Don’t dream, it’s over

It’s apparently breakup week here at Mentervention. Since we’ve all been through a breakup or two, can we come together as one and acknowledge what “closure” really is?

It’s just that. Something that goes in between quotes because it’s not really what it claims to be. Oh, Snooki is now an “author.”  Skinny Girl margs are “skinny.”  I was in the bathroom that long for a “phone call.” (You get the point.) Closure is this event we implant in our heads to make things final, but really, it’s just something that prolongs the end.

We’ve all done it. We’ve had a breakup on the phone or even in person and it ends so abruptly that we’re left wanting more. It’s really just sick. Because even though we might want more in a way that makes us feel better, it will inevitably always leave us with more and more hurt. And frankly, the only person in the relationship that wants closure is the one who isn’t initiating the breakup.

Let’s talk this out, shall we?

I’ve had the luxury, if you will, of going through mostly long-distance relationships. The breakups are either over the phone or in person before I’m traveling back home. So it’s kind of nice that I don’t have the convenience running into them at the bar or having a weak moment and inviting them over. However, the closure aspect comes in to play because there’s the constant phone calls going on to rehash everything not once, but twice or maybe even six or seven times, in hopes of getting answers, or perhaps the occasional “mind change.”

Now, I know there are good breakups. The amicable, mature ones. Or even ones that are terribly heartbreaking, but not devastating because there’s a deeper understanding — no foul play, no abruptness, no hurtful circumstances.  Basically, the breakup that’s accepted by both parties.

I’m not talking about those breakups.

Most women won’t admit this (neither will men), but let’s face it: if you’re having a reunion after a break up, you’re secretly wanting the other person to be like, “I love you, I need you, I was such an idiot, you’re the best thing in my life.”

What actually happens at these reunions is the following:



“How are you doing?”

Then an arguement of epic proportions breaks out OR Sobfest 2011 commences. How am I doing? I’ve lost 15 pounds because all I want to do is sleep. Thanks for asking?

There will be no comfort from these “closure” conversations, because you will end up more hurt than you did going in. Matter of fact. I mean, unless you’re meeting with this person because they begged to meet with you so they can profess their undying love and admit they were wrong, nothing will be resolved. You broke up. He doesn’t want to be with you. The reason doesn’t even matter at this point — he needs to figure out his career, the timing is off, he isn’t in love with you anymore, he doesn’t want to try hard enough, he’s moving, he found someone else — who cares? He broke things off. Swallow that pill and deal with it.

Another common reason for closure? Apologizing. We’ll want to meet with this person to apologize for things said and done. Listen, the time you need to apologize is when you get to the point where you can apologize, be sincere about it, and not get pissed that the person didn’t respond how you wanted them to.  That’s not going to be right after the breakup.

Let’s say the person comes back, crawling on their hands and knees (and please guys, don’t do that), would you even take them back? Have some dignity for pete’s sake. There’s as book entitled “It’s Called a Breakup because it’s Broken.” I haven’t read it, but what a great title. HELLO! You would still be with this person if all the questions and anxieties in your heart (and his/hers) were at peace, but you’re not, because they’re not. Getting back together with someone immediately after calling it off is like having a boss fire you and then bring you back in for a test run again a week later, only to really fire you a few weeks after that. It’s traumatizing! Not to mention you will have all this pent up anger and sadness, and a unhealthy dose of mad insecurity. That’s why you need time. Time, time, time, time, tiiiiiiiiiiiime! Time. (Just Friends reference, duh.)

I’m not saying couples can’t rekindle the flame, but they rekindle by breaking up correctly: a clean break. End it, wash your hands clean, and if it works out in the future, it works out. Plus, they probably have ample time to think, take care of themselves and their emotions, change what needs to be changed, etc. so they can be the best for each other later on.

If you’re meeting with someone for “closure” in hopes they’ll change their mind… good luck. It’s not going to happen. And if it does, how pathetic. Really. Why beg and plead for someone to be with you? You’re a “helluva guy” (or gal) (Nicki voice) and you deserve to have someone who wants to be with you and thinks you’re a gem! I’m not trying to shove sunshine up your bums but really, have some pride!

