Tag Archives: lessons

Progress Achieved: Now Please Return to Square 1

19 Feb

SQUARE 1: Uncertainty, comparing new prospects to old ones, complete lack of dating life, missing the old relationship, irritated with overly-public couples, still feeling pretty strange about dating in general.


Way back in September 2013 I published a post called “The Overly-Committed Commitmentphobe” where I stated,

“Relationships? Ppsh, not unless I think we’re getting married. Not that I want to get married, but if you’re not freaking awesome and I can’t see the long-term with you I’m probably out. Once I’m in, I’m usually in until you break-up with me. No matter how unhappy things are.”

Well, my friends. I’ve done what I never thought I could- I ended things with someone first. What happened?

Long story short – was dating him for about 6 months, nothing was ever officially defined but he had said on multiple occasions that he was absolutely not dating/pursuing/hooking up with anyone else. As I’m not the the to  pry and I give people the benefit of the doubt I was quite happy with things and left it at that. One beautiful Saturday morning I get news that a friend had found out he was seeing and sleeping with another girl that he’d met at my work Halloween party (note: do not mix work and pleasure). She was not from my work but nonetheless since that time they’d been seeing each other. She was aware that they were not exclusive- I on the other hand was not. I had him come over to talk in person and to give him the chance to come clean himself first and then again when I told him what I knew. Total denial. I felt awful about this potential lie so I had my sources double checked- and directly from said girl got the details that made the accusation even more concrete. As I don’t accept lying and cheating- at least not when it’s right in front of my face, I ended it.

I thought it would be easy- calling out the lie and being the strong one to end it and stand up for myself. I thought I’d feel proud and empowered. Nope.

I think knowing that it was my decision to lose what I had is actually a lot harder. Not to mention he himself never confirmed things (he didn’t argue against it very hard either though) and it left me in this terrible limbo of not knowing the actual truth. For all I know I called him out and he was telling the truth, and I not only hurt myself but him. If it is in fact true though- I should feel good that I cut it off now- and yet I’m not angry. Let’s be honest here too, angry is a lot easier than sad and forgiving. My friends have enough anger for both of us – but I can only expect to feed off of that for so long.

Fortunately at the time, and unfortunately now – he was a part of my life for a good chunk of recent time with good memories attached and those are found in little places everywhere. A scent on the pillow case (wash them asap) , the extra charger he’d use for his phone, the toothbrush in the bathroom (toss it), the extra blanket I bought because he was always colder than me. Little things that serve as constant memories.

I know I followed through everything the right way from when we met to how I ended it. I am pretty proud of myself for the maturity and poise I didn’t realize I honestly had in me (I guess all those past lessons really did pay off). However, after doing the right thing I’m still feeling pretty low about how it ended and the sheer fact that he’s gone, AND as a reward for playing by the rules and having some respect for me I’m back to square 1.

And to think I’d almost forgotten why I never tried to leave it in the first place….

Looking up, here’s to freedom, truth, and self-respect. May it get easier in time.

Speak Up! What’s the most useful lesson or self-growth you’ve gained from a breakup?


To the Exes: A Sincere Thank You

12 Sep

Dear Exes,

I’d love to say that I’ve grown tremendously as a person and experienced lots of success, no thanks to you, but that would be half a lie. I have grown and changed for the better- but it’s in large part thanks to you.


If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here today. No, seriously…I wouldn’t have been anywhere near here.

Of course, the initial reaction to getting burned is denial, anger, or confusion. Luckily I’m far enough removed from all of that right now to be able to understand what I’m about to relay.

I want to, no I have to thank you for everything. The good, the bad, and the unexplainable. It takes change and challenge to grow and that’s why I am who I am today. Because you hurt me, loved me, challenged me, changed me. Because you ended things and forced me to reflect on who I was and if I liked who I was becoming. You made me consider who I was to myself and who I wanted to be to others. You made me face my faults and accept yours. A few years ago I would have just said you were a dick and I’d never recover. I’m glad we’ve passed that point.

From big things to small things you’ve molded me into a better version of myself. I like to think that I’m much more logical and understand when things don’t work out. People go different directions, they fight and they find other people. It’s all for good reason. When you’ve broken up with me and told me I was being crazy or obsessive or too distant or too uninvolved you were wrong, that is until I stopped being mad and looked at it. So you may have been blowing it out of proportion a little but hey- for real thank you for forcing me helping me to think about that and evaluate my reactions.

I got cheated on by one of you. I was also the other girl when we started. What did I learn? If you start of a relationship with someone while they are still in one with someone else- things are more than likely eventually doomed to end the same way. Not to mention, I was a lousy person for getting into it! I will not be the other girl again.

