his & hers

Stephanie West, love expert

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It was not an awesome week, man-wise.

My ex-boyfriend called me to see if we could possibly meet up for coffee. We broke up 7 months ago and when I moved out, I had forgotten some things. He wanted to return them. I thought, “This is nice. We can catch up, enough time has passed that we can be friendly with each other.” And besides that, I miss him. Not in the pining-away-for-my-lost-love kind of way, I just miss having him in my life. We loved each other intensely and had a ton of good times.  We had even talked about marriage and children in the future. But we each had a couple of  “sticking points,” if you will. And, for whatever reason, neither of us was able to give up our ground and meet each other in the middle. That didn’t erase the love, but it did make for an impossible relationship. So we broke up.  It happens.

As soon as I saw his face when he walked in the coffee shop, I knew this wasn’t going to be just a “How have you been? Here’s your mail” kind of chat. He had news and I wasn’t going to like it. My first thought was, “Oh God. He’s getting married.” I knew he had been dating someone but I didn’t think it was that serious. But it was even more serious than that. He is going to be a father. I felt an initial sense of relief, which I likened to what many men have experienced after hearing the words, “I’m pregnant, but don’t worry, it’s not yours.” But then I felt sad. A hollow hurt accompanied by the taunting thought, “He is moving on with his life and you’re not.”  It was surreal. We were supposed to be sharing this together, this wasn’t how it was supposed to work out. Ouch.

Yesterday I got some more excellent news from the dating front. I have a friend, a guy, and for the last several months we’ve been spending a lot of time together. He calls me once or twice a week and we watch TV and have dinner. Stuff like that. Last weekend he asked me to go shopping with him to pick out some clothes. For me, it has been a sweet and gentle development of a relationship and I was under the impression that we were taking the time to get to know each other as friends before taking it to the next level. I was proud of myself for that. I usually jump in with both feet and then have to deal with the unpleasant business of extracting myself when I realize a month or two down the line that I don’t want to spend any more time with this person, ever again.

Apparently my friend was under the impression that it was totally fine to be snuggling on the couch with me one night and taking someone else out on a date the next night. I had wondered why, after talking almost every day, he would go completely incommunicado all of a sudden and I wouldn’t hear from him again for a day or two. He didn’t want me to know he was going on dates with someone else. It all makes sense now. Yesterday he did finally tell me that he was dating other people, but he did that only after our mutual friends got wind of the situation and told him he had to tell me what was going on.

So, I feel like a sucker. I guess I have been helping him shop for clothes so he can look nice to take other girls out on dates. Not cool. It’s not so much that I care if we date or not — there are plenty of fish in the sea — but he was sneaky about it. I thought we were friends, but I don’t trust him anymore.  And, of course, it activates that misguided and whiny voice in my head that asks, “Am I so unattractive? Why doesn’t he want to date me?” Ouch again.

To use a stupid sports analogy, I took a couple on the chin this week. But don’t feel bad for me, because there was no knock-out punch! I think maybe I’m getting dealt back some of the relationship karma I created in my careless younger days. Shamefully, I’ve been known to treat people’s feelings with disregard in the interest of getting what I wanted in the dating arena. I’ve certainly been guilty of moving on from a break-up and starting a new romance with someone else, while my most recent victim was left still dealing with a broken heart.

So maybe I’ve earned a few knocks. I can handle it. Maybe this really is the way it is supposed to be. I think I have at least average intelligence and looks, so I don’t think either of these guys were my last shot. I’m sure I’m not doomed to a life of spinsterhood just yet. I’m a divorced lady with a kid. Who doesn’t want to sign up for that? Ha!

The truth is, I’m happy for my ex-boyfriend. He always wanted to be a father and I know he’ll be a good one. I wish only beautiful things for him and his new family. The other one, he’s just a young guy. That’s what they do. He doesn’t mean to be such an idiot (bless his heart).

And I like being unattached at the moment. I don’t have to get annoyed with anyone about their snoring or their inability to put dirty clothes in the laundry basket. I’m happy with my life. I’m even okay with the not-so-great stuff. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I know that sometimes things happen and it seems awful, but then it turns out to be a great gift.

So, I’d like to thank the universe for the gifts. But if it is okay, I’d also like to respectfully request that I not receive any more gifts of this kind in the next week or so, if that could be arranged. Thanks.

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4 Responses to “Stephanie West, love expert”

  1. You aren’t being “dealt back some of the [bad] relationship karma” you created. These just weren’t the right guys for you. Maybe someone will come along in a year — or maybe in 10 years… in the meantime, enjoy your life and what it has to offer. Oh — and screw them for not being smart enough to want to be with you!

    That last part was meant to make you feel a little better (hope it worked).

  2. Ok ok… I know it appears that some young guys are idiots when it comes to relationships… but some of us are actually more mature than our “older” counterparts and some of us, (gasp!), actually want a long term relationship!

  3. keep your chin up…I think you are one heck of a catch:)

  4. Sometimes things are as they are Steph. Honesty can be tough to practice, but once people begin to practice it, life gets much more simple. You know that from your own experience… The young guy needs to learn how to be honest, the ex-bf seems pretty okay, and you are one centered woman who has her priorities correct. Some of us notice that stuff and think you’re awesome (yes I’ve read all your posts through the New Years post). Congratulations on who you are and who you’re becoming. I’m so glad I know you.

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