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Is it over? The Social Network edition

I think one of the hardest things when you’re breaking up with someone is answering this question:

“When is it really over?”

The fat lady has essentially sung her final verse and you and your significant other have decided to call it quits. For most people in extended relationships, it goes something like this:

End relationship.

Still talk.

Still text.

Still phone.

Still say ‘I love you.’

Still miss them.

Still think about them 24/7.

Still wonder what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with.

Still worry if they’re okay.

Still vomit at the thought of them with someone else.

And during this phase you’re probably still following them on Twitter and remain their Facebook friend. You know, to keep tabs. To see what girls (or boys — guys, I know you read) are writing on their wall and following them. Social media has made it possible to still know every little detail of your ex without actually ever having to speak to them ever again.

I remember my last break up, and in the moments of where I felt my heart was completely shattered, I remember saying something like this: “I will never see you ever again.” And the sad part is I didn’t say that out of spite or that I wouldn’t want to see him again (I did. Trust.), but it was the truth. To this day, I haven’t seen him since the day we broke up. But I still knew what he was up to thanks to the internet.

Not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but I know some of you people are going through exactly what I went through, and for lack of better words? It sucks. I know you all are going through this because I’ve had several texts, phone calls and emails over the last few months from people who never thought they would be in this position, asking me for advice and help. I am transparent it seems, and when my heart was broken, you all were well aware.

As much as I love to help, I know I can’t. You have to live through the questions and find the answers, even when it hurts like hell. The thing worse than going through heartache? Watching your friends go through it. It’s like reliving the entire situation.

So, back to social media. You’re watching their friends talk about how they’re doing and what they’re doing and somehow you know exactly where this person is without even asking. It’s kind of nice in that you won’t run into them accidentally and feel your heart fall into your butt. Or, if you’re super cray, you’ll “accidentally” run into them at the pub so you can hash out the whole drama in public. Am I right? I’ve seen too many women and men do it before (I’ve been to afraid to do something bold like that).

When is it over? When do you know you are ready to move on and forget the past? For some of you, just reading that sentence makes you want to throw up your lunch. “Forget the past? I love this person! I want to make it work! I want to have hope!” Listen, I’m not against the falling back in love and making it work part. However, I know that if you’re just going through a breakup, there are too many wounds to heal to resusitate the relationship immediately. It will take time. Take growth. Take forgiveness. Take trust. All of those things combined can end up in a happy, healthy, relationship with a person you used to be in one with.

But I’m not talking reconciliation. I’m talking about the part where you want to move forward and not be hurt anymore. When does that happen? How do you know?

Some simple thoughts:

  • That song you heard that made you bust into tears when initially breaking up? You can listen to it. The whole way through. No tears.
  • You can unfriend and defollow them. Not out of spite, but because you know it’s not healthy to keep staring at their page and analyzing their tweets.
  • You don’t worry about doing said things (above) and that the person will love you less because you did so.
  • You’re content with the thought that they have moved on. If they’re happy, you are. Even if they cheated, you still find that the situation was supposed to happen.
  • You’re not dating just to say that you’ve found someone new. You’re dating to legitimately find and enjoy another person. You’re open to the possibility of a new relationship. This one is the kicker!
  • You don’t worry about them… as much. You know they’re fine without you.
  • You don’t feel compelled to reach out and contact them, just to keep communication alive — just in case a reconcilation is coming up.
  • You don’t get upset with what went wrong. You can fondly remember the good, funny and sentimental times.

There are a myriad of others, but I’ll spare you for now. The most difficult part of breaking up? Shutting the other person out. It’s nearly impossible to maintain a friendship immediately after breaking up, as much as you’d like to. It’s like on How I Met Your Mother. Barney dated Robin; they broke up. Barney then talks about all his latest conquests in front of Robin; she ends up crying in a hallway somewhere. She ends up meeting someone, starts to like him, but with her ex-boyfriend as a part of her group of friends, she decides to essentially “quit” the group for awhile until she can fully function in another relationship without Barney interfering.

