiter refills my water glass. But, I know I do things that make people want to punch me.
I’m working on my manners when it comes to my phone (I’m always on it), my small case of road rage comes complete with horn honking, and I’m totally guilty of loud snacking in my cubicle at work.
Of course, afternoon snack choices are a little different from straight up treating someone like crap in a relationship, but I think we treat others in a way that reflects how we feel about ourselves.
A few years ago, I was involved in a physical relationship with an engaged man. We ended it before he got married, and once he did get married, he apologized to me for putting me in the situation, and ultimately hurting our friendship.
Although it was just as much my fault for agreeing to our relationship, I accepted his apology and forgave him. Whether or not I realized it at the time, I know he was going through other issues that led him to treat me the way he did.
I’m not saying we should just chalk all bad behavior up to life’s issues, but it’s worth considering.
It doesn’t mean it still doesn’t hurt like hell, or that the innocent party has to forgive.
But at the very least, it gives me a little bit of solace (in a weird way) to know that I’m not perfect, and there’s been times that one of my exes has ran to his friends and said I was a bitch or at least, crazy.
The thing is, it’s all about finding the jerk you can put up with, and one that’s going to put up with you, as well.
It’ll be a great person, not an asshole, and you’ll fall in love. And it will happen despite the fact that someone, somewhere still thinks your soulmate is an asshole.
It’s been a little more than a month since I went through a… well, I wouldn’t call it a breakup since we weren’t officially together…but let’s just say it was a broken heart, because that’s what it feels like. Every time something like this happens, I’m reminded just how much it sucks. Big time.
My last official relationship was almost four years ago. It took me two years after our breakup to even go on a date. That date resulted in many dates; it was a guy I really liked, but it didn’t work out. I sniffled a little when he sent the text: “Now is just not a good time for me.”
Then, I did the exact same thing I do every time this happens. I deleted his number, texts, any pictures, and trashed any mementos. I’ve done this so many times, and it doesn’t hurt any less each time.
This last time, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think there was major potential there. And I’m certain that’s why I’ve been dragging around for the past few weeks. I did what I always do, and perhaps added a new ritual of deleting and blocking his number. I figured I should finally stop wishing he’d contact me, because now he can’t.
The end was solidified with a pretty nasty fight – I know I’ve never yelled at someone like I did with him – and while it’s nothing I’m proud of, I know I was devastated to lose this one.
I’m not a person that has a lot of self-esteem, and I’m sure that’s why I get myself into these disasters in the first place. When breakups happen, it takes me F O R E V E R to feel like I’m really better off without that person. No matter how bad they treated me.
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future (I do this a lot), and what I really want out of life. Do I want to be in a relationship? Because if I do, I’m going to have to make some changes in order to get there. But first, I need to figure out what the hell is getting me in these positions in the first place. Here are my theories.
Fear of Intimacy
I mentioned last week that I kind of think I have a fear of intimacy. I seem to be really attracted to guys who are unavailable; whether it’s emotional unavailability or they live far away (like, states away), or they are too busy with work and/or life to really date me. Those are the types of guys I go after. Of course, I don’t do it on purpose; I’m pretty sure it’s subconscious.
Ultimately, I think I’m attracted to these guys because when the relationship ends, I can just blame it on the guy, or his job, or the distance – basically anything but me. I think I don’t want to get really close to someone, because if they discover the real me and then dump me, then they really are dumping me for me; not for any other reason. Sounds super fucked up, but right now this is the theory I believe to be the most true.
Mirror: Attracting What I Reflect
I was telling one of my girlfriends about what recently went down with my dating situation. I told her about the possibility that I have a fear of intimacy, and she wasn’t having it. “You didn’t really know this guy was unavailable,” she said.
Instead, she suggested her theory: that we are all mirrors and we attract what we reflect. “Maybe there’s a part of you that feels unattainable.” Hmmm… interesting! I don’t know if I necessarily think of myself as unattainable, but I do think that I am a really good girlfriend when given the chance. I am very loyal, thoughtful, and kind – perhaps too kind. Because my past relationships have been so hurtful, I do associate dating with pain, and I often feel like I have to give up a lot of my life in order to date. We’ll talk more about this in a minute.
Fate, Soulmates, & Timing
Sometimes I wonder if I was just never meant to be with someone. Maybe it is my fate to be single until the end of my days. Perhaps, I was meant to experience the bad stuff so I can write about it and warn others about life’s ugly truths!