That’s the thing about breakups. Sometimes they happen and we have no ammo for the arsenal. It’s like, boom, you’re done, and we’re left with our head spinning. How could it have gone wrong? What is wrong with me? Nothing, my friends. Let me teach you guys the entertainment approach to dating.

You can hear 1,000 “No’s” in LA for every one “maybe.” It’s a cruel, cruel entertainment world. Sometimes, you may not hear anything at all, to be left in the abyss, wondering how you can get noticed. If you get down on yourself, you’ll never make it out here. And that’s how it is for dating. Just because someone tells you “no” and leaves you without any answers doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying in the future. You just keep on. You take those losses and move forward and learn from them to make yourself better. If you keep beating yourself up and subjecting yourself to the hurt of a failed relationship, you won’t bloom into what God has in store for you. I mean, it’s only fitting that I bust out some Katy Perry right here:

“If you only knew what the future holds, after a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed so you can open one that leads you to the perfect road”

My credibility is probably shot after writing that but really, it’s true. Personally, I constantly remind myself that God knows his plan for my life and that if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Whether it’s a job, getting an apartment, or a relationship, it will all work out the way it’s supposed to. And you should too.

I’m mostly speaking to women because we have an emotional pull, while men are more objective. We let our emotions take over our actions and sometimes it’s just not the best idea to meet up and get our “closure” we’ve been seeking. Sometimes it is, but a majority of the time let bygones be bygones.

Listen, love can move mountains. You can break up with someone and they end up being your happily wedded husband or wife a few years later. I’m not above believing in magic, miracles and romance. But during the breakup, don’t bring more hurt to your (and their) heart with your actions, before you ruin any chance of a future.

How’s that for closure?

The break up: being a light to others

Lately, it seems as if a lot of people I know are breaking up. Not sure if it’s something in the water or the cosmic alignment of the stars, but several people close to me are hurting, and it sucks. Both men and women are victims, and it tears my heart apart to see my friends go through it.

When you love your friends, you hurt when they hurt. Just a matter of fact. I absolutely hate hearing the tears and the turmoil because (obviously) I have been through heartbreaking moments myself. Actually, a lot of these recent breakups are so familiar to me, that it makes me cringe to know my friends are enduring something I went through myself, whether it’s someone who feels rejected or the person who is doing the rejecting (for lack of better terms), I feel both sides of the situation.

Then, today at church, our pastor, Kim, was talking about how we the people are God’s salt and His light. I’m going to feature a whole post devoted to the salt portion of her sermon, because it really touched my heart. But being God’s light is pertinent to what so many of you may be going through, or know someone is going through.

She insists that light requires focus. We are able to adjust to the dark. It’s so much easier to go into a dark room from the light than open our eyes into bright light from the dark. When we do go into the light, we have to adapt our eyes and re-focus. We add so much more to the picture we are seeing by adjusting our eyes to the light and we reveal things we might have overlooked before when we shift our focus.

By God’s definition, we are the Light, or in other words, the focus. We can help not only ourselves, but help others to see things they have been missing, or more importantly, overlooked, in certain circumstances or situations.

Growing up, I’ve always asked myself particular questions. Not all the time, but especially when I’m hurting. “Why am I going through this alone? Why don’t people seem to reciprocate what I give to them?” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do things just to see what I get in return. But sometimes, I feel I give and I don’t get the same back, whether it be in a relationship or my friendships; I always feel like I do things for others that they aren’t willing or can’t to do for me.

This is a blessing and a curse. I’ve been taken advantage of, however (and more importantly), it has allowed me to bless others. Furthermore, when we feel alone, we aren’t. Plenty of other people go through the same things as you, even if they don’t vocalize it. And sometimes, you go through things alone so you can bless others when they go through it.

