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An undeserving guy who is not treating you well but is still on your mind. You’re likely tempted to contact him in an effort to get closure or “fix things”.
You know that moment – that nice guy, who’s very nice, nicely asks you out on a nice date and you say yes because you want to be… nice. He’s so nice he probably just wants to take you out for a nice cage-free dinner and talk about some nice literature and have zero expectations from there because nice guys don’t have expectations – that’s why they’re the nice guys. So you go on your nice date, and he opens doors for you and that’s nice, and he pays for you and that’s nice, and he tries to kiss you and you’re like EXCUSE ME GOOD SIR. Because nice can only take you so far. And you want to rewind the clock to when the nice guy asked you out so nicely and say, “That’s very nice… but no thank you.”
We have such a hard time saying the second part of that sentence. Letting someone down easy is still letting someone down, and the people-pleaser in all of us tends to buckle under that pressure.
Now that I’m in a relationship, I thought this “nice guy dilemma” was a thing of the past. But I should’ve known better, because science taught me that at a very basic level, things are neither created nor destroyed. And so, of course, this dilemma never disappeared. It merely transmogrified and then lay in wait… until it resurfaced, undetectable, when a friend invited me to join her book club.
BOOK CLUBS, Y’ALL. THE NICE GUYS OF NON-SINGLE LIFE.
I found his sock.
That was what did it. That stupid, little piece of beige fabric was my undoing. Months of holding myself together gone to waste. Maybe I’m just too sentimental. But that damn sock hit me like a punch to the stomach.
I was freshly graduated from college, and packing up my life for the past three years, and as much as I wanted to deny his role in it, he crept in. I was onto a bigger, better life in New York, already seeing college in my rearview mirror. But one rainy day, I found myself sitting on the floor of my walk in closet, surrounded by clothes and shoes strewn about, crying…clutching a dirty sock. How pathetic.
I hadn’t spoken to him in about six months, blocking and deleting him from all social media accounts to protect myself from desperate cyber stalking. For all intents and purposes, I had effectively erased him from my life. But somehow he still reared his head into what should’ve otherwise been an exciting moment in my life.
It’s hard – actually impossible – not to look back when you’re getting ready to leave everything you’ve ever known behind. It’s even harder when it’s staring you right in the face. But eventually you have to make the decision to either get stuck in suspended animation, or go on. So I did.
I was at a concert last night — a low key performance in a stranger’s backyard — when my peripheral vision caught a boy in a beanie. My heart stopped for an instant. Was it THAT boy? The one boy who once took up all the space in my brain, but has remained a literal after thought since he told me he couldn’t see me anymore because his girlfriend was on to him.
Scenarios ran through my head like splitting hairs, detailing the different ways our encounter would play out. As the band of cute boys from Vegas played their stripped down set, I imagined what I would say if I took the high road, the low road, or maybe even no road at all. Did I need more lipstick or a new stick of gum? Who would be the bigger person and nonchalantly say hello? Would we just ignore the elephant of our aged affair?
And then, I looked again, and I realized it wasn’t him. I felt a little crestfallen, disappointed that I wouldn’t have the chance to let my cool breezy attitude make him feel remorse for the way he had treated me seven years ago. Because, of course, that’s exactly what would happen; I’m sure of it.
I hadn’t thought about this person, who’d made me feel a little less than when I was twenty-two years old, in so long, but suddenly this phantom sighting erupted dormant resentment.
I kept shooting side glances at this, albeit better looking, impostor, squinting my shitty vision just to make sure it wasn’t him. And, just to be mean to my own brain, for a few masochistic moments, I pretended it was him for no other reason than to childishly poke a weird little immature beast inside me.
Iʼll admit Iʼm a little late to this game, but Iʼm still going to play.
In the last few weeks, issues that women have been dealing with for centuries have become a huge topic on the internet. It started with an episode of Louis CKʼs show, Louie, titled “So Did The Fat Lady.” In the episode Louie is pursued by a woman, Vanessa, who is confident, smart and cool, and also fat. Later, the shooting in Santa Barbara started the hashtag, #YesAllWomen, which has given woman a platform to share their stories about inequality, harassment and assault. It’s become clear; we all have a story.
For women, everything about us is a topic of discussion. If you wear a dress, you are open to any and all comments from the opposite sex. If you wear makeup one day and not the next you get asked, “Are you okay?” If you gain weight, itʼs an entire discussion, an intervention even. As my friend Sarah explained it to her boyfriend, “How would you like it if people talked about your hair loss…ALL OF THE TIME?”
These topics have made me so proud that they woke up the eighth grade feminist in me. Talking about these issues is touchy, to say the least. They are raw and honest. However, no matter how taboo these topics are, they are important; we need to tell our stories.
I have always struggled with my weight. It was something that was not tip-toed around when I was a child. My parents would sit me down to discuss my weight, and kids would make fun of me because of it. Good times had by all. But, a chubby kid grew into a chubby adult and, here I am, single and the best friend youʼll ever have, but never fall in love with. I am not the girl who gets set up on dates. I am the girl who gets over looked on Match.com. I am the best friend to all of the beautiful girls and the chubby, funny sidekick to all of my guy friends.
The worst thing about breakups is when they never happen. When you get dumped, when a guy or girl breaks up with you, then you can watch Almie’s video and take her sage advice, and you will suffer and grieve, but you will survive. But what about the non-breakup? The disappearance? The ghosting? The slow, inexorable self-removal of a person from your life, via unreturned text, via sudden, unexplained, constant busy-ness, via silence.