Then there’s the whole soulmate thing. I have never really been sure about soulmates: do they exist or not? I don’t know. It seems kind of nuts to think that there is only one, or perhaps two, or even a dozen people meant for one person. If soulmates are real, then I guess I just haven’t met mine yet (okay, John Mayer, let’s get this show on the road!).
Finally, there’s timing. Everyone says dating is all about timing, and that the timing has to be right for both people. I kind of understand this, but at the same time, when is the timing EVER going to be right? I feel like this is just an excuse people use to not date.
I am well-aware that my online image is not necessarily a positive one, in two ways. For one, it probably doesn’t make men excited to date someone who is essentially the Taylor Swift of blogging. And I get that, I do. But, this entire blog isn’t about my dating past – I feel like most of it is just about my life, and dating has become less a part of my life in the last five years.
Then there’s the whole online dating thing, which I have tried. However, I think I didn’t put my best foot forward when I did try. I probably could have done a better job on my profile, and perhaps if I represented myself better, I could attract decent men. I kind of wonder if I self-sabotaged myself on purpose (coming full circle to the fear of intimacy thing). I’m not against online dating, and maybe it’s something I’ll try again in the future.
Being Single is Okay
I hate it when people say that companionship doesn’t have to come from a man. They’re right, it doesn’t, but let me tell you this. I’ve been single for a long time. I’ve actually never had a “real boyfriend” – I’ve never had someone take me on regular dates, or have a relationship with my friends and family. I’ve never had a guy to count on.
Because of this, I have learned to do a lot of things alone. Hell, especially recently. I’ve gone to movies, dinners, sing-a-longs, hockey games, concerts, vacations, and parties, alone. And there are definitely perks to doing things alone, but what’s so wrong with wishing I had someone by my side?
After a bad breakup I had in college, I did a “Breakup Challenge” that lasted 30 days and was supposed to help participants get over their recent ex. One of the challenges was to get a massage to show us that physical touch didn’t have to come from a man. And sure, it doesn’t, but getting massages doesn’t replace having sex. I’m not saying I love sex or that I have to have it (most of the time, it’s not even that great), but I’m also not going to lie to myself and act like I can just get a massage once a month and feel sexually fulfilled.
While I like being single, for the most part, I don’t want to be single forever. Right now, I still think the fear of intimacy is my biggest problem. But who knows… maybe I’m just terrible at dating and I’ve yet to figure things out. As they say, only time will tell.
Every other Friday, I take an alternate route home from the office. It’s a few miles west of where I live, toward a place Texans call Hill Country. And it is beautiful. The road overlooks dozens of homes made of stucco, usually sitting under a colorful sunset.
If you’re new here, you should know that sunsets are one of my favorite things about living. Ever. But as I took my alternate route Friday, there was no sunset. This was probably partly due to the time change, and partly due to the thunderstorm rolling in, putting dark clouds over those tiled-roofs.
As disappointed as I was to have missed the sunset this time, it paired decently with my mood. Last week was ROUGH. The chances are likely, you probably saw that last week, I published a 5-part series based on my most-recent dating experience.
One thing about having a blog like The Bitter Lemon is that I get to write about the everyday happenings of my life, sometimes it’s simple things, like my alternate route home in order to swing by the laundromat. Other times, it’s a steamy, sexy story that ends in great disappointment.
But the other part of publishing real life stories is that, often, people react to those stories. And last week? People reacted in a way that I have never experienced. And while I have no interest in dragging out the drama any longer; I feel like it sort of can’t be ignored. This shit was crazy.
On Sunday night, before the blog series even published, I talked extensively about it to my mom. I always get a little nervous when things like this publish, because frankly, it’s embarrassing to tell the world that yes, I fell for an asshole once again, I slept with him, and I got sad about it.
However, I feel like that’s a way of coping for me. It’s a way to deal with what’s happened, and make some sort of sense of out my sadness. And so, the words I’d thought of for months, finally published on Monday around 1 am.
