Single on Valentine’s Day is Better Than Being in a Relationshit

Valentine’s Day is here and you’re single….again. For those that dread this day of phony love, V-Day is just another reminder of those horrible, yet unforgettable, relationshits that force you to remember why being single isn’t so bad. While there are probably too many to name, everyone can probably identify with these few types of (pri)mates: Sponge, Leech, Casanova, and Hang-Man.

Sponge is the guy that calls or texts when he’s bored, needs a ride, money, or any kind of help or service that you can provide – and you’re willing to give it to him. Sponge tells you everything you want to hear until he absorbs everything from your wallet, your sex drive, your convenience, and your soul. When you finally take off the blinders and see how things truly are, it’s usually too late.  Sponge has absorbed your life – and you are left a hard, dried up, rusty Brillo pad.

Leech is a parasitic creature that won’t go away. He seems to be a really nice guy and may make a great friend, but you have friend-zoned him for reasons you can’t explain. Leech destroys all of your hopes of ever finding anyone else because he won’t leave you alone – he shows up at parties, at your work, during a girls’ night out. He’s one of those guys that’s just always there. Because he’s always hanging around, people think you and Leech are together. You avoid his calls, his Facebook messages, his 450 texts over a two-day period – but Leech still doesn’t get it. Your friends refer to Leech as the Stalker or the Cock Block.

Everyone has heard of Casanova. He’s the guy that makes you feel like the sexiest person alive. He takes your breath away and tells you everything that dreams are made of. You are sure he is THE ONE. After an exquisite evening together and promises of the future, Casanova is never heard from again. You make excuses for him – like maybe his phone is broken or maybe he’s working late, and your calls and texts go unheeded for days or weeks. Casanova has ghosted you, and he isn’t seen or heard from again until you bump into him at a bar – locking lips with Flavor of the Week. Casanova is another name for man-whore.

How many of us have heard of Hang-Man? Not the game with letters, although this guy likes to play games alright. He hangs out with you at his own convenience but never seems to make real plans. You wait and wait for Hang-Man to make decisions, whether it be from what you’re planning to do over the weekend to what you want to eat for dinner. No matter what, Hang-Man always keep you hanging and wondering. Ranging from being consistently late to standing you up completely, Hang-Man acts as if you’re supposed to wait for his superior ass self while his mother still does his laundry. As a matter of fact, Hang-Man is probably keeping you waiting at this very moment.

There is one thing in common with all of these characters – besides the fact that they’re self-centered, arrogant people out for their own interests; they are types of men you can learn to easily avoid. Do yourself a favor – your dignity is worth more than any of these creatures and their false hopes – so don’t find yourself in a relationshit on Valentine’s Day! Instead, order some sushi, sit in the tub and cuddle up with your pet – the one who really does love you.

Acceptance After Being Ghosted

The other day I posted about the other four stages of grief after being ghosted by someone in a close dating relationship. There were a few times I felt I had come to the acceptance stage, but I was alternating between all of the stages randomly. I would think to myself, I’m over it; he’s a jerk, and then something would toss me right back to a different stage. I’d be angry at the fact that he’s meeting other women and dating and having fun, but I was left standing alone without answers to my heartbreak and had a miserable dating life. (I was also angry when one of his family members suggested that I must not have ever had anyone break up with me before, since I had these feelings. I corrected them by reminding them I was ghosted without answers.) I have come to some other realizations about this person that have helped me to enter the stage of acceptance.

It’s always helpful to get over someone by dating another person, however, the options I had been presented were pretty grim. Prior to meeting OC, a close friend had unexpectedly passed away, and during my mourning period (which lasted about a year), I jumped into a two-month toxic relationship with someone 18 years younger. I met OC about three or four months after that relationship ended. I was looking to date, but only looking for friends and activity partners, so what I felt with him was completely unexpected. Looking back, I feel that I was probably still vulnerable to opening myself up to injured souls, because I was also one of them.

