Even though I’m a cat lady by choice – minus the terrifying figurines and embroidered pillows – when my ex started dating someone new, my reaction was … let’s just say, unexpected.
I’d like to foreshadow this tale of my psychotic break by mentioning our breakup was totally mutual. It was one of those “Leave It to Beaver”-esque, respectful breakups that if re-enacted for stage and screen would be as exciting as sobriety.
There was the occasional sob – I mean, hello, we’d been together for five years! – followed by the classic after-all-we’ve-been-through-let’s-be-BFFs routine which ended with a joint custody kerfuffle over our cat (pffft, yeah right, and ruin my new persona?). All in all, a pretty mature outcome if you ask me.
We went on like this for about six months or so: chitchatting about work and school, sharing adorable cat pictures, and updating each other about our families.
Then, it happened.
The mofo started dating someone new and I was blindsided by the news in the most clichéd way possible: on Facebook. There, on my newsfeed, was his updated profile picture – a pukey couple shot from one of their dates, followed by nauseating comments from their family and friends. Keep reading »
The scenario is a common one – it’s happened to me and, while writing this piece, I did an informal survey and asked a handful of women in my life if they were familiar with the phenomenon of fake-friending. All them were. And almost all of them – myself included – admitted to having been on both sides. As a person with a lot of close male friends, I’ve fake-friended multiple new girlfriends in the interest of research (Because really? Her? Is she funny or something? He told me he doesn’t even like brunettes!), and I’ve been the new girlfriend who suddenly had a suspiciously good-looking college friend of my new boyfriend Facebook messaging me that “we should get together.”
It usually goes like this: a man and a woman begin dating and eventually get to a point where they start to meet each other’s friends. If they are well-adjusted, normal adults, they will probably have friends of both genders. Maybe it’s awesome. Maybe the new girlfriend and the female friends genuinely have a lot in common — they do have similar taste in men, after all — and everyone becomes friends and the world continues to turn in perfect harmony.
But probably, because humans are just sacks of guts and hormones, at least one of those female friends will likely have or have had feelings for the newly-spoken-for. Maybe they dated or slept together once (or for a while*) and it didn’t work out. Whatever the specifics, the dynamic is the same: the female friend doesn’t necessarily want to date the guy, but she doesn’t want him dating that girl. And instead of admitting that (and thus, admitting her feelings), the platonic female friend will launch an attack of niceness. Keep reading »
Yesterday, I teared up over a iPhone photo of my high school best friend looking stunning in a potential wedding gown. It was captioned, “This could be the one!” My watery response startled me just as much as seeing a childhood friend looking bridal.
Two days ago, I felt a genuine jolt of elation upon seeing a different, dear friend’s engagement ring. I stammered to my mom on the phone, “I’ve known her since I was four and now she’s getting married!”
If I’d been confronted with wedding artifacts even six months ago, I would have eeked out my best ecstatic voice and plastered on a fake smile. Meanwhile my insides would have balked and squirmed. The feeling of being trapped in domesticity would have spread like a rash.
Now the only unpleasant feeling that emerges after getting engagement party invitations and the word “fiancé” is the lingering aftertaste of my anxiety. In the love arena, I’m far behind two girls I grew up with. Keep reading »
In my eight year stint as a single person, I became very proficient at dating and breaking up. I learned how to flirt, I became skilled at meeting men both on and offline, I developed coping mechanisms for making it through horrendous first dates, I came to understand how not to take rejection personally, I honed in on what I was looking for rather than who was looking for me and I came up with a protocol for moving on with as little emotional scarring as possible when things didn’t work out. (And I typically didn’t expect them too.) These were all incredibly difficult and, at times, painful skills to master, but I think I just about had them under control. And then a bout of dating fatigue and a stroke of dumb luck later and the thing that I thought would never happen for me happened — I was in a serious relationship faster then I could say DATING SUCKS. After the first few moments of being annoyingly in love (I still am), I found myself with my back up against an OH FUCK wall. Keep reading »
Breakups are brutal, and we rarely end a relationship with all of our feelings, regrets and issues off our chest. Instead, we’re left with a tornado of confusing emotions accumulating debris inside of us, potentially setting off some really bad decision-making. The post-breakup email would be at the top of that list. It’s totally understandable to want to send one last email — either for closure or answers or to explain yourself, but more often, as a medium for your residual hurt and anger. While all of those reasons seem really valid, you have to let go of the idea that sending the email will make you feel better. It most certainly won’t. DO NOT SEND A POST-BREAKUP EMAIL. Let me repeat that. DO NOT HIT SEND.
The only person who really gets hurt by sending out that post-breakup email is you. Unless your ex is a straight up sociopath, he already feels bad about breaking your heart, but sending a bitchy/snarky/sympathy-seeking/guilt-tripping/nailing-ass-to-wall email just lets him off the hook.You might think having the last word will make him feel worse, but in fact, they will actually make him feel better. Any negative feelings he had about you — you just validated them when you hit send. Keep reading »
As if dating wasn’t hard enough – you throw in a portable, typed-word machine and suddenly it’s pandemonium. Tones, intentions, invitations all get jumbled in this lawless land of shorthand communication. Suddenly the guy you’re dating’s “C u later” message means he’s dumping you when he really just wanted to let you know he’d see you at 8p.m. for Chinese food.
Oh texting, how you make things much, much more complicated than they have any right to be. I can’t tell you the hours my friends and I have spent reciting, decrypting, bemoaning, and conjuring up an honors thesis on a five-word text message.
Personally, I don’t like to be too harsh a judge on a guy’s texting style if I don’t really him. Everyone has their faults, after all. But there are some serious warning signs in the form of text messages. Below, the types of texters who warrant anything from healthy skepticism to restraining orders: Keep reading »