My mother had always given me the impression that whomever I date, I had to immediately marry. That there would be no other choice for me. And so I wouldn’t go on a date thinking I just had to get to know the person, I would go on a date under parental pressure that I potentially had to marry the guy. And she made it seem like if I accepted the date, it was because I accepted the person as a whole being and was already contemplating wedding bells. It was suffocating, and yet there I was feeling forced into all-or-nothing relationships. I was never given the opportunity to just date for fun – maybe go out and enjoy myself with somebody who had the same interests as I did. So when these relationships went south I was beating myself up constantly thinking that I should’ve known better. Thankfully, I’ve cut ties with my toxic parents and their pressure for me to get married without even being able to date like a normal female. If you’ve been beating yourself up after a breakup, thinking, “I should’ve known better,” just remember that dating is to get to know somebody. And you’ll never really get to know them unless you date them. So release yourself from the guilt.
There’s an ex who contacts me every few weeks under the guise of friendly chit chat. He’s fooling himself and he’s constantly showing me what a loser he really is. And that’s a difficult thing for me to say. Generally I try to see the good in everyone I know personally. But he’s still emotionally cheating on his unfaithful wife and trying to fill the emotional void with me. No. Sorry. I’m not interested. Go away. Leave me alone. You haven’t convinced me of anything other than your own denial.
When was the last time you jumped into a small boat and drifted into the ocean without oars? Oh… You’ve never done that? Why not? There seems to be an endless supply of reasons why we wouldn’t do that with a tiny boat, yet we do it with our lives every day. I cut unstable men loose constantly but eventually get pulled into someone else’s Crazytown Shore because I neglect to make solid goals for myself — goals that help me feel fulfilled. Instead, I get sucked into a nimrod’s toxic wasteland and spend months spinning down their emotional refuse drain until it takes all my strength to save myself again. It’s like the movie Groundhog Day.
I’ve got plenty of things I want to accomplish in life, but they are all currently just dreams. And the only difference between goals and dreams is a deadline. So far I have yet to set a meaningful plan in motion for any of my dreams.
I attempted documenting my day this past weekend in order to see where my time goes because I complain about having a lack of time to get things done. Until approximately 11am on Saturday — when a friend called and asked me to intervene property retrieval during the breakup with her boyfriend — I was somewhat focused. But after my friend’s phone call, I stopped documenting and completely lost focus. After a few hours of favors, I was completely scattered. And I completely forgot to document the rest of my day.
Attention Deficit Disorder, maybe? Hmm… Does it really matter? I tend to think if I focused on a goal — and the steps leading to that goal — I’d get there sooner. Right now I’m a hungry rat in a sewer chasing my tail with no direction.
I’ve got a few Mind Mapping apps that I’ve been thinking about using to take a look at what I want to accomplish next. A mind map is an octopus-like graph of ideas. It looks like this; this is a mind map of presidents:
The first ideas you jot are your dreams — your end goals. From those end goals, you create lines to smaller steps in the process. By the time you’re finished, you should have a general plan of steps it should take to accomplish your dreams.
I’m going to poke around with these and layout some dreams for myself. When I’m done I should be able to start planning deadlines and goals.
Have you used mind mapping? On what? How did it work out?
I’m currently convinced that without goals, I’ll end-up tying myself to another toxic situation. Instead, I want to tie myself to my dreams and make my life exponentially better by pouring the effort into myself instead of someone else. I think this is a fabulous idea and I’m convinced it’s going to work!
Happy Monday, folks! For some of us who are lucky enough to find the key to closure, we may have that peaceful day that we’ve been longing for. But if you haven’t made a list of goals, you could be inviting more trouble in the future. Think about the things you’ve been neglecting to do — both big and small — jot them down, and start hacking away at the list. If you’re able to focus on YOU, it’ll improve your life while helping you focus on what you DO want without allowing an “in” for what you DON’T.
The dumbest thing I never did was get involved with someone from work. I know the rule, yet for some reason I blanked out, bypassing that rule and a major red flag on the first date. A year later, after catching him in a tremendous lie, I’m forced to see him in the halls, catch him looking at me and turning away. It’s heartbreaking, and I have to relive it every day. It’s like God’s punishing me for ignoring a red flag. I failed the test.
What’s worse is the fact that I see him looking at me and yet he can’t bring himself to say, “I’m so sorry I hurt you.” You’d be surprised how these words can help and heal, and yet he doesn’t say them. But at the same time, he didn’t have the strength to divorce an abusive wife, so how would he possibly find the strength to apologize?