Being the light means shining brightly and helping others in their time of need, revealing answers to questions or possibly just offering hope and comfort when they can’t seem to find it. I think this is imperative, especially during a break up. Most of us 20-something women (and men — I didn’t forget about you guys!) go through very troubling, heartbreaking breakups at this time in our lives. And with those breakups come questions: “Is this how it’s always going to be? How do you know when you’re in love? Are you always supposed to love the other person more, until you get married? Why is this happening when things were relatively good in our relationship? Why is God removing this person from my life?”

With these questions, we strive to find answers, none of which will be revealed without lots and lots of time. Time is a friend, so is hope and faith. But, as a friend, we are obligated to be a source of light and comfort to those who are confused, especially when most of us have been through something similar.

And that’s the funny thing. We go through these trails and are like, “WHY me? Why is nobody else experiencing this hurt? Why am I the only one?” We need to confide in one another and ask for help and comfort when we need it. At the same rate, we need to reach out to our brothers and sisters even if they don’t ask for help. They might be going through a dark period and we not even know it, and reaching out could significantly change their mood, their outlook and their hope.

So, for all of you heartbroken souls out there, there will be brighter days, even if you can’t see them yet. And, if I can offer you anything, it’s this. I wrote this to a friend in need and I’ve edited as much as possible to keep their anonymity, but after they told me they forwarded it to a friend, I figured it might help a few of you out there too. Granted, everyone has different circumstances to a break up, but most of the themes are universal: people love you, don’t be blind to what’s really going on, love is not anxiety, and nothing is without a careful purpose.

I think this note is relatable to most everyone, and I hope you’ll fill in the blanks and make it your own, perhaps pass it on  to a friend, or at least send them the link to the site:

Dearest Friend,

Everyone who loves you would agree that you deserve better and you WILL find better! Long story short: we all liked ______, but _____ doesn’t make you. _______ was a component of your life that we enjoyed seeing in public, didn’t have to deal with in private, and is disposable to us. We’re in the long haul with you, not ______!

_______ can’t give you what you need. My only advice is not to dwell on “what ifs” and think about all the good times, but rather reflect on how ______ treated you in the present. I think we tend to think “but they were so great!” and not consider how we’re being treated in the now, which is what really matters. But I think you know in your heart that things were going south and that while you tried to fight the good fight, ______ wasn’t pulling their end of the bargain. It takes two!

You will find all the things you loved in ________ in someone else — with things that _______ didn’t have. Otherwise, _______ will pull themselves together and be the person you need in your life.

At this point, you don’t need to prove anything to them. They need to be the one to prove to you how important you are to them. Their actions will always be louder than words. Don’t dwell and think, “But what if they don’t know that I love them? Or they don’t think I want them to call?” If they want to be with you, they need to and will be the one to take the initiative. They will call. They will do whatever it takes… it’s not up to you to piece it back together.

Talk about it, let out all the sadness and anger, but then stop. If you keep letting it circulate out of your mouth, you’ll keep thinking about it more and more internally, which isn’t helpful to the process of moving on.

I LOVE YOU! You need to let your light shine, as God has given you gifts that he wants you to share with the world. When the timing is right, He’ll place a person in your life who compliments you completely — who is equally yolked. ________’s  great, but I don’t think they’re your equal part of the yolk, either.

As a constant reminder, just remember that God doesn’t take away things on accident. He’s known this was going to happen since you were an embryo. Crazy right? But I always find comfort in that, knowing he has a divine plan and that this is just part of it. If he wanted you to be with ________, it would be easy, correct? It would have been more peaceful in your heart had you two needed to work out (at this time). And maybe God had been whispering in your ear a few times to help you initiate the breakup (the feeling of not being wanted), and then left the lingering feeling in your heart for a reason. Just remember that the person you are supposed to be with makes you feel good, more than wonderful, as if you are the only priority they have… nothing can come between that.

Just remember: if it’s meant to be, it will be, no matter the circumstance. If it’s not, it’s not God’s will. (His will is always the best, remember?)

