Saturday, 25 August 2007

Diving back into the dating pool

I had a date this week, my first since breaking up with GS - or Gobshite as I affectionately refer to him – almost exactly a year ago. In fact today, it’s EXACTLY 52weeks to the day that he dumped me over lunch in Bryant Park. Happy days :-)

GS and I met in salsa class in the autumn of 2005 and became close friends pretty much immediately. Like me he was a foodie, a movie buff and a HUGE fan of Eddie Izzard. He made me laugh like no-one else could and we’d hang out until the small hours every week after dance class. I had many a midweek hangover to blame on late nights out with him - he was a restaurant manager, so his ‘weekend’ was Wednesday and Thursday – and it was no surprise when I had my annual review at work that my boss said that he felt I hadn’t really progressed much in the past year. Ooopsie!! I didn’t really care about my career; I was having the time of my life.

After a couple of months hanging out together GS made it very clear he was attracted to me. I was surprised and told him that although I loved spending time with him I wasn’t sure I was interested in him in that way. He was disappointed, but we continued to hang out and have a lot of fun together. Looking back I suspect he was just biding his time until I changed my mind, and change my mind is exactly what I did. Towards the end of May last year GS and I started dating.

For the first couple of months everything was rosy. He was such a gem that not a day went by when I didn’t feel like smacking myself in the head for not taking a chance on him sooner. Unfortunately my bliss was short lived and in the third month of us seeing each other things rapidly went downhill. He began to distance himself and at times became downright petulant. To this day I’m not sure what happened because he clammed up and refused to talk to me about it - this being the man who often said that the best thing about being with me was that we could talk about anything. Things came to an abrupt end in late August when he invited me for lunch in Bryant Park. When I walked up to kiss him hello he turned his head so that my lips met his cheek and told me we needed to talk.


Suddenly lunch didn’t sound so appealing, so I ordered just a coffee - it was a great day for the muffin top, not so great for my emotional well being. He got as far as ordering a roast beef sandwich on ciabatta bread with grilled red onions, radish slaw and black pepper aioli only to loose his appetite after one bite. A shame because it looked delicious, even I, the pseudo veggie (fish only, no meat, well okay, except for the pork buns at Momofuku Ssam Bar…and…um…a bacon sarnie every Christmas. Ok, ok, I admit it, I’m a complete sham of a pseudo vegetarian), was almost tempted to have a nibble. A bit more luxurious than a slice of cheese between 2 bits of bread and a dawb of Branston pickle eh. That’s because Bryant Park has been celebrity chef-ed by Tom Colicchio, of
Top Chef fame (LOVE that show) and there are 4 of his 'Wichcraft booths dotted along the west side of Bryant Park selling gourmet sandwiches, soup, salads, ice cream and coffee. I highly recommend it for lunch if you’re ever in New York during the sunnier months. Bryant Park is a beautiful place to sit and eat; it has free wi-fi too, so you can blog whilst there, should that be your want. I love being there, it’s a total New York moment for me, although at the time it was somewhat spoiled by the fact that GS choose it as the location for the break up. I felt odd going anywhere near there for the following few months, that is until I came to my senses and decided to reclaim it for myself. I’d say about 90% of my visits to Bryant Park over the last seven years in New York have been in the 12months since the break up. I’ve been there so often it’s definitely mine. I’m a couple of visits away from sticking a flag in the lawn ;-)

Anyway, back to my break up lunch in the park. The conversation went a little something like this…

GS: I think we need to take a step back from our relationship.

Me: Are we breaking up?

GS: No, no, it’s not a break up; it’s just a…a…well, a stepping back.

Me: It sounds a lot like a break-up to me. If it’s a break up why don’t you just call it that?

GS (Irritated): No no no! It’s not a break up; I just need to have a break from us for a while. I can’t be sexual right now; I need to focus on my career.

Hmmmm!!! Focus on his career!! Right! My arse it was a stepping back, this, my friends, was a fully fledged break up without a shadow of a doubt. Why couldn’t the wanker just be honest with me? I know why, because if he told me outright he was breaking up with me then he’d feel like the bad guy. Better to just let me read between the lines and work it out for myself. Fuckwit!! Why don’t men realise that leaving women hanging like that, wondering whether this is the end of the relationship or whether there could be a reconciliation, being cowardly instead of being upfront, is EXACTLY what makes them the bad guy!! Why don’t they understand that???

