What you will read below will probably surprise you. These are my feelings. Only mine. I am hurting but I know I’m not the only one. So I wanted to share it. I’m writing things I rarely even admit to myself. It’s the most honest piece you’ll get from me. It’s private. It’s also not very positive. But I’m not feeling very positive at the moment. And I wanted it to be real. No added colour, no filters, only me and my experience of the broken heart.
Once again I found myself sitting on the bed with tears slowly running down my cheeks. I looked at the message on my phone. Everything I felt for last few days was real. You know when that fear creeps inside of you and you just can’t shift the feeling that something just doesn’t feel right? Deep down in your heart you know that something is about to end. And it did end. It ended before it even had a chance to begin. Does it make it any less painful? No. It still hurts. It still feels like someone has taken a part of you; maybe it was just a tiny part but again, it’s you that has to mend it.
And it makes me wonder, Why? Why me? Why me….again.
When I was at school my mum said to me that I should focus on my studies and boys will come later. Over 20 years later I’m still wondering how much later did she mean when she said it.
I was born in 80’s, in the country where marriage was an expectation and a norm. I never questioned that I might not have family. It was always a matter of when, not if. If we liked someone we’d tell them, we asked friends to go over and speak with them, we’d go to the bars to meet people. We engaged, we talked, we went on dates….in a way it was simple. Maybe not easy but definitely simpler. But then the world has changed, fast. The mobile phones, internet, social media! And with this the dating scene. I struggle to catch up.
I struggle with the idea of women approaching men first, with the stigma of not rushing into relationships, being careful of not getting hurt; I struggle with not showing someone you like them so as not to scare them off, with the playing hard to get but expecting to play hard(er). I struggle with wanting to go for a drink but not dinner, with sleeping together but not talking about future, with wanting exclusivity but never saying that you want it with them, with wanting to be with someone…but only sometimes, with moving in together but not talking about family, with buying a house but not getting the ring. But most of all I struggle with running away when the going gets tough, with the ‘why fix it when you can change it‘, with the ‘why suffer if you can just leave‘. I struggle with the leaving; not because there is something wrong, not because it is toxic, not because you don’t love them…..leaving because you don’t have to stay. The leaving because fighting would show your vulnerability, leaving because staying would mean you care, leaving because staying would mean you want them, you need them and you might hurt without them. Leaving because why try harder, leaving because isn’t love supposed to be easy?
And with that, a broken record of how to mend a broken heart starts to play its tune once more….you hear from your friends how he wasn’t the one, how you’ll find someone better, how he is not worth your tears, and how you need to cheer up as it wasn’t that serious or my favorite….that you can finally focus on yourself.
This just makes me angry, I don’t want to hear it. It’s not helping, it makes me annoyed and even more upset! But I realised that we don’t actually know what to say when someone is going through a heartbreak. People say ‘focus on yourself‘, ‘love yourself and love will come to you‘. Fuck that!
I love myself, my focus is my life. I have great job which I love, I love my body. I exercise, I eat well I go on adventures, I travel, I read books, go to cinema and museums. I have good circle of friends and colleagues. I go for coffees and dinners. I go to bars for drinks and clubs for dancing. My life is full, it’s exciting is great, is happy………so stop banging on about how I can now make it all about me!!!!! I do not want to make it about me. I do it every day. Men who come into my life know it. I do not stop my life for them. I do not stop it for anyone. Me, Myself and I do not disappear when a man shows up!
(And i’m actually proud of myself for being able to type the above paragraph.)
I was talking with some friends and we realised that talking about being heartbroken or lonely is in some ways taboo? We don’t want to talk about it. It’s not comfortable, it’s not easy. It shows you are vulnerable. It shows others that you’ve allowed someone to hurt you. This shows weakness. And we do not want to seem weak.
I often feel like it reflects badly on me. I always seem so strong, with a smile on my face. But I’m hurt. I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I want to give up because carrying on is hard work and I feel I don’t have much strength left. Quite frankly, I feel like climbing to my bed and going for a sleep, really long sleep.
So what is it that I don’t seem to find anyone to stay still with? Is it me? Well it isn’t just me. I see so many wonderful, amazing, fun, intelligent, beautiful, successful women around me who are also alone. We all make it look easy, even fun. We don’t allow the world to see that behind the smile there is sadness, that behind the laughter there is heartache, that behind a group of fab friends there is loneliness.
So, the pressing question; why are so many of us unable to find someone…anyone to have a relationship with?
I was on my way to work, (fighting back the tears), when my colleague commented that I obviously have started to feel the pressure of my age and started to appear desperate!
He continued to educate me saying that this will show and men will run as they don’t like desperate and needy women. Men like fun, easy pressure less interactions. You can’t show you need them! He said that I must have been desperate and the guy saw it. What I really wanted to do…was to punch him! This stunk, mainly because it was untrue!
I know very well what desperate and needy is. I was that girl. 17 years ago, when I met my first love.
I didn’t know any better so I threw myself all in it. And he did too. It was a full blown relationship with big house and dog and plans of marriage and kids. I was set for life, it was beautiful and I was more than convinced that that would be it for me. 4 years later my world crushed and I was left alone, completely broken. To get over this love was the hardest thing and the longest process. I glued the pieces of what was left of me with a help of my friends but I never was the same again. This relationship showed me how vulnerable I was. How I trusted completely another person, how much I allowed them to hurt me. This love and this break up was my biggest lesson of self respect. I grew, I learnt, I became less naive, wiser. I learnt my own value. And years later I moved on.
