Monday, May 2, 2011


Inquiring minds want to know - what happened? why did he dump you?

It's been too painful to share with you. But seeing how today I saw him on the street and while still totally sucked, I didn't die right there of a broken heart. So I guess I'll live. And I guess I'm moving on. So sharing with you - this ONE AND ONLY time (I hope) - this very painful thing - may help. And is worth a shot.

It was Friday night at 7 o'clock. Finally time for me to get off of work after 5 consecutive 13 hour days in a row. I had started a new project with a new client. I was feeling great about my responsibilities and talent and efforts and results. And I hadn't seen David all week. I couldn't wait to see him. He said he would swing by my office and pick me up. And then we were supposed to go to dinner just the two of us. A romantic dinner at a little Italian place I'd never been to.

Another fact you might not know, is that 3 days later I was supposed to meet his parents for passover dinner. Something you will now know, but David never will, was that I was so nervous yet so excited for this dinner. I thought it meant something. I thought it meant something big. I thought it meant he loved me. I wanted it to mean he loved me. I'd taken off of WORK!!! (unheard of) to go dress shopping at Macy's. I'd tried every dress on they had in the store and bought three. I would decide which one was most appropriate later I had decided and return the other two (or save them for other occasions we might go to together). I had listened to NPR podcast and news stories ALL day long at work for days. His mother is a psychotherapist, his father a teacher. I didn't want to come off like an ignoramus. I wanted to impress them.

Just moments before he was to arrive, I went to the restroom. I brushed and primped my hair. I touched up my makeup. My eyeshadow. My lipstick. My lip gloss. I always wanted to look good for him. I was so happy.

I went down the elevator and out into the lobby. There he was. In one of his many suits. When he looked up he smiled, but in a forced way. I could feel my walk pick up a little quicker, almost in a half skip as I moved towards him and planted a firm kiss on his lips. I guess in hindsight, it wasn't really returned and had been all my doing but I hadn't noticed. "How are you?" he'd asked. "I'm great," I said. "The new job is going great! It's so good to see you. How are you?" "I'm okay" he replied. "Just okay?" I asked concerned thinking it was a work thing or a family thing that was bothering him. "We'll talk about it," he said as we turned up the street towards Dupont Circle.

"Why are you just okay?" I asked again. "We'll talk about it" he said again. "You're worrying me..." I said in response. But he gave no further answer. We walked several blocks and I felt sick in my stomach. I knew. I just knew.

"Do you wanna break up?" I asked him. "Yes," he nodded. "Shit," I said. We kept walking a little ways. "Okay," I said. "That's it?" He said back. "Well, what can I say?" I said panicked, the tears starting to well up choking in my throat. "I can't make you be with me if you don't want to be with me." He nodded again.

I suddenly felt overwhelmed and lightheaded. We sat down on a rock wall surrounding a park filled with a happy family of father and children playing baseball.

"Why did you ask me to meet your parents," I almost shrieked. "That was before..." he answered. "That was cruel," I said back. "There is nothing about this, that isn't cruel," he replied. "This is hard on me too you know." "This isn't hard on you," I said meanly. "It isn't hard on you at all."

"It just isn't right," he explained poorly. "I don't know what's wrong. But I haven't been able to sleep lately. I've been thinking about it for some time. It's just not right."

"I don't understand," I started to cry. "I feel liked I learned nothing from this relationship. I don't know how we went from those great dates at Firefly and Oya and Dplan to where we ended up. I don't know why we don't 'fit.' This isn't what I want. I like you. I like being with you. I want to be with you. We seem to have so much in common. Why is it so hard to just spend time together and be happy? Why didn't you get off a long day of work, want to see my smiling face, call me up saying 'coming over?' - go home with me, cook dinner, watch tv or read and go to bed. Any day, every week, all the time? Of course our relationship wasn't working. Bc it wasn't a relationship at all. We never DID anything together. Why didn't you want to do things with me or spend time with me and just relax with me if you liked me as much as you said you did? I just don't understand. I don't. I tried so hard. I tried to be nice and flexible and give you space. I feel like you never let me in or tried at all. And I don't know why. And that's so hard."

He paused for a long time. Then he tried to rub my back with his hand and I pulled away from him.

"I don't have any answers, just shared hurt. And confidence that this is the right decision. I feel good about the time we had together. I think you are truly excellent; smart and beautiful, kind and generous. I wish you the best in all things. I did and do care for you. The answer you are looking for is an intangible. i don't know why it didn't work and I really wish that it had but it didn't feel right to me and when I realized that it wasn't just stress or scheduling or anything either of us could change I thought that the best thing would be to recognize that and end it. I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to use you, I was hoping to fall in love with you. I didn't and it sucks and I don't know what else to say."

OUCH. A punch to the gut. Are there any words ever said ever before by anyone, anywhere that ever hurt as much? "I was hoping to fall in love with you. I didn't."

