The cheating frenchman and violence in Marseille

Well, as the title suggests, events took an ugly turn this week. Since I had a couple of days free, I texted The Frenchman. We made plans for me to take the trip to Marseille, not far from where I am, and I’d get to see the sights I hadn’t seen yet, crash on his sofa and then head back the next morning.

I woke up at the crack of dawn and made my way there. We had a great day, too. After wandering around the port, we took a boat out to Le Pointe Rouge, a tiny beach, and had lunch before sunbathing and taking a dip in the sea. It was nice. Not at all awkward, just two mates hanging out. It was almost to easy, I thought. Since the boat back only ran once an hour, and was full, we decided to take the bus instead after stopping for some ice-cream. As we got near to his apartment, my phone rang, one of my French friends from London calling to see how I was.

As we approached the apartment building, some woman comes up to The Frenchman and starts going off on one. I turned by back for a minute and walked away, to tell my friend I’d call him back later. The next thing I knew, I got hit over the head, my head banged into the concrete wall and blood started pouring from my nose. It was the first time I’d ever been hit and I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to do. I don’t even know what happened, but all I could see was The Frenchman getting whacked over the head as he tried to restrain this crazy woman. One of his neighbours had come down and asked if I was ok, and then I just burst into tears. He hadn’t told me he had a new girlfriend, and I couldn’t understand why she was laying into me. What happened next was a good 10 minutes of her trying to get at me, telling me to ‘take my plane and leave’ while I’m trying to avoid her coming at me again. She’s been with him since last July, she said. I said I didn’t know anything about her, to which she replied she knew everything about me. She even started reciting some of the stuff me and The Frenchman had said via email. What the actual fuck?? She asked if I was there in November and February, and I said yes. And then she hit the Frenchman again. She shouted that I needed to leave because I was only there to have sex with him. Erm, no. When she asked why not, I said ‘I ended it, so why would I want to have sex with him now?’ She then went wild again, in French, and what I got from that was that he’d told her that he was the one to end it, not me, and this was supposed to have happened in January. Then she asked if I’d sent him an email confirming when we’d split up. I said no, and she hit him again – and said she knew the email she’d seen wasn’t from me. She eventually left and when The Frenchman came over to see if I was alright, I told him to leave me alone. Fair enough, he’d tried to restrain her and calm down, but the fact was that I’d just got attacked in the middle of the street with cars slowing down to take a look and people staring out of their windows and over their balconies. After staying downstairs for a while, crying my eyes out on the phone, I went up to his apartment (where my stuff was) and cleaned myself up before demanding he pour out some rum. I was shaking like a leaf with the adrenaline.

‘What the fuck was that?’ I asked, and demanded he be honest. So, he told me. She’s his new girlfriend and they’ve been together since April this year, but he’s been sleeping with her since last July. He doesn’t love her, he said, and so obviously this is more serious for her than it is for him. He’s been sleeping with her roughly every 2 weeks. His reason? 

‘Because I’m an arsehole and a liar.’

‘Not acceptable,’ I said.

He said he found it difficult to be away from me, and needed someone near him for sex. He found the distance hard. I told him that was absolute bullshit, I’d have seen him as often as he wanted. The reason we saw each other so rarely was down to him – he knew how I felt about him and yet he still let it go on after we’d established we were in a relationship. He said he was afraid to tell me because he didn’t want to lose me and he thought for a long time we could have really been together. I just shook my head and reminded him that at the start, when I met Mr Grey, I was honest with him. There was no reason for him to keep it from me, and moreover, if he’d have been honest about sleeping with her from the start, I’d not have let myself get so attached to him, if I’d have met up with him at all. At least I’d have known it was only a casual thing. Apparently, she’d found our Whatsapp message trail in June and demanded he have no more contact with me, which he apparently agreed to. She hasn’t trusted him since then and because he didn’t answer the phone when she rang earlier in the day, she must have been suspicious enough to come round to his apartment.

