That thing between life and death…what a bitch!

These are the words of a text I received from The Ex today. What a headfucker of a day. At 4.15am, my phone buzzed and woke me up – which doesn’t often happen. It was a text from my Ex (a particularly boisterous text) followed by another asking for me to call him. I replied, asking if his text was meant for me. No, was the reply. Fair enough. I turned around to fall back asleep, and then my phone rang. What followed was a 3 hour conversation.

We covered a lot of ground. Initially, he was calling because a mutual friend of ours (ish) had told him I was doing coke, sleeping with his friends etc etc. I know who he was talking about and I don’t understand why she’s saying this. I haven’t done coke. I tried a little on my gums on a night out with Mr Music because I wanted to know what the fuss was about. It was disgusting. And I’d told my friend this while we were talking about coke in general. As for me sleeping with his mates, well. I haven’t! One of them tried it on with me, twice, but I said no. Furthermore, the friend of his who tried it on is now sleeping with the friend whose been stirring shit. Lastly, I wouldn’t dip into that genetically inbred pool if you paid me. So, of course, I told him all this. He said he believed me, he just couldn’t understand why she was saying these things. The conversation then covered our relationship, our new relationships and everything in between.

The worst thing he said, was that this time last year, when I was begging and dying for him to take me back, he said no because he didn’t want to feel like I was doing it out of pity for him and the way he acted when I left him. He wanted me to take the time to really think about what I wanted, but that he did want to get back together. That hurt. A lot. I don’t know how I could have made it any clearer that I wanted him back. When he left me crying until I thought I’d vomit up my insides, twice. When I’d call and text and call and text. I don’t understand how he could have thought it was pity. He said saying no was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do. I felt incredibly sad and I told him that. Throughout our relationship he could be the master manipulator. He could pull anyone’s strings and have them marching to the beat of his drum. But there’d be times he’d do things and I wouldn’t understand why. He used to tell me he wanted me to figure out the reasons why instead of him telling me. He said, that there were certain things in life that he didn’t want to influence people over, so he would do things without explanation to make them think about why he was doing what he was doing. And if that sounds complicated, it’s because it was. I don’t know how many times I’d told him while we were together not to do this. I could never figure it out and it inevitably led to arguments. It seems that him rejecting me, almost a year ago to the day, was borne out of the same idea. He said he wanted me to want to be with him (which he would know was for real after a period of absence), and make that want known, followed by ‘hint, hint, nudge, nudge’. He said there was one point when we’d met and I was so upset, but I still couldn’t tell him I wanted to come back. And that even now, he knows I wouldn’t be able to say that, even if that’s what I still wanted because I’m that stubborn.

It was a hard conversation. Very emotional, very deep. Despite that, we still laughed like we were old friends. He told me I sounded strong and sexy, like the 17 year old girl he fell in love with and not the 27 year old woman who left. He told me he wanted me to give 100% of myself to the next guy, like I didn’t with him. And for his part, he told me about what he’s been up to. About his relief at easily being able to make a woman come in bed, which he did maybe three or four times with me, though not through lack of trying. In fairness, his new girlfriend sounds nice  enough. It sounds like she’s giving him everything he wants and was never able to get from me. We spoke about friends we used to hang out with. His best friend (who’s friends with Gym Buddy and the reason we met in the first place) is back with his girlfriend. When they were together, we all used to hang out. I really liked her and then when they split (in a particularly nasty fashion), I never heard from her again. I actually contacted her again this year and we swapped a couple of emails before she dropped off again. Turns out they’re back together now after being apart for a couple of years and expecting a baby. I don’t know why but that news really got to me. In my head, we were always going to be the ones to do that first. We were always the couple our friends used to talk about as the pinnacle of what relationships were. Hard, yes, but solid. Which was the case for many years. We were meant to get married first, have kids first. Now, that’s happening to them instead of us. He said the same thing, that I was meant to be the grandmother of his grandchildren and now that’s not going to happen. In the end, he started to get upset and said he had to go, at 7.30am.

I was confused. I was tearful and I was sad. He was such a huge part of my life for so long and I couldn’t understand, why now? Why are you telling me this now? We’ve had comms throughout the year, it’s not like this was the first time we’d spoken since the split. We ended up texting until around midday. What have I deduced from this?