By 9:30 am, I already had a text message from the subject of these blog posts:
“Holly, I know your job is write and you’re great at it. And this may make things worse, but if your goal is to embarrass and cause problems for me with your articles, then it’s working, and I probably should’ve seen it coming based on how badly I hurt you. Anyone that reads your posts knows that’s me, based on the way that’s written you’re going to smash me on there. Please know my intent wasn’t to have it go the way it did. I know you don’t believe me, but it really wasn’t. It’s probably way too late, is there anything that can happen here for you to not just obliterate me? I clearly really hurt you and you’re definitely going to really hurt me with this series. I’m sorry (was before your post today and am now).”
Let’s unpack the facts here:
- My job is not to write; it’s my calling, my life’s mission, my way of life
- My goal was not to embarrass anyone or cause problems for anyone
- Not everyone that read my posts knew it was him
- Intentions lead to actions and actions lead to reactions
- Nothing can happen here, there, or anywhere
The interesting thing that’s important to note here, is that part 1 of the series says nothing negative about anyone. It’s simply background information about me, where I grew up, and how I met this person. So, he was shitting his pants before the party got started.
Secondly, a lot of the content of the posts talks about how much I LIKED this guy, talks about how hot I thought he was, how much I was attracted to him… am I that hideous of a person that having people know he hooked up with me is worth a Trumpertantrum? Please, child.
I did not reply to this text message because I didn’t want to open up that can of worms – this person is the type of person that will never take no for an answer.
About an hour later, he sent his PR team of 1 over to my Facebook inbox. It was a girl I went to high school with, and she told me she saw both sides of the story, but this guy was just SO upset, and she didn’t want to see anyone else get more hurt. And then she sprinkled in that he was thinking of suing me for defamation of character.
Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha. This post had been published for about 10 hours and I was already being threatened.
Let’s unpack the facts:
- This girl does not know me
- The blog post, or the situation, had nothing to do with her
- She didn’t know the end of the story
- Defamation of character is the legal term for harming someone’s reputation by making false statements
- The things I said actually happened; I know, because I lived them
So, then I really did get into it with the guy. I told him to stop having his PR team threaten me, and that our attorneys could talk if he really felt like that was the best way to end everything. He begged to talk to me so maybe we could work things out; he said ‘everyone’ knew it was him in the blog, and the fact that I said it was a “5-part series” really bothered him (still not understanding this).
I asked him what he was so afraid of and he said he was afraid his mom would see it (he’s 31, BTW). He also told me that “everyone” was taking it to heart and that what people think DOES matter (not to me). I stopped responding because I don’t like talking to idiots.
The next morning, part 2 was published around 1 am. By lunch, he’d already sent me another long ass text, and called my best friend at work to see if she could stop me (I’m so evil). His text read: “I know this won’t matter but I have heard from my boss today Holly. It got to both of them on social media. Both articles. Too many personal descriptive details to not know that you’re talking about me. I’m being asked to go into the administration offices when we return from break. Please don’t publish anymore this is putting my career in question. You said yesterday you just want it to be over. Please Holly, my boss said people have been let go over less. This is my whole livelihood here. Please don’t do this. My mom called crying today because of what someone at work said to her about me.”
Let’s unpack the facts:
- He’s right, he doesn’t matter
- He did not hear from his boss
- It did not get to his boss on social media
- Neither of the articles got to his boss
- Not everyone knew who I was talking about
- He is not a celebrity
- His mom did not call him crying
- No one at work said anything to his mom about him
This guy spent his entire day building on this story. He offered three times to show me the email his boss sent him, and backed down three times saying he had to respect the boss’ privacy. So, I looked up the boss’ email address and phone number, and told him there was no need for privacy. He still refused. I called him. He still refused. Finally, he agreed to show me the email, with the names covered.
Let’s unpack the facts:
- It was not a real email
- He wrote the email
- It was full of typos and misspellings
- The email address domains were incorrect
- It was in “edit” mode, within his “Work in progress” folder
- There was no signature
- He is full of shit
- He spent his spring break making up lies and crying
When posts 3 (password is drake), 4, and 5 were published, he said nothing. Because what other lie was he going to make up? Was he going to say that he was losing custody of his dog because of my blog? That he’d grown fatally ill because of it? It was truly the pity party of the century. It’s also really sad that someone that pathetic works in the education system.
Sure, I’ve gotten reactions from people pissed off about things I’ve written. The last guy I dated got an entire book written about him (How I Fell: Love, Lies, & Cocktails), and he told me my blog ruined his life. Really? Did my blog grow a body and walk itself to his place of business and put him at gunpoint to steal money from the register for three years before ultimately getting fired? Nope. No, it didn’t. Because if it, then I wouldn’t have to go to work everyday.