And that’s what will keep happening when you’re intertwined, online, with this person you used to care about. You’re broken up because you don’t want to be with the person. Simple as that. (Or they don’t want to be with you. Sorry.) Otherwise, you’d still be with them, they’d still be with you. Easy. Stop dragging around and letting the communicating flow like wine. It’s not helping them, not you — no one.

So like a band aid, rip it off. Unfriend. Unfollow. Move on. And maybe one day, you two will be able to meet back up on The Social Network… and possibly in real life.

Then again? Maybe not.

Know what you don’t want

What’s a blog when you’re only commenting about other people’s lives? Just a tad too gossip-y for my taste. So why not venture into my life.

I was hesitant, but my friends were encouraging: “Why aren’t you writing about this stuff? It’s fun!” And I’ll tell you why: because I’m not trying to be the Taylor Swift of blogging. I’m just not. What? I start off writing about dating in Los Angeles and next I’m busy losing my virginity to John Mayer and acting as the Air Force Beard to various gay men? I don’t think so. But I guess what sets me apart is unlike Taylor Swift, I’m not naming names.

"Plotting my next tell-all sing-a-long..."

Yet. Except doesn’t Taylor Swift (usually) not name names and just insinuates everything so people can piece everything together on their own? Maybe I need to buy a guitar and go to town…

Here goes nothing.

I’m approaching the tender age of 25 and I’m single. Have been for over a year now and I’m officially back in swing of singledom. At this phase in my life, dating is great. I don’t need a guy to call me every day, but if I like him, that’s awesome. I don’t even need a date more than once week, however it is nice go on them if you enjoy the person.

I remember this stage quite fondly. It’s been awhile. Back in 2007-2008, I was living. it. up. with all my best girlfriends and no man in sight, except maybe the occasional mixer date, but even those were few and far between because we’d all rather go as girls than with someone we’d have to coddle (and cuddle?) all night long. And if we did have a date… it was fun, but there were no emotional ties. No worries, no jealously, no nothing.

So now, as I’m starting to date around, I find myself at battle: go on dates with people I’m not attracted to? Or stick to my guns and wait? As my coworker Marina and I were chatting so eloquently today:

“I’m just waiting on Clay Matthews.”

“And I’m just waiting for Jesus to send a good man to LA…”

Luckily, I stuck to my guns and did not divvy out my dating cards to anyone and everyone. Plus, I wasn’t ready to date until just recently. I’ve held off until the stars aligned and it felt ‘right’ (or whatever you want to call it). It was slim pickings for awhile, my friends. I think an important thing that differs from other periods of singlehood in my life is that I distinctly know what I’m not looking for. I might not be able to pinpoint everything I want, but I sure as hell know what I can do without..

This brings me to some shenanery that’s been going on at the office. I’m going to call this guy out. I am fairly sure he’ll read this. Is that awkward? No. He can take it. Any guy can take it. It’s a matter of how you handle it. But also, I’m not terrified of this person, and think he’ll take this with a decent amount of pride, so I’m not too worried about it.

Note: I did not date this man.

Let me start by saying that some of the stuff I’m about to say is all “alleged.” Meaning it’s all their words against his, “they” being the ladies I’m about to mention. The only reason I really know this guy is because he is notorious around the office for hooking up with various women, all of whom I have contact with and/or work with closely. Kind of weird. He claims this is all hearsay, or pulls a, “Well, now that I think about it, did we make out?” to try to keep himself honest. Frankly I don’t buy it and don’t feel like women would just make up random makeouts out of the blue; most women tend to hide makeouts, not make them up out of thin air (unless they’re crazy).

Said guy is not my type. He’s already aware of this. Nice guy, I’m sure he’s a blast to be around, but no, it’s not going to happen. I can openly admit that I do not give men the time of day unless I am seriously interested. I think that’s the best way to be, and I wish more people were like this. Don’t misconstrue my words though — seriously interested doesn’t equate to serious relationship.

For fun he likes to tell me that he’s not interested or whatever (because as you can tell this man plays endless mind games) but the fact is that he was spending a hefty amount of time at my desk, people were noticing, and I wasn’t having it. I politely (sternly?) told him he can’t come up to visit me. End of story.

