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I am NOT dating

Updated on July 13, 2010

Lately I have been incrementing my culture in breakups literature by going to my local Barnes and Noble store and spending hours deeply immersed in a variety of books about separation from very different perspectives, from the psychological PhD approach of John Gray to the lighter comedic inspired type of Greg Behrendt’s “It’s Called Breakup Because it’s Broken”. If anything, it has helped me focus on something else than being absolutely wretched and inconsolable about my recent romantic failure with Mr. Half-of-my-heart-had-better-do-it-for-you (thanks, John Mayer Wannabe, but no thanks). Despite my extremely skeptical point of view on how to’s when it comes to healing a broken heart, I have gathered some enlightening knowledge on what’s truly to do when your heart is so broken that not even a hundred sticks of super glue will do the trick; I think that some of this knowledge has been particularly inspirational to me because it’s gone hand in hand with the mistakes I have been making in the past couple of months to get rid of the stinging, dull pain that comes with rejection. I have been reckless and it shames me. I have been that girl that has used men; has lied to men; has been so confused at the bottom of every bottle of Shiraz that has not cared about the consequences of every meaningless nightstand she has collected. Until this past Sunday I said “No”. I cannot allow myself to become that woman; I am *not* that woman and I refuse to be. See, desperation and hurt make you do things that you are not proud of, but there has to be a limit to the extent of misery you will allow yourself to sink into because it’s a downwards spiral that keeps on dragging you lower and lower.

My no moment came to me like an epiphany and it’s transformed itself into the conviction that I simply cannot date until the hurt I feel inside will be gone. When we break up with someone we truly loved the temptation to find some other easy love is very strong because we are under the impression that some other man is going to take the place of the one that has just abandoned us and taken away the very last tiny bit of self respect that was left in our system; or maybe because when we are feeling the pain crashing powerfully against our soul, we will do anything (and I say anything) that we think it’ll take to numb it for at least a little while, kinda like taking Tylenol to numb menstrual cramps, really. Or, maybe (#2) because unconsciously (or consciously) we believe we are taking our personal revenge against that man who has rejected us and made us feel so unimportant that we feel the need of letting some random stranger remind us that we *are* indeed beautiful, charming, interesting, and ultimately important. But guess what? All the above assumptions are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And I will tell you why they are wrong.

1) Nobody can or will ever replace the man we are still in love with for as long as we love him. At the end of the night (or, dreadfully, the morning after, yikes!) Mr. Stranger is still Mr. Stranger, and he doesn’t look anything like the man we jealously treasure in our heart (despite the fact that he makes us feel miserable); he doesn’t have his kind hazel eyes; he doesn’t hold us at night like our man did, like nothing and nobody could ever harm us as long as he laid right next to us; he doesn’t have his voice; he doesn’t have that half-choked little chuckle that he had whenever he told us stories about his day; he doesn’t look at us like there is no other lady that will ever catch his attention when we are around; he doesn’t have that scent to him that drives us atrociously wild every time we come close to him (damn, I wish I had kept his clothes now); Mr. Stranger is not the beloved center of our universe, and there’s very little to bargain with about that notion.

2) There is no easy remedy when it comes to that emotional pain that tears a hole in our heart. Sure, we all wish there was an over the counter medication that we could quickly buy at CVS and make part of our daily “I don’t want to be obsessed with you anymore” routine, but there is not. The surprising truth about this concept is that when we try to heal ourselves by dating somebody else, we are actually maximizing the pain and spreading it to further extents, and that’s simply because we are still not over man number one. I feel like this point is much connected with my previous point. By dating some other dude when we are still in love with another man, we are constantly reminded of how this new guy is so not what we are into right now. The comparison at the end of the day will be not only inevitable, but, above all, excruciatingly painful. So, technically, by thinking you are going to anesthetize the heartache by being with someone else, you are actually doing the exact opposite, along with blatantly play with the feelings of some other person who is not responsible for your loss to begin with.