Anyway, I could keep going but I’m sure your overwhelmed and just need some time to think. So I leave you with these:

“God sometimes removes a person from your life for your protection. Don’t run after them.” Rick Warren

“Do not fear. Look beyond what’s dying to what’s being born.” Marianne Williamson

“When people can walk away from you, let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anyone that left.” TD Jakes

Hope this helps someone. Love you guys, thanks for reading.


Dating vs. Waiting

"Screw you for being so perfect and RUINING MY LIFE!!!"
When it comes to dating, I wouldn’t call myself a Carrie Bradshaw by any means. (And praise baby Jesus.  That hoe rubs me the wrong way. A see-through leotard on the streets of New York? Cheating on Aiden? Really, Carrie? REALLY? Oh cripe. I’m totally turning into that person who is too emotionally invested in syndication television.) But I’ve had my fair share of awkward encounters of the dating kind, and a few top-notch relationships to balance it out. (Not to mention absolutely horrible relationships that ended in complete and utter humiliation, but I won’t go into that load of crap.)

The past couple of days, I’ve had convos with two different people — one man, one woman — both one-on-one, about dating.

Profiles on both: they’re both sane, have a good head on their shoulders, the like. AKA not chemically imbalanced or certifiably off their rocker. I’ve known the girl about eight months now, the boy around a year, but met him for the first time last Wednesday (long story). They’re both considered catches, and both are single.

The boy

We both got to talking about dating in our respective towns. I have to admit that, having met him for the first time, my guard was up and I felt like I was holding back a tad, just because of the first impression factor (I’ll blog about that later). I notice this all the time about myself — if I care about how someone perceives me, I don’t really let me be myself. If I don’t give a rip, I can act how I want and it ends up being more natural. (I think we all do this.) However, he made a great point as I was commenting about the crazies here in LA.

“Dating is easy, but dating a quality person is not.”

Simple but true, right? We all know this. I could argue how hard it is to date in LA, but matter of factly, I could solidify two dates a weekend if I had no standards in my life. Most women could in this town. Most women on planet Earth could.

But the question is this: would you want to?

Would you want to go on dates with someone, knowing well ahead of time they wouldn’t be worth it? If you weren’t attracted to them? If they had something missing — and you knew it right off the bat?

“How do you know they’re not worth it if you haven’t been out with them?”

Well, we all have a list of “things” that make someone attractive to us. For me, nice teeth and height are a major factor. I know you’re not supposed to judge a person on looks, but it’s an undeniable fact that I’m attracted to men who are really tall. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, because having physical attraction is a substantial part of dating and a relationships. It’s the other 50% to the 50% of chemistry. You either have it or you don’t. And you can bet I’m not kissing someone with foul teeth. Sorry, but I know a majority of people wouldn’t either. Hit up the dentist for a cleaning, throw som veneers on that shiz if they’re wonky, and call it a day. To clarify, I’m not saying “YOU MUST HAVE STRAIGHT TEETH!” I don’t even have (perfectly) straight teeth. I’m just asking for a little oral hygeine, por favor.

Back to the point. I find that women these days go on dates with several men, but nothing fruitful is coming of any of the dates. They’re just that: one date on a calendar of 365. A nice meal with some conversation (good or bad), and then it’s back to the grind the next day to find someone else. Perhaps these dates are just to find some much-needed self confidence. Maybe they’re just for the intimacy factor. Who knows. But are they worth it?

Most first dates can be categorized as: a complete snoozefest, awkward, creepy… even infuriating. But there has to be some allure to being a Social Datalite, right? Right??

"Maybe if I close my eyes... he'll think I'm dead..."

The Girl

I discussed this topic with my girlfriend at work. She confided that many of her friends were dating and dating and dating, but that they weren’t dating quality people. The girls would pick up and head out the moment the date was over, with no desire to see the person again. Free meal and they’re done. (Which frankly, in LA, is cost-effective.)

“When I date someone, I’m not looking for a good time. I mean, I am, but I’m not just looking for a fling. I’m looking for someone who might have attributes that would lead to a future.”