Taking accountability for myself, I probably ignored a lot of red flags – the first of which was that OC’s online dating profile stated he was single. However, he was still technically a married man (verified separated for two years at that point) and still living in the same house with his wife. I broke my own rule by continuing a relationship with him, because my rule is to date someone that has been single (not separated) for at least a year, preferably longer. When I initially met him, he’d told me about another woman he’d been on a few dates with and was texting him… but according to him, he was ignoring her. I’d informed him that I only date one person at a time, and I expect the same in a partner and that he needs to tell this woman that he’s seeing someone else, to not just ignore her. I don’t know what he did, but now I suspect he ghosted her as well. Or perhaps he ghosts women, then shows up randomly when he thinks it’s okay and allow him back into their lives again… the same way he did to me six months later when he unblocked me and liked my social media posts – and still continues to this day!

I specifically remember a couple of times him mentioning things to me that seemed off. For example, even though he still claimed to be getting divorced, he was adamant about staying in their home and was building a separate entrance for himself. I later learned that during the time they supposedly separated, they’d purchased the house together, which didn’t fit the divorce story he was giving me. He would spend the night at my house most nights and head home first thing in the morning; we never spent any mornings together – just afternoons and nights. I had suspected he’d been hiding something or bending the truth, but I never actually found out. He also had a tattoo of a ball and chain along with his wife’s name on the front of his hip. When I asked if he was planning to cover it up, he became flustered as if I’d asked him to chop off his balls. He replied,  “Why? No one will see it.” Seriously? I told him I see it, and if he dates other women, they’re going to see it as well. I suspect he never covered it up, and he probably never will. (I wonder what his new girlfriend thinks of his wife’s name when she’s giving him a blowjob?) He’d say random things that didn’t make sense to me at the time. For example, one time he told me he was selfish and immature, but I hadn’t seen that side of him, so I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. What he’d presented to me in his actions was opposite of what he said in so many ways.

Something wasn’t right, but I blamed it on my own insecurities. I developed a lot of anxiety when I didn’t hear from him, especially that last week prior to him ghosting me. Perhaps he was lying to me, perhaps it was something else, but I ignored my gut feelings. The problem I have with myself is I am determined to get to the bottom of things, to find out the truth, and when I can’t pinpoint what isn’t right, I continue with a relationship until I do find out. He claimed to be “so busy” with his work, but right after he ghosted me, he’d pass me at the beach every single day, so I felt he was using that as an excuse.

Knowing OC’s history of 30+ years being raised in and then leaving a cult religion whose manipulative members suddenly cut off their own children for not being followers, I am aware that this has been ingrained into his system since he was a child, so it is probably easy for him to act this way without any regard for my feelings. Not that it’s right by any means, but what else can I tell myself when I have no other explanation? I also realize, no matter how sweet he was to me while we were together, he is a very wounded and disturbed soul that may not feel anything at all. He lied to me and broke promises, especially when he knew I was recovering after a divorce and promised me he wouldn’t break my heart.  I tell myself he was fake and manipulated my feelings and trust for his own selfish purposes, and everything about the relationship was as fake as Dirty John, because genuine people do not develop close intense relationships only to treat others with such disdain. I wish I could have moved on when it all went down; I wanted nothing more than those awful feelings to go away. I look at him now and think I can do so much better than him.

The stage of acceptance is the beginning of my healing process, because I am ready to meet my next long-term relationship.

Living Without a Purpose

It’s days like today I wish I’d been an abortion and wonder why in the hell I’m even on this planet. It’s also days like today that remind me of why I refuse to own a gun or glad I don’t have a gas oven. Oftentimes, it’s the people that you love the most that remind you that your purpose in life is unclear and nothing you do is important or good enough, no matter how good your intentions are, especially when already deeply depressed.

I realize that it’s been a long time since I felt I had a sense of purpose. How long? I cannot even remember, but maybe ten years or more. That was a time when I was married and had my home business. I would get up every morning and write or do other work, take care of household chores and pets, and deal with a teenager. I suppose having a relationship (that helped with financial stability) and a child at home helped me to feel a sense of purpose as well, made me feel like I mattered to someone, even if it was only for cooking and cleaning and being there when someone needed me. Plus, I was happy with the work I was doing. It was the time when I wrote my first book, wrote screenplays, and had articles and photography published in various places. I often feel like that was the shining moment in my life, and I won’t get it back or see it again. Although I would love for it to happen again, I also feel that I would be chasing unicorn dreams instead of facing reality.

