A whole lotta Durex and a whole lotta fun

So, The Frenchman came, he went and I conquered. And we came. And came. A massive box of Durex, gone. Fun times. Right now, I’m battling against a cold and feeling a bit sorry for myself. The cold is courtesy of The Frenchman. He came down with it three days before flying in but hey, it’s a small price to pay for the fun we had.

 The weekend went without a hitch, despite the sky shitting snow all over London. I mean, really?! I had to adjust the plans I’d made a little but on the whole it went to plan. I was unbelievably nervous waiting for him at the airport. I have no idea why. But I was. Proper heart ricocheting in my chest, sweaty palms, sickly nervous. But then when I saw him, well, all was good. He looked deliciously handsome and was wrapped up in the scarf I’d bought him for Christmas. Looked good on him, too. On the drive into London, I showed him various sites – the Olympic Park, Canary Wharf, my house. Yep. We drove straight past it. And if it wasn’t for the fact I’m living with the ‘rents, I’d have been taking him there instead. Having said that, when we got to the hotel, it was clear I’d made the right choice. We got upgraded to a suite for no apparent reason (and I never get upgraded anywhere, on anything, ever). So, instead of just a room, we had a massive living room with a great view over London, massive bathroom with double shower, kitchen and bedroom. Nice. This clearly meant more surfaces to get dirty on. And get dirty we did. Bedroom, tick. Shower, tick. Bath, tick. Kitchen, tick. Sofa, tick. Up against the floor to ceiling height windows overlooking Waterloo station? Tick. Just, fabulous. I’m quite amazed at how good the sex actually is. Very cat that got the cream, I can tell you.

 So, the Friday, we went to look at Egyptian mummies and drink real ale in a chintzy Victorian pub and in the evening, I introduced him to Nandos. I cannot believe they don’t have one in France. I mean, seriously? What’s that all about? I adore Nandos. So we met up with Miss America and her husband, had some food and then headed into central London for some cocktails. It was a lot of fun. I love that The Frenchman loves to dance. I love that he’s so affectionate, even in front of other people. He’ll kiss me anywhere. Over the table in a restaurant, on the Tube, on the bus, in a packed bar. I felt thoroughly adored and I’m sure I was positively glowing. It was a lovely day and night. With the snowfall everything was coated in white and it was nothing short of romantic, walking around the near deserted streets of London at 2am after having argued about whether English or French McDonald’s was better…ahhh, l’amour. Saturday was a chilled affair. We had a long lie in and a nice lunch before wandering around Covent Garden, Soho and Carnaby Street. We stopped off at Yuautcha, a Chinese/Japanese restaurant in Soho and had coffees and macaroons (cola, hazelnut and parma violet flavoured. Just yum) and headed back to the hotel for a nap. That night we went on the London Eye, a first for the both of us, and then into Chinatown for dinner. I think it’s safe to say that his naughty side is definitely becoming a lot more pronounced now. As we were having a cigarette in the freezing cold, he told me he’d love to warm me up by pushing me up against the wall and fucking the life out of me. I almost choked on my cigarette. Not because I’m a prude, but because it came from him. He’s always sensitive, more romantic than aggressive in the bedroom, and even though I knew he had a naughty side to him, it took me by surprise coming from nowhere like it did. Yeah. That was a lot of fun.

 That’s what the weekend was. Fun. We didn’t have any heavy conversations, we just hung out. Enjoyed each others company. Took the piss out of my bad French and his dodgy English phrases. After talking about blowjobs, it transpired I can’t say ‘souffler’ (blow) and it’s a common term of endearment in French to call a woman ‘Ma biche’ (my doe). He calls me his little venison instead. We’re racking up the ‘in jokes’ and each of them make me smile. I didn’t repeat the L-Bomb but it took a LOT of restraint on my part. It’s incredibly hard for me to hold back on what I’m feeling sometimes but, I did it. And as he told me at the airport as he was leaving, ‘we’re strong’. That’s enough for me.

For the entire weekend, we were literally joined at the hip. So much so that I feel a bit lost now. As usual, it’s going to take a good few days for me to feel back to normal, get used to sleeping alone and waking alone. Total balls.

I go back to Marseille in four weeks time and I’m already marking the days in my calendar.

It.Cannot.Come.Quick.Enough.

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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.

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.

Waiting and Depressed Cats

I spoke to The Frenchman this morning. It looks like he wont be able to come to London before the end of the year after all. He said he wanted to, but he doesn’t have a weekend free. I’m trying not to be too disappointed – I know how hard it can be to find time in December. He said he wants to come in early-mid January for a weekend of 4-5 days, work permitting. He also said he’s excited to see me in ten days time, when we can talk about my extended trip which is good because I’ll need to give notice of my leave at work. From what he said last time, he’s going skiing for a week in early February (I think) so I’d most likely go towards the end of February or early March.

