If you’ve been following my posts so far, you’ll be aware that, just after Christmas, I dumped my – now, upon reflection, perfect – mate for… ridiculously easy-to-fix hurdles like long commutes and arguments over dinner plans.
Long story short, he was distraught and angry, and I was a little too, but mainly hopeful I’d made the right decision. We’ve spoken on the phone a couple of times, and I even later saw him in person – he was sitting with an attractive (grrrr) young woman having drinks at the Commercial hotel; I didn’t want him, but I also didn’t want anyone else to have him! If that happens, then I’ve no chance at getting him back when I inevitably change my mind! You girls know what I’m talking about – but I still struggled to make the connection that I’d probably just let ‘the one’ slip through my fingers. And it wasn’t until I begun dating others, and begun emotionally close myself off, that I recognized just how important and ‘right’ this ‘ex’ was in my life.
But there was another – and he, who will call ‘rebound boy’, helped me come to the conclusion that ‘ex’ was the Noah to my Allie and nobody else would probably ever fit the bill. About three weeks after the break-up, I was dating another man-boy. Being a nurse trainee, I’m required to work ‘real’ shifts at hospitals occasionally, and on this particular weekend, I was getting some real-life experience in a busy emergency department… when in came ‘rebound boy’.
‘Rebound boy’ had fallen and hurt his back while working at the Drive-thru bottle shop he spends most of his nights at.
Anyway, we begun talking; he seemed charming and had some crazy stories about customers. But a few weeks later, I realized I’d made a bad decision. That happy, confident girl I use to be – the one that use to enjoy going to class each day, the one that use to feel actual butterflies when I’d get a poem by SMS (my “ex” did that now and then) had been replaced by a very-worn, somewhat depressed young woman who was just going about the motions. And I think everyone noticed. Was great to have company, not so great that company came with a price – lost a lot of friends, my self-esteem and mainly, my dearly beloved.
About a month into the new relationship – and with constant reminders from my dad that I looked “like crap” and had begun taking on the same negative traits that my new boyfriend (if you can even call him that after a month; nobody usually calls someone a boyfriend that soon I guess… let’s just say ‘the guy I was dating’) had – I started to get angrily antsy and just plain dissatisfied with everything. And I begun missing my “ex” – the guy who wasn’t always complaining about the “drunk customers” every night, but was mostly a jovial guy that loved cheering me up whenever I’d had a bad day or we were both headed into argument territory.
I begun writing down all the things that ‘ex’ did, and how he made feel, vs what ‘rebound guy’ did, and how he made me feel. I also looked at my future, and what kind of future either one of them could give me – – or rather, what kind of future, as a couple, both situations would have.
EX VS REBOUND – THE LIST
Would remind me how loved I am with simple gestures : Picking up Chinese food and meeting me at university with it at lunchtime, knowing it was my favourite; opening the car door for me all the time, knowing that the handle was a little ‘tough’ to turn at times; Would buy me my favourite magazine or a porcelain elephant (I collect them; elephant trinkets) if he saw some in a shop; would get out of work or skip out for a hour or so if I had the flu or wasn’t well so he could bring over some lozenges or check in on me; He was always nice to my friend Jane – never jealous that I spent time with her, and even invited her out to dinner with us when he knew she wasn’t going to be doing anything.
‘Ex’ also made a special effort with my family, making an effort to talk and get to know mum and dad, while helping my brother his year 9 maths. Nothing was ever a problem.
He, unlike many guys, remembered all the special occasions – anniversaries, birthdays, and especially, little things I’d tell him – like my favourite brand of lemonade (Sprite).
He made me laugh and made me feel I was a worthwhile person – that was the main one. And I think, he seemed proud to call me his girlfriend. Even if I didn’t feel I was worthy of all that attention, he’d make sure I knew I was. And even writing this, my heart beats fast and my eyes swell up.
Future : He wanted kids, marriage and a house. But he was also very career-minded, but that was good, because it meant we would actually be able to logistically afford those luxuries. Money isn’t important but just a bit of financial security, and some kind of sign that the person you’re with isn’t going to be your dependant or turn into a lazy, uninteresting and unmotivated mess isn’t ideal.
He and my father would clash sometimes, mainly about political topics, and I always feared they might get into a full-blown argument sometime.. but never did. For all I know, that’s just how grown-men talk – – strongly and assertively.
He liked to go to bed early. I liked to go to bed late. And he didn’t like the TV loud. That use to annoy me. But probably a small thing, yes?
He lived on the other side of town – and it sometimes took me two hours to travel there. As such, we usually only saw each other once a week. But I think that might also have been a pro, because it kept us interested.
But onto Rebound guy who, as I said, was perfectly nice but wasn’t a match for me. And also, I just didn’t envision a future – I knew that from the get-go, and so to save us all a lot of pain, got out before he started making plans for a joint mortgage. Still, I wonder whether I could have made it work with him – – but that would have been settling for second best, and a future that, when I look at it, seems miserable and fulfilling. I picture him still working in the bottle shop, and expecting me to work day and night to pay the bills. And those anger issues of his? God, my poor children… I’d hate if they copped all his imperfections.
Also, and having now studied and work in psychiatric nursing, I wish I had seen it earlier – he seemed to have some underlying mental issues. I escaped a life of hell and misery I think? Or did it? I don’t know…
He was a good talker. We could talk about anything – even, one night, the amount of cheese they would put on Pizza Hut Pizzas vs. the amount of Cheese they would put on the Frozen variety.