Another time I felt a sense of purpose was about 19 years ago. Since I was a child, I wanted to be just like the teachers that I looked up to, so I became a teacher. I started out truly enjoying what I did, even though it was stressful. I quickly realized I was not going to make the cut of one of those “great teachers,” because I had too many personal responsibilities that wouldn’t allow me to focus solely on my career. Then things changed dramatically in our flawed American public education system, and teaching was no longer rewarding. I went to work every day feeling dread, came home feeling unappreciated and overworked. Health issues started when I was at my last teaching job; the amount of stress put me in the hospital, which of course caused more financial stress. I realized that I had to move on to another field if I wanted to keep my sanity and health.

Shortly after my divorce, I found a job working for a new company that seemed promising, so I thought maybe this is where I’m needed in life, and just maybe I could build from there. The starting pay was terrible, however, the hours were what I wanted, and I was told things would change financially within a few months. The only thing that changed was financially worse and discovering I was working for people running a scam, and their business (not surprisingly) went under.

A couple of years ago, even though the pay was pathetic and nearly minimum wage, I became a home health aide, thinking that maybe it would be rewarding, because I’d be helping someone in need. Anyone that has worked in this field quickly finds out that family members of the people you take care of and spend hours and hours with don’t always appreciate the work you do, even when you do extra things not required. In fact, they start expecting more, and no matter what, you don’t get paid more. The only thing it did was make me more depressed than I already was, because not only did clients pass away, I was sitting around in someone else’s house all day and/or cleaning it and taking care of the family’s large, annoying dogs that were another job in itself.

There are many days I wake up eager for night to fall again just so that I can go back to sleep. I don’t want to look at or speak to anyone or leave the house. When I’m not feeling well physically, like I have been lately, it exacerbates the depression. I do my best to force myself to either write or do artwork or at least clean the house or a closet or something to get myself moving. It’s a daily struggle, and it has been for years, and no one that hasn’t been through it will ever understand what it’s like to wake up every single day without a purpose or feeling that you matter in the world.

Being the Rebound Girl

For whatever reason, I tend to attract guys that are newly single or somewhat undecided about their single status. It didn’t matter much when I first became single, but it’s been a good five years now, so obviously I’m in a different frame of mind. Now whenever I meet someone I make it a point to ask when their last relationship was… and then I move on, because 99% of the time, it’s within the past few months or so.

When I was newly single after the divorce, I dated someone off and on for several months that I’d gone to high school with but had never known. I say off and on, because neither of us wanted a relationship,; he had nothing to offer me, and he consistently pissed me off. He basically worked very little, drank a lot, had no driver’s license, and 4 kids that I later learned hated him. The whole thing was more of a convenience, since he lived extremely close to me, so it was easy to hang out. I also did some work for him for which he paid me well, and I was also his designated driver (he paid me) since he couldn’t drive. So that part seemed like a win/win for us both.

We did have a lot of fun together, however. We went boating and partied a lot… and then I eventually realized he was probably the biggest liar I’d ever met. Even though we weren’t in a “relationship” it seemed we had a mutual understanding to not sleep around with other people while we were together. I was adamant about not catching anything gross and I needed that emotional connection that was honest. Honesty was not his policy, whatsoever; he was sneaky, and the more I learned, the more I began to distance myself.

One evening I was bitching to my bartender friend about him. Another woman was sitting next to me and started asking details…

Does he live here and do “this” for a living? Yes and yes. His name is “Big Liar”? Yes. She looked at me and was really nice about it and said that she was also going through a divorce and started seeing him. I thought how and when, because I live so close and we’re together often.

When she told me the dates/times, that’s when I figured out it was when I was out of town visiting my family. She showed me text messages he’d sent her in the weeks while he was still with me – he was trying to hook up, but she was no longer interested. I was fuming, but not at her. I thanked her for telling me everything, and we’ve been friends ever since.

I ended up leaving and driving straight to his house to tell him what a piece of shit liar he was. He acted like he didn’t care one single ounce about my feelings. I left angry and in tears, hurt and confused. (I think I threw a glass that shattered on his porch – not at him but at the universe. Oh, well.)