3) Lastly, but not last “REVENGE”. The bitter sweet feeling of getting back to someone who has hurt us deeply into our core. WRONG. This is probably the most wrong point of all three, along with being absolutely degrading and immature (and trust me, I am not judging you because I have been there, sadly and regrettably). You see, you have revenge if you can fulfill two other circumstances to go along with it: the guy still cares about you, and the guy knows what you are up to. Let’s talk about the latter circumstance first-the guy knows what you are up to. I do not care how much you publicly advertise on your myspace or facebook page what it is that you do on a daily (or sometimes even hourly) basis. The sad and depressing truth is that the target of your hourly status updates is so far from checking you out that he may not only be out of your zip code range, but I would say he’s probably living in another country by now. When I recently reconnected with the “object of my addiction”, he was SO surprised to hear that I had been checking his facebook page now and then to see how he had been doing; I truly felt like asking him, “Are you stupid, or you pretend to be?”, because he either had no clue of how strongly I feel for him, or he was pretending. No, really dude, are you? Anyways, that led me to realize how he had most likely *not* done the same for me, AT ALL. Therefore, the faster you realize that he doesn’t give two shits about what you are doing, the easier and faster you will be able to move on. Second point, and I feel like I shouldn’t even explain this one, but for the sake of proper writing I will-the guy still cares about you. Very simply put: the guy does not care about you. Listen, if he did, he wouldn’t have let you go. Really, it is as simple as that. A guy who cares for you is afraid to lose you, and any reasonable request you will have for him, he will accept and work on. Now, I am talking about –reasonable- requests, ladies, nothing like getting married when he doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage (and there is nothing wrong with that as long as there is a mutual agreement on that), or having children when you are in your twenties. When I talk about reasonable requests I mean asking your partner to give the relationship a fair shot, for instance, or hear from him on a daily basis (even though it appears these requests may be too much for some people as well, nowadays. Can you read the bitterness?).I feel like I am bursting my own bubble here, but I just now realize it’s all newly acquired wisdom that comes from the books I have been reading which, hopefully will lead me to sanity and proper healing…

In conclusion, dating when you are not over your ex is counterproductive, unnatural, and, ultimately just really useless. I hope my moment of glory, the moment when I will have finally put my Mr. Impossible in a box underneath my bed, will come soon, but in the meanwhile I have a whole lot more of Barnes and Noble experience to gather (I may even inquire about employment there at this point), and, above all, a long way of celibacy to endure and enjoy for the sake of my own self esteem. Good luck with that!

 

© 2010 Roberta S

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    • robertaharden profile imageAUTHOR

      Roberta S 

      8 years ago from California on the rocks

      Thank you Tom, your words really make me feel special right now.

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 

      8 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      "Rejection and deception always find a direct avenue to people's hearts and I am trying to live with the ghost of his unreasonable excuses and irrationality."

      Without laying any blame on you, but rather to have you consider how this may have affected you in subsequent relationships (or potential relationships), can you relate this to Mr. Nerd?

      One of the most immature attitudes we can hold is "I don't like the way you're behaving so I'm going to behave just like you."

      Mr. Nerd was not Mr. Right, and, even if he were, it's water under the bridge now. We not only are the summation of our experiences, but, even with the same experiences, we differ in how we apply the lessons of those experiences.

      You are a beautiful young lady. If your internal beauty matches your external beauty, you will be worthy of a prince - figuratively, if not literally!

    • robertaharden profile imageAUTHOR

      Roberta S 

      8 years ago from California on the rocks

      Absolutely lovely Tom. Lately I have heard so many of my good friends telling me that I was lucky that things didn't continue to a deeper level, and I don't deny this statement's truth. However, it still hurts. Rejection and deception always find a direct avenue to people's hearts and I am trying to live with the ghost of his unreasonable excuses and irrationality. It gets better everyday, and the fact that I am getting a chance to learn other men's perspective on the situation has been helping me a lot. Thank you for your insightful opinion, it means a lot to me.

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 

      8 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      Yes I see that, but you have allowed his reasoning offered to you in the form of excuses to become internal. Perhaps he has the ability to fall into a bucket of crap and make others believe they are the ones stinking up the room, or maybe it is something as simple as his experiences are such that he associates love with pain and hurt. The latter is along the lines of "you can't fire me because I quit!"

      In either case, wondering what you could have done differently is only giving his reasons life in the form of excuses.

      No two people will always see the world the same. That doesn't mean they cannot be together. Some couples argue about things, some couples have a submissive partner that always accedes to a dominant partner, and some couples discuss things and arrive at give-and-take conclustions. I'll grant that breaking up follows more closely to couples that argue, but we all know couples that we wonder why they are together when they don't get along. The people who cannot be couples are the ones who will not argue, accede, or discuss problems or alternatives.