So, I’m pretty over people saying my blog does things that it, in fact, cannot do. My blog has not ruined anyone’s life. My blog did not make up a story about this guy and tell the world. He did things that he shouldn’t have, and those things were now being outlined for him to see. When he slept with me, and stopped talking to me, he knew it would be easy to never talk to me again. Until the truth was laid out, in black and white.
And in the end, nothing happened to him. He didn’t get in trouble. He didn’t have to answer to his mommy. He didn’t lose his job. And I’m fine with all of that. Because, it is not my responsibility to punish people for their wrongs. I believe the universe does a fine job of that on its own.
It’s one thing to learn that a guy you like is a douche. But it’s another thing to learn that he’s a complete psychopath and a pathological liar.
When I’m left to pick up the pieces of my relationship messes, I always try and figure out something I learned so it won’t be a complete waste of time. In all honesty, I keep learning the same lessons repeatedly, but I’ve learned a lot about red flags and gut instincts. If things seem off, they are, no matter how much glitter is clouding my view.
I learned more about just how complicated relationships can be. I learned that no matter how successful, smart, or nice someone seems – the truth eventually reveals itself. I also learned that not all women are interested in sticking up for other women. I later found out that the little PR team? She was the one responsible for suggesting he sue me. And while it was a stupid idea that never would have seen it’s day in court, it disgusts me that she jumped to his side without knowing what I went through. What if I was about to reveal in post #4 that he hit me? Sexually assaulted me? Disrespected me? And she’d rather have a dishonest prick on her side than that of a brave, honest woman.
Part of it is sad, and the other part? It’s so high school.
I left Indiana a few days later around 6 am. It was Eric’s birthday, and I’d left him a note on his nightstand wishing him a great day. I missed him already. I tried to text him between flights, but he wasn’t too talkative.
I looked up flight prices so I could get back to Indiana and see him soon; but my mention of that didn’t warrant a great response from him. I got home to my apartment, and was glad to see my kitty, but felt lonelier than ever.
The truth is, I’d played this game before. It was not the first time I’d gone to Indiana to see a boy, and it definitely wasn’t the first time I was getting the cold shoulder after having sex with a guy. It was actually becoming more common than not.
After a few days of it just being awkward with Eric, I made attempts to clear the air. I asked him if he felt different with our friendship.
“Of course I feel different,” he said. “But I’m trying to find a way to show you I’m interested without it being anything serious.”
I told him that we should just agree that it won’t be anything serious. We lived far apart, and he was getting over a divorce and I had just moved to a new city. But I did want to keep that door open, so maybe something could happen between us in the future.
Things between us seemed back to normal for a few days, but eventually they fell back into, what I call the “Ice Age”, where a guy is just icing me out. We went about a week without talking, and we hadn’t talked on the phone since before I made the trip.
I was upset, and having trouble thinking about anything else, so I finally texted him on a Friday night. He was in Chicago, so I felt like an idiot for bothering him, and vowed to just let him have his weekend with his friends.
But the next day, he texted me asking if we were going to start talking again or what was going on?
I tried to explain my side in the nicest way possible, and tell him that I felt like ever since I’d gotten back, he’d gone cold, and I didn’t know why or how that happened. Was I bad in bed? Did I say something offensive?
He explained that no, I was not bad in bed or offensive, it was just him, and he genuinely apologized. “I’ve never really been single and I’m just really bad at this,” he said. “I want to get back to normal.”
“Normal” to me meant we were back to texting each other often, but my text that night went with no reply. I was up until around 3, and still never heard from him. Even when I awoke the next morning around 9, still nothing. It wasn’t like him, and I started to panic.
“Eric, is everything okay?” I texted him.
He replied an hour or so later.
“Yeah, just trying to leave the city,” he said. “Was out until 7 am.”
And my gears were grinding. Out until 7 am, but he couldn’t text me? Okay. Takes two to tango here. I told him he was shady, but whatever, do what you please.
“hahahaha” he replied.
I didn’t understand what the fuck was so funny.
“So I don’t have to answer to you but I’m shady?” he said.
You got it, mother fucker. I didn’t know what his problem was. Was he trying to prove to me that yes, he was single, and he could do whatever he wanted? I didn’t appreciate him acting that way toward me. Was he trying to make me jealous of him? Of girls he was with?