I asked about the fake email and he told me he’d created a fake account, and emailed it, asking me to confirm when we’d split up. He apparently didn’t save the email so I couldn’t read it, but he ‘wasn’t proud’ of what he’d done. I told him that if he’d have just emailed me, asking me to confirm when we’d split up so he could reassure his new girlfriend, I’d have done it, because we were friends. He said he couldn’t ask me because he’d told her we’d split up in January (bearing in mind he came to London at the end of January) and he didn’t want me to get mixed up in their relationship. I just laughed. I was bloody well involved now. Things started to make sense in my head. He was never around at the weekend, for one, and that message on the fridge I’d blogged about for two. I asked if that message was for her (the one which said, ‘I’m at the post office, my beauty’) and he confirmed that it was. 

I was so, so upset. Not because he’d cheated necessarily, because we haven’t been together for around 6-7 months now, but because he’d lied, over and over again. When he’d told me I was the only woman in his life, when he told me he’d always tried to be honest with me and not to give my trust to someone who doesn’t deserve it, it was all bullshit. I was broken at the fact that this man, who I held in the highest esteem and trusted implicitly turned out to be a complete and utter wanker. And I told him that. I told him he wasn’t the man I thought he was – that I thought he had integrity and he’d made me look a fool all those times people asked how I dealt with the trust issues that come with a long distance relationship because I’d always said I trusted him without a shadow of a doubt. After all, why shouldn’t I have?

I’d told him how difficult it was usually for me to open up about certain things, and  he’d told me how honoured he was that I found it easy to do with him. It took a lot of effort on my end and all he did was abuse it. He didn’t even try not to sleep with someone else. I reminded him that he’d told me he didn’t want a relationship after we split up, and he said he still doesn’t, but she was there and it just ‘happened.’

He apologised (push the boat out why don’t you), saying that I didn’t deserve any of what had happened, it was all his fault and he hated himself for seeing me so upset. Bullshit. He hated the fact he got caught or he wouldn’t have done it, end of. The amount of money I’d spent going to see him etc, he took me for a total mug. I didn’t hide my feelings. Sure, I could have screamed and shouted, and smashed his apartment, but I didn’t. For one thing, thats’ just not me. And for two, I didn’t want to be calm and emotionless. I wanted him to see that he’d hurt me, and know he’d lost someone who would have been a friend for life. 

He apologised again for making me ‘lose time’, to which I replied ‘he should be sorry about lying, cheating and hurting me, not losing time’. Sophie (his girlfriend) had won – she got what she wanted. He disagreed and I pointed out that she’d known about me since June. The only thing that had changed for her was finding out that I was the one to end our relationship, not him, and that we had still been in contact up to that point. For me, everything had changed. The memories I had of him and Marseille, the way I thought of him as a person and the friendship we had was now shattered.

I ended up staying in a hotel (he paid, I demanded he did) and the next morning, I woke up and thought I had black eyes from being hit, I’d been crying so much. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, it was nothing my sunglasses couldn’t hide, apart from the lump which is still there on the side of my head.

He was at the train station, and apologised again, saying I’m a good person and he’s so, so sorry for hurting me, because he knows this was the last time he’d ever see me and he’d lost me.  And he’d never lied to me about how he felt about me. I just nodded, otherwise I’d have cried again, and stiffened when he tried to hug me goodbye. I walked away from him and I didn’t look back.

I needed a couple of days to pass before I wrote this (this happened on Tuesday) because I was just too upset. I hate feeling like I’ve been duped. I hate feeling like every time I dare to trust another human being, they turn out to be totally unworthy. I made things as stress-free as possible, it couldn’t have been any easier for him…and yet…

So, I’m back in Languedoc now, and my hosts know what happened. And they’ve been so lovely. We had a huge barbecue last night and blasted French men – apparently they have a saying that they have less value than a nail you’d hammer into wood because they cannot be trusted.

And now, I feel fine. I’ve blocked him on Facebook and deleted our messages. He can go be a cheating bastard somewhere else, I’m not going to let him ruin my holiday.

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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.