      I recommend you consider yourself truly lucky that this surfaced early enough in the relationship that it is not complicated with divorce or child support and custody battles.

      Mr. Right is waiting for you. He may be at the next table in the Barnes and Noble store reading up on what he could have done differently to make the love of his life stay and discuss problems rather than to quit before she was fired.

    • robertaharden profile imageAUTHOR

      Roberta S 

      8 years ago from California on the rocks

      Brilliant, Tom!You totally got the point, "He was lacking commitment". As I was telling one of my best friends today over lunch, the thing that upset me the most about this latest breakup is that he was unable to be honest to me and fully admit the real reason why he didn't want to be with me on a full time basis. He hid himself behind the excuse that "we argued (twice, once admittedly because he was being an ass**le), therefore we couldn't see each other regularly". What kind of bullshit is that? I would so much rather hear that he was just not that into me than having to deal with the doubts and insecurities that his excuses present in my life everyday. Namely, if you tell me, "I don't really like you", I accept it and move on. But if you tell me, "We don't really get along" when it's not true, you now are starting a process in my head where I am constantly wondering how I could have made it better, or how I could have avoided the arguments. You see what I meanby that?

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 

      8 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      There is an old song that has a line something like "it's a shame to be with someone when the right one comes along." You can look at your situation from two angles with that line. If you are looking for someone to connect with, and make a commitment that does not fully satisfy you, you will regret it if you meet Mr. Right. That is the obvious angle, and one you seem to have accepted.

      From another angle, you found this guy who broke your heart desirable. However, he also seems to have entered your life at a time you were enjoying some other fresh starts, like your recent move and the break up with someone who was mentally abusive. He looked great, kissed great, made love great, and even smelled great in the mornings. Despite all these positive attributes, he seems to have been lacking commitment, and it sounds like he was also a bit oblivious, at least, or usurous, at worst, about your feelings toward him.

      If you had been able to get him to stay with you, imagine what a shame it would have been when the right one came along.

      You are wise to not force the issue, and to deal with your feelings.

      There is another old saying that goes "you have to kiss some toads to find your prince." It is probably good advice to suggest you consider the mentally abusive ex, this guy, and Mr. Nerd as a few of the toads!

    • robertaharden profile imageAUTHOR

      Roberta S 

      8 years ago from California on the rocks

      LOL!

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      8 years ago from home

      RH,

      You do't know the half of it- she is 8 years older than me woo hoo

      HA TH

    • robertaharden profile imageAUTHOR

      Roberta S 

      8 years ago from California on the rocks

      Aahhahhah!Tom, you're a trip!Thankfully, I have stopped looking for a few weeks now; I believe I am just not ready for that type of emotional exchange right now.

      What an inspiring and interesting love story you have!Lucky you!Thank you for your feedback, I loved it.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      8 years ago from home

      RH,

      i am not a PHD, i am a guy who has had alot of crap happen to him- Cheap plug- 3 part series hubs on my background * Before all that i was miserable,happy miserable and content.... miserable i became content when i found "the bee- to my bonnet so to speak" ok coming back from the 20's now- When you find a guy - and you will your a good looking Gal it should be easy- right now your stuck in a bad time - i was there and this will sound like absolute stupidity but- trust me- When you stop looking for a great guy YOU WILL FIND HIM- I found my wife at a job interview- She was interviewing me!!!! I met her when she worked for a temp agency and I was unemployed it was kinda like the Seinfeld My name is Tom I'm unemployed and I live with my parents...Trust me I was trying constantly before that- It may seem odd but get your self together mentally first and then let it happen- and I guarantee you like majic- it will happen- it may take a while but don't give up RH I have a feeling in 2 months things will be different- for the better but "che ck your head first" then let the universe do its thing.

      How meta physical am I today ....*crack of thunder *

      *Flash of lightning* I HAVE SPOKEN

      * snicker*

      JusT LET IT HAPPEN- To quote the southern Philosopher Petty "The waiting is the hardest part".