I stopped replying to his texts and got on with my day. I wasn’t going to bother with that train I couldn’t control.
Later that night, he called me.
“Are you mad at me?” he asked.
“Nope,” I said. I was determined to stop caring. Easy breezy cool girl, right here.
“Okay, well you didn’t reply my text,” he said.
“Well, you never reply to mine,” I said. “I was busy.”
Oh, how the tables have turned. Pulling out the same lines he used on me. Our chat was over quickly.
You make me feel like I did you wrong.
What I now refer to as the “Chicago Conversation”, bothered me more than I can properly explain. The truth was, I really didn’t care if he was out with other girls, or hooked up. But I did care that he was trying to flaunt it in my face. He was trying to make me feel bad about myself, and that is a feeling I’ve felt from men for my entire life.
For the next week, I cried myself to sleep multiple times. I needed some resolve. I already know I’m bad about seeing the red flags and running from them; but I thought I picked a good guy this time. But that is what I thought every time. And every time, it ended like a Taylor Swift song.
I got to thinking about control and how it affects our dating lives. There were things we all tried to control in relationships – who has the power; who cares less or more – we were trying to control the uncontrollable.
As simple as this idea sounds, I finally got it: dating was out of my control. It didn’t matter how nice I was, how thin I was, how pretty I looked, how much beer I could guzzle, or how funny I was, a guy was going to either like me and treat me right, or he wasn’t.
This idea, alone, made me feel so much better. It took the pressure off. Okay, so it didn’t workout with Eric, handsome Eric who I thought had potential for something serious, but it was no big deal. He wasn’t the one for me. If he texted me, great, if not, great. Chalk it up to a fun weekend, and just be done with it.
But my new outlook didn’t bode well with Eric. I had finally stopped chasing him, and he noticed. About a week later, I heard a statistic on the radio that said the #1 reason men will dump a woman is because they don’t listen.
This shocked me, so I texted Eric, and asked him if it was true. He said it was.
“We’re selfish, so all we want is a girl who’s going to listen to everything we say and act like it’s the coolest thing ever,” he said.
While I agreed with him on the selfish front, I’d just assumed men were not concerned with whether a women listened or not.
But, what a man wants was no longer a concern of mine. I was without a care, I’d gotten a new haircut to reflect my carefree ways, and I was feeling good. I’d spent years listening to and being interested in every detail of men’s lives, and it had resulted in too many notches on the bedpost and a bitter attitude. Fuck it.
From that point forward, my interactions with Eric were so negative. It was just constant saltiness; like we were gearing up for our next go ‘round in the ring. It made me sad. I knew, and I know, that neither of us wanted to be the people we were being.
I was heading to Baton Rouge a week later, and Eric sent me a sharp text message about me being MIA. I was already kind of over the bickering.
“Are you mad at me?” I asked him.
He said no, but if that was true, what was with the attitude? I decided to just call him and hash this out. Let’s be adults. He ignored my call, and texted me that he was “at a bar. Can’t talk. What’s up?”
I wasn’t going to resolve this over text. I also wasn’t going to deal with these games. Fucking step outside the bar and answer the phone, asshole. But, I didn’t reply. I left my phone in my car, and was on with my weekend.
As the weekend came to a close, he was quick to tell me he was going back to Chicago. Riddle me this: why bring up something that is obviously a sensitive subject? We were back to ground zero, with him trying to prove to me he could do whatever he wanted, and he was going to, and then he would toss the used condom in my face.
And with that, I had to hang my white flag. I was not going to participate in negative energy any longer.
With that, I deleted him from all of my social media channels. And yes, I know this appears like a lame move on my part (he asked me if I was 12 years old, for doing this). But, it was creeping me out that we weren’t talking, yet he was watching my SnapChat feed. I was grasping at straws to try and gain some sense of control in a situation that had gone so wrong.
We went about three weeks without talking, when I reached out to him, and told him I’d been meaning to talk to him, but I just didn’t know what to say.
“I have no explanation for why things fell off,” he said. “They just did. It’s probably because I don’t know how to be single, and who knows if I’m ready for anything. All terrible reasons and I’m sorry if they affected you.”
While I did appreciate him trying to explain his side, and it was nice to know I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t like his backhanded apology.
