What do you usually do after a break up? Often, I sit around and feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I eat ice cream, ready trashy novels and watch lots of tv. Sometimes I stay in and do nothing. (I did get into work shamefully late on Tuesday due to a combo of jet lag and post-break up trauma. Today, I was only half an hour late.)
But that's because after a break up I'm usually mad at myself for being stupid enough to get involved with the guy in the first place. For example, the last guy I broke up with, Tim, was separated-but-not-divorced. I never should have dated him. It was pretty easy to beat myself up over that bad decision and I tried to rush right back into dating. However, my heart wasn't in it and I moped around for a good long time thinking about the "what ifs." Dumb!
Before Tim came Jake. He came over to my house to break up with me (see, Owen, that was not an original move!) but he didn't break up with me. Or, I should say, he said he wasn't breaking up with me, but in fact, he did break up with me. It really was confusing. That was the last time I saw him and even though he never said the words, the actions were quite loud. The proof was that he never called me after our last phone conversation. (Note: I also gave him a present post-break up that I'd gotten for him pre-break up. I sent it in the mail. He never acknowledged it. Thus, the post-break up present is not an original move for me either.) I felt like a dope for ever dating Jake. Why? 'Cause I plain never liked him that much. And he was quite odd. I kept hoping it would get better. Oh sigh.
Why is this time different? First, it was not a mistake to get involved with Owen. Despite the age difference, we were potentially (though not in reality) on the same page about important relationship things. Dating him was a way to find out if we were well suited. Also, in the beginning, I didn't expect much, so there was no reason to feel stupid if it didn't work out. Next, he was quirky, but sweet and kind and we got along very well. I really did (do) like him. I really do find him attractive. We really did get along when we were together. Except for all the waiting around for him to call (a bad sign that I didn't ignore), there was a lot of good that was worth trying to preserve.
I don't feel bad about dating Owen. I don't feel bad for sticking around as long as possible. I don't feel bad about any of the time we spent together. I do feel bad that I spent time waiting around for him, feeling anxious and that his pulling away brought out some bad qualities in me. I didn't enjoy acting or feeling that way. Now that the burden of waiting is lifted, my anxiety is gone.
Yes, I feel sad. I cried tears of frustration when I told TR that Owen is almost certainly going to marry the next person he dates. This is such a ridiculous pattern in my life that it makes me want to scream. Once, just once, could I be the beneficiary of all the "work" I put into a relationship? Next time I think I'm going to let the other person do all the work and see how that goes. Maybe someone can "train" me.
What I find curious, though, is that if I distract myself, my mind DOES NOT slip back to thinking about Owen. I never spent loads of time thinking about him. I'd have a great time when we were together but I didn't spend lots of time missing him. I was looking forward to seeing him when I got back to DC--but as soon as he started on the break up talk, all I wanted was for him to leave the house. "Oh, so you don't feel 'that way' about me? Then you can get the hell out." I didn't say it, but that's what I was thinking.
Maybe the hard-core moping is right around the corner. Maybe on Valentine's Day I'll be a big, weepy mess. But until that happens, I'll be busy distracting myself and having as much fun as possible.
Too bad he doesn't read the damn blog.
On the distraction front, here's what I have going:
Last night I attended the Washington Post Blogger Summit. I read a couple of summaries, but I particularly liked Betty Joan's. It was mostly interesting and they gave us a nifty notebook with a cover that read "Bloggers Unplugged" (or something like that) and a pen that was of an unusual and fascinating design. Just a ball point, but really weird! I can't quite describe it....
Today, I had lunch with a new friend. He treated as he was trying to cheer me up but I was pretty darn cheery. I refused to discuss Owen. No sad talk!
Tomorrow night, I have a dance outing with CK.
Friday, movies with Pele.
Saturday, probably more dancing.
Sunday, watching football with Pele (go Seahawks!).
Monday, a bonus day off! Nothing planned yet.
Next week, there are TWO blogger happy hours and a birthday happy hour for a friend (which conflicts with the Thursday happy hour).
I don't know if I can keep up this pace, but I will as long as I enjoy it. So far, so good. Blogging is damn good for my social life, I must say.
Grateful for: distractions.
Drop me a line.