      GLuck

      TH

    • robertaharden profile imageAUTHOR

      Roberta S 

      8 years ago from California on the rocks

      You're da best :)

    • ilmdamaily profile image

      ilmdamaily 

      8 years ago from A forgotten corner of a dying empire. OK, it's Australia :-)

      Aww thanks Roberta - that's really nice of you to say! Of course you can say it lol - I don't scare easily:-)

      It's interesting reading your reflection in the last comment there. From my perspective it seems like before you met this fellow, you were totally on the right track to finding your purpose/destiny in life. You'd taken some huge steps under challenging circumstances, and were really growing. The euphoria you were feeling being a sign of the rightness of that decision:-)

      The funny thing is though, the closer we get to finding our true purpose, the greater, sweeter, and harder the distractions that life throws up at us along the way! As annoying as that is, it's only - I believe - so that by the time we arrive at our destination, we are worthy of what awaits us, and capable of enjoying it to its full.

      So taking the attitude you have - of reflection and learning the lesson that's hidden amongst the chaos - is the absolutely perfect approach.

      If in your mind he was symbolic of the joy you felt at that moment in your life, then perhaps you can use that to your advantage, and twist your perceptions into the realisation that maybe he wasn't symbolic of the joy in your life then, but of the personality traits which drew you towards him - or his type - in the first place. Use your heartbreak against itself, and say goodbye to the parts of yourself you don't like - the ones that drew you to him specifically - at the same time as him:-)

      You're doing great Roberta - relationship skills +10 lol.

      Now, plug yourself back into the energy you felt before he distracted you, and get back on your walk towards destiny;-)

    • robertaharden profile imageAUTHOR

      Roberta S 

      8 years ago from California on the rocks

      Oh my gawd! Can I say I am head over heels in love with your writing without scaring the living shite out of you?:)

      You know, Kristin, this one last breakup has been for me such a different experience than all the previous breakups I have gone through; it amazes me every day how my mind is interpreting this event as an opportunity for inner growth and personal development, rather than a chance to subside to the pain and be victim of the circumstances. In some way, it kinda freaks me out sometimes to realize that it feels like this time I have the ability to step out of my own persona and analyze the sense of abandonment and hurt in third person, rather than fully sinking into the pain and feeling it under my skin; I have yet to deem this capability as good or bad.

      Like, for instance, today I was driving on my way back from dropping off a dear friend to the airport and this sudden thought popped up before me: "Who am I truly grieving for, him or myself?". You see, when I first got together with the man who's now the subject of most of my writings, I was living a very joyful and exciting moment of my existence: I had recently left a state of which I never felt part of; I had just arrived in a gorgeous, sunny city with which I fell in love at first sight; I had finally left behind a man who mentally abused me for four long years, literally leaving him on the other side of the country; and I had quitted a job that kept me prisoner for more than two years behind rare moments of real satisfaction. Therefore I think that subconsciously my mind associated the idea of this man with this wonderful moment of my life where everything seemed to finally be coming together after years of pain and disgrace. I am coming to the slow realization that I may not actually need or miss this man as he is, with all his negative complexities, his fears, his insecurities and obvious obstacles in naturally relating to others; rather I may miss him for what he represented in that particular time of my life. I don't know, I am still evaluating hypothesis while being submerged into this moment of self exploration, but this truly sounds like an objective perception of the facts.

      I hope that in this moment of transition I will be able to count on your input and feedback; I truly admire and appreciate your presence from afar.

    • ilmdamaily profile image

      ilmdamaily 

      8 years ago from A forgotten corner of a dying empire. OK, it's Australia :-)

      Really great work Roberta!

      I like your style - it's confidence mixed with vulnerability; a tinge of regret with a dash of hope for good measure:-)

      I appreciate seeing a female perspective on breakups and dating: it not only illuminates my understanding of the way it affects women in a different way from men, but also was quite easy to relate to in parts.

      In particular, I really agree with your point on revenge: it's often the most "natural" reaction to a breakup, but it's also the most harmful to the self. We carry that anger about another around so long, but we are the only one it ever affects. So put it aside we must!

      You know what the cool thing about love is though? Every relationship - if we adopt your advice here - tends to be better than the one before it. The upshot is that as much as this relationship has affected you, the next one - if you stick to your guns and follow your own advice - will exceed it even further:-) By taking to heart the lessons - and not the hurt - of past relationships, we get faster, better and stronger! So, get excited about the future!

      By all means, mourn for mr impossible, but start to get excited about mr tomorrow - he's even better;-)

      Keep up the good work!

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