Of course I was affected. I was heartbroken. I understood that he didn’t mean to hurt me on purpose, but that’s what happened and I felt like I deserved a real apology. When I told him this, the world pretty much blew up.
“I wish instead of sending me these messages and jumping to conclusions, you would call me and see what I’ve been going through lately. I had no intention of being this way to you and yes we did get close. I have pretty much cut off everyone, unfortunately, not just you.”
Please return tomorrow for the final installment of this five-part series, complete with red flag alerts and Drake lyrics.
I swear I didn’t intend for these “coping” posts to become a series, but what the hell, Hollywood? Why is everyone I love breaking up? I cannot take it!
Yes, I was sad and disappointed when we heard the news about Blake and Miranda (read the guide on How to Cope), but this — Gavin and Gwen?? — I refuse to accept this. Sure, I know that statistically, rock ‘n roll relationships don’t last, but hello! I feel like Gwen and Gavin were Made. For. Each. Other.
When the news broke, the first thing I heard was that Gwen’s “camp” was saying it was because he was cheating on her. Later, I heard no one was cheating, it was more about the fact that he was touring and couldn’t spend time with the family.
Then, I see an article pondering the idea that Gwen is paying Gavin in order to keep her fortune… huh? Because of her fashion line and work on The Voice, it is reported Gwen is worth $120 million, while Gavin is worth $20 million. Ouch. In California, everything is split 50/50, but supposedly, Gwen is offering to “pay Gavin off” in order to keep a higher amount of her earnings (The Inquisitr). The same article also covers the idea that perhaps Gavin had a little something going on with the nanny… okay, Ben Affleck.
Again, what the hell, Hollywood?
In February of this year, Gwen was on the cover of Cosmo, and said it was a “miracle” her and Gavin were still together — noting their 12 year marriage, on top of 6 years of dating.
How can we be expected to get over this monumental breakup; the split of all times; the complete crash of 90’s rock ‘n roll all at once? Below, a step-by-step guide:
- Watch the video of the “Rise & Fall” of their relationship (see it here) and then plan a trip to the French Quarter, since that’s where they had their first date. Enter: copious amounts of Hurricanes.
- Sing along to two songs, repeatedly: 1. Don’t Speak — as this was the song she was admitting her love for Gavin, and 2. Hollaback Girl — because this shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
- Wear all of your favorite 90’s clothes, because at this point, it’s really just about doing what makes YOU happy, if Hollywood couples aren’t going to get it together. So, bring on the pleated minis, pigtails, and platforms.
Le sigh. Despite this terrible news, I hope y’all can still have an ok week. See you right back here, tomorrow!
“I definitely miss talking to you,” his text read. “I have some things in my past I need to work on. I took it out on you and I sincerely apologize.”
Those were the words I’d wished for, for months after this guy told me he didn’t want to talk to me again, with no explanation as to why.
I spent weeks wondering what I did to piss him off so much that he’d never want to speak to me. And there it was: I’d done nothing.
In a way, I was completely relieved to read this, but in another way, the damage had already been done.
One of the worst feelings in the world is having someone you trust turn on you, especially with no reason or closure.
When he did it, my heart broke. I felt insecure for weeks. I questioned whether or not I was even ready for a relationship.
I asked him why he did this to me and he said he has commitment issues and a habit of pushing people away.
Having “issues” is definitely something I understand, but I wondered what happened to him that made him so scared of a relationship.
Perhaps it was a previous breakup; or something with his family, though I’m fairly certain his parents are still together. It’s a question only he can answer.
As I get older, the odds of meeting people dealing with baggage or issues gets more likely. And there are things I’m working on, too.
But I hate to think that even at 30, some of us are dealing with things so difficult, we can’t even talk to people.
One of the most difficult things for me is learning how to forgive. I’ve got a lot of hurt in my past, and I’m really bad about holding onto grudges.
I don’t claim to be bitter for nothing, folks!
There is a huge part of me that wants to forgive this guy and let him back into my life — assuming he even wants to be back, of course.
After his apology, he mentioned all the times he thought of me and wanted to message me, but was too afraid.
We shared a decent number of good memories together in a short amount of time. And that’s something that doesn’t happen often.
But who’s to say he wouldn’t go cold on me again?
And that’s the catch in every relationship. Love is always a gamble; one of the biggest bets you can make.
After a bad breakup several years ago, I sought the help of a therapist. I needed to know why terrible things kept happening to me — especially in relationships.