At the time, my opinion of the break up was that it was less about me and more about the stress he was under – he’d recently moved into a new apartment, taken on some new responsibilities at the restaurant and was anxiously awaiting the New York Times to come and review the place – they didn’t visit until almost 9-10months later. The review was published on my birthday of all days. Naively I thought he might come to his senses after a few weeks and call me. Seriously, the man spent close to 6months chasing me only to dump me after 3months when he finally got me. Of course he didn’t come to his senses at all, but about 10months later I finally came to mine.

I know what you’re thinking, you're thinking “TEN MONTHS???” Are you fucking kidding me? You only dated for 3months and you wasted 10months getting over him!! No actually I’m not kidding you, it really did take me that long to get over the horrid little twirp, although when I say it took me that long I don’t mean that during those 10months I was walking around wailing and gnashing my teeth at the unfairness of being dumped. That’s not the case at all. I was fine, I got out, I was busy, I did things, but I say 10months, because it’s taken me that long to feel like I’ve 100% moved on. I no longer feel any anger towards him for his cowardice or pretence at friendship; I’m certainly not shedding any tears, in fact the strongest reaction you’re going to get out of me with regards to GS these days is a shrug. I no longer dream of running into him on the street and giving him a sharp kick to the goolies. Those days are happily behind me.

However it does take me a while to move on, even from the shortest of flings. It’s just the way I am. I recently read an interview with the French actress/director Julie Delpy where she said "I’m very romantic. I suffer tremendously for love," and I immediately thought 'me too'. I feel such crushing disappointment when things don't work out the way I hoped they would, but I know it's part and parcel of life and I deal with it, but in my own time, and I have to say that one of the things that needled me most about the break up was not losing my boyfriend, but the reactions of some of my close female friends. Friends who in all other aspects are completely wonderful and supportive, they'd be there for me in a heartbeat, but when it comes to getting over a break up...well they most definitely come from the 'pull yourself together' school of tough love.

Six weeks after being dumped I had dinner with one of those girlfriends at Mexican Radio restaurant downtown on Cleveland Place.

"How are you feeling?" She asked

"Oh still a bit up and down about things" I replied.

She looked at me in disbelief.

"STILL!!!! You’re still upset? How long has it been now, a month?? I can’t believe you're still upset??"

“Well, yes actually I AM still upset. Our romantic relationship may have been brief, but I had expected it to last a bit longer than 3months. I honestly thought he was a good friend and as such I thought he may have been a bit more invested in making it work. I was very close friends with him for almost a year, so yes I do think it’s going to take me more than 6weeks to feel like I’m fully over him and I can do without the judgment from people who are supposed to be my friends thank you very much. It’s not as if I’m walking around with a face like a slapped arse, I’m keeping busy and hanging out with friends, throwing myself into work, but it's going to take me a little while and if you ask me how I am feeling I am going to tell you the truth. Do I say to you ‘oh wow, you really got over that broken engagement quickly, two weeks, that must be some sort of record, what are you, some sort of heartless bitch?’ No! Of course I don’t, I’m supportive like a friend should be, so don’t sit there and judge me just because I take a little longer to get over breakups, okay?”

Of course I didn’t say anything of the sort. Instead I just sat there feeling worse about myself. Marvellous!! Trying to get over a break up is bad enough without knowing that some of your friends think you're pathetic.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t just will someone out of my head. I just have to wait for the day when I wake up and think, 'oh, I haven't thought of so-and-so for ages. Wow. I'm completely over him.' I can't force that day, but I do my best to try to distract myself from thinking of a recent ex by keeping as busy as humanly possible. Unfortunately I found that even as long as 6-months post break-up GS would occasionally pop into my head unexpectedly and I’d find myself brushing away tears. Lucky for you if that's not the case in your life, but please, no judgments towards those of us who have a bit more trouble moving on.

It was completely lost on my friend at Mexican Radio that I wasn’t just upset about the loss of the 3month relationship, but the loss of a friendship that meant an awful lot to me, even if it meant very little to him and was just a means to getting into my knickers. Her contemptuous attitude didn’t help me get over my relationship any quicker, if anything it made me want to distance myself from my friendship with her.

Anyway that was last year and I am happy to say I’ve most definitely moved on and I’ve dived back into the dating pool. In fact tonight I have date #2 with the guy I was out with earlier this week, so who knows. Keep your fingers crossed for me ;-)


Amel's Realm said...


I think there's ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with moving on "only" after 10 months. I mean, it's better to make sure you've really moved on rather than jump into another relationship while you're still not ready for it, right?

What's wrong with needing time to move on? Everybody moves at different paces and tempo, right?

Just do what you've gotta do, Girl!!! And ENJOY going back to the dating world. May you find someone special.

