Go head girl, Go head get down!

Eventually Laura and Peter’s relationship evolved but it was more by osmosis then healthy progression. The late night booty calls turned into sleepovers and the sleepovers became all day hangouts. Peter had premium cable and ordered unlimited take out on his parent’s credit card. They often had no reason to venture outside his well-stocked pad, not even for class. Peter had a job waiting for him in NY once he graduated, so studying was low on his list of priorities. Easily influenced, Laura’s class attendance started to suffer too. Spending luxurious days with Peter was far more gratifying to Laura then making good grades.

Peter bought Laura Prada sneakers and a Burberry scarf. Laura could even be spotted driving Peter’s BWM across campus once in awhile. At Peter’s parties, Laura played the part of hostess and to many it appeared that Peter and Laura were in a committed relationship. However, people close to Peter knew differently, he had not surrendered his philandering ways. Rumor had it that Peter still dated other women behind Laura’s back; he allegedly even fooled around with some of her acquaintances. It is sad to say, but publicly, Peter and Laura’s relationship was known to be one sided.

Now and again, Laura’s true friends would confront her about Peter’s indiscretions. Laura refused warnings about Peter and pointed to gifts in order validate Peter’s love. There was no hard evidence that he was cheating on her and she would not bother upsetting Peter with mere suspicions. Instead, Laura moved more of her own personal affects into Peter’s apartment. By being a constant presence in Peter’s life, she could ensure that she was the only woman. She cried when Peter left the apartment without her and used Peter’s friends to keep abreast of his activities while they were apart.

One weekend, Laura had to leave University to attend a function in her hometown. She invited Peter who had no interest. Begrudgingly, Laura left for the weekend only to be unpleasantly surprised when she returned to school. Instead of going to her own apartment, Laura went right to Peter’s place when she got back. She entered the apartment (with the key she had made) and noticed that things were not as she had left them. Her clothes were in a trash bag in the closet, her Prada sneakers were hidden under the bed and the picture of Peter and her together was stuffed into his bedside drawer. The pinnacle of it all was a used condom in the garbage. A tearful phone call to Peter confirmed her fears. This time it was undeniable.

Laura began to pack her things and called a friend to help her move her stuff from his apartment. Knowing Peter’s reputation, the friend was not surprised to hear of the discovery (one guess who the friend is). Laura’s friend packed her car and was ready to help Laura get situated in her old apartment. As they were leaving the parking lot Laura turned to her friend and said, “Stop the car.” Laura asked to go back to the entrance of Peter’s apartment. Thinking that she left something behind, the friend reversed back to the double doors. Laura got out of the car and began to unload her bags back onto the sidewalk. The baffled friend demanded and explanation but there was no rational behind the change of heart. Plain and simple, Laura did not want to give up the lifestyle. She loved the apartment and all of the extras that went along with living there. Letting go of Peter meant going back to coach after a year in first class…she would not do it.

A couple weeks later, Peter had a birthday party for Laura at his apartment. It was a half-assed affair thrown together at the last minute. Her friend came and watched her open her gifts. Peter gave Laura not one, but two pairs of designer sunglasses. They were gorgeous, lavish and obviously very expensive. The friend felt a pang of jealousy knowing that she would never have a real pair of Channel sunglasses. However, the envious feeling faded as her friend realized that she had something that Peter could not buy Laura…self-respect.

Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it is better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.

Sarah and Jefferson were a seemingly happy couple. In front of friends and family they appeared loving physically and even in their communications. Behind close doors, things were much different; she was being standoffish with him for weeks. He could sense that she was starting to fall out of love with him evidence by long stints of a silent treatment and general avoidance. However, when they were in front of friends or family she would be the opposite. Rubbing his head and cuddling in front of people was the norm when they had an audience. They were living like roommates for months…but in public, it seemed that they were more in love then ever. Even more then just PDAs, she was talking about the future and the holidays his family. She spoke of “when we have kids” etc. Sarah had a whole act going to convince everyone and maybe even herself that she was still in love with Jefferson.

One day Sarah snapped. She moved out of their shared home with enough stuff to last her about a month. She told Jefferson that she needed space but never said that they were breaking up nor did she say that she was moving out. Jefferson did not know what to make of Sarah’s actions. Engagement was on the horizon for him and despite Sarah’s recent mood, he never imagined that she was planning to leave him. Jefferson was utterly distraught and tried to rationalize that Sarah was only going through a phase and thing would return to normal.