Right now I’m in a constant cycle of healing and hurting. It’s like as soon as I start healing he’s suddenly in the halls, passing me 400 times a day and the wound becomes fresh again.
I’m tired of it. I want to heal. I was healing, yet I have no idea what happened. Like a scab picked open and bleeding again. And every time my focus goes back to, “What kind of a man destroys someone else, and never says, ‘I’m sorry?’ “
When I discover that someone has been lying, their complete silence stuns me more than the lies themselves. What’s left in their wake is an onslought of questions while the liar sails away Scott free.
I don’t understand that mindset. Isn’t there any conscience at all? How does he not think, “Wow, I really destroyed her. She’s really upset. I feel really bad.” Is he going to sit there and convince himself that he never lied to me? How do people do that? How do they allow themselves to think that way?
What kind of person does that?
And after everything he told me about his ex, he’s going back?
Within seconds after thinking the questions above, I realized he could have lied to me about everything – not just the one major point that I discovered. I have no idea what the truth is now and because he doesn’t care enough to actually tell me, I’ll never know. Those revelations threw me into a new phase of shock, and my head spun so much that I forced myself to refocus on something else. Something positive.
It annoys me that the first thing I think of when I get up in the morning is this. I don’t deserve this and he knows that. I’m constantly refocusing all day from negative to positive. Thank God it’s working.
Anyone whose lies are so grand that you have to break up with them isn’t worth the time it takes to figure out why they lied in the first place. Add to that the most disrespectful type of silence there is and you’ve got a guilt-free excuse to cut them out of your life forever and move on immediately.
I used to be shocked at the crazy things some women did after breakups. Hell, I thought his wife was crazy. But after his disrespectful onsloght of silence from him, I understand now. I understand why some women go batsh!t crazy.
All I can think now is that they can have each other. Theyre both insane. What I’d like to do now, though, is stay positive. I think helping others survive breakups by focusing on the future and staying positive is essential to any recovery, and certainly helps regain footing in the wake of the maddening silence.
There are suggestions all over the internet on how to get over someone. Well, after decades of falling through the cracks, I’m going to tell you how I recover. In no specific order (actually, the last one is my favorite):
Let’s say you were like me and were too stupid to not “shit where you eat.” My first suggestion is to “not look.” Don’t look for him (or her). Don’t look down the hall, toward his office, around the lunch room, at the nearby deli, by the water cooler or the coffee press. Before you leave your office, arm yourself with thoughts of your current project. Talk to yourself if you have to. Don’t look for him — because, Honey, he ain’t lookin’ for you!
One of the smartest things my friend, Jen, said was – when I asked her, “What do you think he’s thinking?” – she said, “Nothing. He’s not thinking anything.”And there’s a huge possibility he’s not looking either. If your ex was looking at you or for you, you would know. The last thing you want is to repeatedly feel your heart break every time he’s not looking.
For some reason I continuously have a problem with this one, but it still holds true: strike him off every list you’ve got – delete him. Remove his numbers from your cell phone, remove his email addresses so he doesn’t pop up on iMessage, G-chat, y-mail or Instant Messenger. Remove him from Favorite lists and “important” tags. If you’re not important to him, he should not be important to you. This goes back to one of my Lessons Learned: Don’t invest any time in someone who’s unwilling to invest time in you. The simple act of removing him from sight will help you forget him.
You’d be surprised how much it helps when you keep a list of things that pissed you off about your ex. Remember, the relationship didn’t work for a reason! When you feel yourself getting weak, whip out the list and read it again. Suddenly it’s, “OMG that’s right! I can’t believe he did that to me!” Tally the things you aren’t willing to let-go and let the dirty Ho go!
Do the Laundry, List
Your laundry is stacked high, the closet door is falling off the rails, your car needs to be detailed… How much had been delayed while you waited for Mr Ex to pull his head out of his butt? I can guarantee that tackling the laundry-list of chores will not only keep your mind off him, but it’ll help you feel more in-control. And once each task is finished, you’ll feel renewed and refreshed!
Speaking of refreshing — stop it! Stop checking messages and texts, and definitely stop compulsively refreshing email to make sure his lame excuses didn’t download after turning your head. If you need a cell for work, make sure to look only at your work account.
Once the messaging is organized, remove all notification pop-ups for any social account that Mr Ex may have. So if a message does come in, it’ll be hours before you realize it. If he doesn’t make you a priority, don’t make him one!
Sight Seeing & Site Seeing
The classic definition of this phrase – Sight Seeing – is still a great way to spend your time when Mr Ex has left you high and dry. Make a list of places you always wanted to go, and go. If you find yourself stalling, think about this: what if you meet a real dreamboat while you’re sight seeing? So put on those walking shoes and go!