The ongoing joke (or should I say “a horse that’s been bludgeoned to death”) he always pulls when he walks by is something along the lines of, “Hey, has so-and-so come by?” So-and-so being the chick he “hooked up with.” I only put it in quotes for his sake, just to give him the benefit of the doubt. But really, that sentence should be read without quotes, because I have no doubt he’s hooked up them. He also has nicknamed me “Godzilla.” Yes, he knows how to work the ladies. But he calls me that (apparently) because I am a terror and like to make his life miserable. I do admit I’m a little mischevious, guilty as charged…

The other day I had to send out an office email and he writes back. I would literally just screenshot it, but I’m not about to get into privacy issues, so here’s how it went down. I’m not a complete terror!

Me: {Redacted initial email to office}

——————————————

Him: hey, Did (redacted) come through there recently? 😉

——————————————

That’s not overplayed or anything…

——————————————

you love it!

But seriously.

Did she? 😉

Let’s go to lunch

——————————————

1) No

2) No

3) No

——————————————

LOL Kirbie “Godzilla” Johnson you crack my sh*t up!

——————————————

End scene. Listen, I’m not trying to make this at his expense — who knows what he’s going through — but he needs to learn. Dude, you’re acting like a skeezy salesman. Please pull yourself together. Have some dignity. Stop dating inside the office. Learn some new flirting techniques, find a new herd of women and try them out. It could go swimmingly if you play your cards right, but I don’t see how any woman in the office is to take you seriously, unless she’s an intern… and let’s be honest, you’ve had your fair share of those.

Anyway, I hope I’m not being too harsh. I like to dole out tough love more often than not. But in the dating world, I suppose it’s important to call things out like you see ’em, eh?

Womentervention: The Quarter Life Crisis

DISCLAIMER:  This post is not meant to imply that every woman is chomping at the bit to get married, or that it’s all we think about.  Let me assure you, it isn’t.  But serious times call for serious measures, especially when you’re in a serious relationship.

There’s a theme I’ve noticed the past two years. I’ll be discussing life, love and the tribulations of dating with a girlfriend when she’ll mention a most-recent breakup she’s heard of or gone through.

Now, every situation is unique, but the common theme of these breakups?

The male’s quarter life crisis.

It goes something like this: Said male, approximately in his mid-twenties, and assumedly in the “almost ready to graduate” mode of his life, has a royal freak out. He pushes any and everything away from him in order to “be selfish” (I quote this because this has been a prominment one in many stories I’ve heard) and figure out his life.

I shouldn’t relegate this crisis to just those graduating at the tender age of 22 or 23. The most confusing and upsetting part of the quarter life crisis is I’m not sure when this period actually ends. I wish I could give you a definitive age range, but right now it spawns from 22-27 and the end is still TBD.  But this age makes sense because most of them are still in ‘frat boy- me me me- love the one you find at the bar tonight’ mode.

This freak out is inevitable. IT WILL HAPPEN. Trust me. But depending on the man, it will end up in one of two ways, based on the scenario. Let’s play a game.

Dating two years (approximately):

Dating map

Just started dating:

As you can see, the main factor in the “impending doom” result in all of this is if the man knows what he wants. If he knows what he’s doing with his life, and more importantly, knows who he is as a person, the relationship can survive (this is why you see most {not all} men who are ready to settle down have an established career and are financially independent — and they’ve been through a relationship or two).

Another important factor is if he wants to marry you: if you’ve been dating two years and the “m” word hasn’t been discussed; if you have no idea if you’re the woman he wants to get down on bended knee for in the future, it’s not looking good for you.  Sorry to start a riot, but it’s true. Because let’s be honest here: two years is a long ass time to not know those things. It should be enough time to figure out if you’re a person he can’t live with or can’t live without. So I’d just be prepared if you haven’t dicussed this yet. You don’t want to turn into that girl who dates someone for eight years and the guy ends up finding someone else who is “the one,” or the girl he’s dating for that long and figures it was the next step, although he isn’t too jazzed about the idea.