Weeks went by and Sarah and Jefferson’s pepper communications regarding joint possessions seemed to seal the fate of the relationship. There was no turning back, things could not be what they once were. Sarah was prepared to leave Jefferson and that chapter of her life behind. Jefferson on the other hand, could no imagine a life without Sarah in it. Ultimately, Sarah decided that she had more life to live and more experiences to have as a single woman.

Here is the advice I rendered to Jefferson:

She [Sarah] wants to act out in independence and she feels that she cannot do that with you in the picture. She has written everyone off and does not care what your friends think. This leads me to believe that she is plotting a total separation. I think that the only reason that she has not come to get her stuff or made a plan is because she is scared. Either scared of another encounter with you (aka her guilt) or scared that if she shuts the door she can never open it again. Either way, I think that it is safe to assume you need to move on. You deserve to go forward and rebuild. If she comes back while you are in that process YOU can decided what you want. Waiting on her is just going to break you down and kill your spirit. For your own sanity, you need to take control. Who knows what a couple months could bring? After time apart you could realize reasons that the situation was bad for you…you never know.

If someone does not want you…maybe, they are the problem. Just saying…

When the Honeymoon is Over…

I am sure that you have heard the honeymoon phase. The term refers to a stage in any relationship where the initial excitement and newness of the experience is overwhelming. Once the honeymoon phase is over, the mystery and intrigue allegedly wears off. I tried to Google “honeymoon phase” to gauge its average life expectancy but apparently, the time period is not subject to the scientific method. The length of the butterflies and willful blindness is unknown. Many times when “the honeymoon is over” a relationship will start to break down. The end of such a phase can be an indication of love vs. lust; with love going the distance and lust ending a relationship.

First, I give you our old friend Pizza Bagel…As I mentioned before we met in college. PB was the first upperclassman that had put effort forth to actually get to know me. The fact that he was older, attractive and interesting had me intrigued. We met in August or September of my freshman year and continued an on again off again relationship through the following summer. If you recall, he did not have his “epiphany” until the following summer (see “Commandments of Dating…when he didn’t follow the rules” if you need more information). In this scenario, the honeymoon phase was elongated by the thrill of the chase.

This is a popular expansion method of the honeymoon phase. The thrill of the chase adds an extra element of excitement. In the on again off again mode there is constant suspense due to the unknown outcome. I will get specific, two days went by and I had not heard from PB. I decide to hit up a popular bar. On the way inside, I spot it, PB’s car in the parking lot. My heart starts to thump…will I see him inside? Will he see me? Will he eat his heart out when he sees how good I look in my skinny jeans? The whole night just got more interesting. As I cruise into the bar and find friends, I scan the crowd for PB, careful not to be too obvious. After all, I want him to “notice me” first.

Have you even had that happen to you? You are having a conversation with a friend maybe sipping a beer, but the thing is…you are not present. You are 100% distracted. The person in the crowd you are waiting to approach consumes both your mind and your peripheral vision. It is all about that moment in the future when and if he talks to you.
In my case, the climatic moment came when PB would walk over and greet me. We would hug and he would explain that homework and whatever else had been keeping him busy. The night would be spent canoodling until it was time to go home. I would tell my friends, “I will catch a ride with PB.” This sort of cycle of non-commitment can prolong a period of excitement and lust. This type of back and forth can even create yearning that disguises itself as love

I would like to say that once college was over I realized that the elongated nature of the “chase” period was unhealthy. All the back and forth was just stalling the need for a real commitment. The cycle was never broken because soon after gradation I move to a big city in the hopes of perusing my relationship with PB. The element of a new city and a real job perpetuated the false sense of newness in our relationship and kept us under the guise that we were in love. After a couple years together in the new city, a routine eventually set in. We clearly enjoyed each other a great deal and it was amazing that our lifestyle had kept the honeymoon phase alive so long. But, once the routine set in and the allure fell out we both realized that we were not in love. We did not have the type of passion that lasts a lifetime.

The joint realization was a long time coming. Unfortunately, our honeymoon phase was fueled by our immature lifestyles and the fact that as a couple we did not truly “settle down” until years after our first meeting. Feelings that seem like love are distorted by other factors, like sex, mystery, accomplishment, attraction, or even jealousy. The notion that the “honeymoon is over” is usually viewed as a negative end to something fun. However, I think it is a powerful stage in a relationship where one can truly see the difference between love and lust. If the butterflies and rainbows wear off, and you are left with someone you adore…then you might just be basking in the glow of love.