It’s great that we’re still planning this. As every woman who’s in the early stages of dating knows, talking about stuff ‘in the future’ is always a good sign. I’m just not looking forward to a 4-6 week gap over the holidays. It’s not so much about being ‘single’ over the festive season, to be honest that’s never really bothered me. Granted, I’ve been in a relationship for lots of christmasses, but I’m not the kind of girl who craves being in a loved ones arms over this period of time. And given that we’re in different countries, I’m not sure it would make much difference anyway! It’s just a long time to wait.

I’ve always been a bit of a…I’m not sure what the term is. Not a pessimist. Hmm. OK, I’ll try and explain. When I fly somewhere, I’m always convinced that it’ll be my plan that falls out of the sky. If I’m on holiday, driving up a mountain on tiny roads, I’ll be convinced that the car will topple over the side. If I’m on a boat…you get my drift. It’s really weird, but that’s how I am. I’m one of those whose trying my best to ignore all this 2012 doomsday Mayan calendar stuff, which is a lot easier now than when I was with my ex, who positively LOVED that stuff, and frequently said he couldn’t wait for some kind of apocalypse to happen (yes, he was weird). So it’s in my nature to worry about things, the fact that 1 in 3 people are affected by cancer, or panicking when I don’t hear from someone for a while incase they’ve been run over or something. I’m a cheery person really. I’m just a worrier. And for the last few weeks, this has been really heightened.

It sounds so twattish to say it, but I feel like I’ve become more aware of my own mortality. I don’t mean I’m going around worried about dying, just that how precious time is. I’ve never liked waiting for anything anyway but lately I’ve been thinking, time is going by so quickly and HE’S over THERE. What if I die, or he dies, between now and our next meeting. It’s an awful thing to think and I try really hard to shove it out of my head, but it does sneak back in quite often. What does this mean? Other than I’m a total fruitloop, that is.

In happier (kind of) news, he told me that his cat was ‘not right’ last week. He apparently didn’t see him in the evenings after work as he’d be hiding under the bed or sofa. He thinks his cat was depressed after I went back to London. Which made me go ‘awwww’. You know what they say, win over the cat, bag the man.

Actually, I just made that up but you get the drift.

Et maintenant… (And now…)

What a weekend! It sucks to be back home! After a month I finally saw The Frenchman again and it was bloody fantastic.

He was there to meet me at the airport and straight away, the chemistry was there. We grabbed a quick coffee before he drove us to his apartment which was very french. Plenty of stairs (and he lives on the top, 5th floor), hard floors, shutters on the window, balcony, the lot. And, I met his cat, my new best friend. Since we were both tired we stayed in. He cooked dinner to go with the flowers he bought me and we worked our way through a bottle of wine. And had lots of sex. Of course! It was so nice to be with him in his own environment.

When we woke up the next morning, with his cat balanced precariously on my arm (!) we heard the unmistakable sound of rain. It seemed I’d brought the English weather with me because according to him, it’s rare to have rain in Marseille that lasts more than hour. It rained all day. We had planned to wander around town but neither of us wanted to venture out, so we spent the day lounging around, listening to music, having more sex and eating. Not a bad substitute methinks! When the rain finally stopped we went out and my french skills were put into practice with real people! I was nervous, of course, but I actually did ok. I was understood, anyway, and we had a lovely dinner before heading to a cocktail bar to sink mojitos and dance. By the time we got home we were both shattered but still found the energy to make use of his bed (again). Afterwards, we fell asleep. While he was still on top of and, um, inside me. That was a first! But a nice one 🙂

And on Sunday, I woke up at stupid o’clock. I don’t know why but I’m always up at about 8.30am on a Sunday so I left him to sleep a bit before waking him up in my own special way! The sun was shining through the shutters and the sky was perfectly blue. Finally, I was experiencing the sun! After breakfast we headed to Cassis, a gorgeous town on the coast. This isn’t a picture I took – I have photos on various social networking platforms and I’m trying to preserve my anonymity, but this is Cassis.

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I have to say, being on a beach with the sun blazing in my skin in the middle of November was a nice touch. As we sat outside a restaurant with a glass of wine, we had ‘a conversation’.