But the shitty part was – I was still doing work for him and needed the money badly, so I had to continue dealing with him.

This isn’t the end of the story. Just this chapter for now.

When Memories of Your Ex Dredge Up Annoyance

Sometimes you don’t notice things about yourself until someone else points it out. One of my friends pointed out that she’s noticed I have been mentioning a little about my ex husband more so than usual, mentioning things that he did that pissed me off. I guess I had been obsessing more with OC and anyone else in the past five years rather than concentrate on my divorce and the issues I had with my ex. But I didn’t see the need for it at the time, and I had pretty much doused my brain in alcohol to deal with it.

One of the things I mentioned to her the other day was the fact that my ex used to ruin things for me that I worked very hard to get. For example, when we were first married and had a brand new house, he decided he wanted a dog, even though he was working too much for the responsibility of one. So guess who ended up taking care of the dog, cleaning up shit and dirt and everything else that goes along with having a pet? Well, I’ll tell you it wasn’t him. The dog even tore up my things – sentimental things – and not his, which obviously made me fume. It actually made me resent my ex, because I thought it was unfair to put the responsibility on me when I clearly said I didn’t want a dog. (The dog turned out to be great, but that’s not the point.)

I was trying to run a photography business out of my home, but my domestic duties and caring for the dog was really getting in the way. My ex had no idea how to run or build a business and thought that since I was “home all day” I did nothing but “play on the computer”. (I guess writing two books, having a clean home and laundry, and doing everything else just magically happened.) I had created a portable studio in the house and was offering portraits for families, children, and women. For women, sometimes they’d want a maternity shoot or a boudoir shoot – something intimate and personal – and I wanted to be sure everything was professional so they’d feel comfortable, tell all of their friends, and I’d gain new business.

There was one woman that wanted a boudoir shoot for her husband, and she brought her friend with her, which I highly recommended as a safety measure. Since they would be coming to my home, I told my then husband he had to be gone when my client got there. It was imperative that when they arrived, they’d feel at ease without a male presence around, because from experience, sometimes that can be creepy. So what did he do? He stuck around until they got there and made sure he introduced himself to them. I let them know he’s leaving right now and glared at him to get the hell out.

I was super annoyed that he did that; it made it seem unprofessional to me. Looking back, he did all sorts of shit that sabotaged my career and a lot of other things I did. And now that I’m rebuilding everything from the bottom up and see him around town doing just fine and living the high life, I get angry, because I was there to boost him in his career.

Shortly after that incident, I found out he’d been searching my computer looking for the photos of my client, which really set me off, but I was very good at “hiding” the content under various folders, and he wasn’t as computer literate as I. But it made me mad that I couldn’t trust him, and I thought it was rude and creepy… and that I couldn’t even do my job without him interfering. I felt that he crossed a boundary, because my clients entrusted me to their personal needs. I feel that by him just being at the house when the other women arrived, it hurt my business.

I know that no relationship is perfect, and he had a lot of good things about him, but now that I’m divorced and sometimes reminded of things, I think why was I with this person? How did I not see he was either competing with me and one-upping me on everything (I’ll write about that later) or sabotaging what I was working to do? I guess I was blinded by love, because he was the only guy that I had dated at the time that was nice to me. But sometimes that “nice” is just to get what they want.

Viewing the Negative Side of a Relationship In Order to Move On

I have had to force myself to find the negative side of things that I haven’t been able to completely move on from. The negative side of OC, that is. Many things remind me of him, like every time I see a white pickup truck I look to see if it’s him. (Do you realize how many white pickup trucks are on the road?) I play a game that sometimes shows what appears to be a red kayak and someone on a paddle board – both things that remind me of him. It’s gotten better over time, but for whatever reason, it still hurts after a year and a half. I want to get over this and wish I had a year ago.

By now, just the fact that I was never given closure to the situation tells me he’s not a real man – but a pussy – and I already have one of those; I certainly don’t need it in a man. He should have given me an explanation and lived up to his word of not hurting me like he told me. He shouldn’t have led me on saying he missed me and he wasn’t ignoring me, that he was just busy with work… all the way up to two days before he dumped me. What kind of person does that? That is one hell of a character flaw.

