Tag Archives: love advice

On sabbatical from love

Since no one stepped in and told me to stop- I am still chatting with an ex. I could blame the booze. But I only had one glass of wine last night. So, it’s not that. Maybe it’s COVID and isolation. Being cut off from my usual group of friends and acquaintances. You all know I’ve been struggling with this.

The dreaded question came up. Well, not so much of a question but a statement.

“That’s fine if is works for you. Unless you’ve dated since we last talked.”

The last time we talked was over a year ago. Maybe more? Like two years? I’d have to go back in my Facebook history. I know I’ve only seen him once since moving into this place. We got together and caught up for lunch not long after I moved here. And that was six years ago now.

Wow. Time flies.

So, who is this guy and why am I talking to him again? Well, because love is blind, deaf and extremely dumb.

And let’s be real. You never really fall out of love with someone you really loved at one point. You can let them go. You can get over it. You can move onto someone new. But part of you remembers that love. For all the good things. And love, as stupid as it can be, trumps logic.

Don and I met when I was 18 and living at home. Or 19. I can’t remember the specifics. It wasn’t too long after James and I broke up and I was dating like – well, what do you call a 19 year old who dates a different guy every week?

I remember sneaking out of the house to meet him at the mall. My mother was very strict and didn’t approve of me meeting random single guys “online”. I used a party phone back then. Cell phones were still really expensive back then. This is like, over twenty years ago. I’m dating myself.

So, I had to sneak out and lie to my parents when I was meeting up with someone. Which for like a year there, it was a lot of random someones. To be honest, I was trying to find myself through various men. It took me a long time to realize that I needed to be on my own to find out who I really was.

Don was in his early 20s – 24 I think. We went for a beer and shot some pool. Which is what we all did back in the 90’s. Pool halls and bowling alleys were our key source entertainment after the drive in theatres closed.

Without getting into intimate details, we had a nice “relationship” for a few months. He was easy to talk to. We had chemistry. There was a spark there from the moment we met. It went deeper beyond friendship. We just – clicked.

So, what went wrong you asked?

The Marriage

Don had been in a long-time relationship with his high school sweetheart. They had a young child together and split up after a year or so realizing how hard it was to be a parent at a young age. One day Don called me on the phone and said that he really enjoyed our time together but he and the ex had been talking a lot. And he wanted to marry her and try and work things out.

Now at that age, I had no idea what real love was. I thanked him for calling – like wtf? Hung up the phone and cried for like a minute. A WHOLE minute. And then shrugged it off and called another guy I had been seeing off and on — Steve the trucker. Who I have written about before.

Don’s marriage was a rocky one. We lost touch over the years until Facebook was invented. His name popped into my head and I looked him up. We started chatting and he not only remembered me – but he wanted to get together for coffee.

Coffee. It’s a harmless get together right? An excuse to catch up with someone and have a visit. No big deal. Oh, how wrong I was.

Chemistry

When chemistry is real, it never really fades away. There’s a natural spark that happens with two people. Whether they’re good for each other or not. Whether they can make it work or not. Chemistry makes it impossible for two people to stay away from each other. At least that’s what we told ourselves.

Don had been married since we the year that we broke up. He said that they were in an open marriage and he was free to do what he wanted. I had just lost a bunch of weight, was feeling great about myself and was just in the mood to have some fun. James and I had parted ways again. And I don’t know what I was looking for at the time. Maybe I just wanted to show off. This was back in 2008 – I had just moved to my old condo.

When he came over for coffee that first night, that chemistry – it was still there. And it was strong. We chatted most of the night. He finally got up off my couch at three in the morning and went home. That was it. We just talked.

As he left, I felt a twinge of sadness thinking that must have been what I had been missing. That connection. Communication. Just having someone to talk to like that.

The Heartache

I can’t summarize a decade long friendship in one blog post. There was just too much drama to even get into. And to be honest, I’m not comfortable sharing that much information about relationships. But what I learned was — open relationships aren’t all they are cracked up to be.

Someone almost ALWAYS gets hurt in the end. And usually, it’s the third person coming into the picture. I’ve been in all kinds of relationships over the years. And this is the only constant thing I learned.

I fell in love. Hard. Head over heels love. Madly, deeply, truly. To quote a cheesy 90’s song. I know that Don had feelings for me – but I don’t think they were as deep.

And when we parted ways for the first time in 2009, it broke my heart. I mean literally. I fell into a deep depression. But I was also struggling with hormones at the time and was on anti-depressants. So, it was a combination of things.

We remained friendly over the years. But I learned to not get romantically involved again. Even though the chemistry is still there. Even over texting – old habits are hard to break and flirting is hard to stop.

But — what’s that quote?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting the same results. And insanity would be giving into those old feelings. And while I can appreciate the friendship and catching up – and even staying in touch this time.

This old heart of mine just can’t take another “break up”. I’ve had one too many and one too many toxic relationships with toxic men who I thought were everything to me.

And so… my response to his casual statement about dating?

“I’m on sabbatical from love. At this point, it might be a permanent thing.”

Him: “So, you’re getting a cat now?”

Me: “Cats eat your face.”

And so, that’s where we are this new year’s day/night. Thoughts on past loves. What could go wrong with that?

Thoughts on unconventional relationships

It’s quiet in my building tonight. And it’s dark outside – even by 5 pm, it was already pitch black. I had a pretty good day until I started working on my Christmas tree. It’s just a tiny little tree from Michaels. A 4 foot prelit tree. It’s kind of like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. But I can’t complain for $40. It’s perfect for what I need at the moment.

As I was unpacking the ornaments from dad’s house, I got nostalgic for my mum. Christmas was her favorite time of year. She loved entertaining and having family and friends over for dinner parties. The Christmas tree was her favorite part of decorating the house. Dad would help her set up the tree and the lights. And she would do the rest herself.

Or she would “instruct” us on where to put ornaments, so it looked like how she wanted it. She somehow made it seem like we were helping her out a lot. The more I think about things like that, the more I think – man, kids are dumb.

And as I was lifting boxes from my closet, and got winded after the third load, I couldn’t help but think.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone around to help with day to day stuff?

But is that really a reason to get involved in a relationship? Just to have extra help around the house? I know there are all kinds of unconventional relationships out there. From polyamorous (I speak from experience), to open relationships (been there too).

Romantic connections are a difficult thing for me at this time in my life. My thoughts are weighted down with my dad’s health as it worsens over time. And then there is my own health which impacts my, ahem, sexual drive. Is it even fair to get in a relationship when there’s no desire for intimate – no scratch that – no desire for a sexual relationship?

I’m not saying I never think about it. It’s just with weight, migraines and the hormones, most days – it’s very far from my mind. And my weight is a good reason I’ve stayed single all this time. It’s slowly coming off – painfully, slow.

Would it be too much to ask for a platonic boyfriend? Is that a thing? Someone I can share house responsibilities with. Someone who could pay the bills and let me work from home on my art and music projects. I could even teach music if I had a partner to split the bills with. I could do so much more than I am now.

Plus, I’m an amazing cook. There would be that benefit to sharing a living space with me.

That’s the other thing. I love coming home to an empty home. If I lived with someone, it would have to be a house. And I would need my own space. My own room. A basement to work out in and work on various projects. I need that.

But…I sure do miss having a tall partner around to help with the day to day things that I physically can’t do anymore. And I think about what I’m going to do when I’m over 50 and there’s no one to take care of me. Maybe I’d have to go for a younger guy?

These are thoughts that are plaguing my mind tonight.

But I sure do like the shimmering lights and sparkly ornaments in the background.

For just a little while, it felt like mum was right here with me.