I rolled over and slowly opened my eyes, the space next to me was empty.  I supposed it was him getting up to use the bathroom that woke me up in the first place.  It felt late in the day; the sky was bright and it was quiet, too quiet, missing was the sounds of the family going about their day.  I groped for my phone, the digital clock claimed it was only 8:00 am, we had slept for 10 straight hours, yet still I felt drained.

I groggily recalled returning home, although I guess it wasn’t really my home anymore, I felt like an intruder when I walked in the door last night.  I went into the house in search of my landlords so I could tell them I’d changed my plans, but the entire family was out, probably at their daughter’s Christmas concert.
We’d stripped down naked and collapsed on my unmade bed, even though we’d both been exhausted we still made love, his strong warm body on top of mine, his perfect member thrusting deep inside of me, it was all I could do not to look into those blue eyes and whisper, “I love you.”  Then I was on my stomach and he was behind and soon I was coming, my orgasm so profound that for a moment, I left my body.  I suppose sleep came soon after because I didn’t remember much else.

He returned to the room.
“Good morning beautiful,” he cooed softly in my ear.  “I’m going to the bakery for a pie run, do you want anything?”
“Mmmm… coffee please,” I mumbled.
“Coffee,” he repeated with a smile, “Go back to sleep, I’ll be back soon.”
I curled up on my side as my mind attempted to recall the hazy details of the past 24 hours.

It was Friday afternoon, the day before I was meant to leave and Nick had insisted on having a barbecue for me, unaware that I had booked a bus ticket for the next morning.  Driving to his house I felt anxious: I hadn’t finished packing, I had no reliable transportation back into town and the way he and Jill had been talking, I knew they were planning on a wild night.

When we arrived at his house, no one was home so we all broke into his yard and started sipping beers and listening to tunes.  Nick finally showed up with his puppy Otis in tow, others began to arrive and soon the party was in full swing.  We drank, we ate, we drank, we smoked.  At one point, all of us girls went swimming in the pool.  Everyone was fairly intoxicated and adamant on doing cocaine.  Nick went down the street with money and returned with MDMA.  Everyone loudly vocalised their distaste, but we all ended up doing it anyway.  My anxiety soared as I began to peak, I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t relax.  I kept moving seats and getting up to do things and starting new conversations.  Jill was all over the map, Nick kept wanting to cuddle and tell me how special I was, Don could barely speak, Shawn was too intense, Kennedy had not done M but was stoned as shit, Mel was too high to function and her cousin Sally looked sober, bored and judgemental.
Max showed up with a couple friends and I insisted they drop with us, they even chipped in for another baggie.  I started to feel a little more relaxed.

It was certainly an entertaining night, Jill got into the clothing I intended to donate and we had a fashion show.  We played truth or dare and everyone got naked or made out.  We took turns confessing deep secrets and fantasies.
Everyone was starting to do more, but I was done and falling asleep on Nick’s shoulder, I knew I should just go to bed and get some sleep, but I just wanted to stay in the company of my beautiful friends and listen to the sounds of Shakey Graves picking away at his guitar and crooning, “Some of us were built to roam…”

I persuaded Nick to join me and he laughed when I begun my game of seduction, “Why didn’t you just tell me you wanted to fuck?  We could have snuck off for a quicky…”
“Nothing about this is going to be quick,” I assured him.
We explored each other’s bodies touching and kissing every inch of skin.  I felt dazed as if I was entering and exiting a dream.  After half an hour I dried up and we both just fell asleep.

A few hours later my alarm went off.  The first thing I heard was the sound of heavy rain on the rooftop.  I thought about all my friends passed out around the house, I looked over at Nick, naked and beautiful, peaceful.  I thought about leaving them all to trudge down the street alone to the bus stop, to wait in the rain, to rush into town.  The idea alone nearly brought me to tears, so I did what I should have done in the first place: I called Greyhound and for a mere $6 fee, changed my reservation to the following day.  I cuddled up next to Nick and fell back asleep.