Don’t believe me? Why would you date someone more than two years if you haven’t discussed the prospect of getting married? Are you dating them for shits and giggles? Seriously, in all due respect, if you’re dating someone that long and commitment hasn’t been brought up, I’d venture to say that the guy doesn’t want to get married, but he enjoys the comfort of having a girlfriend for the intimacy and companionship.  Because no matter what any guy says, he’ll marry the person if she’s the right one (and he’ll at least make that clear if he doesn’t have the means to propose anytime soon). {NOTE: Kate Middleton knew Prince William for nine years and dated seriously for FIVE.  They took a hiatus in 2007 and are now married!  But I’d venture to say their hiatus was a real break-up and they did it right, none of this ‘break’ crapola, which made a reconciliation much easier.   Point being these blogs are not meant to be taken as scripture… don’t get your panties in a wad!}

Basically, you need one of those two: he needs to have career stability or he needs to passionate about being with you.  If he has career stability, there’s nothing holding him back from commitment, unless he has those dreaded ‘commitment issues’ or he’s just not that into you.  So beware of that.  But the one you should really beware of is if he doesn’t want to marry you.  If you don’t want to get married, perfect, but if you are dating a guy who has made it clear he doesn’t want to get married… it might really be that he doesn’t want to marry you.  I hate using this as an example, but remember Big?  Spent years with Carrie, left her for his ‘job’ — which we all know was an excuse to get out of the relationship — then married Natasha.  Screw the fact Carrie and Big end up married in the movie… I am convinced the third installment has them in a nasty divorce.  He left her at the altar!  And she’s always griping at him about watching TV in bed.  I’ll say it: Carrie settled.  She settled for a dude who she made out to be some mythical hero (and villain) in her books, and married him because she vastly approaching 50 in the city.  I digress, as per usual…

So what is this quarter life crisis all about?

I didn’t understand this because I thought it was completely selfish and terrible.  However, while it might be both, I get where guys get the anxiety.  Men are the born providers.  Most of them grow up with the mentality that they will marry and provide, shelter and protect their families.  When they have to stop hitting the beer bong and start acquiring a paycheck, things get scary.  They want to be able to be montetarily independent while doing something they love, yet most of them have no idea what they’re doing after college.  They just fall into a job that they can get and see where it takes them.  So when they meet a girl that they really start to fall for, it causes anxieties like, “if I want to marry her, where will I get the money to buy a ring?  What am I going to do to keep my job stability (but exercise my creativity)?  I want to feel important in my job.”  Blah blah blah.

This is a hard thing for women to digest because throughout any trial, tribulation, whatever, if they truly want to be with a guy, it’s not going to matter what they’re going through.  They want the companionship and love and support from that person.  But for whatever reason, some guys work the opposite way.

I say ‘some guys’ because there are guys that ask these questions, but at the same time maintain their relationship.  The difference is that those guys know that the girl they’re with is “the one.”  They’d rather drop dead than give her up.  I know this is going to ruffle some feathers, because it’s a tough pill to swallow.  But any guy who’s sold on the relationship doesn’t need to break up to figure that out.  Or maybe they do.  But most cases (i.e. the stories I’ve been told straight from the man’s mouth) are that if a guy needs space, all his eggs are not in your basket.  Doesn’t mean they can’t be at one point, but just know he’s not sold yet.

Silver lining:  I’m not saying that people can’t come back around.  But this whole ‘break’ business is so ridiculous.  Like, what is a break?  Are you monogamous but not talking?  Are you allowed to makeout with people but nothing more?  Because I know that if and when I find the one, he’d throw a few punches if he ever saw me locking lips with a dude that wasn’t him.

I’ve heard fabulous stories about couples breaking up and getting back together and being each other’s soul mates.  And I want that for everyone.  If the timing isn’t right then, I hope at one point the time will be right.  But don’t be stupid about it.  Don’t let someone walk all over you if they have made it clear you’re not their leading lady.  You’re worth more than that, girlfriend.

While I always say that these instances are the exceptions, not the rules, I have to state that I do believe if you’ve hit the two year mark and the prospect of marriage is dismal, you’re probably not meant to be with him.  But what you really should be doing is not taking my advice and living your life according to your own gut and best instincts, because your intuition is going to take you on the right path.  A womentervention will only be an easy way to pass time at the office.

So, guys, what do you have to say?  What do you disagree or agree  with?  Ladies, do you believe this to be true?