I now know what I want from my life. I know where I want to be. But I also understand that there is time for everything. I understand that being in a relationship is not only about wants, it is about learning about other person. But so many of my male and some female colleagues kept saying that men don’t like commitment and that they don’t want anything serious as it scares them. And if it scares them they run away. Friend said to me, ‘you got ghosted, he got scared‘. ‘You obviously must have showed him too much of what you want‘. This just pissed me off…..because I’m nothing like that. I like dating, I like this time when you meet someone and it is all about fun, when you don’t think about where is it going. When you not trying to label things because you just happy with everyday. The excitement of just a company of the other person. The giggles, laughs, dancing, endless kisses in the corner of the bar.
What I don’t understand is how come more often than not this ends as quickly as it started, with no warning signals, with no explanation. I get it that sometimes things just won’t work out, that you actually don’t feel the same about the other person. But why disappear? Are we so scared to say it?
My friend said to me she went on a date, he was nice, they had great chat, laughed kissed. He then walked her to the station and said he look forward to seeing her again. But that would be the last time she heard from him.
Another man said to her that she is amazing woman but that he thinks she did wanted more than just friends and fun. Well of course she did! What he wanted was not dinner, he was after what comes after that.
I went on a date where the guy’s first question was ‘how long have you been single‘ and ‘what’s wrong with you?‘ This was quickest coffee I ever had!
The other time, the guy had prepared questions and was not happy I wasn’t sure where I wanted to be in my life in 5 and 10 years time. How was he supposed to know if he should invest in me if I don’t know where I wanted to be in the future he said.
The other one said he is looking for a ‘real girl’, and that he is just not sure I am that. WTF?? What does that even mean? To be real woman. Last time I checked I was all real…
I once went bowling with few mates. A good friend, happily married asked me how come I am still single. I gave him bold answer that ‘men don’t like successful women’. he laughed at and said that it’s rubbish. He then asked few guys over and gave them a scenario of which girls would they pick. One was my story….the having degree, own flat, job looks, fit healthy blah blah blah…..other one was pretty girl, living with few mates, going out a lot and temping between jobs as not sure what she wants. They all picked the other girl as someone they’d prefer to date. Why? Because they could feel more like a man next to her without trying too hard. Because she would be easier to be with. With the woman like me, they’d have to be pretty awesome to level with. Of course not all men are like that. But I am now talking about my own experience. I raised my hands in defeat and walked away.
After my first heartbreak, I realised I no longer wanted to be this miserable person. I wanted to be happy, I wanted to laugh, I wanted to be one that people love to be around. Moved city, moved jobs. I created new me, new friends. And with that a new love came. And it was different, it was good, it was fresh and strong. We moved forward quickly, we were fun, happy and I realised that it was more grownup love. I thought this is what it should be like. This was it. I could move the mountains for this man. But same as the first time, my world shuttered one evening. It was sudden, for me. It was hard as yet again I was sitting in numbness trying to understand what has just happen and why. Why can’t things work out for me? But I didn’t give up. Yes I was broken, and hurt but the only way to move forward was to pick up my pieces and build a new self. And I did just that. Who I am today is a fruit of hard work on myself. I learnt to be confident, happy, smiley, forever inspired by others and challenging to do better. I focused on new career, new home, life with travel and adventure, where I grasped each opportunity and lived for the moment. I did it because this was the advice I kept getting from others. Look after yourself, focus on number 1. They kept saying if you love yourself others will love you too. And so I did.
But years go by and no new love came. Yes I dated, I was in short sweet relationships and with each I though, yes, finally he is here. Maybe this time it will be different. And each time it broke. Each time it did not move to be anything significant. But this short relationships starting to leave big scars on my heart. And with each one I am failing more and more to move forward. I am starting to sink. I am starting to give up.
Do people even want to be in the relationships? I mean yes they do. It just seems to me that they want to do it without the work. They just want to update Facebook status but without being friends first. They want to sit with someone on the sofa and watch another episode of ‘McMafia’ with without taking them to cinema first. They want to wake up to good morning message but unwilling to send a good night one. They want to find someone perfect and yet they don’t want to be the perfect one.
Media, papers, magazines, social media all talk about how this year you should focus on you, make it your own, you, number one. But what about spending some energy on others. What about looking after someone else. I am alone most of the time what I want is to care for someone else too, and for someone to care for me.
Dating is hard. It’s not a game and yet we are all told we need to play it right. So I sit with my friends and trying to figure out the rules. But there is no manual. I mean there are hundreds websites who promise a magic message, magic world, magic way to get him to like you. They convince you that you need their manual so that when you speak with the guy you’ll know exactly what to say so that you wont push him away but pull him closer to you. So what if I don’t get it. What if I will be myself, what if I say something wrong, what If I say what I shouldn’t. Well. You will be single. The guys will run away one by one and you will be forever asking yourself what did I do wrong.
I mean! REALLY?
And last month was just that. I dated a guy, we get on so well. We spoke every day we met a few times, our lunch dates would turn to afternoon drinks, evening dancing and a midnight walk in the park. It felt perfect. It felt easy. We agreed on what we wanted, we laughed that now we both want the same we can focus on having fun. And fun we did have. Until it all stopped.
Just pure silence?
I refused to put a blame on me. And so I stopped myself, and send a message to the man I liked, saying I will take the time out, I told him ‘I’m confused with what happened but that I don’t want to get any closer‘ to him if that is not what he is willing to do either. His reply was a blow. I expected some explanation but instead I got a one liner. It was dismissive and unapologetic. I agree. It’s for the best. Not even sorry things didn’t work out. Not even have a good life. Not nothing. I felt hurt more by this message that lack of contact in the first place. Because it just meant that whatever I was feeling was one way. I was on the road to somewhere thinking I am going there with someone. I wasn’t…..I was going there alone.
Till next time….