November 9, 2010 – I’m still amazed at the fact that women have to have their hearts broken thirteen times before we can get it through our skulls that we should pay attention to all the red flags lining the path to the ever-too-familiar heartbreak hotel.
I say this in the nicest possible way as I myself am still waiting to check-out from that hotel, seeing as I spent the weekend there.
I blame my years of chasing the wrong type of men on some fantasy I was fed as a young girl that I should spend my life looking for ‘the one’. I recently re-watched the movie ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ and realised that we as women actually bring this onto ourselves.
We end up making endless excuses for a man’s bad behaviour just because we think he may be ‘the one’, whatever that means. Like when you’re trying to figure out why he’s not calling there always seems to be a girlfriend waiting in the wings to tell you ‘maybe he’s just busy’ or ‘maybe he lost his phone’ or ‘maybe he’s just scared’ or ‘maybe you’re just too awesome’ or maybe we should all just stop encouraging each other to keep hanging on to fantasies and start living in reality.
I know I sound bitter and perhaps I still am a little, but my weekend in heartbreak hotel has actually been very educational. I’ve learned that when I run into my ex randomly, we have a few drinks, and he says he wants us to get back together; he’s simply using his tried and tested method of getting me to sleep with him that night. I’ve learned that when he calls me the next day all he wants is more sex, and if I choose to play hard to get and turn him down for the sake of attempting to maintain a bit of dignity, he’ll delete my number and go look for sex elsewhere.
I’ve also been enlightened that when I try to call him incessantly for 3 days after that he’ll ignore my calls and wish I’d disappear. And when I drunk dial him a week after our alleged ‘get back together’ sex, he’ll invite me over to his place for convenient ‘since you offered’ sex. I’ve learned that after three awesome rounds in the sack when I think it’s a good time to bring up the ‘how come you didn’t call me back and what’s really happening in this relationship’ speech he’ll pretend to fall asleep, and I’ll end up taking a cab home very much ashamed, fighting back tears.
That is the exact point where I will either choose to learn my lesson, or keep the cycle going. Normally I would call up a girlfriend and explain to her what happened so she can comfort me and tell me sex with the ex is the best kind and we are really meant to be together so I should just give it some time. This time however, I chose to go into seclusion for 2 days and check myself into rehab, a.k.a a self-imposed heartbreak hotel (in my bedroom) where I was forced to examine the events of the past few weeks and decide whether I was ready for things to change.
So far I’m planning on checking myself out of rehab today mostly because I’ve run out of John Mayer songs to listen and cry to (isn’t his voice just magical?). But after much introspection I’ve realized that I could easily put two more years of my life into this vicious cycle. I could spend the third birthday in a row being sad that he didn’t show up for my party…or I could walk away and try something new.
I could try paying attention to the red flags. I could start watching what a man does and how he treats me rather than listening to what he says. I could attempt not to be so desperate in the face of certain rejection. I could actually be honest with myself and understand that the reason he’s not calling me is because he doesn’t want to and not because of any other damn excuse.
It’s going to take time adjusting to living in reality rather than fantasy but I think it’ll be worth it. At least I’ll be free from the lies and the burden that they bring (insert sound-track of John Mayer’s ‘Free Fallin’ here). I just have one small request: please don’t call me if you need a pep talk about your failing relationship. I’m done being a ‘maybe’ machine, and maybe it’s about time you joined me ?