Ah, the missing ingredient. This is why dating is difficult for a person such as myself, and, as I presume, a majority of other woman as well. We all know what we want, and most of us want something significant and worthwhile, otherwise it’s a waste of time. Why date a nice guy who is missing several attributes you need in a relationship, knowing these missing things are dealbreakers, when you could find someone else who has all those things if you waited a little longer?

At the same rate, why not fill up the time you have in between seeking out a real catch, with someone you enjoy being around… just not necessarily is Mr. Right? Mr. Right Now can’t be that bad, can he? Oh life. Such questions we are posed with.

When it comes down to it, I’m really too picky. I need the stars to align and a real connection to get me out of my gym-work-dinner-write-bed routine. Yes. I have turned down social outings and dates to get my fitness on and blog. (Pathetic? Whatever. I have plenty of other attributes I should be considerably more ashamed of.) Even when things are new and fresh and slightly awkward (first dates can be the worst), I need comfort, and to see the big picture… at some point.

My big dating story is circa 2005. I dated a guy at the end of high school. Scratch that: I dated three. It was pretty liberating, not gonna lie. I enjoyed being with all three of them, but here’s how it all went down:

Number 1 was an ex that was consisently on and off. Number 2 was a guy I met a a bonfire once and then chatted up on AIM (God help me) until he got home for the summer. Number 3 was a friend, who I had actually dated in middle school for like… two months.

Number 1 was an a-hole, and the only reason he actually gave a crap about what I was doing at that point was because he realized that I actually didn’t give a crap about him at that time. I went from pitiful, heartbroken ex-girlfriend to insanely attractive ex-girlfriend merely because I didn’t reach out to him at all. Then, miraculously, it’s all coming up roses and candy bars, with him planning extravagant vacation plans to boot. Please note that it was one of those situations where we weren’t together, so we don’t give me the “cheaters” chat.

Number 2 was a total babe and actually terribly mean at times, before we started dating. I must admit that after our initial date, which we went on with two mutal friends, I pretty much washed my hands clean of him. But then he convinced me to try again with a one-on-one, and let’s just say I was smitten (this sounds too much like an episode of The Bachelorette). The kid wore a pink polo to pick me up because I had told him in passing I thought it was cute, brought me a rose, the whole nine yards — it was just fantastic. And it was totally that Notebook-esque romance, where we had such strong feelings but also fought to death because we were so stubborn.

Number 3. Hilarious, so much fun to be around, friends with all my friends… it was hard not to have these amazing feelings for the guy. However, when there isn’t a spark, there isn’t a spark. In the end, he turned out to be just a friend. It was sad. But he is still one of my dearest friends. (Keegs!!!!)

The point of divulging my player-esque mentality back in high school is that I didn’t have the comfort level with Number 1 & Number 3 as I did with Number 2. And at times, I thought we had the “big picture” component (ah, high school blind love), but we obviously didn’t. Obviously. Because I’m more solo than a red plastic cup right now, and have since dated people who I thought had the “big picture” component as well. (Another keyword: thought. When you know, you know, apparently…)

So why date a bunch of measely people in the mean time? I can’t hop on board with the dating game. I’ve accepted one date in Los Angeles and it was less than fulfilling, to say the least. I guess dating has its pros: finding out what you do and don’t want, feeling wanted, meeting new people. But the cons, including awkward conversation and forced laughter, are enough to make me cold and unbothered to go out again.

Plus, isn’t it so much more special when you go on a date with someone you truly start to like and care for? Simliar to long-distance, you appreciate the really relaxed, romantic, “easy” (not read: “loose”, but perfect, rather) dates when you have them every once in awhile, instead of running yourself through the power-dating mill and possibly subjecting yourself to sitting in a car in silence — or worse, having to figure out how to dodge the unwanted kiss at the end of the night. (I’m a genius at this if you need tips.)

But don’t take it from me. I want to know: should we all be dating or waiting? Why? Prove your case. Heck, maybe eHarmony is calling my name? (Doubtful.)

Just for kicks, I had never seen this pic of Carrie & Big — they both look phenomenal, compared to their normal haggardness. (PSA not to smoke!)