Btw, I HATE it when men are too cowardice to break up with the girls they are dating. GRRRRRRR!!!! A friend of mine once experienced a similar thing...he grew distant and didn't really say he wanted to break up with her until finally she couldn't stand it anymore and she broke him up. It took her 2 or 3 years before she could truly move on (she suffered from bulimia even for a little while). It was only natural since she didn't know why the prick got so distant after having been so nice to her for a year or so (he also clamped up, didn't wanna give any explanation).

So I say: SALUTE TO YOU 'coz it only took you 10 months to move on!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks Amel, I REALLY appreciate your comment. I am glad your friend has finally moved on too. I hope she finds someone worthy of her. I think sometimes we are pressured by others to move on and date before we are ready, but people should appreciate that everyone is different. Have a lovely weekend. F x

Amel's Realm said...

Unfortunately my friend hasn't found a match yet, but she's a GREAT person so I'm sure she WILL find one soon. It's just a matter of time and place he he he...

Have a GREAT weekend yourself, F!!! ;-D Mine's been AWESOME so far he he he...

patientanonymous said...

I'm so like you? Maybe, I'm not sure but I do have this to say.

You really can't gauge how long it takes to get over someone. Every relationship and what you share with someone is different--no matter how long you've been with them.

I was with someone for what? Perhaps six weeks and she positively crushed me when we broke up! That one took a very long time for me to work through.

You can never tell how long it will take for you to gain back your perspective. You can only give it time.

Agnes Mildew said...

Oh, I really, really empathise with you on this.

It takes as long as it takes to get over someone; it doesn't matter how long you have been with them - it is the depth of your feeling for them which has to reconcile itself to them clearing off.

Yes, friends do tire of the scenario, I'm afraid. In my experience, it's often because they simply want to help the hurt go away, and just don't know how to do it...not necessarily a good excuse, though.

Well, good for you - you are now over it, and that's the best thing ever. And I hope very much that your date becomes a more permanent fixture in your life...Good luck x

Paper Fan Club said...

Fish, this post made my stomach turn to relive those memories of being dumped. Ugh, you captured the emotion so well!

A song that always socks me in the gut is Jann Arden's "Insensitive" -- about being the dumped, not the dumpee.

Glad to read you've moved on.

Amel's Realm said...

For being witty, funny, and inspirational,

Here's a Nice Matters Award for you, Fish, pls follow the link! ;-D

Nice Matters Award

Have a WONDERFUL Sunday!!!

alcoment said...

I'll second Agnes's 'It takes as long as it takes'. There are no rules as to how long it should take before you're over someone. Having lost the friendship with him too, well, that's a double blow.

I'm glad you're feeling ready to move on and I hope your date went well. Let us know.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments. I'm so touched. It really is a pleasure to know you all through your blogs.

The date went okay last night. I have a fun time with him, I am just not sure I see it moving from friendship to romance, but then we've only had 2 dates and I've said that before ;-)

Amel, thanks so much for the "Nice Matters Award", you are so sweet. When I get my technical head on I'll fathom out how to put it on my blog :-)

Amel's Realm said...

Well, at least you had a fun date and that's GOOD! ;-D

UR welcome about the award. You just have to save the award pic to your HD and add a picture to your sidebar to display it. ;-D

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh. It's a JPEG!!! Duh. I was looking for the HTML code ha ha. Duh, I'm not that bright!! F x

thewishfulwriter said...

whooo hooo!

i expect a follow up post very soon, missy.

and for the record, dating girls isn't any easier.

my ex, who knew i was completely out of my head in love with her, said:

"I don't want to be in a relationship with you, but I couldn't stand it if you were ever in a relationship with anyone else."


Manipulate much?

Took me a YEAR to move past that one.....

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Heather, yup, the boy called me last night to plan date #3 for this week, except I am here in Florida so no go. We'll see if he is still interested next week.

Your ex sounds mental and completely screwed up as was mine, but now you are with the lovely April, so all's well that ends well.

Later sweets, F

Cat said...

Oh, tell about it... My ex broke up with me in March and I just didn't know what to do with myself. My philosophy was to 'survive between the teas' and to focus only on the next few hours. God, it was the most horrible time of my life! But now I feel that things have changed - and somehow those last five months have been amazingly healthy for me. I have discovered forces in me that I didn't think existed and I am in a better mood than when we were together. A very interesting experience. And, maybe, I'll be diving back into the dating pool soon too! Good luck to you!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Cat, thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear you are also doing well after your break up. My mood also improved and I feel stronger in myself than I ever did before, but even though I knew the relationship wasn't good for me the way it turned out I couldn't help but miss him terribly for a while. Good luck to you too. let me know how the dating goes. F