Chaos Attraction

I'm Feeling Okay

2004-02-15, 5:59 p.m.

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You know what's funny?

I'm doing okay.

I haven't cried since oh, the early wee hours of the 13th. I haven't broken down. I'm actually feeling good. I don't feel "out of love" with him, per se, but it had felt like the joyous moments were eroding/lessening to the point where that might have happened. Right now I'm just trying to block thoughts like that for the time being, and I'm distracted enough to be able to do so.

It's been four years since the last time I got dumped, and I figured I would be a squalling mess again, but I'm not. I think it's because:

(a) Last time I had maybe 24 hours warning beforehand that something was up. This time I had about two weeks to get used to the idea and to "know" it was coming. Plus in the last few months I'd pretty much concluded myself that I no longer believed in his ability to succeed in life in the future, there was no realistic or even unrealistic evidence that this might change, and that (as he pointed out) the relationship was not progressing from where it is now and hadn't for at least eighteen months. I didn't want to admit it, and was still willing to try and work things out rather than lose a guy that was great in all areas but one, but deep down I knew it'd take a miracle to get him on his feet.

(b) I hadn't seen him for a month anyway (pretty unusual for us).

(c) He was finally starting to evidence Jerk Behavior to some degree, which is always a strong hint that it's over AND now I know that once that behavior starts, the guy is unsalvagable.

(d) I had been so disillusioned and crushed by the previous dumping that I never got all of that trust in love back again. I never felt AS crazy about Dave as I had previous ex because that trust in love was gone. I don't think Dave ever knew what was missing, and I think he did have that happy-go-lucky trust in love, but I knew. I still held a part of me back, even after he'd gentled me into trusting him a lot more than I had anyone else before. Smart of me, I guess.

(e) Frankly, I just feel relieved that I'm no longer burdened with trying to salvage and save the relationship despite him not really giving me much to work with. I feel free. I didn't think I would, but I do. I have a long list of crap I've been dealing with for two years that now can be written off under "His Own Damn Problem." If he ends up a homeless bum in six months because he can't figure out how to manage his life, then That's His Problem! I am no longer responsible for or affected by it! I don't have to stand by him through all of his crap and watch him fall! I don't have to feel like a fool for staying with someone who clearly can't get his act together. I don't have to deal with everyone disapproving of the relationship and I secretly agree with them for disapproving because if I were them, I'd think I was an idiot for staying with him too.

(f) This time, I do pretty much know it's HIS fault that we broke up. It wasn't that he got bored of or sick of me (which I believed wholeheartedly at the time with the previous two, even though I figured out much later they had their own issues too so it wasn't 100% me), it was that he couldn't fucking handle it. That was all he could do, and he knew it wasn't enough, not for me or for anything realistic. He didn't stop loving me, he just gave up. His fault, not mine! I'm guilt-free!

(g) Other than staying home on weekends, my daily life isn't going to drastically change all that much, as opposed from last time when my whole social life had previous ex involved in it on a daily basis and my life totally upended.

(h) After the first night, I somehow don't feel the burning need to keep him in my life in any way, shape or form I can the way I did with previous ex. What does Dave have to offer me besides love and friendship? Nothing. Literally, nothing. And I've learned that trying to keep the love and friendship only fucks ME up, so I won't do that any more. I don't have to deal any more!

(i) The first time I got dumped, I thought the fellow was the only guy in the world for me. How could he dump me? Nobody else is compatible with me! My life is over! The second time I got dumped, I'd realized that the first one wasn't enough of a match, but this guy was a perfect match! He actually wanted to BE with me! How could he dump me? Nobody else is compatible with me! My life is over!

This time? Uh, I think I've finally figured out the whole "there are seven guys in the world that you could be compatible with" thing. Even if I've roughly used up half of the supply, I can probably still be due to find three more victims similar enough to me and the lovemap of qualities I like in a guy to date and love again.

I don't think I want to, though. Which is interesting.

In a way, marriage is like a bullet I have dodged. I have to admire Oprah for not wanting to marry her boyfriend because she doesn't want the expectations of WIFE stamped onto their relationship. I had such anxiety about becoming a WIFE, SOMEONE'S POSSESSION in the eyes of society that I wasn't so much bothered at putting off wedding planning. Getting married is something very important for legal and practical purposes (especially if the fellow has a chronic disease and no health insurance), but I think I could be pretty happy just having a relationship with a guy long-term where he has his own apartment and we never tie the knot too. I never thought I'd get married someday or that there was a husband out there waiting for me, and once again I realize that I'm right.

