This is obviously a break up post. I just had to get this comedy out!
I’ve been casually dating since I was 19 so that’s about 8 years of lessons. I’m a veteran! And at this point? My intuition has never failed me. I know that no matter how many times someone says that they hate routine; on average, humans like patterns and tend to follow them. I knew something was up when Theo got home from our weekend together and all of a sudden the phone calls stopped. The time between text messages were spaced out. Then the good morning texts stopped. But I chalked it up to work. He’s stressed and it’s the beginning of the year, he warned me about that! We arranged for me to fly out President’s Day weekend since I was off. He wouldn’t agree to that and let me buy my plane ticket if he was over me. Right?!
WRONG! Lol I asked him if I was reading into things or if he had been distant over the past week. An hour goes by, no reply. Six hours go by, nada. A whole day passes, crickets. By the next afternoon I know I’m being hard ghosted and I’m seeing red. I’m seething at him because it’s such a cowardly thing to do. Especially because he’s still watching my Instagram stories and liking my tweets! I’m frustrated with myself because I can’t remember the last time I was fully myself with someone like this and didn’t hesitate. We had made plans well into the spring. My friends were all commenting how I’m “glowing.” And all I can hear in my head in a taunting loop is him crooning in my ear “This isn’t going to hurt as long as we’re transparent with one another. I want you to trust me, HB. I got you.” I book an OrangeTheory class with a bad attitude and a bone to pick with the universe and hope it calms me down.
It doesn’t. I’m still in disbelief. My cheeks are flushed and fists clenched. I made a “Five Stages” of grief playlist for a friend last year during a breakup and it comes in handy. I go straight for the anger part, wind down my windows, and start screaming lyrics while the cool air whips my hot skin. I know if there had been any cops around they would have pulled me over thinking I was being stabbed by someone hiding in my backseat. “I KNOW THAT I WILL NEVER DISAPPOINT MYSELF!” I screech down dark roads. Or “I THOUGHT THAT YOU WERE THE ONE BUT IT WAS ALL IN MY HEAD” as I bang on my steering wheel. I take a boiling bubble bath and put myself to sleep. When I wake up I feel like my normal self mostly except I can’t bear to listen or see anything about love or sex or partnership in general. I’m kinda just bleh. But I’m already visualizing a glow up. Since Theo is still watching my stories he can see that in real time.
My typical five stages of grief is usually depression, denial, bargaining, anger, then acceptance. Because I started with anger and had flirted with acceptance, I thought I was fine. But Theo was popping up everywhere (even in my dreams) and it was triggering me. I was feeling depressed and it wasn’t even just because of Theo anymore. I was being haunted by all the ghosts of my past. Alex, Duke, that guy that lied to my friends about being a Navy Seal, and all the ones in between. I really had to sit and reevaluate what the hell was going on.
But I cried for two days instead. I listened to the saddest songs and scrolled through pictures and screenshots. I sat in my dark room and stuffed my face with fast food and drank red wine from a bottle (so much for a glow up!) and I forced myself to sleep because, besides the horrendously vivid dreams, it’s a pause. And when I was up I read through my diaries and looked through my old tumblr and wrote. But today I feel my best, I can read chapters of my romance novels without feeling sick to my stomach, a GREAT sign.
So, some realizations! 1) Dating men casually has warped my sense of common decency lol it’s not normal that someone can talk to you every day, shower you with compliments, spend all their free time consumed with you for weeks or months and then just go silent. That’s cruel and unhinged and it’s not normal. We shouldn’t be excusing that because people are “non-confrontational” and have poor communication skills. I don’t care nor believe when people say “you’re not entitled to anything”. I’m sorry but I am. I’m a human with feelings and only want to be treated as such. You don’t get brownie points for acting aloof when you know you’re upset. And I think I owe it to people that I’m no longer interested in to let them know, so they’re not spinning their wheels wondering what happened. It’s the easiest closure.
2) Block them. I know you feel it’s an ego boost that they are still tuned in to your life but is it worth that pang of rejection when you see them going about their day like you didn’t ever exist? Plus it’s WEIRD. You want to watch my every move but don’t want to talk to me? Out of sight, out of mind. (P.S. don’t send that paragraph text on how he’s got you fucked up either. Save it.)
3) The idea of a glow up is dumb lol it doesn’t matter how much prettier, more in shape, funnier, more successful, ect. you get. None of that makes you immune from getting your feelings hurt. Please love yourself in your state now and only have goals of getting better for yourself. And definitely don’t do it because you think your dating pool is gonna get better lol that’s a myth and harmful.
4) There’s so much strength and beauty in vulnerability, I think. It’s easy to say “oh I was heartbroken, I’m never gonna do this again.” and build up walls and keep people out. I think is powerful to do the opposite. Let people experience all the light and goodness you have, fall flat on your face, dust yourself off and say “Alright, this fucking sucks but that felt amazing. I want this again, how do I determine who deserves that energy from me?” Discernment is really key here. There are people that are gonna enjoy all facets of you from your goofy side to your nerdy one. It’s never just one person ever. I promise. I’ve never lost someone before and they hadn’t been replaced by someone who understood me better, wanted to nurture me more, made life brighter. The world is cold and harsh as is, please don’t let it make you that way too.
5) Get good friends. I probably sound like a broken record but life would be unbearable without my friends. I tend to tweet or listen to music that reflects my mood. And my phone is always in my hand and never on DND. When it was, clearly they knew something was up. There were supportive texts, a poem (lol very sweet), and Zelle notifications for comfort ice cream. It means the world to me that I can cry on shoulders too.
So yeah! I hate doing things out of spite but I gotta thank Theo because this really is my origin story! Because of him we got merch ideas going and an amazing creative project. Your heartbreaks do not need to be productive but may you remain soft and loving in spite of them. Love you.