The next time I woke it was to my phone ringing.  Kyle was on the other line, he was on his break at work and wondering if we’d all survived the night.  He was especially concerned about Max who was apparently still up cleaning when Kyle had left for work.  I wandered out to the patio and found him staring off into space, poor guy.  I made him tea and as the others began to stir I made them all teas and coffees as well.  All the anxiousness was gone, even though I’d changed my plans last minute and messed up the schedule of my cousin, who was picking me up from the bus stop and my landlords, who were expecting my suite to be entirely empty.  I knew I should feel bad, but truly, I did not care.
I rolled a joint and we all got good and stoned before Max made us bacon and eggs.  Jill had to rush back to town for work so I offered Max my seat in the car, insisting I could get a ride with Nick.  On their way out the door, we grabbed Kennedy and convinced her to stay and spend the day smoking weed and watching Futurama.

Eventually the sky darkened and we dropped Kennedy at home before returning to my now empty abode.  And now we were here…

I sipped my long black and tried to gather my bearings.  I took a much needed shower and said my goodbyes to the family who I had been sharing a home with over the past 3 months.  I made the bed up nicely for the new tenant and Nick and I loaded up his ute.  In town we walked on the beach for a while and ran into some friends who I bid adieu to.
This was the final day I was meant to have; not strung out on M; not tired from being overworked; not rushed and stressed.  This was the farewell I needed: chilled out and with him… the man I had loved and lost, cried for and laughed with.  This man who’d been such a massive force in my life, who I had forged this intense relationship with.

At the bus stop, he gathered me in his arms.  “I miss you already,” he promised and I fought back tears, because the truth was I never intended to move back and he was one of the main reasons why.  The last couple weeks I’d been with him, yet had managed to keep my distance, but I knew eventually I’d get sucked back in.  I couldn’t stand the thought of feeling such deep pain again; the heartbreak was inevitable.
Despite my best wishes, there was no future for me and Nick and there was no life for me in this place.

Onto the big coach I climbed, while he watched me go.  I tried to be strong and look only forward though my body trembled with sadness.


I Don’t Need a Man

I need a man!
That was the mantra circulating in my brain when I first arrived.  Maybe not so clearly, maybe not in so many words, but subconsciously, over and over again, “I need a man, I need a man, I need a man!”
I wanted so badly to believe that true love would find me here.  That I would finally feel certainty in a relationship and that everything else would just fall into place.  My first few days in staff accom, I scouted out every potential suitor, but no one came close to meeting my criteria.  I considered settling just to have someone who was bound to me, someone to show me the ropes rather than me having to stake out my own space.  The psychics words rang constantly in my ears.  It’s spring, where is he!?  I wondered, exasperated.  I went to every party, every social event hoping he would be there, but no one I met held my interest, yet still I felt like there was someone out there, trying to find me.

After one particularly vexing day I went out to my favourite thinking spot: a small island attached to a nearby beach whose twisted trails lead to a perfect vantage point atop a rocky bluff, overlooking nothing but sparkling sea and crashing whitewash.  There I sat and meditated, surrounding myself with positivity and love.  I chanelled adoration from friends, family, people I hadn’t even met yet.  I told myself that I needed nothing in this world and was already so blessed.  As I wandered back home I felt content, like nothing could hurt me and that only good things could happen.  That very night I met Dan.

I had planned to meet up with my brother and attend a Cinco di Mayo party in our neighbourhood, but I was considering bailing.  I was just about to text him and say that I wouldn’t be making it, but at that moment he texted me, urging me to stop by for some pre-drinks.  I decided that I needed to venture out of my comfort zone and meet some new people and told myself that only good things could come from saying “Yes!” to life.  I grabbed a bottle of wine, a poncho and headed down the road.
“Come in!” my brother shouted when I knocked. I walked through the door and he was sitting with two guys I’d never seen before.  One was blonde, one was brunette, both were cute.  I was introduced to the brunette as Dan, my brother’s neighbour, and thought nothing more of it.
As the night grew hazier and more people began to arrive, Dan made a tasteless joke that launched us into a ridiculous discussion.  The two of us were laughing hysterically, deep in our own conversation and ignoring everyone else. Eventually we all headed to the party and I lost sight of him.  I was feeling pretty awkward and out of place, Dan had resurfaced but was in the midst of what looked like an intense conversation with a good-looking girl.  I was just about to leave and start walking home when he struck up another conversation with me.
“Man, I really wanna smoke some weed right now.”
“Me too,” I responded, “I was just thinking about walking to my house and rolling a joint.”
So he joined me and the two of us sat in my room rolling doobies and laughing over some obscure joke.
When we got back to the party everyone had cleared out.
“Shit, I still really wanna some this joint,” I muttered.
“We could go to my house,” he suggested. “Maybe watch a movie?”

