Brace yourselves for some emotion, readers. We’re about to have a blast from the past while I also try to impart my
knowledge experiences upon you all in an attempt to make myself feel like some value can be gained from my last three years of singledom. But don’t worry, I have since gotten back into the online dating game, so you can expect some more amusing date stories in the near future.
As you probably know by now, I’ve been solidly single for over three years. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long to me, but you’d be surprised at how much of a foreign concept that is to the serial monogamists of the world.
Obviously, the fact that I’m picky has a lot to do with this. I’m also not dying for a relationship or on the hunt to find a boyfriend just for the sake of having a boyfriend, so it’s not like I’ve been in a rush or anything. Buuut there has been another reason, which until recently had been lingering in my mind and contributing to my perpetual single lady status. Here’s the lowdown.
The Whole “First Love” Thing
To give a little background, my last relationship was my first love. He wasn’t my first relationship by any means, but we dated almost two years, which was basically eternity compared to how long the “relationships” I had with previous boyfriends lasted… so it was a big deal for me. And apparently there are a lot of people who say the L word to someone but then after the fact realize that they weren’t actually in love; well, that’s not the case here. Without getting too gushy here, I will just say that even looking back now, I was undoubtedly and entirely consumed by love for this guy. Aaaaand he had a great beard.
Anyways, things ended between us because he moved to the complete opposite side of the country. It was an idea he had entertained a few times before, but I just never thought he would actually eventually do it. Well he did, and as I’m sure you can imagine, the breakup fucking sucked. Once he was gone, we were technically broken up but basically still together. We talked every day, I visited him once, he spent Thanksgiving back home with me and my family… yeah, that happened. But then six months later, he called me like he did every other day but with the tone that basically said “we need to talk” without actually saying it. He told me how his co-worker said something to him that got him thinking: “It sounds like you met your soul mate too early in life.” During that same sudden conversation, he mentioned things about bad timing and then cut to the chase and said we should probably slow things down. There was zero chance that that was going to be a possibility for me, so I told him not to contact me anymore.
Over the next, um, 2+ years, we didn’t talk except for the occasional “happy birthday” reach outs via Facebook Message or the extremely random texts to catch up (which occurred probably no more than a handful of times). During these short conversations, he always expressed genuine regard for me and would even go so far as to tell me he still thought of me and missed me. He also never showed any signs of being in a relationship with anyone else.
Sooooo… why the hell is this guy getting an entire blog post written about him if he is so obsolete and had been so absent from my life for the past few years??
Let me rewind.
Poems, Promises, and the Open-Ended Breakup
After my ex had made the decision to move in 2011 but before he had physically picked up and left, we were both having a really difficult time dealing with the limbo we were in: wanting to spend every second that we had left together all the while knowing that we were going to break up in the near future. It was super shitty, to say the least.
It was what he said to me during those final weeks together that ended up sticking with me for years, and I honestly wish he never said any of it. He started talking about the not-so-far-away future. He told me how he only planned to go for a few short years but would then come back. He said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He told me this several times and even wrote it in a heartfelt poem. I don’t know if he really meant what he told me or if he was just saying it to try to make me feel less upset. Either way, I completely believed every word he said.
So let’s recap:
- I was madly in love with this guy when out of the blue he told me that he was moving across the country.
- He told me how he only planned to spend a few years away but would then come back and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
- The reason he gave me when we cut ties was that I was his soul mate that he met too early.
- Over the following years, he told me that he missed me and appeared to be just as single as I was.
What I’m trying to get at is that I was left totally mind fucked. How mind fucked you ask? Enough that it took me three years to fully get over him and let go of the hope that he had given me before he left. HOLY HELL! Yep, you heard me right. It was a REALLY FUCKING LONG TIME, and it only recently came to an end about two months ago when I got the closure I should’ve gotten years ago.
…but before I tell you how that all went down, I do want to quickly clarify something so I don’t lose all credibility for being at least mildly sane. When I say I wasn’t over him, it’s not like I was pining over him day and night or anything like that whatsoever. And when I say I was holding onto the hope he had given me, it’s not something I was actually counting on happening. I mean, seriously, it’s not like I was doing all this online dating just for shits and giggles to pass the time. While I recognize that I was delusional to some degree, I did quickly realize that he was likely going to be staying put for longer than he had originally told me, and trust me, I was well aware that I should banish any thoughts of a rekindling because we were never going to get back together. But since I do believe that you don’t fully fall out of love until you fall back in (and I hadn’t yet fallen in love with the nobodies I was going out on one or two dates with…and it sure seemed that he hadn’t found anyone else either), there was always that tinyyyy sliver of hope that it was still in the cards for him to come back and live happily ever after with me. Although he only crossed my mind once in a while, he would usually be the guy that I’d get upset about whenever my hormones were raging and I fell into one of those “poor poor pitiful me, I’m going to be single and alone forever” moods. So I know it’s insane that I wasn’t completely over him in three years, but all I’m saying is that he was a thought way in the back of my mind that would occasionally resurface. Don’t be thinking I was going all Swimfan or anything.
