Being nervous around the person you’re dating feels like reading a never-ending Choose Your Own Adventure book.

Parker was a man I pseudo-dated before I met Grant (if you’re wondering what pseudo-dating is, it’s basically seeing each other on a regular basis for an extended period of time, hanging out, having the occasional dinners and sleeping together, but never committing to anything resembling an actual relationship). Parker is quite the catch – funny, intelligent, charming, very attractive, kind, employed, athletic and he has a British accent just to top it off.
I pseudo-dated Parker for six months but I was still nervous around him. When we were together I would repeat a fun chant in my head to the effect of ‘be breezy, be calm, stop shaking, I bet he saw you shaking, shut up brain, be breezy…’

I wanted our pseudo-dates to be perfect, and I remember one particular dinner that stands out for this. I had just come back from a weekend away, he picked me up and we went to a restaurant, I ordered a salad and he had a burger. Everything was going swimmingly until about a quarter of the way through my salad when I saw a black hair. Parker was about half way done his burger and I played out two options in my head;
A) I could call the waitress over and point out the hair. She would take my salad and insist on replacing it. I did not want another salad, but if I refused that would mean I basically didn’t get to eat dinner. But by the time they brought out a new salad for me, Parker would probably be done his burger. The hair was also sure to be the only thing we remembered about the evening.
B) I could wait for him to look down and take a bite of his food, then pull the hair out of my salad and pretend nothing happened. It didn’t look long anyway, and this way our evening wouldn’t be ruined.
I chose option B, and I regret it every day. It wasn’t a short hair it was a very long hair. But now I’d taken it out so I couldn’t very well put it back in and call the waitress over. So I ate around the outside of my salad and chanted in my head to ‘be breezy’.

One of the reasons I fell for Grant was because he was the spazzy one.
The first time he phoned to ask me out he opened with “I’ve just given blood and I’m kind of light headed, so I think I’ve worked up the courage to ask if you would maybe like to get a drink sometime? You can say no.”
On our second date we were supposed to meet halfway between our places to walk to a restaurant for dinner. Enroute to meet him he called me and said, “would you be able to please go home and get some band aids, I’ve tripped over the curb and my toe is bleeding quite badly.”  When I met him he wasn’t lying, there was blood everywhere and we had to stop and administer first-aid in the street.
I was comfortable with Grant, I was calm, I was the breezy one without even having to try. And I loved it.

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Coping during a breakup is pretty much reverting back to being 16, except you can buy your own alcohol now.

I am lucky to be a person that immediately sees the good in a breakup and wishes their Ex all the success and happiness in the world… I’m just kidding; I’m pretty much a basketcase until I’m ready to let it go. There are of course different stages of a breakup, and for me it went, denial, sadness, anger, acceptance and rebounding.

  1. Denial
    1. Pretend the breakup isn’t actually happening
    2. Tell only close select friends that the breakup has occurred
    3. Tell yourself that he will change his mind
    4. Talk about it endlessly with close friends trying to figure when he will call and apologize
    5. Leave all pictures, facebook and desk photos intact
  2. Sadness
    1. Cry
    2. Change profile picture and take down desk photo
    3. Cry more, but this time awkwardly in public
    4. Stare at phone, mentally willing him to text you
    5. Don’t eat, then finally eat and demolish entire veggie party platter
    6. Listen to all the songs that remind you of the relationship
  3. Anger
    1. Talk about how he never appreciated you
    2. Drink prosecco to try to feel fabulous
    3. After too much prosecco, passive aggressively ‘like’ his changed profile photo
    4. After he unfriends you, send him insane text messages channeling all the rage of 1,000 feminists.
    5. Angry cry
    6. Feel like you could be heading for your own episode of Dateline
  4. Acceptance
    1. Drink Bailey’s with coffee
    2. Have sense of inner calm
    3. Laugh about insane text messages
    4. Buy new Taylor Swift album and listen to it on repeat
    5. Get asked by neighbour to “please keep it down” while jamming to Taylor Swift at 8am.
    6. Inform neighbour of the circumstances surrounding the breakup
    7. Get blessing from neighbour to continue to sing loudly
  5. Rebounding
    1. Inform little black book of newly single status
    2. Book girls getaway at fancy hotel
    3. Find clothing previously deemed ‘too low cut’ to be acceptable
    4. Rock red lipstick
    5. Accidentally get red lipstick on fingers and then wipe hands on white shirt thinking it was white napkin
    6. Move on

