This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. My opinions are subject to change. I reserve the right to argue with myself later on down the line when I've learned a lesson or two.
Anonymous said: I hoped he would realize how great I was. I thought if he can't see it now, I'll lose weigh, get promoted, do this awesome thing, start a band and he'll see. Except for I started doing all these awesome things and completely forgot about him and really started loving myself. And am happily engaged to another man who can fulfill me emotionally in ways he never could. So hope is great but something better might come too.
Yes yes, y’all.
Anonymous said: So do they ever come back? Do they ever realize that they didn't treat you right or didn't appreciate you? I know it's nothing to hold on to but every message I get it gets harder to ignore because it's hard to imagine giving up such a good friendship but I know I want more so I know I need to distance myself from him. So is it stupid to hope and wish he will someday realize?
I was thinking about this the other day, and in the context of my personal story, they don’t come back. But! (Of course there’s a “but” on the blog of perennial hope and optimism) here are a couple of stories to fuck with you:
Remember 102? There is context that doesn’t get included in this blog because hi, I’m the heroine. But 102’s story was that he was on a quest to win back his ex in New York. And he did. He moved there to win her! He pulled all sorts of shit for that girl after they didn’t work out the first time. If this were a romantic comedy, that would mean that I was the very normal, pretty, occasionally well-off and a little bitchy-just-so-the-audience-doesn’t-like-her girl that the guy dates in the meantime. Crappy, but not completely inaccurate! Either way, he won back the shit out of that girl. Good for you, random girl. Good for you.
Also, in terms of “do they ever realize they didn’t treat you right,” I’m gonna go with a strong yes on this one… it’s just that rarely do you ever get to hear this revelation. CollegeEx sent me a note about this blog six years after we had any romantic contact and I couldn’t word vomit fast enough how fucking sorry I was for what a jerk I had been in college. If he hadn’t contacted me, he would have never gotten that apology because inserting yourself into someone else’s life just so you can relieve your conscience is kind of a dick move.
So, concerning moving on from your person, I’m going to give you some shitty-ass advice. When it comes to dealing with an ex I like to dabble in both of these genres:
- if one of us was going to die next week, how would I want to live this week?
- what puts me on a path to a lifetime of joy?
I hope you can tell immediately that these provide different answers. If someone was like, by the way, your RomCom is going to take a Ghost/Just Like Heaven twist by taking you out of the tangible realm, I’d be like, “sweet, let me call my ex so I can fall asleep and wake up next to him for the next several days…and get laid a lot…by someone who is weirdly talented in the kitchen for not really doing anything extreme… just like, understands butter and oil. Where is he? I have literally hours left to wear A LOT of lingerie. If he didn’t appreciate it before, he better fucking appreciate it now.”
This is obviously different than the understanding that he didn’t really want to be with me and I
deserve just want to feel like a queen. Long term, it makes sense for me to distance myself from him, even in the friendship capacity, because keeping him around platonically is a bat-shit coverup for keeping him around desperate-he-comes-to-his-senses-ly.
I love my ex as a person. It’s a huge bummer to me I don’t get to hang out with him. He’s really funny, and annoyingly insightful in a way that makes me love to ask him for advice and then immediately hate him for giving such logical and sound responses when all I wanted was to complain for half an hour. And it’d be so great if I could be as emotionally unavailable as I was even two years ago so that we could maintain some extremely unhealthy relationship, but after two years of working on being “open” I’m now a big time cry baby and if I’m gonna find someone to love the shit out of me, it’s not going to happen while I’m crying about how great my ex is at making fun of commercials.
Where am I going with this? Right, is it stupid to hope someone will eventually you realize you were the bomb.com.
No, because if I said that was stupid I would be calling you, myself, and a lot of other people idiots. But it is stupid to hold that kind of hope meekly from a tower waiting for him to show up with this realization blaring from a 1980’s boombox. There’s no way I’m not going to wish someone I was painfully in love with will eventually feel the same way about me. Sorry, but that’s coded into the brain. No shaking that kind of hope. But there is a way to hope that while still moving on with your life. I hope one day that I’m a best-selling author… that doesn’t mean that I stopped going to my day-job in the meantime. The best thing you can do to not feel like a maniac is a little re-framing.
Instead of hoping they wake up one day from a fever dream, sick with the realization that they need to win you back, hope for something lovelier. Hope that they marvel after you. Hope that they see you on TV and just think, “damn, I got to date that woman.” Hope that when they reveal they dumped you to their friends, that their friends cannot believe it. Hope that their ability to discard you was actually the universe clearing the path for something incredible. And in that hope, become what you’re hoping he sees. Because if it’s your dream, it’s what you hope you see, too.
Does that make sense? If it doesn’t, it’s because all I’ve done for weeks is train and work and train and work and occasionally text my ex because WHY IS EVERYONE ALL OF A SUDDEN ALSO FROM MISSOURI and I am mad dog tired, y’all.
Point being, if your heart is already broken, maybe take it a little easier on yourself for being “hopeful.” It might be foolish, but fools have more fun.