He feels regret. He says he thinks he loves his new girlfriend, but she isn’t me. I almost felt like sending him the link to my post about moving on. He said he felt like he’d ruined me and it had been playing on his mind for a long time. That he felt I’d become someone else as a result of what went on during our relationship. To be honest, I think he felt guilt. He’s really into his new girlfriend but it isn’t the same. He said that a lot. The sex is great, but it’s not you. She’s very reactive, but she’s not you. She’s great, but she’s not you. I told him that of course it’s not the same. It’s not meant to be. But if he really likes her then he owes it to her and himself to really try, instead of holding onto memories of what we had. He said he’s learned a lot from our break up (though he’s still on the coke??) and he understands why I left. He doesn’t want me to only tell people about the bad times because he has apparently never badmouthed me. To his friends, to his new girlfriend. It sounded a lot like a case of ‘what could have been’. ‘If only’. If only he hadn’t of played this mind game with me last year. If only I’d have tried for one more week to get him back. He sounded like he didn’t know what he wanted. He said he didn’t know what he wanted. Distracted by memories and nostalgia and I told him that it wasn’t fair to put me through this just because of those two things. He replied by saying he thinks he knows what he wants, he just hadn’t properly dealt with things until today. And knowing that I’m happy makes that easier. I’ll always be the love of his life and even though he’s old school and therefore bound to hate The Frenchman or anyone else, he’s also an adult and wants me to be happy.

By the time we said our goodbyes, I felt a bit better. It felt like he just needed to talk some things out and figure things out in his head. And although I shouldn’t be the person he goes to for that, I can’t deny it was nice to talk to him again. Our break up was hard and messy, but the comms we’ve had since then have been friendly enough. After ten years, of course I care about him. Of course I want him to be happy. He’s such a strong person, I know how much it takes for him to talk about his deep feelings, let alone cry. It goes against everything he was brought up to believe, so I knew how much he needed to talk last night.

It’s left me unfocused and with a headache. My trip to the National Gallery turned out to be a waste of time because I couldn’t focus on anything at all. Not because I’m confused about my feelings, or anything like that, but because I’ve been left with this feeling that I can’t describe. This feeling of…..this. I have to agree with his text. Life is a bitch and full of what ifs and regrets. But I do know that this year I’ve been happy. I can’t lay my unhappiness all on him – I know I could have done things differently to make myself happy – but I wouldn’t have done even a quarter of the things I’ve done this year if we’d have got back together. And it’s only after I’ve done said thing that I realise how much I’ve changed since I left. Or reverted back to my old self.

But I still can’t help the feeling that all of this shouldn’t have happened. And because of a massive case of crossed wires, miscommunications etc, it has. And that is such a shame.


A little bit of this and that

Hmm yes, it’s been a while since my last post hasn’t it? Fear not, I’ll update shortly. In the meantime, here are some beautifully inspiring words…at the risk of sounding a bit poncy


Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
– William Yeats

Dropping The L-Bomb

Well. I’m sure the heading rather gives this whole post away. I think I’ve known for a while how I feel about The Frenchman. The post where I wrote about Waiting And Depressed Cats was when I started to think this way. I really didn’t plan on saying anything to him about it. I’d spoken to Miss America and told her I was worried about making him feel pressured or whatever, so I wasn’t going to say anything. As it was, that didn’t happen. Yep. I dropped the L-Bomb. So what happened?

WARNING: The likes of Social Kenny might want to skip this. It’s mushy. You’ve been warned!

Well, if you’ve read my last post, you’ll know I had an amazing weekend. Aside from the whole treating me like a princess thing and the sex being out of this world, it was perfect. He is so attentive, so sensual, so…everything. I like the way he makes me feel, sure, but its more than that. I have an outstanding amount of respect for him. I know he hasn’t always been how he is now and I respect him a lot for pulling himself up and sorting himself out. Everything about him is exactly how I thought it would be and there’s nothing that makes me think ‘oh, I’ll just have to settle for that.’ There were certain moments that put the words right on the cusp of my tongue and believe me, with my impatient, impulsive, spontaneous nature, it was bloody hard to swallow them back down.

The way he looks at me, frankly, makes me melt. He says just the sweetest things, I practically have to pick myself up off the floor most of the time. He takes the piss out of me, which I love and I had been worried about the language barrier making that impossible. While we were out on Saturday night, I looked at him dancing away (which I love, since most guys I know just don’t dance at all) and thought, ‘Fuck me. I’m actually falling for this guy.’ And I was scared. I’ll admit it. I had felt it for a while but for some reason, this particular moment just kind of hit me in the face. Still, I didn’t say anything. We were both a bit drunk and I just danced the feeling away. Then, on Sunday night, he got a bit sick. He’d eaten some of the pie he’d made on Friday and an hour later, complained about having an upset stomach. Thankfully, I’d declined. It seemed the different cheeses, egg and milk just didn’t sit well after a couple of days. He didn’t actually throw up, thank God, but he did spend a lot of time in the toilet. He was a little embarrassed about it, as I would be, but hey, these things happen. Now, there is only one other guy that I’ve been able to handle being around when they feel sick. And sick Mr Marseille felt. I didn’t freak out. Which is major for me. There was none of the ‘ohmigod I have to get away from him’ that I usually feel if I’m in close quarters to someone who feels that sick. I even gave him a long-ass blowjob to make him feel a bit better. Unheard of. But this combined with everything else just put me over the edge.