 

I appreciate the breakup advice, but I’d really just like to watch a lot of Dateline

The holidays have always been my favourite time of year, I eagerly countdown starting in September. The family time, the love, the fancy parties and the fact that you can wear glitter during the day without being questioned. I could never understand why people get so stressed out… but then again, all those years I was always single during the holidays. Single is something I can do well, I built my short lived freelance writing career around it. So I hadn’t dealt with what seemed like a never ending stream of problems that arose in a relationship during the holidays. Turns out, there’s a reason why this time of year has also been deemed “breakup season”.
So here I am, about to ring in the New Year, single, well not totally single, I took back the pizza oven I bought him, so my date for the evening is actually Mr. Crispy Crust. We didn’t make it, our relationship was pronounced dead (by him) three days short of NYE. And for the first time ever in my life, I am heartbroken about it. It seems over the last two days I’ve gotten a lot of advice from a lot of different people, some of it similar, some of it out of left field. But never the less, I thought I would share the sentiments.
1. There are a lot of guys out there, don’t worry, you’ll find one. – Ok, so the thing is, I’m not worried about finding another guy. I would actually be very content getting 10 cats and calling it a day. I bet if I wrote a blog about my days with the cats I would have more followers than my blog about dating. Cat Ladies have much more time to read frivolous writing. It’s not about finding another guy; it’s about losing the one I had.
2. Better now than 6 months from now. – I’ve heard this from a lot of people, and I’m not sure I agree. It’s like when you play Monopoly and it always ends in a fight, but at the same time, you can’t resist playing again, because this time it might actually work out well. I would have enjoyed another 6 months of it, I would have kept unfolding that game board and saying, “let’s see if we can do it better this time.”
3. This is why tequila was invented, nothing a little family drinking can’t solve. – Solid point. I fully agree with this one, and now I know where I get it from.
4. I bet his real reason for the breakup was actually (insert theory here). – The problem with our breakup is that there wasn’t a fully painted picture for me, which left things open to speculation. I have heard just about every theory possible on this one, even from a psychic.
5. You two obviously weren’t right for each other. – I mean, I don’t know, I’m a strong believer that it all comes down to timing, just look at Romeo and Juliet.
6. You should get revenge. – I feel like I go through waves of sadness and anger. During the sadness I have an overwhelming urge to phone him for no particular reason. Then during the anger I have the overwhelming urge to egg his belongings. I have decided it’s best to not act on any urges and write about him instead.
7. We can burn the photos of you guys, would that make you feel better? – To be honest, I thought about putting photos in the pizza oven and turning it on, however, all the photos are digital. That means that I would actually have to get the photos printed just to destroy them. I guess the modern day equivalent is photoshopping him out of the photos, but that seems like a lot of extra work for me. So I’m still undecided on this one.
8. I bet he’ll change his mind. – Well wouldn’t that be awkward after I spend all this time writing about him. But I doubt it, the whole thing played out as more of a series finale than a midseason hiatus.

I’m no relationship expert, but I figure to have a successful second go with an ex you’re suppose to stop dating the rebound…

The thing about playing games is that sometimes the other team has a plan you don’t know about. So when you get cocky and think you’re the one dictating how things will happen and who will win, that’s when you get blindsided. That’s what happened with me and Brent, I was confident that I was in control and then bam – suddenly I was the one wondering what happened.
Breaking up is a tricky thing and I do not know what went on between Brent and his ex. But, I will say that there is nothing worse than breaking up with someone and thinking you’ll be the one that comes out on top… and then you’re not. Suddenly they’ve rebounded, they’re happy and they’re not pining for you like you thought they would… that can suddenly make you want them back, sometimes for no other reason than to prove to yourself that they still want you.