I'm not so good with picking out men. I deliberately pick beta males to date- hell, Dave may very well have been a Gamma, in "Brave New World" terms- because my ideal male is along the lines of Lloyd Dobler. A guy who doesn't have too many goals on his mind beyond being with me and supporting me. I'm a Diane (that's even my middle name) Court- little ms. smart girl with a reputation who is perhaps too close to her parents. Guys get that kind of relationship if they want it all the time, having a little woman who doesn't do much beyond support them, why not me too? I seem to think it'd be great to live out that "Uptown Girl" song (and of course, that original relationship worked out, didn't it?).

If I had a boyfriend who was just as smart as me or smarter (actually, previous ex was much smarter than I, but had a lot less motivating ambition), and was just as achieving and ambitious as I, and was equal to or superior to me, what would happen? He'd come first. His goals and dreams when compared to mine would come first because I am an artiste, and supposedly artists could work anywhere or work from home and really, art just isn't that important when your significant other say, works on computers or is an engineer or tries to cure cancer. Clearly, one is superior to the other and would take precedence in a couple's setting future goals. I can't even argue that. Hell, that's why so many couples have the little woman stay home, because what she can produce is so much less in money and/or significance than what the guy can. He could also very well be a workaholic and not have time for me anyway.

Is this really better for me, to pick a guy that's supposedly my equal but to whom I'd really come in second? Or is it preferable to pick a guy who'd be really fucking lucky to have me and be willing to devote himself to supporting my career goals and doing whatever he came up with on the side? Only it seems like picking the latter option means that one ends up with nothing but losers who can't get their act together in one way or another enough to end up with a permanent relationship. No wonder smart, ambitious girls often end up single.

I think relationships truly bring out the worst in me. If I have to expose all of myself to someone else I'm not related to (and therefore can't trust to stick around through thick and thin even when I'm horrible) for a long period of time, I clearly am wearing on a fellow, even beyond whatever issues he may have. Hell, I wear on myself. I can't really blame Dave and the previous ex for just plain getting burned out.

And I think I've finally gotten the clue that relationships don't last, or at least they don't for me when I seem to be unable to pick a guy that doesn't have an expiration date stamped up his asshole where I can't see it. I can have relationships, sure, but even if the guy claims he wants to stick around, he probably won't. If I was cool with being a serial monogamist, this would be fine, but I'm not. I don't really like losing parts of myself and even more of my trust and innocence and belief in love with each fellow. The next one always gets to pay for what his predecessors did, you know? It takes him a lot longer to get my trust, and when he buggers it up, well, multiply that. Do I want to do this cycle forever?...

No.

If God meant me to be single, then by all means, let me be single. Let me be happy to be single. Let me enjoy not having to make life plans involving another person. Let me spend all my money on me. Let me do whatever pleases me instead of trying to appeal to someone else. Let me be overjoyed that never again will I have to have arguments as to whether or not to have children or to have to argue about who makes dinner and does the chores or whether or not to take his goddamned last name and be stamped as his possession. Let me be a star all by myself without having to dim myself because of a man in one way or another.

I was rereading my birthday in The Big Book of Birthdays again, and look what hit me:

"April 24 people will want not only their children but also their lovers to follow their direction. If their guidance is ignored, they will exhibit theatrically great grief, falling into anxiety patterns and even deep depressions."

April 24 people will strive to maintain stability in family situations and personal relationships. Unfortunately, they may experience deep disappointments in the realm of love, perhaps including unhappy love affairs and highly stressed marriages.... April 24 single parents may be absorbed in devotion to their children, after trying once or twice unsuccessfully to find a new mate.

Those born on the 24th day of the month are ruled by the number 6 and by the planet Venus. Because those ruled by the number 6 are magnetic in attracting love and admiration, and since Venus (ruler of Taurus) is strongly connected with social interaction, April 24 people will inevitably work with other human beings. Often love becomes the dominant theme in the life of those ruled by the number 6. Since the astrology of Taurus, the qualities of the number 6 and the characteristics of April 24 people all indicate the primary influence of Venus, those born on April 24 will be even more highly influenced by the call of love, along with all things relating to harmony, relationships and beauty."

April 24 people will sacrifice a great deal for love, often putting themselves under tremendous stress. Because those born on this day will do almost anything to maintain harmony with their loved ones, they may also suffer anxiety and depression if things are not going well, and sometimes go on food, drink or even drug binges."

So basically, I'll be naturally obsessed with love, but will be massively disappointed, stressed and unhappy if I get it. Now if that's not a sign that I was meant to be single, I don't know what is.

And I think finally, I am okay with that. Guys aren't worth the crap you go through.


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