My therapist explained to me that everyone’s life moves in cycles. You may meet someone at the top of their mountain, or you may meet them as they fall.
How we treat others is in direct correlation to how we feel about ourselves, or our situation at the time.
So much to say that when people hurt others, it usually has nothing to do with the “victim” at all.
I don’t know what the future holds for this guy and me. Of course, I hope he can learn how to move past his issues and find a way to accept people into his life.
Perhaps we both just need to forgive those from our past and face the future with open arms. Sure, the house usually wins, but you just never know when the odds are stacked in your favor.
Good morning! If you’re in need of a “Hot Guy” does, I’m your gal. If you’re new to the blog, welcome. The Bitter Lemon has been providing pictures of hot dudes for those in need since 2010.
My latest celeb crush is Nick Jonas. Truth be told, I never aid a bit of attention to this guy (I think Joe was originally my favorite Jonas Brother… he’s the one with the long hair??), until pictures from this photo shoot surfaced.
Can I just say…. DAMN THAT BOY IS FWINE.
Nick started his solo career in the last year, after the Jonas Brothers split in 2012. He’s since release two singles, “Jealous” and “Chains”… which get stuck in my head very easily.
He’s remained in the positive spotlight, for the most part, but check out this little ditty I found on Wiki:
Singer and actress Miley Cyrus has stated that she dated Jonas from June 2006 to December 2007. Cyrus claimed they were “in love” and began dating soon after they first met. The song “Wedding Bells” by the Jonas Brothers was written by Nick. It was rumored that the song was based on his past relationship with Cyrus who, at the time of the song’s release, was engaged to Liam Hemsworth.
He’s currently dating Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, and they seem to be completely in love. Aww.
Meanwhile, I’m obsessed with this song:
I’ve had a crush on this guy, Brian, for more than10 years. He went to my high school, and last year we reconnected.
He lives in Indiana, and we had a date night when I was in town last summer. It was fantastic. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder about the potential of a serious relationship with him.
After our date, we continued to keep in touch. I sent him cards in the mail, we read a book together (and called it “Book Club”), and made plans to meet up again in May.
Around Valentine’s Day, he confessed he wished we were able to celebrate together. Uncharacteristically, he apologized and told me he knew he hadn’t been the nicest person to me, and he appreciated my company.
He even told me that he checked his phone every day to see if I’d texted him. It was very sweet and I was touched.
I asked him if he’d be interested in having a “FaceTime date,” so we could see each other. He said yes.
The day of our date, he said a work friend had come in town and wanted to do dinner. I said we could reschedule. He asked if I was mad, and I said, “Of course not.”
His friend was a guy, but I told him if he’d have ditched me for a girl I might have been a little jealous.
Brian didn’t reply, but I didn’t think much about it.
The next day, about an hour before our FaceTime date, Brian sent me a text saying he didn’t want to talk to me, ever.
“Your text freaked me out,” he said. “We aren’t even dating and yet I will date other women.”
I tried to explain that I was just playing; I never thought or said we were dating; and we were both certainly allowed to date anyone.
But my text went ignored. I had done something so terrible, it didn’t even deserve a response.
Honestly, I get rejected all the time. The time I spend fretting over it is relative to how much I cared.
This time, I crawled into bed when the sun was still out, and I cried.
In the midst of my blubbering, I started to wonder, why are we so quick to cut people out of our lives?
Sure, I pissed Brian off. But was it something bad enough to warrant The Ice Age treatment?
I don’t know why he told me all that sweet stuff and then closed the door on me, only weeks later.
It seems like he was trying to tell me he was dating someone else, but why not just say that?
Because of the way he left things, I’ve got no closure, and only speculation.
A few weeks ago, I went to the midnight premier of the latest Nicholas Sparks’ movie, “The Longest Ride,” and one of the main characters said something to the effect of, how sometimes the people we are closest to can become absolute strangers.
I’ve dated a lot of people that have just fallen off the face of the Earth. And I understand that’s the risk when we get close to people. But it makes me sad.
As I get older, I realize just how little time we have. The days and weeks are flying by and we can’t find it in our hearts to give someone a second chance?
Note: this idea does not apply to any situation that includes abuse, addiction, or infidelity.
I doubt I’ll hear from Brian again, and my closure will just have to be the confirmation that he’s not the one. I need someone who’s willing to forgive.