At his house we perched awkwardly at either end of the couch.
What am I thinking, coming to this strange man’s house? I wondered
“I should get going, it’s getting late,” I started up.
“I’ll walk you,” he insisted.  “Don’t want you to get snatched up by a cougar.”
At my door, I felt overwhelmed by nerves.  I was scared he would try to kiss me and I barely even knew him.
“You’re really cool,” I began “let’s hangout sometime.”
We exchanged numbers.  Still nervous, I leaned in and gave him a hug.  His strong body engulfed mine, it was one of the most sensual hugs I’ve ever received.
I climbed into bed, grinning from ear to ear, heart pounding.

A full day passed and I didn’t hear from him.
I had just convinced myself that I’d imagined the entire encounter when my phone lit up with a text from him.  We bantered back and forth and he asked me if I wanted to hangout and blaze again.  I was nervous to see him as I was having trouble recalling what he looked like and I prayed my beer goggles weren’t too thick.  When he showed up, I breathed a sigh of relief: tall, muscular, tanned and bearded with piercing blue eyes and a winning smile.  Stoned shenanigans and movie watching followed and once again he walked me home, but this time we leaned into each other and locked lips.  It felt slightly forced and awkward and I retreated into my house feeling disappointed, but hopeful.  We made plans for a sober beach day, aka “a real date.”

When I showed up at his house he opened the door and immediately stated, “I have some bad news.”
Uh oh.
“I just got back from the doctor’s and I have tonsillitis.  I’ll be contagious for the next 48 hours, soooo I can’t kiss you.  No matter what.”
We still had our beach day, but he began to look under the weather so we cut it short.  I offered to bring him some tylenol from my house and stopped to buy him ice cream.  The store only had Haagen-dazs and I forked up the $15 for a pint.  He expressed his delight when I dropped it off, but all the way home I felt bad, really bad, incredibly low.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d been played for a fool.  I enjoy doing nice things for other people, but this time it felt wrong, like he didn’t deserve my kindness and I wasn’t sure why.  I was slightly relieved when he sent me a huge thank you text message, but still something didn’t quite feel right.

I asked around about him, but could dig up no dirt.  Everyone I talked to simply said he was a good guy.
He texted me to say he was feeling way better and wanted to take me out for lunch.  We spent hours talking about anything and everything and barely touched our food.  By the end of the day we were in my bed making out and it didn’t feel wrong at all.  When he took off his shirt to reveal his Greek God-like body, I practically drooled at the sight.  We finally came up for air; it was 9 pm and I was late for a party.  We made plans for the following night and I hurried to staff accom in my makeshift toga, lips red and swollen from the night’s activities.  At the party, a few friends I’d seen while out on my date complimented me on what a beautiful pair we made.  I felt giddy.  Could this really be it?  Could it really be that easy?  Of course, it wasn’t…
The next night we slept together and I stayed over at his house.  The sex was outstanding and although I was disappointed by some *ahem* short-comings, the man more than made up for it.  I left early for work and fantasized about him all day.  Little did I know that would be the first and only time I would sleep in his bed.