What else was there to say? I made him give me $20 for cab fare. I was in no shape to take public transit home. I was sure to cry in public adding insult to injury. I made him wait for me to find a cab. "You were lucky to have me as long as you did," I spurted out sharp and angry. "You were lucky to have me at all." "I feel that way," he said.

"Don't call me. Don't email me. Don't invite me to stuff. Tell your friends not to invite me to stuff. If you see me on the street, pretend you don't know me."

"It doesn't have to be that way," he said. He genuinely looked hurt. Hah. As if. "Yes, it does," I replied without hesitation defensive and in pain. "Promise me." "Promise me this is it. I know myself and I want nothing to do with you. I wish you a good life I guess. Have a nice life." "I'll wish you the same then," he said back to me.

He hailed a cab and it pulled beside us. He opened the door. "Goodbye David," I said. "Goodbye," he said. I got in the cab and the door shut behind me. As it pulled away I looked over at him walking along the sidewalk away from me. He looked at me too. For a moment. He did look sad and defeated.

I held it together in the cab. I walked into my dark and empty house at 8pm on a Friday night like a zombie. I went upstairs and calmly put my pajamas on. I went back downstairs, opened a bottle of wine. I put something on the tv. I ordered a pizza. But when it came I took one look at it and felt nauseous. I couldn't take even one bite. So I just sat there, in the dark, drinking wine, crying and sobbing, and dying a little inside, until I fell asleep. I didn't leave the couch for almost 48 hours. Except to use the restroom. I sat in the darkness. I drank wine and liquor and beer. I didn't eat. I was empty. And I was alone. Yet, again. And all I could hear, over and over again, ringing in my ears like a curse -

"I hoped to fall in love with you. But I didn't. I don't know what else to say."

And I was left to ponder, what it was, that made me so willing to love others, yet so impossible to be loved in return.

I have never doubted why they call it heart ache. Because if you've known it, then you also know - your heart - actually aches. So much so, that you think you should die instantly from its infliction, but you don't. And minutes keep ticking. And suns keep rising. And people keep laughing. While you must watch and see and feel. When all you feel is despair.


Sarah said...

And my heart breaks for you. I've been dumped that way, told that he hoped to develop feelings for me and just didn't. It's hard. It's so very hard.

My mom always tells me after a breakup is that you get to be with you and he gets to be with him. You get to be with the person who loves and he gets to be by his crusty, old, sleepless self. If that isn't winning, I don't know what is.

Toddy said...

Sarah, my dear, if I knew you in real life I would kiss you. Truly I would. Thanks, T.

vvk said...

...what it was, that made me so willing to love others, yet so impossible to be loved in return.

I hope you know that the first part is a virtue - sometimes painful - but a good thing none-the-less... and the second part simply isn't true.

Susanlee said...

That is the stupidest excuse for a breakup I have ever heard. What does that even mean? God, what a douche-canoe.

Other terrible words to hear:

Me: I'm a great girl, how could you not love me??

Him: could I not?

Andy said...

He's a short, balding fuck with no personality, interests or worth outside that of his career. Thank god he is out of the picture.

Anonymous said...

That feeling you had with him of having to be perfect, of never living up to expectation, of things never being easy or enough... that is what he lives with everyday. He will end up with someone who feeds that, who thinks he isn't worthy, isn't enough, needs to try harder... you wanted to love him and make his life easier and be free with him. You had a lucky escape.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Read this. It helped me.,,2287405,00.html

Jolene said...

I agree with Anonymous. He clearly has some living with perfection thing going on and nobody can ever live up to that kind of notion.

I am so sorry. I read this and my heart actually ached for you too, especially reading that line, about not falling in love with you. That is so tough and hard and wrong. You seem like a beautiful wonderful person and you deserve more than that. (I also believe that heart ached makes your heart literally ache. Absolutely). XOXO. Thank you for sharing, I know this must have been extremely difficult.

Toddy said...

vvk- I really don't know your story but you always put the wisest spin on things. Like an old soul in an anonymous voice wafting in and out of my posts...

Susanlee - you always make me laugh. out loud. douche-canoe made me feel better this morning. Even with sad, tired eyes reading the words.

Toddy said...

Andy- he's really not that awful. It just didn't work out. But like I keep saying - you being so mean to him is nice for me because then I don't have to be. You are the true vent for my anger and frustration yet I don't have to feel the guilt.

Anonymous- I hope in time, I agree with you. But I didn't want to escape - so - we'll see...

Please Dont - I read the article. It is a good one. Thanks for sharing that. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. At least once he knew - he didn't string me along for a few more months hoping his feelings of not love would change.

Jolene- I was very hard to share. Especially since I have been feeling better i.e. saw him on the street and I kept my composure and was able to see him for what he was - just one guy. one normal guy. I did cry writing it though, when I hadn't cried in days. so that sucked.

Thanks as always, for all the wonderful, varied, humorous, insightful, helpful, comments to my readership that I may or may not deserve. But I'm glad you are hear reading and thinking and sharing right along with me.

