I SUCK!

You would think, after four decades on this planet, I would have mastered the art of the breakup.  I envision one where we act like adults, say what needs to be said and no one walks away hurt.  Sadly, I think this resolution is possible only in my dreams.  Instead, I took the spineless way out and ended it with a text.  I’m appalled at myself. With my 20/20 hindsight, I realize that I should have at least done it over the telephone; 2.5 months does not necessarily require a face-to-face, but it does warrant more than a 3 sentence text.

Everything I wrote to him and the feelings I have today are more than a little reminiscent of my Ex’s breakup with me.  Am I no better?  There really is no good way to accomplish the task.

This guy SHOULD have been a good catch for me.  He was attractive and fit, kind and considerate, virile and gainfully employed, but I just never fell head-long for him.  I should want to see him the last moment before I depart on a trip and the first thing when I return.  We were apart for 2.5 weeks and I almost canceled on him this Saturday (I had already cancelled twice earlier this week).  I should be begging for him to spend the night so I can wrap my body in his when, in fact, I felt relief when he said he had to go home.  I know the depth of affection I’m capable of feeling – and I just couldn’t evoke it for him.

I realized that it’s not fair to continue – not to him by faking feelings as he becomes more entangled nor to myself but cutting myself off from other possible alternatives, convincing myself that “this” is better than nothing.

Regardless of whether I think I did the right thing (which I do), I still feel awful for having to do it.

You seemed so happy!

“You seemed so happy!”

“Well, I WAS happy.”

“So why aren’t you dating him anymore?”

“Well…”

I’m having this conversation with my 10-year old niece.  She’s asking me about my Ex.  How do you explain to a child that just because one person is blissfully happy doesn’t mean the other is feeling the same – or even if both people are happy, it still doesn’t mean there’s a happy ending to the story?  How do you break it to them that life’s not a fairy tale?

I have a new guy in my world right now.  We’ve been dating about two months now.  I like him, but sadly, I don’t LIKE him.   Always respectful,  I would never lead him on or toy with him, but I’m also aware of this relationship’s limitations.

46 Percent

One of the first blogging rules I learned was…

  1. Decide on a topic and stick to that topic. If you want to cover other topics, start a different blog.

I haven’t followed that rule and, depending on when you became a follower, you may have experienced a very different blog.  Five or six months ago, I was sharing the ugly, psychotic truth about the breakup that brought me to my knees.  My followers were bloggers dealing with their own relationship crises.  Lately, and completely unintentionally, my blog has turned to the lighthearted – recipes and canning and gelato.  As the clouds of depression cleared, I found myself  playing in the kitchen once again and following my bliss – and my followers have also changed to those who enjoy the culinary arts.

The second blogging rule I learned was…

  1. Write for yourself (or “write  like no one is reading”)

I’ve wanted to write about the following for a while, but I’ve been concerned my “foodie” followers are going to think this post has come out of left field.

I’m a member of a dating site that, in addition to a photo and a profile, includes a romantic compatibility percentage that’s based on questions we’ve answered.  Although I don’t rely on this compatibility scale completely, I have definitely ruled out those that don’t hit at least 70% compatibility.   I believe a couple should have a good set of shared values and interests to make a strong, connected, relationship – kindred spirits, so to speak. If we’re on opposite sides of the fence to begin with, it’s only going to get worse.

Unexpectedly,  a few months after we broke up, I found my ex on the same dating site.  For most of the time, I’ve kept his profile hidden.  In the past month, it hasn’t bothered me so much and I finally un-hid him.  His profile came up in my search the other day.  Surprisingly, our compatibility is a dismal 46%. 46 percent?  This was the man I loved, the man that seemed perfect for me, the man I could picture growing old with.  46 percent?  We never fought; we always seemed to have the same views – we had (I thought) a great relationship.  Who was this man?  How much did he keep hidden from me?  What was he really thinking while shaking his head “yes” in agreement to my observations?

Seven months ago, I thought I would never get over him.  I thought I was ruined forever and I had my one shot at happiness. Each week, it gets a little easier (with big thanks to the Wellbutrin).  This most recent discovery just helps a bit more to dislodge him from my heart.  I deserve better – I deserve more than 46%.

Casualties of War

Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.
~ James Arthur Baldwin

I crossed enemy lines this weekend, into his city.  I camouflaged myself and my vehicle and infiltrated through a back road.  I kept low to the ground and out of sight, glancing over my shoulder, on my mission to the boutique store downtown, needing to pick up supplies.  I returned to my homeland, escaping back over the border undetected, but not nearly unscathed.  The maudlin minefields were everywhere and they blew me into pieces as I rounded every corner and stopped at every street light, the memories of our time in this city still too fresh in my mind – breakfast there (boom!), dinner here (boom!) and the bar where we first kissed across the street (boom! boom! boom!).

It has been almost six months since the cease-fire and my desire, really, is to become a veteran of this damn war.  I don’t want to lament the breakup longer than we were together.  I want to get on with my life, ending the shell-shock.   I thought I was ready, that I could walk the streets we walked along together and not feel the pain.  I was wrong, again.

The wounds may be scarring over, but I’m afraid there’s shrapnel embedded beneath my skin forever – so that, when I take a step or move just so, that little twinge of pain will eternally make me wince.  Soon, I will stop mentioning it, putting on my courageous face for friends and family, but the slight spasm of discomfort will always be there, silently reminding me of the wounds I’ve suffered – and diminishing me just a little.