‘Cause I don’t want to fall in love, if you don’t want to try.

The previously referenced adorable boyfriend and I parted ways.

I thought I was going to make it through the day without crying. I felt strong, I hung out with people who love me… but nope. Made it to 3pm and randomly started blubbering about a dream I had. Yesterday I cried 3 times during The Muppets (that’s really only one time more than usual, though). It’s been 5 days of this. Anywhere from silently sobbing in the privacy of my own home, to sitting in the middle of a restaurant, wearing a crown and bawling. I have zero shame.

And really, that’s fine. It’s the mourning period. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to remind myself it’s all a part of the process, and I’m not crazy. Everyone cries during “The Rainbow Connection”, right?

I have to constantly be distracted, or I sit and go over every word, every gesture, wondering what I could’ve done differently. There were a few things. I didn’t trust him enough to be able to deal with all of me. So I crammed away anything that was less than supportive and agreeable, and tried to be this weird, fake thing I thought he wanted. Turns out he wanted a real person, and I’m not good at fake anyway. It was just frustrating and uncomfortable at times.

Not all the time, though. Usually, it was fun and cute. He was my friend. My go-to. My person.

But more than anything I did or didn’t do, his addiction won out. He chose it over me. And that hurts. I never tried to fix him, change him, or give him any ultimatums. I was just (genuinely) there for support. However, after coming to a point where the pain he caused meant he simply had to change for us to stay together, he chose not to.

There’s very little solace in the fact that he chose the addiction over himself, as well. I don’t want him to hurt. I don’t want him to self-destruct. I want him to be alright, to see the amazingness in himself that I saw. But it’s not up to me, and my opinion really doesn’t matter anymore.

People keep saying I dodged a bullet, I deserve better, that he was doing me a favor. At this moment, it just doesn’t feel that way. I didn’t dodge anything, I’m fucking crying over everything over here. And saying that he did me a favor ever-so-lightly implies that he was doing something other that just being a selfish coward. He doesn’t win any awards, he didn’t set me free, he chose shitty beer over a real live person who loved him, even when I saw the real, crappy parts.

I know, in the logical and rarely used part of my brain, that I deserve better. I deserve someone who fights for me the way I do for them. Who is just as supportive, and who I can be myself around without the constant fear of losing them (oh the irony). I get it. But I don’t want better, right now. I just want my fucking friend back.

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll make it. If not, that’s fine too. I’ll keep trying.

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The record shows, I did it myyyyyyyy way.

So there I was, sitting on my bed, thinking of how I could make my life a little more ridiculous. “Ahhh, yes…” I thought, “online dating.”

Though I felt a little lonely at that precise moment, I wasn’t trying to find my newest soulmate (which is made more difficult by not believing in the idea of them.) or jump into anything serious at all. Really, I wanted attention. This seemed like a pretty safe way to do it, I didn’t even have to get out of my sweatpants. I filled out the questions in the snarkiest way possible, uploaded a couple adorkable pictures, and posted it out there for the world to see. Or for a bunch of random dudes to see, whatever.

As it turns out, I’m a hit. I’m also gorgeous/sexy/beautiful, I have cute cheeks, a very regal nose, I seem like I’d be perfect for no less than 7 different people, and it’s worrisome that I dislike cats so strongly. I got the attention I wanted, and a bonus helping of pure entertainment.

I talked to the people that interested me (I’m totally going to admit it, it’s waaaaay easier to be a girl on these sites than a guy. I never once started a conversation with someone. I just sat back while the messages flooded in, and my ego grew.) and politely declined further exchanges with those that didn’t. Or, I just ignored them, because I’m not going to feel guilted into replying to¬† every “hey sexy u wanna hang out?” that comes my way. Some of them were funny though, and that’s important to my people. Those guys, I replied to. A few times, it went well enough that I went on real, live, face to face dates with them. That was also quite entertaining.

The biggest thing I discovered is that I do, in fact, have standards. It’s super exciting! In the past, I’ve told myself that I should accept people the way they are, be open-minded, and find a way to get along with them. While I still tell myself that frequently, I add “but that doesn’t mean you have to date them. Friends are great, too. Or acquaintances, even. Who doesn’t love a solid acquaintance?” I no longer feel like if someone shows interest in me, I should be grateful for this miracle, and reciprocate, no matter how they treat me or whether I actually like their personality. It’s like… I matter. And the things I want, the things I believe in… they matter, too! [insert heavenly chorus and beams of light shining down on my now-functioning brain here]

I’ve also started noticing red flags AS THEY HAPPEN! Not years later! Not when I’m already married and realizing that I should’ve taken his comment about wanting to wear my skin as a coat a bit more seriously, but in real time! Someone who texts me after meeting me once to ask if he can call to hear my voice is perhaps going to require more of my full attention than I’m willing to give anyone. If someone starts explaining to me on date two what my own behaviors mean I’m feeling for them, they might be a bit more controlling than I’m going to put up with. When someone assumes based on 17 text messages, about families and work, that what I’d love more than anything is to receive a picture of their genitalia… well I bid them good day and have myself a hearty laugh. And by “hearty” I mean I almost hyperventilated. Dude. Just… no.

Another thing I’ve done in the past is feel guilty when I do apply the few boundaries I had. Telling people “no” is not my strong point. So most of the time, I just don’t do it. You can see how this might not be my best strategy. But it’s not just that I don’t have to feel bad about saying it, it’s realizing I have EVERY right to say it, as much as I want, for any reason. As does everyone. Nobody gets to decide what I want, feel, or think, except for me. It’s so logical, yet something that eluded me for so very long.

When I started this, someone asked me what I was looking for. I had no idea. I do now. I’m looking to talk to people, because it fills a void, and starting conversations with strangers in public is too hard. I’m looking to keep being me, without having limits or requirements put on me. I’m looking for someone to have dinner with, have a beer with, and share a laugh with. That’s all. I don’t say that to seem low maintenance and cool, then hook someone in and tattoo my name on their chest while they sleep. I say I don’t want a standard, committed, serious relationship because… I don’t. At all. Maybe I will one day, but it’s not in the foreseeable future.

However, I do love me some free dinners.