I’m not a morning person by any means, but I absolutely love having coffee or breakfast with someone. Not every day, but often enough. OC never stayed for breakfast, even though he said he doesn’t eat breakfast, but every morning he would leave and “check the waves” for surfing and never spend mornings with me. At the time I was just happy to have any time with him, because he always had a lot of family and work things going on. It was odd, because after 2-3 months of staying the night most of the week, you’d think one morning would be in order, right? Well, it never happened.

There were things he told me he would do for me and never did them before he broke up with me. That’s a peeve of mine. For instance, he was going to get me a container to use as a fire pit in my backyard. He was talking about doing some of the things to my patio area to make it nicer. He alluded to us going camping when the weather cooled down. Just do what you say you’re going to, don’t leave me hanging, and certainly don’t make it seem like there’s a future in front of us before you dump me by text and then ghost me forever. That’s just shitty.

The fact that he was still technically married (and still is!) and still living on the same property as his ex made it weird. (I did confirm they were definitely not together.) He referred to her as his “future ex-wife” but had to take care of some financial things first, and I was understanding of that, because I’ve had my own situations. But after he dumped me the way he did, I began to wonder if he ever had any intention of leaving, if he just ups and leaves every ten or fifteen years to have some flings and then goes back to try to work it out. Who knows?

Another thing that bothered me was that he had his ex’s name tattooed on his hip, and he had no intentions of ever getting rid of it or covering it up. He said no one will see it. I said I see it, and any other woman you choose to have sex with is going to see it. Duh. I should have guessed that he wasn’t ready to completely move on from her, either, and probably why he has dragged out his non-divorce for so long.

Then to top it off, he started liking some of my Instagram posts, yet still didn’t have the balls to say a word to me. He matched with me on Bumble last year and still never replied. It’s hard to know if he was just playing games or still too much of a pussy to say a word to me. Either way, I don’t get it at all. Nothing makes any sense to me.

One of the negative feelings I had with OC was the feeling of never really having him… as if there was this elusive free spirit vibe. That could have very well been my own insecurity, but it’s so confusing to not know what really happened. I figured maybe if I focus on the negative, I will realize how wrong we were together and perhaps find someone else to be happy with, because it’s obvious I will never get an answer from him. Maybe I should use the experience to write a fiction novel, but in the end, the lead character gets the actual answers she deserves.

Losing a Connection Can Be Devastating

Having a taste of something good only to have it suddenly snatched away is a real bitch. I think about how I felt about OC when we were together and how much I miss the things he brought to the table that no one else has covered. Besides the undeniable physical attraction, what was more important was having communication along with and common interests and values.

Being that OC was raised in a cult religion and I had my own fair share of religion shoved down my throat when I was a kid, neither of us believe in religion, but both of us are very spiritual. We both believe in healthy eating and keeping fit and active. We shared the same political views, although neither of us are very involved in politics at all. We shared a lust for adventure and exploring and nature and being outdoors.

When we were together, it felt like we were a real couple – affectionate and considerate and attentive and all of the good things that should be in a relationship. I felt completely comfortable with him and trusted him – another thing I find difficult. The way OC treated me was different than what I was used to. He took me out on real dates, and we did a lot of activities together. He didn’t rush me for sex, which really surprised me, and I liked the fact that his actions showed respect for me. We saw each other four or five days or nights a week. We took walks on the beach, went kayaking, and spent a lot of quality time together outdoors and indoors. He wasn’t the type of guy that hangs out in bars, and I liked that. I wasn’t used to having someone I felt so close to and connected with since I’d been divorced.

Maybe it’s another reason I liked OC so much; he treated me like I was his girlfriend and even introduced me to some of his family. All of this was so uncommon to me, so I felt special, and it felt great. All of my friends and family noticed how happy I was when we were together, how I had this certain light in my eyes when I saw OC. Everyone around me noticed it. They also noticed when the light was gone.

And now the light has been dimmed for nearly two years. I question the intention of every man I meet. I feel panic when I think about something like what I had with OC happening again – the panic of heartbreak and abandonment. The unknowing of whether or not I’m being played. I haven’t had that sort of connection with anyone since. I want to feel special again, but I have such doubts that it’s even possible.