You think you want closure. Or you think it’s “just a phase” and that s/he really is that busy right now. Or you make a list of all the things you did wrong, all the signs you should have seen, all the ways in which you let yourself get too invested. Too vulnerable. Too needy. Too independent. Too Much Too Soon, or Too Little Too Late. You blame, blame, blame, him, her, or yourself. You dwell and obsess and it all spirals down into anger, hurt and sense of helplessness or is it hopelessness? No. The sadistic thing about the non-breakup, the slow fade, the disappearance is that there remains a tantalizing sense of hope. You guys had something! It was real! Technically speaking…it hasn’t even ended! Maybe he/she really is just that busy right now!
And so it goes, but that is not the worst part.
If I was going to be a boy, I would have been named Scott, a name I much prefer to my own. Scott. Scottie. Scooter. What a cool name!
Unfortunately for my perfect name, according to WhitePages.com, who recently released the top male names in the US most associated with cheating on their partners, Scott it the most popular name associated with a low-down-dirty-cheater. AND, there are almost 2 million potentially cheating Scotts running around the U.S. today. This is almost scarier than a zombie apocalypse.
Ok, ok…maybe I’m glad I didn’t end up a cheater. As a Heather I have never cheated on a partner, nor have I been cheated on, to my blissful ignorance.
But, what’s in a name? How did all these names become tied to a Carrie Underwood song? Is it because they are popular names in general? Scott, Mark, Matthew, Ryan — OK, Ryan definitely sounds suspect — are all popular names for men. Perhaps it’s safe to assume based on volume alone, the chances that there will be some cheaters in the mix is greater. After all, a lot of the names listed were on the top 100 list of baby names for 2013. There’s a pretty slim chance that the name Percival would end up on the cheater list, because no one has named their son Percival since 1887.
Or, maybe having a certain name elicits different behavior. Would a Roxanne act differently than a Sarah, even if they grew up exactly the same? Possibly.
But, I think we can all agree that the name Craig is objectively creepy and definitely suspicious, and that’s not just because I had one show up at my door last year on his birthday with another girl.
Here’s the whole list from WhitePages.com:
The Unlucky 13: Top Names Most Associated with Cheating
My name is Rebecca and I am a crushaholic.
Iʼm addicted to having crushes on boys. Addicted to that feeling that you get when you meet someone who could be the one. I have had a crush on almost every male that I have ever met, even if only for a hour. In that hour, I picture us: holding hands, kissing, laughing, meeting my family, our wedding and, in some cases, our eventual demise. I canʼt help it. Itʼs given me a lot of heartache. A LOT of fucking heartache and, even when I think Iʼve learned my lesson, another cute boy walks into my life and my heart opens and I canʼt stop. Itʼs painful for me. God knows itʼs painful for my friends who have to hear me go on endlessly, analyzing every conversation, every joke, every text, every Facebook like, because as a professor once creepily whispered in class, “everything means something.”
I canʼt give up having crushes because that would mean that I am going to die alone. While that is probably true, Iʼm not quite ready to admit that defeat yet. The thing is, I can remember them all. Each boy, man, fella and sloppy drunk. I loved them all. I really did. But like all addictions, nothing quite compares with your first.
1) Get deep into a dramatic TV series on DVD.
I’m talking The Wire, Dexter, Homicide etc. You need to have intense characters to bond with and twisting plots to gasp at. Pick something withthree seasons or longer depending on how lonely you are.
They are time consuming and you look smart doing them at Starbucks. Extra points if you subscribe to a newspaper to get your crosswords since this gives you a little something to look forward to every morning.
Unfortunately, my ending doesn’t really coincide with the Hollywood Hudson-McConaughey ending that we got to watch unfold on the silver screen. Mine actually resulted in what mostly happens in too-soon relationships: I got dumped.
Friends, listen up. I am not afraid to say that I was dumped. And the worst part was? I wasn’t even in my homeland! Talk about culture shock. I blame it all on chick flicks. Stupid Leap Year. Stupid P.S. I Love You.
Stupid every movie, book and television show that taught me that dating a guy with an Irish accent would be cool, romantic, story-book-esque and awesome.
Nick had a pinky ring. That was probably the 7th of too many warning signs. But he had a pinky ring and he liked it and he would clink it against his glass and I hated it. I don’t think it was until tonight that I realized Nick actually liked his pinky ring. He wore it proudly, no hipster irony. Just some dickhead who sincerely thought he looked cool. Which would be cute. If he wasn’t a dickhead and if it wasn’t a pinky ring.
Nick and I had been hanging out for about 2 months. We dabbled in dating, had really bad sex once and sort of okay sex again then he went to Mexico for a week and then I went to Vegas and then I got sick and then tonight he invited me out for what would be our first hang in 3 weeks.
I’ve already fast-forwarded to the part where you find out he has a pinky ring, so saying anything to bolster his case is pointless now. But I will say Nick’s good. He’s not a bully. He doesn’t know how to dress himself and he took me on dates. He made me tea and complimented my bra and took me to a weird wrestling match once that would’ve been awful had I not found him terribly cute. But he’s also a dumb idiot who doesn’t understand people things.
Break ups are tough, especially around Valentine’s Day. Ex-stalking is probably reaching an all time high this week, and many are left feeling defeated. But wait! Even if you lost the relationship, you can STILL win the break up. Thank god there’s a new service to help with that….
I consider myself an honest person. Open to all perspectives and frames of mind. Rarely am I shocked, offended, or bothered by the opinions of others. Opinions help you to gain knowledge and perspective and insight into things and people and that’s a good thing.
I received an opinion this weekend from a man that was quite different from what I’m used to hearing. He told me “Darling, I love who you are; I love everything you stand for and I wish you the best, but I think you just might be one size too big for me.”
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