Anonymous asked you: Do you ever lose hope that you’ll ever feel the attraction to someone again? I think it was about three suitors ago that I actually really felt something, despite them all being of increasingly better quality. I hate to sound like a total drama queen, but where is my LLBean Boyfriend (you’ve seen that tumblr, right?)
Of course I’ve seen that Tumblr. I internet very hard.
That said, it’s easy to get a message like this and blow it off, but man, I get it. That shitty feeling where logically you know that it’s just a matter of time, but a little part of your brain is like, “yeah but what if I’m never going to be attracted to anyone again and I just marry someone who disgusts me and my only reprieve from the mundanity of life is a glass of wine on the back porch at 11 pm after the children fall asleep?” Calm down.
Let’s re-frame. This isn’t you losing hope. Because clearly you’re hopeful or you wouldn’t be writing to someone you don’t know to be like, “this exhaustion is normal, right?” You are hopeful that what you’re feeling is just part of the process, and good news! it is.
That said, it’s a really fucking annoying part of the process. The swiping, the matches, the bars full of people you wouldn’t even consider swapping spit with, and it’s exhausting because you’re spending so much time looking at stuff you don’t want, and the increasing frustration makes even somewhat viable options look terrible. You know when you get a paycheck with just enough cushion to go blow $100 at Forever21? You’re cash-ready to buy some sexy junk you’ll wear once on one wild night. You wear the right bra, the right underwear, a dress you can throw on and off and you’re dead set on finding the perfect little romper to wear to the bar that very night. Eyes wide and wallet full, it’s a rare case of privileged despair to find absolutely nothing on the racks upon racks of clothes. I’m just trying to give you my money! Where are the hidden gems! Where are the incredible deals! Where is my dream romper! I mean, these are cute, but they bunch up weird and it’s a strange color and if someone uses a flash on their camera, I will also be flashing my nipples through this fabric. Am I seriously supposed to buy this?
No. You’re not. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never shop again. And maybe you’ll end up with some dress you’re not super thrilled about, but maybe you’ll have fun wearing it even if it falls apart that night? Maybe one of your friends will love it and you’ll be like, “ugh, take it.” And maybe instead of shopping, you should just have a ball with what you’ve got and save up a few paychecks for something better than a rag from the dollar bin.
Right now, to me, shopping for anything sounds like a waste of time. I want back the dress that the dry cleaners ruined. I want those sweatpants that aren’t mine. I want things that are gone. I’ve gone shopping for hours to come home with a back-up tube of eyeliner and a coffee. And it’s a bummer, but there’s no shortage of afternoons left to blow at the mall.
You need some country music. You need some margaritas on a patio on a Saturday afternoon with the kind of friends willing to get into a little trouble. You need an adventure. And you need to quit looking for that LL Bean Boyfriend because he doesn’t exist. OK, maybe he exists in Maine, but just remember that a woman concocted Aidan Shaw. And if one dude after another isn’t impressing you, it’s not them, it’s you - you’re worn out - you’re over it. Take a break, sister. And until that feeling of head-spinning attraction hits you again, here are some other feelings to seek out:
- biting into the perfect burger
- driving up the coast with the top down
- when the whole crowd at a concert starts to jump to the best song
- having a puppy lick your face
- picking up your best friend from the airport
- that moment you turn on your Out-of-Office for vacation
- putting on a bangarang shade of new red lipstick
- taking off your shoes/socks/pants as soon as you get home
- cannon-balling into the pool
- starry nights in the hot tub
- hot tubs and cool pools side by side
- walking down the street and the perfect song comes on in rhythm with your steps
- the brisk first taste of a cold beer on a hot night
- that tastebud-blowing first bite of something you’ve never tried before
- catching your reflection and thinking, “oh shit, I look good”
- waking up with three more hours to sleep
- not waking up ‘til whenever you want
- just-shaved legs on just-washed sheets
- drying off in a sun-warmed towel
- outdoor showers
- the first crack of thunder
- when your furry friend is waiting at the door when you get home
- nailing a recipe the first time
- booking the trip
- getting to use YOUR bathroom
- that package on your doorstep
- when the nail technician is a hand massage magician
- green lights the whole way there
- getting asked to come in for the interview
- getting asked to come in for the second interview
- waking up with perfect hair
- when the endorphins kick in and you’re not running/cycling/swimming, you’re just kicking ass
- that perfect wave
- that crazy view
- that killer descent
- a weekend with no work and no plans other than whatever you want
- the whole row to yourself
- an unexpected $20 in your pocket
- the moment the traffic breaks from 15 mph to 75 mph
- jumping to the front of the line
- friends with the bartender
- “the office is closing early” email
- the first day of sweater weather
- the first day of sandal weather
- shouting along to the music with your best friends and collapsing in a fit of giggles because sometimes life is incredible for no reason other than good health, good music, and good friends
So what if you don’t feel attracted to anyone? Look at all the incredible ways you can feel in the meantime. Life is better than an LL Bean Boyfriend. Go find all the ways it can be.
This song is my yoga.
“I’m so glad you didn’t say you were lucky.”
— Neil Gaiman, A Study in Emerald (via unculturedmag)
The good news is, I get to look like her when I’m older.
The better news is, neither of us have those terrible haircuts anymore.
Love the shit out of you, Mom.