We met up again the next day and spent the entire afternoon lying out on his deck, soaking up the sun and smoking weed.  We went out for food and then indulged in some afternoon delight.  After we finished, he went for a surf, I went home and didn’t see him again for 5 days.  In those days we texted back and forth, he invited me to some concert, but I opted out.  I was dying to see him again, but tried to remain patient and aloof.  When I finally did see him, things weren’t quite right… He immediately began talking about the concert, “You should have been there to protect me,” he began.  “This annoying girl latched onto me and wouldn’t go away.  Then she made me ride home with her, then she got locked out of her house and begged to crash at my house.  I set her up on the couch and she just kept trying to get with me, it was so annoying!”
Ummm… What?! Are you telling me this because you’re being honest or because you fucked some chick and you think it might get back to me?  Either option left me feeling uneasy.
Post-coitus, he asked if I wanted to go out for a smoke.
After we did, he put on his shoes, quickly kissed me, said “I’ll be in touch” and left. I’LL BE IN TOUCH?!  WTF IS GOING ON?!?!? And so began my descent into over-analytical chaos as I tried (unsuccessfully) to decipher his actions and words.

The next morning I felt like an absolute asshole.  I ran for 2 and 1/2 hours to try and clear my head, but it didn’t help.  I bitched on the phone to my girlfriends who suggested I chill the fuck out.  I drank an entire bottle of wine and cried.
That night marked the beginning of my internal battle.  Was Dan the greatest person I’d ever met or was he the worst?  Could I keep up a sexual relationship with nothing more or did I need the emotional support as well?  Was I crazy about him or just plain crazy?  I avoided the “where is this going?” conversation because I didn’t want to know the answer.  If he wanted a relationship, I wasn’t ready and if he wanted no strings attached, well, that hurt just as badly.  I encouraged myself to stop overthinking it and take it day by day until I could at least sort out my own feelings.

On one particularly sunny day we walked down to the beach.  On the way he turned to me and started, “So, you’re roommate has been talking to some of the girls at work” (as my new roommate worked at the some resort as Dan) “and she told them that you and I are seeing each other.”
“Umm… okay?”
“I just don’t want them knowing my business, they get so nosey especially when it comes to who I’m dating.”
“Umm… sorry?”
“It’s not your fault, it’s hers.”
He sounded thoroughly annoyed and I was too shocked to know how to respond.  This wasn’t the first time he’d mentioned keeping things discreet, this is a small town after all and he is a “local” or more local than my seasonal self.  After the conversation, I couldn’t get his words out of my head.  Why would he try to hide me?  Why would he be ashamed?  When we got back to my house he declined sex because he was “too tired.”  I felt the sting of rejection.  Later, he texted me to apologize, but the damage was done.

The next day when I woke up I felt mad, irrationally angry and just all round pissed off.  I wanted to punch him in the face.  I agonized over the situation all day.  When my mom got into town that afternoon to visit, I rehashed the issue to her over several glasses of wine.
“I don’t know what to do, he’s just soooo beautiful,” I whined.
“Listen to me,” my mom slurred, “Good looking guys are the BIGGEST assholes, you’re better off without him.”
“Yeah you’re right,” I admitted, but that didn’t stop me from booty-calling him the second I got home.

On the day of my half-marathon I resolved to let fate make my decision for me.  I’d talked non-stop over the past couple weeks about my upcoming race, if Dan texted or called at any point during the day to say “Good luck!” or “How’d it go?” that meant he genuinely cared.  The day came and went and nothing; radio silence.  I was disappointed, but not entirely surprised.  That’s when I realized something substantial.  Ever since I’d gotten out of my relationship I’d been falling into my old habit of replacing self-love with self-depricating relationships.  Rather than following my dreams and reaching my goals, I’d sought out relationships and pushed everything else aside.  It was the easy way out.  I wasn’t trying to find my own happiness, I was looking for someone, anyone to give it to me.  In barely 6 months I’d dated 4 different men!  It was as if I was swinging from vine to vine, not quite letting go of the last man until the next one was in my grasp.  I knew I had to let not only Dan go, but needed to shift my focus away from dating.  I had made up my mind and I stopped responding to his texts of “What’s up good looking? ;)”  But still, I felt the mature thing was to talk to him about the situation, let him know that I could only be his friend now.  He had left his toque at my house and I texted him to say I wanted to meet up and return it, he thanked me and asked if I wanted to hangout and blaze.  I decided that would be a good time to say my peace.  We sat out on my deck smoking, my heart was pounding as I tried to decide how to begin, but he got the ball rolling.

