Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

Sitting with difficult emotions May 16, 2009

Filed under: Exes,Loneliness — datehazard @ 11:17 pm
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I’m travelling right now, and am sitting in a space that I used to share with my ex-boyfriend. It’s his apartment, and he isn’t here. He’s staying at his current girlfriend’s apartment.

I like the space, but the vacuum of his absence demarcates how this is no longer my home. It’s a place-in-waiting, even as my cats are here and the furniture and surroundings, mine.

The discomfort is niggling, insistent, rather than pronounced or tangible in some way. It’s a low grade hum: just loud enough to be unsettling.

I’m looking forward to be going back — although not to “home,” which for the time being does not exist.

 

Corporate Lawyer got laid off March 12, 2009

Filed under: breakups,Exes,Not about dating — datehazard @ 11:34 am
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I don’t even know how to start this post. Corporate Lawyer texted me that he just got laid off.

There’s really nothing intelligent or helpful I can say in response to that. I asked if he wanted to meet up tomorrow, if not this evening.

 

The Topography of a breakup (III) March 4, 2009

Filed under: breakups,Exes — datehazard @ 9:02 am
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So, my examination of the emotional processes involved in a breakup continues (part 1; and part 2 here).

This time, my case study is myself.

My ex just called this morning to wish me a happy birthday. It was premature; my birthday isn’t until later this week. But we managed to have a conversation anyway, and he told me he’d started seeing someone and things were getting a little serious. Honestly, I wasn’t that surprised. His patterns are familiar to me, and I thought he’d rush into someone’s open arms after the last conversation we had, when he once again declared his undying love and said he’d like to give us another shot. At that time, I’d replied that the only way that was going to happen was if he embarked on some major work on himself. I wanted him to demonstrate to me that he would do what it takes to really show me how he could take the initiative on a regular basis. When we were together, I’d put all of the work into the relationship, from making all of the meals to arranging all of our outings, and despite my repeated complaints, then surly silence, then depression, he never lifted a finger. Instead, he’d started to ignore me, and then started to belittle me. Even while he actually admitted to me that he agreed with my assessment of the relationship. And so eventually I decided I’d had enough. Between struggling to focus on my work and plan the next steps in my career, I had very little time, energy or patience to devote to acting like this guy’s mom.

And so we come to stage 3 and 4 in the breakup. Stage 3 is where you still miss your ex, but you start to think a little more clearly about what happened. The good times are still there in your head; the bad times don’t seem so bad. You still want to get back together with them, and decide to call.

Oh no!

You’re reminded all over again of what the bad times were, and realise, “right… this is why we broke up.” It’s a good thing, but it makes you sad. Nevertheless, the thought of them dating someone else is really horrible, even as you do want them to be happy. You hope that you find someone else before them, and maybe even go on some dating sprees, like a crazed sniper, trying to make a connection with as many people as possible. A few more bouts of sadness and/or depression ensue when your targets don’t really pan out. You blame your ex and revert a little bit to stage 1 or 2.

Stage 4 is what happens when you don’t even notice. It’s when you realise that you genuinely want the other person to be happy. When it doesn’t matter whether you’re seeing someone else, or what’s happening in your life. When your ex calls, and you’re actually encouraging them, genuinely, to pursue their own happiness. When you remind them that looking into the past is just so much of an invitation to self-pity. When you tell them that horrible cliché that life is for the living. And actually mean it.

And that’s what happened this morning.

I think Stage 5 is when you actually see them again, and realise, after some rapid and pretty superficial back-and-forth between Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4, that you actually do mean stage 4. And that you might even want to enjoy their company again, from time to time.

As the friend they always were.

 

Adults will do what adults will do… February 27, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Drama,Exes — datehazard @ 12:37 am
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My friend The Artist called today to ask to meet with me. When I saw her, she was agitated and looked like she had something on her mind. She told me it had to do with her roommates and how they were driving her crazy; but when I talked to her, it really seemed like an inconsequential problem.

So I was kinda wondering what else was happening with her?

Then she told me.

She’d spoken with my friend The Grad Student (remember him?) and told him that she’d told me what happened between the two of them. She asked me how I felt about the two of them dating, and I told her that I had no problems with it, but that I didn’t want to see her get hurt, and that I felt that his behaviour was pretty shifty from what she’d told me so far.

She told me, “well, actually, he told me that he’s not looking for a serious relationship right now; that he can’t handle one at the moment.”

I said, “And that’s ok with you?”

“Well, as long as he doesn’t mean that he won’t go running off in the opposite direction the minute something gets a little serious with the two of us. I mean, I have to have a talk with him and let him know that I’ve been hurt in the past, and that I won’t put myself in that position again. If he wants to date me, he has to be prepared to date me, not to run away the minute I say I want to date him.”

That was a mixed message, admittedly. But it also put my mind more at ease.

