Some of the experiences I’ve had since my split from Will almost five years ago have helped me understand that relationship better. As you may recall, after falling quickly and deeply in love with him, after we named our first born and I practically moved into his tiny apartment, he broke up with me. Callously.
I didn’t realize it at the time – or couldn’t face it – but after we got back together our relationship was never the same. Perhaps if I’d been more self-aware, I could have fixed it. But I wasn’t, and I didn’t. My core feelings for him, my trust in him, my attraction to him all changed. We went from a lively and exploratory sex life to an almost dead bedroom.
He wounded me more deeply than any other man has. I had fully given him my heart and trust, and months later he told me he “wasn’t feeling it.” Continue reading →
Referring to two of the above-mentioned men, a friend commented yesterday that I “have a lot of serious contenders these days”. I snort-laughed and replied I wasn’t so sure.
Tony hasn’t yet moved out – he’s actively looking for an apartment but I am rather cynical when it comes to him, for very good reasons. Last weekend he mentioned he, his soon-to-be-ex (STBX), and their son had plans to go skiing together, and I was immediately reminded of the first winter we dated and that they did it every weekend.
It doesn’t mean they aren’t splitting up and it doesn’t mean they are in limbo. Intellectually I know all it means is they are still co-parenting a young child. Some parents still do stuff together during and after a split – I didn’t, but my close friend Maria did, and still does.
This built over over time, piece by piece. Moments of clarity, frustration, solitude, and heartbreak in the last four-and-a-half years have culminated in the place I am today. As someone said to me recently, we are, after all, the result of the good and bad decisions we’ve made.
Regardless how I got here, I’m here. And it’s pretty awesome.
I am, at present, without romantic yearning or expectations.
Shockingly, the date Bruce and I planned…happened. Having low expectations is sometimes a wonderful thing. And even though we met, I didn’t expect anything to continue afterward.
I’ve been surprised twice now.
We set a weekday night to meet when he was working in the city and I didn’t have Liam. Given past experience, I fully expected something to happen with his work schedule or children. In the past, sometimes he wouldn’t proactively tell me he needed to cancel – I would check in and he’d tell me he was already on his way home, having to now drive a colleague or some other thing.
A couple of months ago I’d connected with Bruce again. Probably because I’d texted to see how he was doing. He suggested we get together and then cancelled that day due to a change in his child schedule. It told me nothing had changed with him and there was no point in trying.
We exchanged no texts afterwards. But feeling magnanimous, I sent him a Merry Christmas and happy holidays text. He didn’t reply. Ever.
So in the last purge I sent him a goodbye text. I said I wasn’t sure why he didn’t reply, but I didn’t want to bother him and guessed he may be seeing someone else (it didn’t fit for me that he didn’t reply at all and realized perhaps he didn’t want to tell me).
I told him I had a dating story about us published in a local newspaper and would share it if he wanted to read it. It was the story of me mistakenly calling his wife. I said I wished him the best. Did I need to send it? Nope. But I did.
I then deleted him from my address book, my recents (sidebar: I found men in my recents I haven’t been in touch with for over four years. Recent, my ass!), and WhatsApp. It took a few tries to completely get him out of my phone. I didn’t want to have a weak moment again and reach out – I figured he’d made his lack of interest very clear.
I moved on.
At work yesterday I noticed a bunch of WhatsApp notifications. It didn’t say who they were from, because my phone didn’t know. I figured it was the group chat I have with my brother and others where it’s common for me to have 47 unread messages if they’ve been debating the merits of a certain restaurants saag paneer.
Later when I opened it I saw the following:
Hey Ann sorry
No you’re not bothering me
I would block you if that was the case
Just been dealing with a lot of shit …
I’ve been really …. I don’t know
Depressed I guess is the best way to put it
I mean just being brought to tears for …. no real reason… while at work
Laying in bed at home …
Try to put on a good face for the kids but …. it’s been tough
And …. I don’t know I became a recluse.