“I wanted to talk to you about us,” he began.  “Lately I don’t feel like we’ve been connecting the same way.”
My heart pounded faster.
“This has been feeling like its headed towards a relationship and that’s not something I want, I just got out of a relationship and I’m not ready for a new one.” I felt shocked and slightly rejected.  I didn’t know how to adjust my perfectly thought out speech.  A million things rushed through my head, but all I said was: “I don’t want a relationship either.  I think you’re a really cool person and I think it would be best if you and I were just friends.”
“Yes,” he agreed, “but actual friends who hangout.  You’re a rad girl, we always have fun.”
I nodded in agreement, “Actual friends, who hangout.”
“Give me a a hug.” I didn’t want to hug him, it felt wrong when he wrapped his arms around me.  I held on a little too long.  After our talk I longed to be alone with my thoughts but he hung around for another hour before finally leaving.  “Keep in touch” we both promised. Finally alone, I felt relieved albeit slightly melancholy.  I knew I’d made the right decision and I knew things would be okay.  I began to reflect on our short-lived time together and realized something else.  Never had he given me any indication that he wanted to date me.  It was ME who had sought him out at the party and actively pursued him.  It was ME who had suggested hanging out and it was ME who made the first cuddle moves on our various movie nights.  Never had he shown any indication that he wanted to be more than friends, I was the one pressuring him.  I put so much pressure on myself and the situation, I wanted so badly to believe that this was it, that I had found the “one” that I convinced myself it was true.  What was simply a casual interaction I made out to be some grand love affair.  And really, when it came down to it, what did I really like about him anyway?  The fact that he was tall and muscular?  The fact we liked the same stupid TV shows and had a similar sense of humour?  That was where our connection ended.  Everything else I had created in my head. I felt proud that I had escaped the clutch of such self-depricating behaviour and had recognized things for what they were.  I felt proud that I had been mature and ended things instead of clinging on and causing drama.  I realized that I had come a long way from the girl I once was. I resolved to focus on only myself and let everything else fall into place.


A Lesson in Independence

As I sit here writing this, 5 months have passed since I decided to take control of my life and leave him.  In that time a tremendous amount has changed in my life.  I did finally do it: I moved to the resort town on my own, unsure where I would be living, what to expect, or when I’d be starting work.  The main adjective that continues to flash in my mind is “independent.”  I wanted to thrive as my own person and do it entirely alone and I’ve begun the process.  Sure I need to rely on my brother or my father here and there but I’m beginning to finally look inward and reflect on the person I am and the person I want to be.  I got set up in my lodgings, staff accommodations, and couldn’t believe my eyes.  There were maybe seven of us living there at the time, but the place was in shambles.  Garbage piled sky high, concrete floors that looked as if they’d never been cleaned, holes punctured the drywall and stickers covered every surface.  The sheets they provided us with to cover our single bunk beds were the reject lodge sheets, often stained or ripped and way too big for the beds.  Don’t even get me started on the kitchen… and the stench, oh the stench.  Needless to say I rarely left my bedroom those first couple weeks.  That first day in my new digs I walked over to my brothers where he informed me that he had (through word of mouth) already procured me a potential home and bike so that I could get into town and get out of staff accom.  Both worked out marvellously.  When we went to look at the potential bike the seller suggested I jump on and take it for a test drive.  It has been over 10 years since I’d last rode a bike, the seat was too high, the back breaks non-existent and it had only 1st gear.  I teetered down the steep gravel driveway, my brother became concerned that I wouldn’t be able to ride it home.

“You know the expression ‘like riding a bike’?” I asked him, he nodded.  “There’s a reason people say it.”
I rode home on my bike feeling increasingly optimistic.

