You hear stories like this all the time..about the man or woman who slipped out of someone’s life, whether from their own mistakes, mis-read signals or a little push from fate. I mean come on, Katy Perry even wrote a song about it. They look back and wonder…if I had just said this..or if only I had done that, would things have been different? Could that have been my person and I just let them walk out of my life? They will, heartbreakingly, forever be “the one that got away.”
I’m going to hit you with a little different perspective on this matter though. You see for me, in the adventure that was dating, I had several moments where I had my heart bruised by a man I had begun to care about. It’s definitely a normal part of the process, but I was left, more times than I’d like to admit, with little or no explanation as to why or what had changed. I’d just be chugging along on that train when all of the sudden, it would go off the rails and crash into a fiery explosion. I think it’s pretty safe to say that this hurt me every time no matter how deep my feelings went. Explosions leave marks and questions. Like “what the hell just happened??”
It is a fairly common thought after something like this, to wish that the ex would see the error of their ways and suddenly realize (in a really dramatic moment made for a big-screen romantic comedy) they couldn’t possible live one more moment without you. If/when this does happen, it gives you this amazingly satisfying feeling (that might be a tad bit unhealthy)..because let’s face it, no one likes being rejected and it sure feels good to get the final say in things. This un/fortunately enough, has happened to me QUITE a few times. Whether it was a phone call, a text message (really? That’s how you declare your undying love for me?? I’m going to go all “Clueless” on you here, but AS IF!), a letter or in person. The moment has inevitably come..but always too late. Sorry guys, by then I had come to my senses and realized I was better off without you. Good luck out there!
First there was Alex* – Sweet, creative, somewhat ADD with life as most artistic people are and he lacked focus. He was also a terrible boyfriend. Not on purpose. I mean, he wasn’t a bad guy..he was a wonderful friend (and looking back, I definitely think I loved him more as a friend kind of love than as a romantic kind), but I always used to joke with him that he needed to take boyfriend classes. He refused to hold my hand or tell me he loved me if anyone else was around. I particularly remember one moment as I was getting out of the elevator in my dorm in college. “See ya later. I love you.” I told him, stepping out of the elevator. He just stood there looking at me. “I LOVE you.” I said a little louder..in case he hadn’t heard me. He still said nothing, but gave an uncomfortable glance at the girl next to him in the elevator. I mean COME ON! It wasn’t like I was trying to do this (thought it did work out for Lois Lane and Clark Kent..just sayin) The doors closed in front of me as I stood there waiting to hear him say those words. Soon after, we decided to take a break because he was graduating and “needed to find himself.” He had dated someone steadily with no breaks for his whole life and he wanted to be single for a while. Apparently this meant hooking up with a crazy girl from his bowling league who everyone called “Hampton Sydney Nicole.” (Hampton Sydney was a wealthy, all-boys school down the road from my college) She got that name because every guy at Hampton Sydney knew who she was – if you’re catchin’ what I’m throwing – wink wink ;). Why is it that men always need to “find themselves” with other women? And maybe I’m offbase here, but they always seem to be not as awesome as you..I mean if you are going to cheat on me/leave me for another woman, at least find someone more awesome..am I right? Anyway, after a good 6 months of this, he finally realized what a psycho she was (Exhibit A: she tried to throw herself out of a moving vehicle one night after drinking too much..nice..keep it classy my friend) and Alex tried to get me back. That whole trying to get me back thing ended up lasting ohhhhhh a few YEARS, but it turned out that break was just what I needed. He is dating a lovely girl now..finally moved out of his parents’ basement (MA! THE MEATLOAF!!) and genuinely seems to have his stuff together. I wish all the best for them. 🙂
Then there was Jeff – The big one..ie: the catalyst for me starting this blog. He was charismatic and a little wild and a little bit of a fixer-upper. (ok a LOT bit) When we broke up (ahem – he decided it was a fabulous idea to sleep with/date someone else even though we were engaged and had completely planned out an entire wedding..no big deal), I had no idea how I was supposed to function without him in my life…yeah I was mad at him..hated every fiber of his being and gave considerable thought to lighting his car on fire, but we were together 7 years. I was a little lost without him (ew..that sounds pathetic). Not long after the epic break up, he started showing up completely black out wasted at my house at 3am on a TUESDAY. He’d cry and apologize and tell me that he didn’t know what he wanted and that he missed me blah blah blah – I’m sorry, all I can pay attention to is the fact that you smell like the floor of a bar and an ashtray all swirled together and you are all snotty and doing the ugly cry. It’s pathetic. – I’d let him in, give him endless cups of water and a sandwich and try to get him to sober up. It infuriated me that he was GETTING INTO THE CAR in that state. If he wanted to destroy his life, he absolutely had my permission, but there was no way I was going to let him destroy someone elses by letting him drive drunk. Meanwhile, I had to get up in a couple hours for work. Those visits did a few things – made me feel sorry for him (and not in a nice way) and happy for myself. This man was not a MAN..and thank GOD he wasn’t my mess to clean up anymore. He ended up flipping/totaling his car downtown after going on another late night bender (found out later he lied to everyone and told an eleborate story of how a semi truck hit him..seriously..pathological liar)..he somehow convinced a cab driver to take him home (covered in blood and cuts) and I got woken up at 6am by the police at my front door looking for him. But that’s another story… Did I happen to mention I dodged a nuclear warhead by not marrying him? He’s still with SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED in case y’all are wondering. I can’t decide if that makes it better or worse.
