After every breakup, I spend time — copious amounts of time, too much goddamn time – pouring over every detail, trying to figure out what I did wrong this time. I call this “taking personal responsibility.” My best friend calls it “spiraling.” Leaving yoga class this weekend, my voice trembling and defeated, I declared about my recent breakup: “It’s my fault. I pick the wrong men.”
This is when my best friend started laughing at me. Hysterically. “You’re spiraling,” she said. “I’m only going to say this once: You did nothing wrong. He wasn’t right for you, and you both acknowledged that as soon as you knew it. You did everything right. So, I refuse to listen to you if you’re going to blame yourself. You need to stop.”
She was right. I was being ridiculous. It’s no wonder my first instinct is to blame myself. The culture of single blaming and shaming is pervasive. I think the world tends to forget: being coupled is not an achievement. Not being coupled is not a failure. Being in a relationship, getting married, shacking up, call it whatever you want, is a life choice, born of opportunity. It’s two people being in the right place at the right time and wanting the same things. It’s an opportunity that’s seized. While a solid relationship can make you grow as a person, the mere fact that you’re coupled does not make you a better person.
Earlier that morning, a married friend of mine sent me a link to Tracy McMillian’s articles Why You’re Not Married and the charming follow up Why You’re Still Not Married. “Have you seen these? What do you think?” she asked. “They seem offensive.” Keep reading »
Breakups always suck, no matter what, for both dumper and dumpee, or even if it’s mutual. But there are certain kinds of breakups that suck worse than others. That’s just true, the same way that certain ways of dying suck worse than others, in your sleep versus slowly and painfully of cancer. God, this is getting really macabre really fast. I’m sorry.
You can probably tell by my tone (and the fact that I’m listening to The Smiths) that I’ve just gone through a breakup. As some of you know, I was trying to be Switzerland, which worked for a while, and then I couldn’t remain neutral any longer. Our breakup was mutual and amicable and about as pleasant as something so unpleasant could be. I’m grateful for that. But still, BLERGH.
Here’s the thought I’m left with at the end of this relationship (to quote a Broadway song because I love Broadway musicals and I don’t care if that’s embarrassing): “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” Keep reading »
Breakups suck. Despite all the lessons and advice our parents teach us, nothing really prepares us to fall in love with someone and then have that person choose not to be with us anymore. With a broken heart and a shattered ego, our brain demands explanations.We crave resolution and closure. But we rarely get what we desire. One magical date and he didn’t call again, why? Two weeks of texting and flirting on Facebook and then nothing, why? One month spent dating a guy you were ambivalent about only to have him dump you, why?
Frankly, asking why is a colossal waste of time. Keep this word in your back pocket every time you are tempted to contemplate a dating scenario gone awry: Next. Next is your best friend when it comes to dating, hook-ups, friends with benefits, and all the rest. Keep reading »
Remember that hot guy in high school who dated every girl in his class, despite treating every one of them like crap? Why was this possible? Because women suffer from It Will Be Different With Me Syndrome. Sadly, it’s usually never different. Men aren’t rocket science. In fact, they are like The Weather Channel. You can predict fairly accurately what weather lay ahead, based on their past behavior.
The type of men that lie, cheat, or are guilty of general douchebaggery come with a track record. Other women warn you to stay away, his friends tell you about his sordid past, and yet, you’ll convince yourself that you and you alone are up to the challenge of taming him.
There are times when our hopes and beliefs contradict all available evidence and can actually hurt us. Simply wanting someone to be an awesome guy doesn’t make him an awesome guy. Just ask Katy Perry. Despite all evidence that John Mayer is one of Hollywood’s biggest love-em-and-leave-em type of guys, she’s convinced herself he’ll be different with her. I hope she likes her love life discussed intimately on Twitter, or on the pages of Playboy, because that’s what she has to look forward to. It won’t be different with Katy. Just ask Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, or Minka Kelly. Keep reading »
My relationship has hit a roadblock. This roadblock may be like a piece of highway shrapnel that we need to swerve around or it might be more like the Berlin Wall, which would take radical change to make fall. I don’t know yet. If it’s the latter, I’d better take up graffiti art. And I call West Berlin, obvs.
I don’t want to go into detail about the impasse my guy and I are at because it’s über-complicated (isn’t it always?) and because I’m a private person sometimes (despite being a blogger). And because I’m taking a radical approach to conflict resolution.
Last week I was out with one of my best friends. He’s been with his husband for 15 years now, so he knows a lot about this “making relationships last” stuff. I told him about the issues we were dealing with and expressed being torn over the future — not knowing whether to have hope and fight or stop trying altogether. He responded with the most genius bit of advice ever (and you know how much I dislike relationship advice): “Just be Switzerland,” he told me. Keep reading »