Thanks for thinking of me.
Ps it always make me feel horrible when we try to get together and something always comes up… like seriously
I hate that
You have been nothing short of wonderful
And I feel like shit and end up ignoring people because I have nothing positive going on so it’s easier to keep that to myself.
Hope you are well sweetie
And yes if you send me the link to your story …
I’d love to read it
Can’t imagine it’s too positive lol
That was the first ” booty call” I was ever offered
And yet couldn’t man up
It was Bruce.
I responded that it was nice to hear from him and I was sorry he was going through such a rough time. I knew from prior discussions he suffered from anxiety and depression, and I know how debilitating it can be from my relationship with Will.
He said he’d like to see me. He’s been the funny and sarcastic guy I liked so much. We have plans set for later this week and I’m not holding my breath. Even if we do see each other, I have no illusions it will be anything more than a one-time thing.
But at least it’s nice to know it wasn’t about me, at all.
Thursday night was the “date night” Tony referred to in a conversation earlier in the week. We had no date-like plans, which was fine by me. I took some more of my freedom back today, but ended up trapped anyway…on the couch.
It was an awesome day, to be honest. I herded cats real hard at work, had a coffee date with a man I haven’t seen in over a year (more to come), and continued my journey of speaking my truth and closing doors.
I’ve maintained the burner phone number app for many months – I got it first to communicate with Tony, but then used it primarily for online dating. I’d recommend it to anyone. Continue reading →
Something may be wrong with me, people: I had the opportunity to get laid and said: “no worries, I’m tired too.” But, my dinner date didn’t end as planned. Perhaps it’s a phase. Perhaps it’s personal growth.
Zane and I had our concert date. He’s not very familiar with the city core and also seems a bit directionally challenged. It’s interesting to me; while I recognize everyone has different skill sets and am pretty understanding, for some reason it’s irritating to me when men I date lack that particular skill. Continue reading →
I enjoyed my two weeks of vacation; I monitored my emails but didn’t really do any work. It was bliss. Until I came back to work and had to deal with the onslaught of urgent things needing to occur this month. I enjoy it, which makes a huge difference – it’s usually good stress.
Tuesday I canceled on Lewis. I worked at my desk until after 6 pm, left to go home to eat with a glass of wine and my computer at my kitchen table. He was working late as well, so we agreed to touch base around 9 pm. While I was close to wrapping up my work then, I simply didn’t feel like getting together with him. I was tired, and wanted to write.
He was fine with it, saying for sure we’d need to have a session next week. Continue reading →
I do feel quieter, mentally. It’s all relative, I suppose. I still wake up with thoughts of lost friendship and lost potential, but it’s the exception, not the rule. I don’t miss online dating. I’d left one app on my phone called Inner Circle – it’s new-ish and proved to be completely useless: only two men in my city on the app over the age of 38, my height or more, with a college education and children. TWO.
If I removed the “children” requirement there were maybe twenty.
A 28 year-old tall handsome professional reached out to me. He said he loved older women and I seemed to be exactly his type. He was interesting and articulate and figured I had nothing to lose by responding. We texted back and forth for a week. He flaked on a date we’d booked for tonight and I didn’t care one bit. Continue reading →
…but I realized, while sitting at my kitchen island and drinking hot apple cider as a way to stave off the deep chill (literal, not metaphorical), it’s all about the stories we tell ourselves. When we think about our past, or our personal growth, what is the narrative we believe to be true, and how does it prevent us from seeing our behavior for what it actually is… or what we actually are?
I’ve created some mental space in my life by not seeking out anyone new and deleting those who haven’t made an effort. Yes, there are some men still around, but none are taking up much of my time or energy. I’ve been on an almost two-week vacation and have enjoyed time alone as it’s allowed me to focus on my book.
In trying to decide what to write about, I’ve done a lot of reflection on my journey. I’ve looked at every single blog post I’ve written. I’ve remembered men and experiences long-forgotten. Continue reading →