Dater X: Getting Back On The Horse

The first week after a breakup is always the most difficult. The rejection is fresh and the sting still burns, which makes it that much harder to remind yourself that the relationship is over, and that, despite how it feels at the time, things will get better. Those first few days are also crucial in determining how you’ll handle the rest of the breakup. The decision to end things takes only a moment, but coping with that loss can take days, months, or even years. And in my opinion, the tone of that “healing period” is set early on. Will you continue to communicate, cut each other off cold turkey, or decide to have casual sex until he realizes he wants you and only you? After my breakup with Andrew, I chose my path, and thankfully, it resulted in clarity.

When Andrew blindsided me with the truth bomb that he wasn’t ready for a girlfriend, I knew I’d be incapable of carrying on any kind of communication or relationship with him without developing muddled feelings. We both agreed it was best to sever ties. About a week later, I went out with friends for drinks, headed back home alone and found myself aching to text him.

“I hope you’re absolutely POSITIVE this is what you want,” I typed, staring for a minute at the blinking cursor behind my message, deciding if I wanted to go there. Then, in a moment of weakness (and slight drunkenness), I hit Send.

He immediately responded: “Ahhhhh, I was JUST talking about you. How are you, pretty lady? How was your day? What did you do?”

I decided to keep it short to let him know I wasn’t reaching out to chat like old pals. I wanted some reassurance.

“I’m good, thanks. I met up with friends for dinner and cocktails and just got home. I thought I heard my ears ringing. Who were you talking about me to?”

“Fun! Sounds like you’re doing well. And I was talking to my brother. We’re on our way into the city for the night … DANCE FEST!” he wrote back.

Call me crazy, but this bothered me. It was 12:45 a.m. and they were JUST on their way into the city? I knew that they were probably headed to some sexy late-night club, where they would dance and maybe even hookup with girls, but I didn’t have a say in his extracurricular activities anymore. I started typing exactly what I was thinking— No filter. No bullshit.

“I hope you have fun, but I also hope you realize what you’re giving up to go do whatever it is you’re off to do. The ‘borderline magical’ moments you said we had together are just as hard to find as someone you have a strong connection with. ‘Dance Fest’ won’t always love you back, but I could have. And would have. Have fun and stay out of trouble. Goodbye, Andrew. xo”

I wasn’t expecting a response, and I never got one. Surprisingly, I was okay with that. We’d previously ended on a high note, with Andrew telling me he wouldn’t take back any of our time together— but I wanted to give him one last chance to have me. I wanted to make sure he was really at peace with his decision, and apparently he is. This makes it much easier for me to move on. I know how much I have to offer someone, and I also know when something is worth hanging onto. I am worth hanging onto. If he can’t see that, or isn’t ready for it, I’m not going to hang around, waiting for him to grab a hold. I’m going to get back on the horse and keep goin’. From here on out, I take steps forward.

Of course, I still have my moments. There are times throughout my day that I’ll think about Andrew and get sad, but then I remind myself that I deserve someone who can give me what I want. And until I find that person, I’m keeping busy and living my life: going to work, seeing my friends, enjoying my free time and being the happiest single woman I can be. This week, I even skimmed OKCupid and flirted with a stranger, which may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a baby step in the right direction. I’m back at Square One, and truth be told, I’m finding it to be a pretty hopeful place.