He was a good kisser (though later on, he stopped brushing as much and the smokers breath became more evident)
He was good in bed (he wanted it constantly. He could do it a couple of times a day. About a month in, this would prove a problem -because I saw myself as nothing but a booty call fulfilling his needs. Was just dirty sex eventually).
He had good taste in clothes. He knew how to dress. It was attractive in a man.
He knew how to do things around the house. He could fix a fence or stop the plug from being blocked. Handy. Even Dad liked this.
He had no money. He sponged off of his own father and seemed to have no plans beyond just working at the bottle shop or one day doing some at-home carpentry work. I started to recognize how much of a negative this ‘no finance’ thing was pretty quickly, because I’d never be taken out for tea, shouted to concerts or films, or get much in the way of a birthday present. As I said, money isn’t everything – but it doesn’t mean it’s not a necessity to have some kind of savings, or be able to contribute something to the relationship. He was fastly becoming my dependent. And I despised him for that.
He expected sex – constantly. Even if I was unwell or tired after class, he would want it. He blamed it on a “natural sex drive”, and I thought that was fine at first and was happy to oblige, but after a while it felt like a chore – like it wasn’t so much love making as it was just an expectation of his to get a daily “booty call”.
His words didn’t match his actions. I found it somewhat hard to believe, especially after only a fortnight, when he would say “I love you more than life itself” because we hardly knew each other. Made me think he was simply saying that because he feared not having “a” girlfriend. And that’s how it felt after a while with the sex, that he wouldn’t care who he was doing it with… so long as it was there to be done. And when he said one night “what kind of colour do you think our kids room should be painted?” it scared me – I realized then, as my dad had already told me, he’s a really unstable man with quite a few issues and if I wasn’t careful that’s who I’d be trapped with for the rest of my life. Me, Mrs Bottle Shop! (Though again, he just wanted a ‘Mrs Bottle Shop’ – not necessarily me)
My friends. Now this is where I started to draw the line. He begun to keep very close tabs on me. He would hate for me to go out a lot with my friends, always questioning where I was at all times and accusing me of not paying him enough attention if I had to work late. He also ended up asking if I could change one of my classes to another because one of my fellow students was a guy I once dated, and it made him feel uneasy. That was weird. (And no, I didn’t). For a while there, I stopped going out with my friends and just spent all my time with ‘Rebound guy’ because it seemed to make him less anxious. He loved being the centre of attention. Oh, and if I spoke about my ‘ex’ in the house – even if it was just ”ex’ use to like this show, it’s funny! – he would sulk, as if I was turning the attention from him.
What I was interested in. At the beginning, he almost seemed to be mimicking my interests and was very accepting of them. I wanted to go to the Kylie Minogue antitour concert with friends? He made out he was a Kylie fan too and insisted he come with my friends and I (now I realize he just didn’t want me alone in a concert auditorium full of men). Later, he begun to tease me about my love of just wandering about the Laverton markets looking at second-hand clothing and antique trinkets, and accused me of spending too much on the things I’d usually pick up at these Sunday markets (coming from the guy who has no money and I have to pay for his petrol and meals whenever we go out). And he hated me playing ‘Kylie’ in the car stereo. So we had to stick to his angry Static-X or Rage Against the Machine (sorry guys, sign of a troubled no-hoper when it’s back-to-back gloom and doom songs!)
So as you can see, the list answered my question pretty much straight-away : Was I stupid to dump a loving, devoted guy over a long commute and fiddly problems? Yes.
What I had ended up with instead was a troubled, oversexed young boy with no financial security (and none for the foreseeable future) that wanted to cage me in so I couldn’t escape. He needed someone to ‘paint the kid’s rooms’ after all. What was I thinking!?
So, besides my dad’s constant reminders that “this guy isn’t quite right”, the list was my second reminder that I had chosen the wrong man.
But I didn’t know how to get it back?
SO I TEXTED HIM!
Last week, after posting my first article, I sent a text to my “ex” asking him to read it. He responded, and said it’s “very well written Pheebs” and that he “hears I’m doing well and is happy about that. I have flu at moment” But that was the end of the conversation. I was actually kinda sad… I wanted to keep talking to him, but it seemed to me that he had no time for me or had moved on with… someone else, and so couldn’t pursue the conversation beyond frivolous hi and bye. I wanted to go to him with some veggie soup and take care of him while he’s sick… but I don’t want the door slammed in my face.
Seemed like he had forgotten me…?
But my friend at Uni said to me that sometimes “out of sight is out of mind” and the fact that I hadn’t been in contact with my “ex” for so long may have actually worked against me. He may have simply… forgotten about me, and moved on with his life. He needed to be reminded that I was still around, still interested in speaking to him, and possibly, still interested in him being my life partner – and the only way to do that is, “even if it bugs him, is to send a text or email every couple of days – something sweet and caring.” Otherwise, “he’s going to continually forget about you”.
Has he forgotten about me?? I hope not…
How do I keep me in his mind? How do I prevent him from completing erasing me from his memory, killing all plans of a lovely future, and taking up with someone else?…. leaving me to desirous Bottle Shop Guy.
I looked to the movies, of course.
My first thought is to email him some links to some music videos online – from films we watched together. He would then know the significance of each bit of music too, as it fit to the scene.
Here’s what I may send….
AGAINST ALL ODDS
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
I need more suggestions please! Keeping you as updated as always, lovelies!