Dear blog people,
What is the appropriate length of time for one to wait before seeing someone after a relationship, that was on and off for 5 years, officially ends? Is it three weeks? Good, because that’s how long I decided to wait.
I guess wait isn’t the best word. I’m ready. I’m ready for new beginnings. I’m ready to start experiencing those butterflies again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not desperate for them. I am perfectly content with my life as it is now and I know how to spend time with myself by myself. The last major breakup, while I wasn't quite ready to date again, I had given myself time to finally be alone, in my own place, to do the soul searching and get to know myself I really needed. And for the most part, as of today, I know exactly who I am and what I want. I was that same bunch of confidence when we got back together. But at some point after we got back together that I let those old submissive habits come back. I let parts of me change and I questioned a lot about myself during that time we lived together. Parts of me that I had completely figured out and were confident about.
The more I digest what went wrong and what happened, it’s extremely clear that we just weren’t right for each other. I should not have lost my confidence and let parts of me hide just because I was afraid to lose him. I mean, why was I so afraid? Answer: Because I wasn’t ready to move on from him. For some reason I couldn’t quit him… haha... but in all seriousness, there was just a part of me and my life I wasn't ready to let go.
But I am oh-so ready this time around. It's done and I have the resolution I lacked before. I’m sure the process of renting and then actually driving the uhaul truck full of my belongings out of his house helped… but I know exactly where I went wrong all those times before. And I know, going forward, exactly what cues to look for so that I won’t let those things happen again. I wasn’t honest with myself or with him. While we are each a great person individually, we had a lot of fundamental differences. When things were going well between us and we decided to get back together, I still had my own place to retreat to. Because of that, those differences didn't feel so big. I saw a lot of good qualities in him that I had thought I wanted to adopt as well but at the end of the day, they were not qualities I could possess. I have a lot of great qualities but I was unable to be confident enough in them to say, “Hey, this is something I feel strongly about. We should try to find a compromise so that we can make theses differences between us work or not.” Instead I thought, if he feels that way and he’s a good guy, then I should think or do things that way too… But all that did was make my life so confusing. I had erased any bit confidence and independence I had in myself.
For instance, moving in I lost my space I was accustomed to after living by myself for a while and I couldn’t figure out to allow myself a least some alone time while living with him. I remember when I was going back to therapy and I had wanted to have the whole night to myself. I was going to therapy for myself and for us, but mostly it was for me. I was going to therapy because there were some underlying issues I needed to work out in order for me to figure out if I could even be happier at home. I thought having the night to have some good ole fashion me time, whether it was getting sushi, aimlessly walking around downtown or going to the mall like I used to, would help in my search for answers. Everyone was saying that having space to do your own thing from time to time is completely healthy and was necessary for a couple’s happiness. But I remember telling him this and I felt guilty instantly. I remember him telling me in defeated sense that he was hoping we could spend the night together after my appointment. I remember feeling conflicted because we lived together… we had every other night at home together, what was the problem with me spending the extra hours on the same night as therapy to focus on myself and do my own thing? But I wasn’t confident in my feelings, so I questioned myself… Maybe I was wrong… Maybe I was being too selfish…
I tried to compromise. I would come home right after my appointments. But instead of owning up to that decision, I would build up resentment and get upset with him. I felt that because I was going to therapy for me and for us, why did I have to come home as if I had a curfew? Then I tried to compromise in a different way. I would call after my appointment to check in before I went off to do my own thing. Because if I didn’t, I would get a text or call from him asking what I was up to and how much longer would I be… So in a way my compromise was because I felt as I had to touch base with him right after the appointment. I felt I had to go over what I learned/talked about or what was the point of me going to therapy? I knew I had to work on my communication with him, so maybe this is the right thing to do: to touch base after the appointment.
One important cue I ignored was the few times I would see him calling or send a text after my appointment and I all wanted was to ignore him. That's not good... Deep down I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was that I wanted. Because I wasn't being honest with myself, I didn't know what to believe in or what to fight for.
When I would finally work up the strength to bring up my feelings, I was told it was ultimately up to me to be confident about the decisions I made on whether to talk to him or come home early or do nothing all together. Which was true. But I felt so guilty for wanting to have the whole night to myself and to not communicate at all till I was ready to come home. I let the fear of losing him consume me and it felt like a guessing game of what was the right thing to do. I began to question every decision I made and couldn't figure out what the hell I was doing… blergh… just writing about it makes me so annoyed all over again. Why did I put myself through all of that!?
It was such an unnecessary and complicated mess we created. All I needed was the confidence to say, "I am doing this for me and for us, I need a night to myself once a week." That was exactly what I wanted.... Thank god it’s over. It's crazy how quickly my confidence in myself has come back since then. How easy it is for me to feel like myself again now that I moved out. Those posts I wrote about losing him feel silly now... If I ever find myself questioning who I am when I'm with someone, then I know that person is not right for me.
Which brings me back to the point of this post… I am meeting someone for drinks Saturday!! And I am so damn excited about it! At this point in my life, why should I wait a set amount of time to meet new people and date again? I made a promise to myself I would live every day for what it’s worth. When opportunities present themselves, I should take them. And even if meeting this person for drinks is just that, at least I did something new! Goodbye to the Starting Over label. Its time to start a chapter for New Beginnings!