To celebrate this year’s Valentine’s Day (or Singles Awareness Day for some), I’ve got a few guest posts for you. Rounding out the weekend is a guest post from Katie. Enjoy!
Something I’ve been struggling with recently is the idea of trying to… not rebuild a bridge I guess, but wave a white flag. Lay down my arms and let them know hostilities have ceased. At least on my end.
There was someone in my life, briefly, that we’ll call Captain Commitmentphobe. One of those slithery guys that are delicious in bed, but slink away at a moment’s notice. The ones who keep calling, but the instant you reach out first they head for the hills as fast as their tiny little legs can carry them. These guys were my kryptonite, so I’m on a time out until I can break that particular habit.
I’ve found myself several times in the past few months having to grit my teeth and be nice and accommodating to people who quite frankly don’t deserve my time, energy, or grace. I sent a VERY nice email to Captain Commitmentphobe in response to him accusing me of sabotaging him in his never-ending quest to sleep with as many women as possible; where I informed him that I sincerely wished he find his own happiness with someone else. (Because I do not want the clap.) The only reason I did this was because of the cold war between me and my second boyfriend, who, in a bit of hilarious irony is also named Matt.
Matt broke my heart nigh on five years ago, and I… did not handle it well. We crashed headlong into each other after the both of us escaping very unhealthy relationships, and got way too serious way too fast. As I’m coming to notice, men don’t do breakups well. But we shared the same friends, and I did not want to have to hunt down a new set again, as my first ex basically took all of our friends with him. Not that they were really my friends but that is a different story.
I admit I was quite often difficult when he was around. I was young, immature, and still trying to deal with what had happened to me with my first relationship. But he didn’t make things easy for me either, and things came to head when I made a joke at his expense and he slapped me.
I repeat. He slapped me.
So I quit talking to him. In spite of my girlfriends’ repeated attempts to force us together and make us get along. Why do people do that? Why can’t they accept that it’s not kosher to force exes together and expect them to get along like bestest buddies?
Unfortunately, the cold war continues to this day. To the point where I was unwanted at a New Year’s party and the only person who would deign to see me was my ex’s best friend, from whom I found out that The Slap was justified to the rest of the group by saying I hit him first. Guess who they believe?
I was nice to Captain Commitmentphobe because I liked my friends and I don’t want to miss out on seeing them because he is around, as I did for much of the summer. He is around them more than me, so, I have to behave if I want to see them. (And for people saying I shouldn’t have dated in my friends group, in my defense, I was there first.)
It grates on me because I hate liars more than anything else in the world. But an unfortunate side effect of growing up seems to be developing the ability to hide one’s true feelings in an effort to be nice and keep the peace. I have to decide what I want more, to tear someone a new one when they’ve crossed the line, or the ability to retain most of my interpersonal relationships. They say you get back what you give to the universe, and I’m finding being an open, likable person has been pretty rewarding. But on the other hand, it feels so good to stand up for myself when someone’s been stomping all over me, and I feel like crap when I have to shove my feelings down and pretend I’m okay when I’d really like to throw someone off a pier.
So now I sit at a crossroads, debating with myself on whether or not I extend an olive branch to my ex. I don’t want his friendship. I don’t even want him in my life in any sort of capacity. But I don’t hate him. I don’t like him enough to hate him. What happened between us was a million years ago and I want to move on, and I’m not sure if I can do that if shots are still being fired from his end. I’m debating whether or not to draft an email, similar to the one I sent Captain Commitmentphobe, basically telling him goodnight and godspeed. The only reason I would do this is because there’s a messy, loose thread in my life and it keeps re-appearing and causing hurt. But is it even worth it? Some bridges are meant to stay burned. There are some people I’ve been encouraged to try and get along with again, but I have no idea why I would even want to because I’m so much happier without them.
I’ll probably wind up doing it. If only to be the bigger person. At the end of the day it felt good to stand up for myself to Captain Commitmentphobe, and to do so in a way that would make him look like a giant asshole if he continued his behavior towards me.
I think that’s a lesson all in it’s own, there.