Cheers, T.

Kissing and Other Disasters said...

at least he figured it all out now and not in a couple of more months...
and you did get 3 new potential outfits out of this!

Toddy said...

Oh Kissing - if ONLY. I was too depressed to wear those dresses. I assumed my life was over and no one would ever want to take me anywhere nice again. It was, to say the least, a little overdramatic. I RETURNED the dresses. And prolly spent that money on booze. Oh well...

freckledk said...

One of my first "loves" broke up with me, citing similar reasons. The only thing I vividly recall from that conversation was his saying, "One of these days, I'm going to be sitting by myself in a bar, miserable and drunk, wishing you were with me and that I hadn't let you go."

He never got to that place, wishing he were with me. He just had his first kid. He's with a woman he loves.

It was the best thing he ever did for me, letting me go because I would never be the girl for him, that he hoped I would, but that it wasn't going to happen.

I know it sucks to hear, Toddy, particularly when there's no reciprocity, but it's always better to hurt now than to hurt later. You've got a summer ahead of you, and I'm sure you'll have yourself a pretty decent looking dance card. Lean on your girlfriends, distract yourself whenever possible -- essentially, suck it up and do your best to keep going. You're going to have a spectacular road ahead; this dude was just a rest stop along the way.

Maura said...

We will always be those girls who would rather have loved and lost, than never loved at all. Don't change. Thinking of you while you mend your heart.

Toddy said...

freckledk- I'm sure you are right. And I will feel that way soon - that he did do me a favor. But I can't help but wonder and not feel that way right now. After all, you are the single girl encouraging the single girl, both of whom were dumped by men they were happy with and one whom is married and in love with a family and another who know doubt could find that too if he so chooses. What does it say about us that we are the ones who are cast aside and we are the ones who are unhappy and alone, without love and without the life we want? Not nice to think about, but I'm starting to wonder....

Maura- thanks for the support but I disagree. I do not wish to have loved and lost. I'm sick of losing. Losing the confidence. Losing the company of someone I care about. Losing my sense of self-worth and strong single identity. I wasn't AMAZINGLY SUPERBLY PERFECTLY HAPPY AND CONTENT before I re(met) David but I wasn't completely AWARE that I was missing out being single. I was feeling really good about my family, friends, finances and most importantly feeling really comfortable and content with myself. Alone. Just me. Now...I was reminded for the first time in a long time what I'm missing. What i want. What I now can't live without. Romantic love. And it sucks. I foreesee tons of bad dates and sloppy kisses and awkward sex and more breakups and heartache in my future. And it sucks. I'd rather be half way happy being a spinster. Really. As long as I was ignorant of what I was without. Depressing, but true.

IntrigueMe said...

Bugger. The crappy thing about this situation is... what do you say? There's nothing too say, I suppose, that isn't cliche.

MA said...

mmmmmmm for some reason you weren't updating in my browser. so i was sort of shocked when i got your tweet. and then i read your blog. and was even more shocked. and then i had to think about it.

but reading this? and reading about you winning? sounds like you're the unicorn honey bunches. you're the girl who really does do things in the movies (lots of drunk, slightly ill advised sex) and comes out stronger, sexier, and funnier as a result.


Storm. Kat Storm. said...

*hugs* break ups suck.

...but at least he didn't call you a desperate white trash fat head case... so there's that.

in all seriousness, I'm sorry you went through it. :(

The Divorced Guy said...

"And I was left to ponder, what it was, that made me so willing to love others, yet so impossible to be loved in return."

I have been left wondering that myself more times than I care to remember.

Toddy said...

IntrigueMe- you are right. there isn't anything anyone can do or say. Even me. just crying, drinking, anger, grief, mistakes and then mostly TIME. The important thing though is my family and friends are here for me, even though the right words dont exist.

Vittoria- anyone that calls me sexy and strong is clearly full of tiger blood and similarly WINNING.

Stormkat-i've read all about your terrible breakup and I agree - i'm glad he said nice things about me instead of cruel asshole things. but my heart is broken just as much. fuck this. thinking of you, thanks for thinking of me.

The Divorced Guy- i cant believe I wrote those words. kind of depressing having them quoted back to me. At least you and I arent alone in our loneliness or wondering.

Jessica said...

I love how you are so honest- it's really inspiring to see you open up to all of us people you don't even know and share your hurt.. but it also makes me annoyed that there are guys out there. it just sucks because he must have been having this inkling to break up for awhile and just like put it off? eh who knows.. but anyways, booze is so much of a better investment than dresses!!

Katherine said...

I can't really express how much I admire you for your strength in this situation.

I could go on about it, but that's the point I want you to get, so I'm going to leave it at that.

Suzie Q said...

I just found your blog today and I know this post was a while ago but I just wanted to say that I've recently been through a similar type of breakup and as hard as it is, if he wasn't feeling right about it you are far better off. That's what I tell myself anyway.