I told her, “Listen, I just want to say that I was hoping that the two of you would get together at some point — that’s why I introduced you to each other. I mean, I told him you thought he was cute the minute you met him and told me that.”

She: “Really??”

“Yeah! I mean, I think it’s great if you two want to get together. But I didn’t think it would happen so fast, and I thought that he was being kinda shady by not telling me what happened between the two of you the night you both kissed. I told him that you’d just broken up with your boyfriend, so I thought he’d have understood to hold back a bit.”

“Well, really at this point, it just feels so great to have so much attention from all of these men. And to tell you the truth, The Grad Student is a real catch. I mean, he’s smart, and really good-looking, and so much better than my ex. I can’t even tell you. So right now, that’s just making me feel even more convinced that I did the right thing.”

That seriously made me happy. I had a huge smile on my face.

“TA, that is EXACTLY what I was hoping for. I’m so glad you’re feeling better!!”

I gave her a big hug.

And I said, “one last thing. If he hurts you, I will break his neck. You can tell him that. Seriously.”

She laughed.

And then I went off to meet up with The Grad Student to attend a lecture that he’d invited me to that evening. And I told him exactly the same thing: “If you hurt her, I will break you limb from limb. This is not a joke or a threat. It’s a promise.”

He, after joking around a little bit, said, more seriously, “well, I mean, how am I not supposed to hurt her? I mean, unless we end up getting married and stay together for the rest of our lives, it’s pretty impossible not to hurt people.”

I didn’t have to say much. I turned to him and said, “You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s about acting on ethical principles. You know her headspace, and you know what I mean.”

End of conversation.

And end of my matchmaking and guidance.

Now I wish someone could do the same for me…

 

Weird vibes February 23, 2009

Filed under: Exes — datehazard @ 12:34 pm
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I just got an e-mail from my ex. Out of the blue, he e-mails me to say he had a bad dream last night; he dreamt that I was sad and angry and frustrated, and that we were separated by a window and he was outside, unable to comfort me.

Either the guy is a complete stalker and has hacked my accounts (he shouldn’t know about this blog), or it was one of those really weird random things.

Either way, it’s nice to know that he cared enough to let me know that I was in the heart and mind of at least one person in the world. Especially after my difficult night, then morning dealing with The Charmer.

 

Walking away from The Charmer

So, I wrote an e-mail to The Charmer this morning, saying that I was walking away.

It came out of my realisation last night that we are just looking for two different things. He wants someone who can be as morally free as him, and who can let him indulge in whatever sexual pecadilloes he chooses, and it was making me sad. I cried as I fell asleep last night, in the realisation that I couldn’t be with this man in the way I’d like. It was a mixture of exhaustion, self-pity, self-loathing and acceptance.

I told him that, strange as it may sound, he was one of the few people in my life I’ve ever met who I was immediately and strongly attracted to; the kind of person who I just cannot get enough of. It’s been many years since I’ve felt this way; in fact, other than when I was a teenager, I don’t remember the last time I felt like this.

If nothing else, that sense that my heart has awakened, and reminded me of how strongly it can feel, is an amazing thing. I’ve spent the last year in a haze, unfocussed and numb. I never thought I could feel this strongly again.

And now it’s over.

And life goes on.

 

Nasty news February 21, 2009

Filed under: breakups,Drama,Exes — datehazard @ 2:15 pm
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Well, I just had a rather unexpected update from my friend The Artist about what exactly happened on the night she got really drunk and ended up at The Grad Student’s house.

Apparently it wasn’t just that she’d gotten drunk, but that she and the Grad Student had kissed. He’d been putting the moves on her, and he’d also said to my friend, “What shall we tell DH? Don’t tell her something happened. Maybe we can just tell her that you stayed over because you were really drunk?”

And just yesterday, The Grad Student was telling me how he thought I was beautiful and incredibly desirable. Which I’d laughed off and dismissed as so much loneliness. We’d spent the entire day talking about his problems, and I’d been sympathetic about his breakup, trying to encourage him to keep moving on.

And now, once again, I feel used. Once upon a time The Grad Student and I had a thing — a long time ago when I was on the rebound from my ex and had just moved to NYC. We’d managed to work through it, but there had always been that tension, which I generally ignored or pushed aside. After our attempt to date, I realised that he wasn’t the right person for me, and I told him that. And kept dating other people.

And now I am stuck in this awkward situation where I had to promise The Artist that I wouldn’t reveal the fact that they’d kissed. And I can’t act on my anger and ask The Grad Student to explain his actions, and why it was at all important to hide this information from me. And I can’t warn The Artist about this guy, who is clearly playing the both of us, because she would think it’s so much jealousy on my part. And I feel personally responsible for making sure she doesn’t get hurt. Especially when she’s in this particular state. And I’m the one who introduced them to each other.

Men are pigs. Seriously. And clearly I am ridiculously naive.