As more and more people began to move into staff accom, I began to feel more and more alone.  I felt left out when everyone would head down to the bay to surf, but without any gear (or money to buy gear) I felt helpless and too proud to admit I’d never surfed and was terrified of the ocean.  All my housemates knew each other and were young and hopeful, meanwhile I felt like a den mother.  I longed to go hiking and explore some different local spots, but without a car, any friends, or reliable local transportation service, I was relatively stranded.  Suddenly, being independent felt like more of a curse than a gift.  I became depressed and when an old co-worker visited and brought an 8-bak of cocaine, I fell into some familiar habits which sent me further into my self-loathing.  I yearned for a boyfriend, someone who was from the area and could introduce me to some cool people, teach me to surf and show me the sights.  I scoffed at myself for even entertaining such thoughts, but they wouldn’t stop.  A week later, some other friends from back home came to visit and we spent the night in their cabin smoking doobies and drinking wine.  When I jumped on my bike to head home I immediately fell sideways into a bush.
After all the horror stories I’d heard about people breaking their collarbones or jaws while drunk on the bike path, I made the executive decision to walk my bike home despite the fact it would take me that much longer.  Cars whizzed by as I stumbled along the dimly lit path, my arms grew sore with the effort of holding my bike straight and I felt foolish so I resolved to ditch it in a bush and retrieve it the following day.  I found a good-looking spot with a large landmark and pushed it as far into the brush as I could before carrying on.  About 10 minutes into my walk I heard excited shouts and saw, in the distance, a bunch of people running into the bushes near my hiding spot.  I couldn’t make out the exact words but thought I heard something about “it must have just got left here.”  I froze and began to contemplate.  Did I run back and try to re-claim my bike, while looking like a total idiot?  I could barely even walk let alone run and the odds of catching up with them were not in my favour.  I continued to stumble home, silently mourning the loss of my bike.

The next morning I awoke to the sound of pounding on my door, “Time to wake up!” my brother’s voice echoed, “You’re late for work.”  I had slept through my alarm and was now an hour and a half late for work.  Things felt like they couldn’t get any worst, I was on the verge of tears for the entire day.  I made up my mind that I would at least try and look for my lost my bike, perhaps the culprits had ditched it a little further down the road?  Or perhaps they had never even found it to begin with?  I started the long walk to my hiding spot and that’s when the rain started pouring, and pouring, and pouring.
I called Sendal and began crying hysterically, “I don’t know what I was thinking moving out here, did I honestly think I could come into this world and belong?” I moaned into my phone.
Sendal tried her best to calm me down, “It’s always hard when you move to a new place, it can only get better!”
I cried and sniffled into the phone, but continued to walk in the pouring rain, silently praying I would find my bike.  I rounded the corner and there it was!  My bike, right where I had left it.  I breathed a sigh of relief and swore to myself I would forever treat my bicycle with the kindness and respect she deserved.  Suddenly, things didn’t seem that bad.
That afternoon when I found my bike, I found myself.

Amazing things began to happen.  I started making friends and feeling comfortable in my surroundings.  I began getting invited to outings and parties and relished my time hanging out in the common area.  No longer was I just my brother’s sister, I was finally my own person with my own identity.  After a month passed and it came time for me to move into my new digs, I began to get bummed out.  I had just begun to get comfortable in my surroundings and now I would have to go through the process all over again.  I thought back to the book I recently read by Martha Beck entitled Guiding by Starlight and remembered her words that anything scary and unknown is a true “shackles off” experience that can only lead to good things.  I’m still working to find the confidence to follow my own true path and I’m getting closer.  People keep asking me if I’ve met any interesting men out here but I just shake my head no.  I can’t be tied down and there’s no one worth my precious time, yet I still hear the psychic’s words in my head “you’ll feel him coming to you.”  I’m not entirely sure that’s true but there is something great in the works, I know that in my heart.  It’s simply a matter of taking life day by day and finding joy in the little things and letting the universe unravel as it should.  Until then, I’ll be here, waiting.