So it kinda slipped out. Whoops. Cue sick feeling, sweaty palms and thinking ‘oh my fucking hell, what the fuck have I just done?’. Talk about verbal diarrhoea.

He said he knew something was wrong because I seemed sad that morning (I wasn’t sad, just confused/worried/etc) and he was worried. He said ‘it’s not the same for me. I protect myself too much so it takes more time, but I think it could definitely be the case.’

Not exactly what I wanted to hear but again, because of how he is, I didn’t feel like I’d just made the biggest mistake of my life. And to be honest, I just wanted him to know how I felt. I wasn’t that bothered about hearing it back. It was more of a ‘if I die tomorrow, I’d really like you to know this’ feeling, which is probably why it just popped out of my mouth like it did. He said he was glad I’d told him, because he’d rather know than not. The difference between us he said was that while I was more scared to say it than to feel it, he was more scared to feel it than to say it. It makes me wonder what happened with his ex of 3 years (note to self: must ask this question).

The upshot is that, so far anyway, nothing has changed. He’s said it doesn’t change anything for him as far as I’m concerned. He still wants to come over in January and I’m still going for an extended trip. His messages have been as sweet and romantic as they always have been. I honestly have never met anyone like him in the way he conducts himself (that I’ve seen so far anyway) and his basic attitude to life. It’s ridiculous but it reminds me of a line from American Beauty, where Thora Birch’s character says to the other one (sorry, bad memory) that her new neighbour is so self confident, it’s not real. That’s how I feel. And I hope, I sincerely hope that if it was this massive problem, he’d have said so straight away. So I’m trying not to stress about the fact he’s not where I am, and trying not worry that I’ve inadvertently put the brakes on this with my mahoosive gob.

I’ve shown him my vulnerable side and I’m hoping he wont trample all over me. Because I’d be majorly, majorly gutted if he did.

Back To Reality

So I’ve returned from my weekend in France. And I really, really don’t want to be here. I’ve done literally diddly squat all day. This is not good!

After hopping on the Eurostar and changing metro lines in Paris like a pro, I jumped on the TGV to head south to Marseille. It was six and a half hours in total before I finally got to Marseille St Charles and saw the smiling face of The Frenchman as he waited for me on the platform. It was so good to see him again. It had only been 3 weeks but it felt like forever. My train had actually arrived a little late, which he was thankful for because he was late himself. The reason, he told me, was because he’d been busy making a pie. He’d never made one before but he wanted to have dinner waiting for me since I was arriving so late in the evening. I have to say, I was mighty impressed. His pie was delish and went well with his salad and home-made dressing, chocolates and ridiculous amount of wine. We spent the evening eating, catching up, having obscene amounts of sex and generally chilling out. It was so nice to be back there with him (and his cat, of course), it almost felt like I’d never left.

On Saturday, he woke me up quite early. “Have you finished sleeping?” he asked. I hadn’t but being kissed awake put an end to my laziness. What a wake up call indeed and let’s face it, sex is a perfect alarm clock. He fell asleep afterwards and because I’d brought my laptop to keep me occupied on the train, I decided to get some writing done. When he woke up, he asked to read some. My writing was a major bone of contention with my ex and he never once showed an interest in it, until I left. He ended up reading some on the Sunday and while I was embarrassed, he seemed genuinely interested in the story, asking about this and that and for translations around English expressions he’d never heard of. It was nice for him to show an interest in something that means so much to me. It was a really nice, chilled out day. We went for a drive into the mountains to see a Calanque (kind of like a bay) and even though I got a bit chicken at the idea of going all the way to the top, it was simply stunning. He goes running up there all the time and it made me feel pea green with envy. I’m not sporty at all compared to him (he runs, plays squash, tennis, golf and football on a regular basis) but just the fact that he was able to go running with that kind of scenery around him…it made me realise just how different our lives actually are. By the time we got back to his apartment, I had a headache from the freezing cold, windy weather, so we both lay on the sofa, him to watch football and me to nap. I knew he was a massive fan of Olympique Marseille but, actually, I think he’s just a football addict all over. This is a new one on me. My ex didn’t really watch it at all, but I’m thinking a football addiction is better than a drug one? No?

