“It was like I had to do something serious, something to cause a rift, that we couldn’t come back from.”
That was my friend Caitlin*. She stopped me dead in my tracks. We were walking off brunch last Sunday afternoon, a brunch filled with sharing our mutual dating tales and reminiscing about our past relationships that brought us to where we are today. Caitlin started telling me for the first time about her ex-boyfriend, a guy she had been with for four years in her late teens and early-20s. They’d fallen in love, moved in together and settled down seemingly happily. Then Caitlin started to feel anxious. She was too young to settle down. She wanted to “go out.” She wanted to have more life experiences that didn’t necessarily involve him. It wasn’t that he was doing anything wrong; in fact, she still recalled him sweetly. So she started to sabotage the relationship, to hurt him so badly that they had to break up.
She had carpetbombed the relationship. She needed to carpetbomb the relationship. Keep reading »
Most people have encountered a crazy ex-girlfriend in some form, a being to be pitied and scorned. It was frightening how easy it was to find myself, normally a level-headed, rational woman, turning into one. Keep reading »
About a month ago I was standing in a sandwich shop near my office and my mind went to the place it usually does, which is wondering what I would do if Ex-Mr. Jessica walked in. His office is only 10 blocks away from my own, so there is a very real possibility we may run into each other by accident sometime. I looked at the men dressed the same way he would dress — glasses, dress shirt, slacks, an iPod — and imagined him walking in.
And then I realized I wouldn’t have cared. I could nod my head at him and ignore him. I could even muster a small smile and a “hi.” In the day’s experiences, it would register as “whatever.”
And that release felt huge. Keep reading »
This month marks the six-year anniversary of my divorce. A lot has changed since then. I’ve lived on my own (no parents, roommates, boyfriend, or husband). I dated again for the first time in a long time (how long? there was no internet the last time I dated). I changed jobs, got another degree, changed careers, moved across the country. Fell in love again.
I’m happy, extremely so. So why do people still act sorry for me when they hear I’m no longer married and the reason why? Keep reading »
There’s this (amazing) song on the soundtrack to the (terrible) movie “The Romantics” called “We Can’t Be Friends” by Lenore Scafaria. My favorite lyrics go:
“I want to wear a skirt, I want to make mistakes,
I want to kill you first and then take your name,
I want to tear you apart, I want to make your bed,
I wanna break your heart, I want to break your head,
I guess this means we can’t be friends.”
In the days, weeks and months following a big breakup, I listened to this song on repeat. Every word of it spoke to me (especially the part about breaking his head). We’d said to each other on our first date, moony-eyed, that even if this didn’t grow into anything, we should still be friends.
Two years later, it couldn’t be more obvious that we could not be friends. My friends don’t sneak around behind my back. My friends don’t email me lists of the things they don’t like about me. My friends don’t threaten to throw out my stuff. There’s a hell of a lot of things my ex-boyfriend did that I wouldn’t stand for if one of my girl or guy friends were to do them. Why should I make concessions for acting like a d**k just because we had been in a romantic relationship together? What would that prove?
This cropped up again recently when a guy I’d been going on dates with for about a month ended it with me. Hormones, as I’ll call him, said he didn’t have strong enough romantic feelings or see long-term potential for us. Yadda yadda yadda. That is fine. I understand. I appreciate that he was honest about it. But then Hormones told me that he hoped we could be friends. Keep reading »
I made decision when I was a young adult on the kind of regrets I’d try to have: I want to regret only the things I did do, not the things I didn’t. So far it’s worked out just as I’ve hoped. I have never had to look back and wish I had fallen deeply in love, or traveled around Europe when I was young, or quit a steady job to freelance write fulltime, because I’ve done all of those things. I’m proud that I have very few regrets about things in my life I have done — very, very few, like, I’m struggling to think of examples now. But as each month brings more and more distance between myself and a devastating heartbreak I suffered with the guy I wanted to spend my life with, one regret is becoming pronounced. I look back now and I’m not proud of all the small compromises that I made for him without, I think, getting as much as I should have in return. Keep reading »