After all the rants, raves, frustration, and putting out into the universe all the things I wish would make people better (or better for me), I remembered the one simple truth: the only person I can change is me. Relationship are a two way street, and clearly I am in a place right now whereby I am attracting a certain type of man that is not doing my mental health any favours. While I am aware that mental health and depression is on the rise, I also have to take accountability for the fact that dating 3 men in a row battling depression is more than coincidence. While I take pride in being empathetic, warm, good natured, and really easy going, those are not the traits that I should be putting forth. Instead, I need to regain my confidence, assertiveness, and bring that sass onto the table from the get go. Why? Because I am tired of having men walk all over me, or just disappear. And if I’m being honest, I have been making that really easy. So here I am trying to own my part of the recent slew of relationship breakdowns.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I am not taking accountability for the ghosters. That is abhorrent behaviour and we must all work to call out that BS whenever it occurs. I take nothing back from my rant or recent Medium article talking about how we must start talking about breakups and how to end things. We MUST do better!
What I am saying though, is me being a passive, chill, and relaxed is not the answer right now. And the evidence is in the fact that I am not finding people who challenge me, who engage me, or who want to stick around. I’ve become a dating pacifist, who is just too damn easy going and go with the flow. Sure, these are real character traits that I am proud to possess, but as my closest friends can attest, our friendships never started out that way. I am an intense individual. And I need to own that. Passionate, driven, and a person with very little patience. These are the traits that attracted the best men into my life. And these are the ones I have to harness again.
Do you want to know something though? I couldn’t actually figure out what I was doing wrong until I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and changed up everything. Granted I did it on a very small scale. But still, it must be noted that I packed up my car, my dog, and headed west. I drove back and forth between a small town in BC, trying to pick a location that was secluded, surrounded by trees, and basically, perfect for a writing retreat. I actually started crying while looking, because I realized solo travelling is really difficult for me. I am confident with people I know, but damn, I am out of practice in new situations. And as that realization slowly made the tears stop, I simplified things, and just looked for a simple picnic table. While on the quest for that spot I could make my lunch, a spot surrounded with trees soon appeared, and everything I was looking for was suddenly there. But, the first step, was keeping in keeping it simple stupid.
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And with that, I refuelled, went for a walk with my dog, and suddenly remembered to breath. Here I was, in the most serene spot, completely unexpected, and I realized I needed to empower myself. I have never been able to rely on others to do it for me. But, I kinda fooled myself into thinking I could. And with this reset of time, space, by being out in nature, I felt OK. I did something big and scary, and I was fine. Because of course I was fine. I always land on my feet, no matter what shit gets thrown at me. And I need to trust that again. Yes, things are going to be hard. Yes, difficulty is part of my life, but… I will find what I need. But only if I project the correct image. This sweet, kind, and affectionate being is not the one I need to lean on right now. And… it took me a long time to remember that, and a ridiculous amount of heartache.
So, let us scratch that. Start again. Call out the first half of 2021 for being an experiment that I gave some solid attempts to, and go back to something that works. I am now ready to attract the people to me that are going to compliment me in all the best ways. And I wish the same, for each and every one of you! And don’t you worry, I will share with you all each fuck up along the way!
A huge shout-out to everyone who has given me beer money this summer! Your support motivates me to keep going, and creating!
I’ve had my opinions on why ghosting someone sucks for years. Never for a moment did I think a person who ghosts someone else was an admiral human being. In fact, the contrary. I still believe that a person who just stops responding for no reason is a coward, and spineless. These individuals are not ready to date, because I believe dating adults need to understand how to end a relationship, and handle rejection with grace. But that is an article for another time (or just the one I link to later on), for now, let me share my recent experience with being ghosted. Just so we are on the same page, let me start with the definition.
What is ghosting?
It is “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”
Why am I writing about this?
Because, I was seeing a guy for almost 9 weeks, and out of the blue, he just stopped responding to any messages where I said I wanted to see him. And then, just stopped messaging me altogether.
The thing about this is, I always assumed that ghoster’s would be douchebags, or FuckBoys, or people with zero confidence. I thought that I was smart enough to spot someone who would do that to another person a mile away. Well, I was just knocked down a peg, and my dating confidence was in fact called into question. It’s difficult to be left with all these unanswered questions. To be just left wondering. And what’s worse, to have it done to you by someone that you genuinely thought was just a kind, amazing soul. This guy and I clicked. We made each other smile, and the in-person chemistry was fantastic, or so I thought. Because ultimately, I will never know for sure. My perception remains invalidated due to his silence.
It’s not that I expected this relationship to be forever. But, he made me happy, and did incredibly sweet things for me and I tried to be spontaneous and thoughtful in return. I felt amazing in his arms, and just thinking about him made me smile. But here I am, wondering, if it was all in my head?
The lack of closure, is uncomfortable. The uncertainty of what happens if we ever run into each other again is real. These situations are not what I expected to encounter as an adult in the dating world. Ghosting, shouldn’t happen when you’re in your late 30’s (as we both were). There just doesn’t seem to be a rational reason with the simplicity of texting at our fingertips.
But then the compassionate, bleeding heart in me goes… wait… did something happen to him? Maybe it wasn’t me. Perhaps that last message I sent him was the final kick in the nuts, and I’m the real asshole now. Maybe I pushed him too far, and really, he was planning on seeing me, but wanted it to be a surprise (Ha… OK that is a stretch). In short though, welcome to my brain, because it would be easier for me to be the one in the wrong. If that was the case, I can fix my behaviour, own it, or basically have some sort of control. Being ghosted like this, takes all power away from me, and leaves that sickening helpless feeling. Which, I know some of you may be wondering what my final text to him was, because if you know me at all, helpless is not something I tolerate. So here goes pain and all:
“Kinda bummed you just stopped messaging or making an effort to see me. I thought we got along well, and really enjoyed spending time with you. Le sigh…”
Of course his response… Nothing!
So, to all of us out there dating, please don’t ghost other humans. If you have no idea how to face rejection or reject another human, please give the Handling Rejection section of How to Start Conversations. In short, just be good to each other. Truly, we have all been through enough with 2020!
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