Guys! Tonight I cried, for the first time in many months.
I’m not talking about “shed an elegant tear during an emotional movie” crying … I’m talkin’ serious, “all hands on deck, close the curtains, no time to grab tissue, start weeping, now”, cried. I think hadn’t done that since October 2019, when I broke up with my ex partner, and spent a whole month picking myself up and going to therapy again, at the very beginning of this blog. That was before the pandemic and everything. And before we got back together for another year. Waaaaay before I moved away and left the US about a month ago.
Tonight is the first night where I actually missed my ex. Until today, I thought I was doing really well, navigating all the big changes that have occurred in the last few weeks/months. Dealing with the lockdown. Learning to be alone. Being rejected by one cool job (but hired for another, more on that another time). Practicing self-care.
So why did s***t hit the fan today?
Welllll … I might have put myself on Tinder a couple of weeks ago, mostly to meet people in this new city, where I don’t really know anyone. So far, I have taken 3 perfectly respectable, social distanced, outdoors, and masked, walks – with 2 different men (man, does 2020 dating suck. You can’t even see your date’s face). So far no huge crush, but at least it gets me out of the house and talking to someone other than my plants (or myself). Since I arrived, I’ve also been texting with my ex on a daily basis (we decided to stay friends: we both still love each other but neither of us wants long distance. The “plan” being to transition from romantic-love to friendship-love and support each other in the process.)
Back to the fan. And the sh***t that hit it.
So today, I candidly informed my ex about the aforementioned Tinder walks. Why you ask? Excellent question. Turns out it was a terrible idea, but maybe not for the reason you might expect. All this might seem pretty obvious to an outside perspective, but it only became clear to me retrospectively, after the fact … Ahem … Turns out that by announcing her Tinder walks, Anne was pre-consciously hoping for a reaction to the effect of “OHHHH ANNE, MY LOVE, you are so indispensable and irreplaceable, how could you break my hearth thus and already be seeing other men? I am so devastated I cannot go on living, the jealousy is too much to bear. Please I beg you spare my poor broken heart”.
Well, serves me (and my ego) right … The real-life response I got was: “Oh, what a relief! I wasn’t sure whether to tell you, but actually, I’m going on a Tinder walk with a woman this afternoon. Don’t worry though, I told her I was looking for something platonic”.
Wait… “WHAT A RELIEF?”
What the f****G f***ck???!!!!!!
I’ll skip the boring details (Nothing fancy … just good old Anne losing her sh***t a bit, unexpectedly hit by a gigantic wave of jealousy, triggered into feeling unexplainably and suddenly betrayed, worthless, rejected, abandoned, you name it. Yep, I cried on the phone, said it was too hard, that I wasn’t ready to hear about other women, and that maybe we should just stop contacting each other altogether.
Yeah you heard me: I’m fine with seeing other men, but if my ex takes a platonic walk with another woman, I freak out and have a mini-meltdown while projectile-crying all over the place.
Add to the ex-incident the fact that a Tinder guy that I actually DO find very attractive but haven’t met in person yet (I think he might be out of my league) doesn’t seem as interested as I am, and kind of lukewarmly stopped responding to my messages tonight.
And VOILA! You now have the perfect recipe to bake an Anne-has-low-self-esteem cake.
Or rather, pudding. Formless, squishy, quick to fall on the floor with a great big splat – like Anne’s self-esteem.
I then proceeded to have a shitty, lonely evening, despite a lovely Zoom with my siblings.
Clearly this is one of the remaining core areas where I still get triggered and need to build some kind of ego strength. I thought I was nailing the being alone/spending time with myself thing, but bring in more complicated factors (competition with other women, the cruel joys of the online dating world, lockdown), and all that “progress” seems to crumble and vanish as quickly as a hot Tinder guy.
Must make peace with image of dying alone, devoured by cats.
Must remember love comes from within.
I’m grateful to be sober tonight. Actually, in a twisted way, I’m grateful for the lockdown: It’s 11:30 pm, I couldn’t even find a drink if I wanted to.
But to be honest, I don’t even want to. I just want to be someone who can tolerate rejection and not mind.
I know this must seem pretty trivial and childish to most – but the loneliness and the difficult emotions and are so strong that to me, it all feels very very real.
Hope you’re all doing better than I am!