He really likes me. He feels comfortable and natural with me (rare for him) and I understand him. It’s hard for him to see me only once a month and until now, he hasn’t wanted to ask himself whether he’s ready for a serious relationship. This is his way of protecting himself and he’s told me before that he tends to put barriers up whereas I’m the opposite. And in a perfect world, I’d be with him in Marseille. Everything he said echoed what I was thinking, and I told him that I have to keep reminding myself that he’s ‘him’. I’m not sure if its because he’s French or because he’s him but things he says and does aren’t what is expect a guy to say or do. I’m used to the idea that attempting to have a ‘serious where is this going’ conversation could spell the end of a potential relationship but he’s the opposite to what I’ve grown used to. He’s incredibly affectionate, declaring his family ‘complete’ when we were snuggled with Icar on the sofa. So, the upshot is that he has to ask himself if he’s ready to take a risk with me or not.

He’s worried it would be difficult with our different cultures. I told him it would be. I did a relationship like that for nearly 10 years and it isn’t easy, but then good things generally take work. He agreed with that sentiment.

I’m going back for four days in 3 weeks and then he wants to come here mid December. After that, the plan is that February-ish, I’ll go for a bit longer so we can spend some proper time together.

So, are we ‘exclusive’? I didn’t ask. Strangely, I don’t feel like I have to. I trust him and I’m sure he feels the same way I do. Add to that the fact he says sex with me is the best he’s ever had and, well, I’m not worrying too much about him straying.

Of course, the weekend went far too quickly. And yes, I cried at the airport when it was time to come home. I’m a total sap. But it’s not long to go now until I’m back out there…

Exciting stuff!

Delusion and moving on

I just had a hilarious telephone conversation with the girlfriend of my Ex’s best friend. Apparently he went round there and told them that  I’d texted him to go for a drink but he said no because he was convinced I wanted him back. Don’t make me laugh. I had texted in the early summer and asked if he wanted to go for a drink after our conversation, purely because I thought even though we weren’t together any more, we had spent almost ten years together and still evidently cared for each other. We didn’t meet up but it was no skin off my nose. So he’s told them he thinks I want to get back together with him and that I must still be miserable having made the biggest mistake of my life by leaving him. Oh and he was bitching because I went to Ibiza after having said I’d never go there, ever, and why couldn’t I have done that with him?

I had to laugh. Getting back with him has to be the very last thing on my mind and I don’t know where he’s getting the impression that I’m miserable. When I do see him, I’m always bouncy and happy, and that’s not fake. I am genuinely loving my life and having him in it as a friend, or not, makes no difference to me. I went to Ibiza without him because if I’d have gone with him, he’d have spent 90% of the time high. And as for me making the biggest mistake of my life by leaving, considering he’s still in exactly the same place as he was a year, two years, three years ago, I’d say it was the best thing I’ve ever done. When I look at what I’ve done this year – the nights out, my trips to Ireland, Ibiza and Toulouse, even taking my first flight alone – I feel proud. I’m actually living my life instead of watching it pass me by, whereas he is still wasting his weekends away with a cocktail of drugs. The fact that he’s still doing this, coupled with the fact he thinks I’m the one who made the mistake, tells me he’s learned nothing. Zero. Zilch. I can imagine he’s done nothing more exciting than try meth for the first time.

He has, at least, moved on. When I blogged about his ketamine and meth usage earlier in the year, I mentioned that he’d been sleeping with his drug buddy’s sister. It now seems they’re actually a couple. She does cocaine too, which is obviously not a good thing, but I’m happy for him. It makes no bearing on my life to know this and I do still care about his happiness after all. I will admit to being a bit miffed when she told me he apparently said he wanted to marry and have kids with her though. Not out of jealousy, but because I thought ‘why not me?’. Obviously, getting married and having kids with him would have been a colossal mistake, but I put in so much bloody effort with him. Ten years of battling the ignorance, underlying racism and non-acceptance from some of his family, putting up with his drug use, running errands like a bitch and being a good little housewife, and after a few months with his new chick, he’s actually thinking of settling down. It made me feel second best until I realised that it’s probably because it’s so much easier for him. His Kosovan family will love her white-ness and because she uses drugs too, she’s always going to be on his wavelength and understand the chase and the buzz of getting off her face. And if that is the  case then good luck to him, I guess.

The fact is, I know now that I deserve so, so much more than what I got. I deserve someone who will put me first, instead of being domineering and chauvinistic. I deserve someone who’d do anything for me, the same way I would for them. And I want a guy who isn’t an habitual drug taker. I’m not the same girl. To put it in Gotye’s words, I’m just somebody that he used to know.

After all the heartache, ups and downs and questioning if I made the right move by leaving, I’ve moved on. I’m happy, which is just about all I could ask for right now. I’m enjoying my life and learning from my mistakes all the time. And I can honestly say that leaving him wasn’t one of them. If anything, my mistake was staying in the relationship and trying to make it work for so long. If he ever comes out of his drugged up haze and off his know-it-all high horse, he’ll realise that.

As someone once said, ‘I’m not the girl that got away. I’m the girl you failed to keep.’

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.

x