Anyway, that evening, we went for Pastis (a popular pre-dinner beverage. Bit aniseed-ish. Not that keen), then dinner and to a club. I had been curious as to whether he’d told his friends about me, not least because there’s this one girl on his Facebook who is just always there. There’s always one, isn’t there. In any case, I’m not bothered about her now, but still, I didn’t know if I was this dirty little English secret, so I asked him. He said he’s told his friends about me “sure, I have” he said. They think it’s great, apparently. Definitely and experience, if a little crazy. That said, he has friends who’ve ended up marrying their partners after long distance relationships, so it’s hardly out of this world. The main thing, he said, is that he’s happy and they can see it. When he talks about me, he has a smile. Aww. That was enough for me. It was a great, great night. Fabulous food, where we ended up staying in the restaurant until way past midnight, then onto a bar with live music and then onto a club. I really didn’t want the night to end but I was conscious of the fact that it was 3am and I only had one day left. I didn’t want to spend it all hungover, so we left.

We ended up having a long conversation about relationships, and trust. I’d made a friend in the club waiting in the overly long queue for the toilet and obviously, being English, I was more interesting than the run of the mill French women there. It was all super friendly and when I was back on the dance floor with The Frenchman, my new friend saw us and said hello. The Frenchman knows my last relationship was a bit…restrictive…and he seemed to struggle with understanding why. Sure, everyone says ‘oh yeah, I’m really trusting’ at the beginning of a relationship but with him, I believe it 100%. Just the fact we’re in this long distance set up means we have to trust one another and I still can’t get over the self-assurance which seems to ooze from his pores. I know he’s not sleeping with anyone else (I asked the question last week) and the reply I got was ‘there’s only one girl and that’s you.’ That’s more than enough for me.

I wish the weekend didn’t go so quickly. It felt like my feet hardly touched the ground. After getting in at 3am, speaking for another hour and half and then having a marathon sesh, we didn’t actually get to sleep til around 6am, which of course meant we woke up around midday on Sunday. By the time we’d dragged ourselves away form each other and out of bed, half the day had gone. Again, he slaved away in the kitchen (roast chicken this time) and we were both so knackered we decided to forego a drive to Le Vieux Port (The Old Harbour) and settled on the sofa with another bottle of wine and his cat to watch a film. The next thing I knew, it was time to go home. Almost. But the filler for this bit will go in a separate post – this one is long enough already.

Waking up on Monday morning was hard. Not only was I exhausted, I just didn’t want to go. His cat was meowing and kneading his paws on my face after having accompanied me everywhere the night before (even to the bathroom) and I was so comfortable with The Frenchman spooned around me. I couldn’t believe it was time to go already. The good news is, I didn’t cry this time. I don’t know if it’s because I was going on a train and not a plane, but the goodbye didn’t seem so gut wrenching this time. It felt more like I was going away on a trip rather than all the way back to London. It was hard, of course, but I managed to hold it in. Until this morning. I have no idea why I was so emotional. Maybe it was hearing Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on the radio which now reminds me of him. Maybe it was waking up without him having gotten so used to it, so quickly.

Obviously, this is all reaaaaaalllyy condensed. I don’t want to bore anyone with minute details. Suffice it to say, it was easily one of the best weekends of my life. And now, I feel a bit lost. Which sucks arse. Because I really doubt I’ll see him before the end of the year, and it could be 6-7 weeks before I see him again. And that is a really, really long way away.

Rush Hour Crush

In London and some other cities in the UK, we have a free newspaper – The Metro. Every day, there’s a little feature called ‘Rush Hour Crush’ where people write in a short message to someone they’ve seen who’s piqued their fancy, usually on some mode of transport. In today’s, someone wrote in about someone who works for my company and it made me think. Sure, it would be flattering to have an admirer out there, but I wonder what’s meant to happen next.

Imagine there’s someone who gets the same train as you every day. Maybe you both always sit in the same carriage and maybe you even flash that ‘hi, we see each other every day so let’s be polite’ smile. No harm in doing that. But imagine that person is slowly developing a crush on you. It’s sweet, but then imagine opening the paper and reading a message that’s obviously meant for you. What then? Most of the time, the person its meant for will have been described – the clothes they were wearing, their hair etc, and usually there’s a hint as to who its from. Are you meant to seek that person out, catch their eye across the crowded carriage and then start chatting? I’m not sure.