So like I said, two months ago I finally was able to close the doors that had been left open for so many years. He had recently taken a job that is based back in the city I live (but he was working for them remotely across the country), and so he was coming back into town more often. Our alumni weekend was coming up, and since he was planning on going for the first time, we thought it would be a good idea to meet up beforehand since it had been forever since we had seen each other. (Oh, and for the record, we had had plenty of other opportunities to meet up, but I kept refusing because I just didn’t think it would be healthy for me to see him just to see him. But if I was going to have to maybe run into him soon anyways – and my roommates gave me approval – I decided to give it a go this time.)
Going into it, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. Part of me knew it was finally a chance to get closure or just meet up and realize that, hey, I actually don’t really care about him as much as I thought! Buuuut deep deep down there was a part of me that was hoping that mayyyyybe he was going to be coming home more often for work and that mayyyyybe there would be a possibility of something sparking between us again. Regardless, I had to get drinks with my coworkers before meeting up with him because my nerves were making me feel sick to my stomach.
We met up at a bar near my office, and he looked pretty much the same as I remembered…although his beard was a lot longer and much less tamed than he used to have it, so that was good since it lost a few points on the scale of attraction for me. The first hour was just catching up and normal talk. Then I don’t entirely remember how it shifted, but he said something about wanting to get closure. I said I agreed (even though I did kind of hope that he would want to do the opposite of that), because, as I explained to him, I do still think about him and that it hadn’t been the easiest thing to get over him since I still hadn’t found a new relationship that could compare to what we had. I needed him to be straightforward with me, so I told him, “If this is something that is completely in the past now, I just need you to tell me. I need to hear you say the words, ‘we are done and never getting back together.'” He tried to skirt around it and not be direct, but I told him he either had to say it or not say it. So he said it. My stomach tied in knots and I had to take a breather, but I held it together.
So there was that. But then there was more. He told me he had been dating someone for a year now… and they were in love. Say whaaaaa??? I’m sorry, but I like to accredit myself as a Class A Facebook stalker, and let me tell you, there was never once even the teeny tiniest sign of him being romantically involved with someone EVER, let alone for a full year. So that bomb totally threw me off, and subsequently left me heading to the bathroom to get some tears out and recompose myself.
What happened next is completely blurry; I must have been in some sort of emotional blackout or something. But soon we were talking about the past, the present, the future… and we were both crying at the bar. Hahaha, yes, readers, you can safely assume that I will not be showing my face at that bar again anytime soon. We soon left and took a seat by the river, both of us crying our eyes out the entire time. It was a really weird scene.
Again, I don’t really remember what specifically we were talking about, but basically, we were finally breaking up for real. We were revisiting and then severing a lot of strong feelings which had become only more complicated over the past few years. We sat there like blubbering babies and closed the doors that had been left open. It was extremely difficult…but so extremely necessary.
So Where Are We Now?
Him: So who is this chick that he is with? First of all, she’s the coworker (actually, she was his BOSS) that told him that he met me too early, so that’s kind of annoying. Second, she’s 35 or 36, which is 8 or 9 years older than him. Third, they aren’t Facebook friends which I find to be a bit sketch. Fourth…well, actually that’s all I’ve got. Apparently they are in love, but quite frankly, I find that to be bizarre because when I get to the point where I am in love with someone again, I promise you that I won’t be needing to meet up with an ex, I won’t be balling my eyes out with that person, and I definitely won’t be saying that I hope this isn’t the last time we see each other. Whatever. Good for them, and I really do wish him happiness. I also hope he’s using condoms because he’s in no position to be a father right now and she’s probably wanting babies soon (not even saying that to be bitchy…for real, the biological clock is a-ticking by mid-late 30s).
Me: Being 100% honest here, I feel so liberated. Obviously, the conversation we had wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it was everything I needed. I finally cut the threads of hope that I’d been holding onto for so long, and our relationship is now something entirely of the past. I finally know that there is no future anywhere in the cards for us, and he is so much more absent from my mind now. The biggest eye-opener for me was a few weeks ago when I went to the wedding of two good friends of mine. Their friendship and love for each other was obvious and it was just so clear that their lives would be incomplete without each other. It was the first time that I finally thought to myself “why the hell had I been holding onto hope that a guy who fucking broke up and moved away from me would eventually come back and be with me once it was convenient for him?” An obvious thought, I know, but I finally was able to say it and believe it. No longer was it me not being able to be with him because he hadn’t decided to move back yet; rather, I was finally seeing it as me not being able to be with him because why the fuck would I want to be with someone who left me in the first place?!
So rejoice with me, readers, because hallelujah I’m finally totally past this guy and can date with no tiny little reservations existing in the back of my head!
Unfortunately, this has not made me less picky, so finding the right guy hasn’t exactly gotten any easier. Oh well, it’s continuing to prove to be an amusing process, and thanks for sticking with me!