I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

[Note: Sorry about the lack of posts lately, I’ve been dealing with some crazy moving stress.  You can expect new posts every Monday so be sure to check back next week!]

My best friend Sendal was engaged to an insecure little man who made her life miserable.  Controlling and obsessive, he managed every aspect of her life from who she could hang out with to how she spent her money.  He had big plans to transform her into a doting housewife, a role she could never step into.  Yet still she stayed, she made excuses and assured her friends that he was working on his issues and that they were happy.  Others suggested hosting an intervention, but I refused to get involved.  After all, I had been in a similar situation and I knew the more we meddled, the farther we would push her away.  I tried to assure everyone else that she would come to her senses before the wedding, but I wasn’t so certain.  I hoped and prayed she would go back to being the independent, strong woman I first became friends with, I knew if she made the decision to marry him, she would be out of my life forever.

Imagine my surprise when one night she called me to say it was over.  Now this was a statement she tended to make on a regular basis, usually followed by a copious amount of crying and a declaration that they were back together mere hours later.  But this time was different.  There was a calmness to her voice, an inner peace.  She stated that they had ended things a week prior and she was now beginning to hard process of informing her friends and family.  No contact had occurred between them and she had sent him her engagement ring.  Gone was the girl who couldn’t stand on her own and in her place was this confident, self-assured woman.  Her strength and her courage to take control of her future happiness was so inspiring.  I couldn’t believe she had ended it all, cut off all contact and uprooted her entire life because she realized she deserved better.  Her strength inspired me and stayed with me and she gave me the courage to end my own unhappy relationship.

Over the course of my breakup, she was my rock, helping me through it and giving me advice.  Here are some of
Sendal’s Break Up Do’s and Dont’s:

Don’t do anything that will give him false hope.  This can include:

  • Speaking to him on a regular basis
  • Going out for dinner or any other date-like activities
  • Sleeping in the same house, albeit the same room/bed
  • Using sanguine language, i.e.: “We might still work it out” “It’s not you it’s me” “I just need some time”

This proved especially true for me as he really thought i was bluffing in an effort to provoke change.  He begged me not only to stay in the house with him, but to spend another week sleeping in our bed.  First chance I got, I packed my shit and stayed with a friend.  He also tried to convince me to join him on a dinner date, I kindly declined and suggested a platonic meeting over coffee to tie up any loose ends.  It wasn’t acting out of pettiness, I was just aware of how easy it is to slip back into a relationship.  It’s easy because after spending every day of the last 5 years with someone it feels natural to to continue in such a manner.  People get sucked back up simply because it seems the easier option.  But I digress…

Don’t pick a fight.
Sometimes anger still exists and picking a fight seems like an easier option then simply walk away.

Don’t give into threats or bullying.  He insisted that I call his parents and tell them our relationship was over while he listened.  I refused.  Sendal’s ex acted in a similarly immature way and demanded that she call his mother to say she wouldn’t be coming along on their family vacation.  Remember, you don’t HAVE to do anything you DON’T WANT TO DO!

Do surround yourself with friends and family, people who have known you from the beginning and fully support your decision.  People who are willing to listen and show you love and patience.  My family adored my ex and although they may have not understood my decision, they never questioned it.
Sendal couldn’t help but think about her ex whenever she was alone and the temptation to call him was just too much.  By keeping herself busy with social activities it distracted her thoughts.

Do tell your friends and family about the breakup and subsequent relationship problems.  If they know how you really feel it will make it that much harder for you to “suddenly change your mind.”
Sendal told us all about some abusive patterns she saw in her ex, she knew that if she considered taking him back that we would all talk her out of it.

Do keep an optimistic perspective.  We both agreed that in our former situations we had only two options for our future:
1) Stay together for now, prolong the suffering and breakup eventually (after so much wasted youth) or
2) Get married, have kids and be unhappy for life (or until the kids move out and you feel you can finally split-up, a page from my own parents’ book).
Now that we’re both single we have an infinite amount of options.  I may not have a plan yet, but when I do choose my path there will be nothing to hold me back.