I think, if it were me, I’d be a bit weirded out. Flattered, but weirded out all the same. I get that people can get shy, but it reminds me of the notes we used to pass to the boy we fancied in primary school. The ‘do you want to be my boyfriend, yes, no or maybe’ kind.

I wonder if anyone who’s ever contributed to it has had a good response and ended up in a relationship with their ‘Rush Hour Crush’?

Love in all its forms…

French is apparently a ‘romance’ language. Which doesn’t actually mean much to do with romance in that context but it’s fitting for this post.

I got an email from The Frenchman earlier this evening, in which he signed off “bisous de ton petit Francais qui t’adore’ which means, ‘kisses from your little Frenchman who loves you.”

The ‘little’ made me laugh because he’s definitely not that and when I read the sentence, I did a happy dance. But then…

I’m sure 99% of people have heard of the phrase “Je t’aime” at least because of some song that was practically pornographic back in the day. Usually, in films and the like, “Je t’aime” is the way to say ‘I love you.’ As in, ‘I’m in love with you.’ So what the hell does “je t’adore” mean? The results I’ve found are pretty inconclusive. Even amongst French natives. Some think “je t’aime” is stronger than “je t’adore” regardless of the fact that ‘aimer’ means to like and ‘adore’ means to love.

I can tell you one thing. After 5 months of learning French, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that even they don’t really understand their language! Things are just the way they are – having one word with a gazillion different meanings is just one example. Regardless, I’m going to revel in this. It looks like things are moving in the right direction, regardless of what the EXACT translation is.

The end result is that I’m smiling. Which is definitely a good thing 😀


Breaking Up is Hard To Do

As I’ve mentioned before, The Break Up is a favourite film of mine. I love the fact that it doesn’t have a typical fairy tale ending. I’d recorded it on Sky+ and watched it again tonight. It’s the first time I’ve watched it since splitting with my ex and it brought back a lot of memories. Standing in an empty flat, without all the furniture, trinkets and memories that you’d built together for years around you is a hard thing to do. When I left, I didn’t realise how painful it would be.

When break ups happen, it’s almost universally expected that the dumpee comes off worse than the dumper, but I’m not convinced that’s true for all parts. For me, there was a period where I thought ‘fuck, what have I done? I’ve left the guy I’ve loved for 9.5 years, I’ve moved out of the flat we’d got together.’ Regret was an emotion I felt strongly for a good 2-3 months and regret is not a great feeling. It makes you feel unsure of yourself constantly. In fact, the scenario played out in The Break Up is very similar to my book, which when I read it back is almost as painful as it was to watch that film.

But, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Most break ups happen because something isn’t right in the relationship, and it’s usually a result of issues that have argued over and over, with no resolution. It might feel like the worlds ending, but it isn’t. There are plenty more chances to be happy and have the relationship you really want if you take the right lessons from it.

I’m a romantic. I’d love to truly believe there’s a soulmate for me out there, just one person who I was destined to be with. But I can be awfully pragmatic too, and with so many people in the world, there has to be more than one person you can find true happiness with. I’m not saying the relationship would be the same, or that you’d have to love that person with the same love as you did your ex. Love changes over time, I think. When you’re young (or it’s the first time you’ve fallen) its this exciting, wonderful thing. You believe you’d literally die without that person in your life, no matter what they might do to annoy you. Unconditional love.

But as you get older, and bruised by past relationships, that changes. If you’re smart enough to learn lessons from your past relationships, you start to realise what is and isn’t acceptable to you. With my ex, I loved him to bits. I’d put up with his long nights on coke and the consequent days after when he’d be feeling rough all weekend and we never did anything. I’d get out of bed at 4am to pick him up from his mates house when he was drunk and high, no question. I didn’t like it, but I did it because I loved him. I was even willing to overlook all that when I wanted him back. Because I loved him.

Now, that’s something I wouldn’t do, ever again. Not for anyone. The unconditional love I had for him will never be applied to anyone else because I know what I want out of a relationship and what I won’t tolerate.

So, my message is this. If you’re feeling regret, confused – whatever – because of a break up, think about why it happened. Think about why you left that person or why they left you and learn from it. And don’t be scared that you’ll never love someone the way you loved your ex or vice versa, because you won’t. Once you know that, there’s nothing to be afraid of because it means you’ll be giving and (hopefully) getting the love you actually want than settling for anything else.