If you’re a real homebody: Site Seeing. Remember all those websites you bookmarked? All those magazines piled high at home? Now’s the time to blow off the dust and dig in. Make yourself a steaming cup of coffee, put on your favorite feety pajamas and read. There’s nothing that will stimulate and tantalize you better than education.
I want to rock climb. I want to scare the hell out of myself while folks cheer me on – even if it is in downtown New York City on a fake wall while there’s a line of wannabe climbers waiting. What’s on your bucket list? Are you tired of waiting for the right partner to join you in memory making? Don’t wait! Make the list! Start the research! Then schedule the day and go. For all you know, the experience may open another world for you. A new world equals new people. New people… you get the idea!
Host a Party
My parents never hosted parties. They didn’t have barbecues and they never had bags of wine bottles to recycle the next day. What kind of world is that? I’m not suggesting alcoholism – Lord knows I’m not – but whats wrong with getting together with friends and family? There’s no better time to catch up than when you’re willing to absorb the love from loved ones!
Your closet is overflowing, food in the fridge has expired, the garbage under your desk still has last year’s receipts… Now’s the time to clean out the old and welcome in fresh air and clean spaces. Figuratively speaking, removing the old, useless or rotting elements from your life sure does feel good, doesn’t it? And if you’ve made the move to discard the dating trash from your life, you may as well go the full gamut and clean your home as well.
After The Evacuation, my apartment contained piles of boxes and bags of useful goods that I didn’t want or need. It took months, but I donated and sold until my apartment was relatively clutter free. So forget the crazy hair cut after a breakup – get yourself to Target or IKEA and organize!
Medical Mental Dental Vision
There’s no better validation for your mental state after a breakup than to have trained medical professionals tell you, “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’ll be fine.” Only recently did I realize that I make multiple medical appointments after breakups. Whether the symptoms are scary or not, it’s good to have an intelligent professional care and – quite frankly – tell me I’m normal. (Almost like an indirect, “It’s not you, it’s him.”)
Now, I’m not suggesting you waste time with fake problems. I’m saying if you’ve been putting off those heart palpitations or your eyesight is starting to fade, now’s the best time to take care of you.
Match.com. eHarmony. Plenty Of Fish. I’ve had friends meet and move in with folks they’ve met online – it’s no longer tabu. From what I hear – and what I’ve been witnessing firsthand – you’ve got to stick it out for a while.
My babysitter, a 26-year-old introvert from Long Island, gave me her notice one fall day in 2013. When I asked her plan she said, “I’m moving in with my boyfriend, and he lives 30 minutes east of here.” Clearly her traveling would increase and she was looking forward to endless boinkfests, but I was shocked because she had never mentioned a boyfriend, let-alone moving in with him. But the need to research prompted my next question, “Where did you meet?” Match.com, she admitted. I was dumbfounded. I thought Match.com was a “meat market,” but apparently it still makes some worthy connections. If you can work around emails from questionable profiles, you may just meet your match.
Speaking of profiles. What about yours? LinkedIn. Naymz. I dont even know what other professional sites exist because I’ve been neglectful. But it’s good to get professional profiles up to par now – Lord knows you won’t want to do it when your own boinkfest* comes to town.
* Remind me to add “Boinkfest” to my own 1YearOfSingle Glossary.
You Better Work! Workout Girl!
There’s nothing more addictive than looking hot so your ex chokes on his own tongue that dangles from his slobbering mouth when he sees you walk by in that smokin’ hot new outfit. Don’t go for just a head turn. Don’t go for a measly stutter. I want you to raise the bar – hundreds of times in the gym – and make him choke on his own stupidity till everyone around him notices that he’s speechless and immobile. Yeah. That’s it.
Clean Out Your Closets
I would have put this with the “Organize” entry, but it’s got a little zest to it. You need to comb through your closets and remove everything that doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks. Chuck it. I don’t care if you’re down to one thong and a pair of heels from * insert designer name brand here * – because right now we need to bolster your ego, and yesterday’s period panties aren’t going to cut it.
The first time I traveled by myself I was scared to death. Sadly, it was only to Pennsylvania and I was driving an old Ford, but when I arrived at my destination I felt like I owned the world.
Two years ago, one of my commuter friends (we’ll call her Mary) came to me with a problem. She was alone for the weekend, her kids were away at camp and her husband didn’t want to travel. He had sunken into a slight case of depression from losing his job and was currently majoring in Couch Potatoing 101. From her description of the tension caused by his job loss, I could tell Mary really needed to get out. And away. She told me that she was supposed to attend a friend’s wedding upstate New York, but was afraid to go by herself. After describing my trips to Pennsylvania, she decided to take a chance and drive herself upstate – without her couch potato husband.