Preview…

Up and until this point I have been sharing all the positive good things about Mr. Right and the progression of our relationship. In the beginning, that really was the case…things between us were damn near perfect. Our honeymoon phase lasted a long while and we/are were very much in love. However, like most things in life, reality does set in and there are significant downturns in even the strongest relationships. So, for the sake of objectivity and honestly, I do plan to delve into the dark side…it only seems fair. After all, life is hardly a fairytale and I ain’t no Cinda-freakin-rella.

See you on the relationship flip side ~ MB

Vodka is not a Band-Aid for a Broken Heart

Summer has officially ended.  I was at the beach this weekend visiting my parents.  Mr. Right is away on business so I ended up going out on the town with an old friend.  September is a good month for hitting up the bars at the beach because the wild crowd has migrated west for the fall, leaving an older calmer crowd behind.  While the scene was significantly subdued, there was debauchery abound. 

Toward the end of the evening, we stopped at a takeout window.  Since the establishment served snacks after 2am there was a large crowd forming on the sidewalk.  A group of men from a bachelor party were laughing and carrying on with a drunken woman seeking some attention.  She wore a leopard newsboy cap and her once cute outfit was disheveled showing a little more belly then the world needed to see.  The bachelors and the onlookers chuckled at the girl as she made her sloppy advances.  She shook her hips and flirted making a serious attempt to meet a man.  Alcohol fueled an erroneous sense of sexiness.  It started to make me sad, she was a cute girl clearly sloshed and uncoordinated; she seemed desperate and pathetic. 

I paused from hating for a second and thought, “Have I ever behaved that way?”.  Sadly, I think that one time or another everyone has.  A few too many drinks coupled with a bought of low self-esteem can bring out the worst.  I flashed back to summers past.  Specifically, I thought about the summer I ended things with Rocker Boy.  Still, in my twenties I was ready to party hard and erase the time I had wasted in that relationship.  I had a pattern of trying to “make up” for the fun I missed when I was committed.  It was my coping mechanism for a broken heart; the rebounding process was a drunken reentry into singlehood. 

One night in particular, I was out with friends at a crowded beach bar.  I was tying one on, as they say, in a sea of Abercrombie and Fitch clad twenty somethings.  The cover band was raging and the Red Bull and vodka was plentiful.  My beer goggles secure I was on the hunt, ready to prove to myself that meeting someone to fill Rocker Boy’s tattered shoes would be an easy task.  I spotted a familiar face in the crowd, an old buddy who admitted he had a crush on me the following summer when I was involved.  Jackpot, this would be the ego boost I needed to put Rocker Boy in the past.  I made my way over to Old Buddy to say hi.  He had changed since the summer prior.  Old Buddy had a new job, was looking good and I felt that he was someone I was interested in dating.  However, I was not ready to give up the summer of fun and get serious.

In retrospect, at the time, I was probably in the same shape as the drunken girl in the leopard hat this weekend.  I might have looked and sounded like an equally hot mess.  It is an embarrassing and humbling thought.  Old Buddy was nice enough to humor me and even continued our flirtatious banter as my summer of fun progressed.  I started to look forward to seeing him and continuously hoped that something would happen between us.  Toward the end of the summer, I caught him outside the bar.  I asked him if we would see each other after the summer; maybe go out on a date.  Alas, the tables had turned and Old Buddy was not crushing on me anymore.  The dancing drunk girl was not exactly someone he would take home to Mom.  She had no lasting allure.

It was a disappointing situation because in my heart I was so much more then a crazy party girl enjoying summer as a single woman.  I had a career, friends and interests far beyond Red Bull and vodka.  Nevertheless, like the leopard hat, when wasted you cannot your best foot forward.  Countless nights spent partying at the bar will not boost yourself esteem and/or help you meet someone new.   Vodka is not a Band-Aid for a broken heart and one good party is not going to erase your tangled emotions.  In fact, you will just end up looking silly and feeling worse.  I blew it with Old Buddy and realized that I should have taken more time to get over my last relationship.  Being single and having fun at the bar can be a positive thing, but not if you have an agenda to make up for what you perceive as lost time.  Mourn your relationship, appreciate yourself, go forth, enjoy life, and for god sakes, do not wear a leopard hat!