I am NOT dating
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