Weeks later I saw Mary during our commute and asked if she took the trip. “I did,” she beamed. “And I left my husband at home. I was scared at first, but I did it.” She explained that all her girl friends gathered, drank wine and laughed – all without their couch potato husbands. Apparently Mary had such a good time that she returns every few months with a bottle of wine so that she and her friends can have a weekend without the entire Couch Potato class.
Does your brain burn with questions after a breakup? Do you wish you could spoon-out your cerebrum and fill it with Silly Putty, just so you don’t have to think about what the hell happened to your relationship? Enter: Netflix and Hulu Plus. I felt like my brain was on fire after discovering McDreamy was really married. But Netflix and Hulu Plus allowed the derailing of my thought process. I’m not talking cheesy romance movies – I’m talking full-scale television series like Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, Glee, Mob Wives, The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, White Collar, and even Downton Abbey. No no – don’t just sit there and watch! I watched these shows while I cleaned, so my mind didn’t wander to Mr Ex. (The last thing you want is to obsess over an ex while organizing a lingerie drawer.)
Serenity Now! (Therapy)
God bless her little PhD soul. My therapist has worked through issues and is now helping me feel normal in serenity. Millions of us are raised in drama and chaos, so when our lives finally settle, the calm feels unnatural. Gone untreated, we recreate drama in order to feel “normal” again. If you feel like there’s an endless, uncontrollable amount of drama happening in your life, I suggest therapy.
There’s nothing you can do if Mr Ex dumped you on the side of the relationship road, but don’t let your boss treat you like trash as well. Are you getting the salary that reflects your worth? Are you doing the job you were promised? If not, pull out the proverbial pencil, redo the resume and latch-on to LinkedIn, because you deserve more.
Journaling is the best way to say what you want to the dirty man whore without looking like a loser. Write it all down, let yourself go. Nothing is off limits and it will ultimately drain it from your cerebrum so you don’t have to think about him anymore. Did he get a lap dance from your sister? Journal it. Did you catch him licking the neck of a shot girl? Journal it. Is his dick the size of the score card pencil at the neighborhood miniature golf? Journal that shit. I’d say Blog it, but that’s my job.
I actually find myself accessorizing more after a breakup. I’m sure there’s some kind of psychological meaning to this, but I couldn’t care less. Just accessorize. And all that dangling and sparkling draws attention, and attention is what you need after attending a dry toast dinner in Splittsville.
Hair and nails
So many of us cut our hair after a breakup. I’m not sure if that’s the way to go because after a few weeks I miss my locks. Better to get color and a trim, and spend the rest on a mani-pedi. The more “put together” you feel after a breakup, the more you’ll feel empowered. And the attention you’ll get from friends, family and co-workers tends to fill some of the void left by the ex.
Let the Music Play
Years ago I called this “Purging” because listening to sad music after a breakup would force me to cry, and crying would flush my system of negative hormones. Yeah, it’s actually a scientific theory. But it’s now 2014 and I refuse to give more time to any ahole who doesn’t give time to me. And for that reason I stock my iTunes with “F-U” playlists after breakups. Songs should empower you to feel better, not drag you down and feel sorry for yourself. And since this is one of my favorite breakup-recovery pastimes, I’ve dedicated space here on 1 Year Of Single just for F-U songs. Check it out…
After cutting off cable and watching endless episodes of Biggest Loser on Hulu Plus, I’ve got a big fat hankering to try rock climbing. I know nothing about rock climbing so I’m going to research a few places in New York City. All I need is a wall and an instructor.
This is part of my To-Do list. I may have a friend come and photograph it. Hmmm…
I love the sh!t out of the online cards, SomeECards. Don’t be surprised if I bombard my blog with SomeECards (let’s just call them SEC). So what is SEC? If you’re having a sh!tty day and need a good laugh full of irony and sometimes vengeful wit, check out their site. You’ll be snorting across your keyboard in no time. And yeah, you can also make your own. Imagine what would have happened if Taylor Swift or even Eminem got a hold of SEC before their first albums came out.
I Google my ex occasionally to remind myself what a jerk he was, simply because I tend to only remember him at his best. Sometimes we all need that reminder before we erroneously write and hit “send.”
Jen suggested I read another book about manifesting positive blah blah blah in my life, and part of the book says I should ask the universe for a sign – just to test the connection between me and whatever manifesting-power exists (like God). So last night after my commute and while driving to the grocery store, I said allowed, “Please give me a sign as to if I should continue talking to _insert name of guy I just broke from here_ by 8am tomorrow morning.” I felt dorky doing this, but also very curious as to how this was going to play out.