There were a few of you where I just became so focused on making the relationship work that I lost myself. After these I vowed to never lose myself in a relationship. I’ve started into relationships as a very  ambitious, persistent, and pretty stubborn (to put it nicely) girl. I knew what I wanted and what I deserved. After time and all was said and done, however, I realized that I had lost myself trying to hold onto something that was wrong for me. Thanks to these experiences, I now look for someone who compliments that rather than shadows it, and I realize that I need to keep being myself for an over quality of life.

I don’t like to hold a grudge, so with almost all of you I’ve tried to stay friends. After much continued difficulty I’ve come to know that staying just friends after an extremely high intensity relationship doesn’t (usually) work. We tried, and we were there for each other, even during the times we hated each other- but eventually one of us always started feeling that warm and familiar non-platonic longing to make it happen again-usually while the other did not. Sometimes you’ve just got to let go. Eventually you heal.

Oh and dear exes, how many of you have I tried to rush into relationships, or at least convinced myself I had a time-limit to secure things?! Had I only listened to the wise men who say “only fools rush in”, then perhaps I would have not ended up in the predicaments that led me to this lesson:

Respect yourself, or nobody else will.
I had a short-lived fling with a few of you over the years at different stages. I had an amazing time just talking with you and your friends, and playing games and getting to know you. I loved hearing about your ambitions and felt relaxed and alive when we were hanging out (which obviously I’ll never find again…or again..or again. No really, all my chances are up this time!…).  I was so anxious not to let something potentially good slip away so I tried to jump into things quickly just for the chance that it might help seal it and prevent it from disappearing once break was over and things went back to normal. I’m not really sure what caused me to have that insane schema, but my belief that I had to move quickly or else it would be gone actually had the opposite reaction. So, some of you I slept with quickly, thinking that would work…and you didn’t respect me or think of me as more than sex. At first I was really pissed about this. After, however, I grudgingly realized that you had a point. If I didn’t respect or believe in myself enough to think that I was worth building a foundation with, or that someone would stick around long enough to do that, how would anyone else believe it?

Then there was one of you who turns into my “the one that got away” story. We were inseparable at points over the years and you knew you wanted to be with me long before I was out of my ignorant determination to be with all the wrong guys. I totally friendzoned you. I’m sorry. You listened to me rant about the other guys without a word to let me know I was probably hurting you. You spent lazy days and crazy nights with me, talked to me literally all the time, and I loved every minute of it- but I didn’t want to take it past friendship. I had moments of doubt about my stance on that, but I always found a reason to deny it. Excuses after excuses. Finally, almost another year later, when I realized even more what an amazing person you were and how you were exactly who I wanted to be with- it was too late. Not only did I get denied, but I lost my best friend. Awful of you right? Wrong. I can’t blame you for reacting how you did. I hadn’t been fair or mature for years and without thinking about it, I had been a real jerk and took for granted that you were still always there. Unfortunately, not even my epiphany and regret, or time could recover that one.

Last, as a select few of you are aware, I live in Costa Rica. You select few are really special, especially the second of you. You broke up with me because I moved to Costa Rica. How dare you?! I mean, how on earth will I ever find another person JUST LIKE YOU who I finally trust and connect with? It’s selfish of you, really, to not stay with me when you won’t see me for months at a time. (Hopefully you’re picking up on that sarcasm). But honestly, to one of you- thank you for ending it. First off, you actually weren’t right for me. In fact, I don’t even know why I fought for that because you embodied at least half the the things that make me cringe. Second, I was able to enjoy my time so much more not worrying about getting home and skyping with you. I actually lived my life. To the second one of you, you’re wonderful. I’m still recovering from losing you but you showed me that even if the time isn’t right, even if I’m positive that I’ll never find anyone as understanding, and kind, and sexy, and compatible as you- that there’s still some good guys out there and that some relationships just end because of logistics, not emotions or events. It also gives me a nearly impossible bar for any future suitors, but I guess it took this long for me to realize I was worthy of the attention of someone that wonderful, and that I now know what I want.

I know I’ve conveyed these experiences in rather one-sided view. I know that I’m not perfect and I said and did things to help push different relationships towards their doom. I know in some cases I really wasn’t in the wrong. I still have a long way to go, but thanks to these main endeavors, I think I’ve grown stronger and more confident in both what I want, and how to give and receive a healthy balance. There are undoubtedly more mistakes and heartaches down the road- but hopefully now I’ll be able to handle them with a little more strength and grace.

From the bottom of my broken/healing/scarred/reconstructed/changing heart,The-HealingHeart




Here are some extra positives and less significant stuff you guys gave me that became a part of me, thanks!:

Learning how to make bangin’ pasta and creative pizza, being introduced to The Used, starting to learn to drive a stick, my first surf lesson, swimming under the clearest and biggest mass of stars I’ve ever seen at 3AM, actually becoming interested in sports, renewing my excitement about my job, forcing me to get awesome pillows, keeping me invested in staying in shape, and so much more.