Totes Can’t Be Arsed

Seasons greetings etc, etc, etc. I do hope everyone had a nice day. Mine? It was fab and a billion times better than last year when I spent it in bed, heartbroken. This year, I had a great time with my family and, stop the press, NO alcohol. I dunno what the world is coming to when there’s no alcohol over Christmas but I’m on medication for the next few days and I have no choice. Bumholes. I’ve had lots of comms with The Frenchman (yes, I changed his name) over the last few days which was lovely, since he was spending Christmas with his grandparents and I didn’t expect to hear much. The sucky news though, is that he’s going away with friends from tomorrow for a week. No comms. No wifi. No Network. Shite. 

So, now it’s coming up to the New Year, and I’m thinking about what I want to achieve in 2013. If 2012 was a year of readjustment and adventure, then I want 2013 to be all about more adventure and some kind of implementation. I want to do something. I don’t know what yet, but I want to do something pretty major. My thinking cap is firmly on. I don’t do resolutions cos I think they’re pretty lame. Nobody ever sticks to them and the changes people want to implement should be implementable (is that a word) at any time of year. So whatever I decide to do wont be a resolution, it will be…

….

something else. Better than a resolution. I just don’t know what to call it yet. 

In other news, I’m bored. Bored, bored, bored. I feel like I haven’t had a night out in forever and I feel fit to scream. Compared to the first half of this year, the second half has been slow on the going out front. I’ve found myself missing Mr Music too. He was always good for an impromptu piss up, which is exactly what I need to do. Obviously when I’m finished taking these tablets. 

Things are going really well in my life at the moment. So why am I so effing bored? Why can I not get away from this ‘totally can’t be arsed’ feeling?

Sigh.

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.’

**STALKER ALERT**

Maybe slightly extreme. Ok. Remember Mr Clingy? My rebound from last year? Well, he found me on Facebook again thanks to our mutual friends and we had a brief conversation over Facebook messenger. I admit to feeling a bit bad for how I chucked him last year so I took the opportunity to apologise, and basically said I just couldn’t deal with all that intensity. He apologised too and said he didn’t actually want to break up, he just went about it the wrong way by issuing an ultimatum between him and my ex. Which, when the object of your affection is a – rebounding and b – wanting to get back with their ex, is a bad idea. Anywho, we said we’d call it quits – all was well.

Then again, maybe not.

Now that we’re Baitbook friends again, he’s taken to commenting on practically everything I post, in record time, too. Am I on his close friends list or something? It got to the stage where I’ve now added him to my acquaintances list, so I can control what he sees. And before you ask, no, I can’t delete him. I feel really bad deleting anyone from Facebook. I’m a sensitive soul. Since moving him to this list, it’s been good, because my notifications haven’t been blowing up with ‘Mr Clingy commented on this’ or ‘Mr Clingy likes a photo you posted ten fricking years ago’. I told Miss Comeback and Miss Sunshine about it but I don’t think they actually believed me until he liked and commented on a picture Miss Sunshine tagged me in, literally seconds after it was posted. And it was the same last night, when I forgot to change my sharing options on an update – as soon as I posted it, he commented. I actually asked him if he had me on a close friends list because, doesn’t he have anything better to do?

The thing is, we split up A YEAR AGO. We dated for like, two months. I know I’m irresistible but really? (joke). I have no issues with him as a person, he’s a decent guy, but it’s getting to the stage where I want to scream at him to eff the back up and stop smothering me. He knows about Mr Marseilles since he liked my Toulouse pictures and asked why I was there. I might have embellished the truth a bit and said that I was actually in a relationship, but it’s not stopped him. Every other day I’m getting a ‘how are you? x’ message and he’s taken to trying to moan about his problems at me, which he used to do when we were together.

I’m trying to be as nonchalant as I can with him because, if it were me, I’d be thinking ‘wow, Freechick doesn’t want to seem to talk to me AT ALL. Maybe I should just stop torturing myself’ but it doesn’t seem to working. What a palaver.

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.

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