“Well, Universe,” I thought, “you have till 8am tomorrow morning.” I entered the grocery store and grabbed a basket, walked down the nearest isle and headed to the meats before I realized the song that started playing very loudly over the speakers…
“(Goodbye My) Almost Lover” by A Fine Frenzy.
I check my phone 4000 times a day. It’s very annoying.
When you wake in the morning and theres no texts. Blek ;-P
I did the right thing! I did the right thing! … Say it with me now… I did the right thing!
I hate the yucky feeling you get after telling someone goodbye that leads to posts like this. It makes me want to smack the happy back into the poster – except today it’s me.
The day I tell a guy that he’s done me wrong, I’m all, “Whoohoo!” but within a few days my world is gray again. I know I did the right thing – yet again – but I’m starting to think my life theme is to be alone. I’m starting to accept that, but it’s just competing with the preconditioning from my psychotic mother as well as a natural need to want real love. I’ve spent decades by myself,* both in family and romance. It gets depressing after a while.
I’m going to once again pull myself out of this and focus on myself, as I should have done repeatedly already. Surprisingly, I’m pretty good at this. I’ve been through it so many times and have friends ask so often that I should put together a Breakup Package and sell it on Amazon.
Today: Family event and my son. Beautiful weather.
It’s going to be a great day!
* I’ve realized that while the youngest in a family of 6, I was almost always by myself either playing, doing homework, etc. It was really only until I was in 6th grade that a family moved in across the street, and I became good friends with their youngest daughter that I truly had camaraderie.
“I just don’t understand why you’re single,” a guy said that to me recently. But after years of hearing it from others, I got really pissed off. It’s because I keep failing. Failed marriage. Failed relationships. I feel like I’ve been thrown multiple life lessons and I’m failing every one. Why else would the lessons be never-ending? When I look around, I don’t see everyone else going through years of endless dating torture.
I want to know when these stupid little life lessons are going to end and I’m going to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Where’s the damn prize? I feel like I’m getting nowhere, like a salmon swimming upstream; I don’t even know what the lessons are, or what the point of the lessons are. And yet at the same time, I look back on my decisions and think, “God must be tired of me spinning my wheels all the time like a Gafatch.”
I can’t accept that all happily married women got everything right or had learned all these ridiculous life lessons before they got married. Chose the right guy? Stayed true to themselves? Didn’t neglect their friends? Worked their career religiously? It’s a crock. I think most women – and men as well – are in denial about a lot of things pertaining to dating and their significant other.
Let’s talk about the things I’ve been in denial about when it came to the guys that have been in my life. Putting aside the fact that I’m a result of my dysfunctional family and they’ve had to deal with me, in whole or in part they:
– still had feelings for or went back to their ex
– cheated on me
– were on drugs
– couldn’t handle my dysfunctional family
– where in the middle of a divorce
– were not intelligent
– were alcoholics
– were low income
I’d like to say that there were no quality guys where I lived when I was younger, but I’ll be honest with you: I was completely terrified of quality guys. I had several that asked me out in my life and I emotionally and somewhat physically ran from them. I actually married my ex-husband thinking, “Well, he’s kind of a slob, but that’s okay because no other girl will want him.”
That’s excruciatingly pathetic.
Once again we can thank my horrifically dysfunctional mother and father for putting into my head that I wasn’t worthy or capable of dating a quality person.
For the last few weeks I convinced myself that I wasn’t groveling for bits of affection. I quite pitifully accepted being on a back burner. I was allowing myself to be on the bottom of his list. Despite the fact that I get anxiety when I think of having to fit someone into my life – I was still accepting crumbs.
Typically from the above scenario I would picture an unkept girl with wrinkly clothes and no makeup who sits at home, testing her phone to see if it rings. Not the case. I had the week off, but was very busy most of the week. But I realized I was missing an ex and wanted to hear from him – and that angered me. It also made me realize he wasn’t reciprocating.
Denial is such a sick, twisted thing. We think that we’re fully aware and capable and in control, and suddenly realize we’ve been groveling and pathetic.
Denial isn’t good. It’s a shitty river and I can’t swim.
I’m finally, finally starting to respect and honor myself and allow myself to be angry when I realize that there’s no need for me to accept emotional crumbs from someone who’s just not good for me. My friend Joe would say, “You DID win. You escaped a shitty relationship.” After decades of feeling alone in my family and now in relationships, that’s hardly a reward.