Moving on… – PJ (Post Jeff)
There was fun and crazy (and hot..just sayin) Grant – who brought me flowers constantly..played Trivial Pursuit with me in front of a crackling fire and loved it when I played guitar for him. He also worked as a bartender (is that really a good idea when you just told me you were in AA???) and made me pay for my own meal after he asked if I would go visit him at work one day. I’m sorry, what? And the kicker…He suddenly and inexplicably shot like a rocket out of my house one night and wouldn’t return my phone calls, only to reappear with gobs of beautiful sunflowers and handwritten, page-long letters apologizing to me for his behavior. He did this twice. TWICE..He also lived in his parents house and not to judge (but I’m about to)…it was disgusting. I’m not even exaggerating. The place made my skin crawl it was so filthy. He lived there by himself because his parents had moved to Texas for his dad’s job and he was watching over it (aka…slowly destroying it one day at a time) until they moved back. The final straw: the plethora of naked selfie pics from some random chick that popped up on his phone one afternoon when he had come over to take a nap at my house…he did this often…now that I think about it, that was really weird. My house was closer than his to his job and apparently my bed was much more comfortable than his. He would seriously just come over randomly between shifts and crash in my bed for a few hours. Needless to say, this beautiful relationship (cough cough…yeah right) ended when he told me that the other girl (naked selfie pic chick) wanted a relationship with him and he “was going to go with that.” I think that is a marvelous idea! See ya. Months later I got THE CALL..which I did not answer so I guess technically it was THE VOICEMAIL…then I got THE TEXTS…then THE FACEBOOK MESSAGES..of how he had made a huge mistake and I made him want to be a better man blah blah blah (and ps. isn’t that a line from some movie with Jack Nicholson?
I mean come on, at least come up with some original material. Sheesh.
Then there was Jim – my cute southern boy who diffused bombs for a living. The one I flew to Florida for. Ringing a bell? I know I know…it’s hard to keep them all straight. The one who constantly told me how beautiful I was and how amazing I was and made me actually start to believe those words. Jim also flew me all the way down to Florida just to ignore me for an ENTIRE WEEK…left me alone for the entire day..every day. I was stranded at his apartment complex without a car even though he told me he would leave his truck for me so I could go to the beach and get around town. One day I walked 3 miles to get to Subway because when he went grocery shopping he somehow forgot to get any kind of food for me..I lived off of gatorade and Kashi cereal for 6 days…only to have him come home, lay on the couch and prop his legs up on me..asking me to rub them for him because he “had a long day babe.” Did I mention that he would go workout for hours after work even though he could have come home to hang out with me instead..you know..since I flew all the way down there just to see him. Eventually he would make dinner FOR HIMSELF (spaghetti or frozen pizza every night). I’m shocked he didn’t ask me to make it for him..in an apron, pearls and heels. Ass. He didn’t once think about me. The ENTIRE time I was there. I slept on the couch and made friends with the girl that lived below me. He was one of the most selfish, rigid and misogynistic men I have ever met in my life. I think he has a girlfriend now (poor thing)..I’m sure she is an expert at making sandwiches. Little fun fact: Later, when he saw I was in a relationship, he made a point to threaten the guy with bodily harm if he hurt me or treated me like less than a princess. Was this guy for real? Oh the irony.
There was Bennett….sweet sweet Bennett – Who made me believe in the existance of gentlemen again. Who took me on an amazing trip just to make me happy. Who helped heal my broken heart and then bruised it all over again by ending things..over a text message no less…with very little real explanation. He and I have since become friends and he gave me the truth about why things hadn’t worked out for us. It turns out that he did a lot of thinking while we were on that cruise ship and realized that having more kids just wasn’t something that he wanted. He knew it was a deal breaker for me and didn’t want to hold me back or let things continue any longer if we didn’t have the same end goal. It was understandable and I respected him for ending it sooner rather than later. I just wish he had talked to me about it..oh I don’t know..maybe when we had those 6 hours in the car together on the way back from New Orleans. Just a thought. But remember my earlier post on how men are cowards? In man world, tough conversations should be avoided at all cost.
He sent me a few emails a while back explaining things for me about the breakup and telling me that he didn’t know why we had been put into each other’s lives, but that he was going to take a break from dating until he found someone who had the qualities he had loved in me. He is in a relationship now..with a woman who is a little older and has a son of her own. They are adorable together. Good for him. 🙂
With each and every one of these guys (and a few more that we didn’t have time for) I suffered various degrees of hearbroken-ness. But after a little or a lot of time and plenty of perspective, I would always ALWAYS realized the amazing escape I had made. Thank God all those breakups happened because they saved me from being with people who weren’t even close to being right for me. I can’t even imagine what my life would be like right now if they had. I like to think of it like I WAS THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY and not the other way around. I do have to say thank you to all of these men. They taught me about myself, about what I wanted, what I didn’t want, what I would put up with and what I wouldn’t. They made me better in so many ways and nudged, pushed and shoved me down the path I’m on today. And let me tell you..this train is chugging along on golden tracks.