Although I felt uneasy about where things were going between Brent and me, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. We were still seeing each other on a regular basis and when we were together everything was great… until he got sloppy.
We went for lunch on a Sunday and then went back to his place to hang out. When I walked in I noticed the giant keyboard that was sitting on his dining room table. I honestly didn’t think twice about it, it’s the reality of him being in a band with his ex. But then I noticed the freshly burned candles on the table where the keyboard was. I never questioned him about the candles because I wasn’t sure if I was jumping to conclusions.
Two weeks later it’s a Friday night and we agreed to meet at his place to hangout but I ended up being delayed. He phoned me to say that he was super tired and could we rain-check. I said sure, and that’s when he told me that he was leaving for 4 days to go camping with his “band”. Well the thing is, the other people in his band have Monday-Friday jobs, except for the keyboardist, she works 4 days on, 4 days off. Now I was angry because I was sure he thought I must be an idiot. Four days go by and just like he promised he texted me when he got back to make plans;

Him – How are you?
Me – Great. How was camping?
Him – Glad to hear it. We didn’t camp we actually rented a cabin on the beach, mostly just drank. Are you sticking around this weekend? We should hang out.
Me – That sounds fun, did the whole band go?

Even though he had wanted to get together he never responded back to me. But it was a day later when I got my actual answer of what was really going on – being on tv you think he would try to be more careful…
I had his show on, passively listening when I heard his co-host say; “It’s always hard to travel with someone. Brent, you just got back from a weekend trip with your significant other. How was that?”
He changed the topic mighty fast. I went back and listened 4 more times to make sure I heard correctly, then I texted him;

Me – I didn’t know you were just on a trip with your significant other. I actually wasn’t aware that you had a significant other.
Him – ummm what?
Me – I heard your co-host say this morning on air that you just got back from a trip with your significant other.
Him – Hahaha no, we were talking about a road trip from hell that I took with an ex.

That’s the last time I heard from him – he was denying that he was seeing someone else and I was too over it to care anymore. A quick look on the keyboardist’s facebook page (btw its 2013, probably should figure out how privacy settings work) showed me that they were very much together. And oh, it had just been her birthday – I think my favorite post on her page was her friend saying that she “hopes Brent spoils her rotten”. Right… so turns out that he hadn’t just recently started fooling around with her again. They were fully back in a relationship and somehow I ended up the “other woman”. I was never upset that he was back with her, I was upset he didn’t even have the decency to own up to it. I was upset he didn’t give me the choice of whether I wanted to continue seeing him while he was in a relationship with someone else (NO).
I don’t have anything I care to say to him, maybe just thanks for the blog material and I hope your girlfriend isn’t a reader…

Anatomy of a Rebound

If we were to play the word association game, what words come to mind when I say “breakup”? Probably not positive ones – personally mine would be tequila and rebound. I think as a society we’re trained to think of all the negative aspects of a breakup before we allow ourselves to think about all the positives. I mean have you Googled the definition of a breakup? Wikipedia harshly describes it as “the termination of an intimate relationship by any means other than death.” (Any means? So wait… hypothetically it means we’re not together anymore if the judge ordered me to stay at least 100 yards away at all times?)

But the best part of any breakup is the rebound. I like to think of a rebound guy the same way I think of candy – it keeps you entertained in a superficially delicious way, and as fast as you crave it you start to get sick of it. Besides everyone deserves carefree fun after the termination of an intimate relationship, right? The thing to remember is to always tell your rebound that that’s what they are to you. Technically you don’t need to call them a rebound to their face, but don’t leave them totally in the dark about your intentions – that’s mean. The problem with rebounds is that sometimes you actually start to fall for the person. To avoid this I like to choose a guy that’s extremely attractive and that I’m completely incompatible with so nothing gets confusing.

Very recently I was someone’s rebound, let’s call him Brent. Now, I knew from the beginning that he had just gotten out of a long term relationship, not because he told me, but because we have a mutual friend in common that he didn’t know about. So I actually knew everything that was going on behind the scenes, which I think in the end, was a blessing and a curse. He never told me I was his rebound and the lines got very blurred over the 3 months we saw each other. And now? Well, now he goes on the blog in as many posts as it takes to tell the story.