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"Whom must I fuck or pay to get a quotation at the top of your blog post?" - Janie Junebug

Monday, 1 February 2016

Question of the Month: Love Lost

This month brings a very special Question of the Month. This month, we're combining with Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out as he hosts a bloghop of his own: Lost and Found, the Valentines Edition.

Arlee and I are asking... "When have you lost or found love?"


Well, I've talked about the story of how I came to date my very close friend Jerida. But I never really talked about our breakup. When people asked why the breakup happened, I couldn't really give them a reason. I'd always settle for something lame like "We.. I don't know, just... thought it was best." That's 95% true, but only Jerida, her family and our close circle of friends know the other 5% of the story: There was another girl involved.

Woah, stop! don't go jumping to conclusions. I never cheated on her. That will always remain in my mind one of the lowest things a person can do. But I was guilty of wrongdoing. Let me explain.

Jerida and I had been out of love for a while. But we had no idea we felt that way for a long time. There were a number of reasons for that - we were each other's first relationship, we both have a lot of commitment and we were very good at resolving differences. I certainly felt that whatever problem we encountered, we'd be able to work through it. Then along came this girl. I mentioned her briefly somewhere in the attic of this blog, but today we'll call her Melissa. I met her at the radio station at which I volunteered and we got chatting. She seemed friendly, so I added her on Facebook after I left and then moved on.

A day later, she messaged me to ask her how I was going. That was a surprise to me. I'm not talkative at all, so I very rarely get people messaging me just to chat. Looking back now, I realise that the last girl who ever sent me the first message was Jerida. We chatted, and would keep chatting as we went about our days. I'd chat with her while at work, while with friends, while watching a movie, often while with Jerida. It took me a while to realise this wasn't just friendly conversation. Again, Jerida had been the only other girl with whom I found conversation that easy. I started to get excited whenever I saw her name on my screen. I thought she was cute, funny, ambitious, popular and all sorts of other things that one should think when they're already in a relationship. While it's certainly true that I would never physically cheat, I realised that what was happening with Melissa was an emotional affair - something much harder to control, but which is just as bad if you allow it to happen.

So I did something about it. I finally came to terms with the state of my current relationship and we split. I thought I was doing the honourable thing, and those who weren't in the know were sympathetic. But to those who knew the whole story, I spent the next couple of months doing some of the most dick-headed things I'd ever done.

For one thing, I suggested that to make the breakup as clean as possible, Jerida and I shouldn't have any communication for a while. We were both deeply entrenched in the same circle of friends and we didn't want to upset that. But I was also worried about creating an on-again, off-again situation by just going straight back to being friends. So after almost two years of a relationship where we talked about our future like we were already married, I was suddenly gone without a backwards glance. I left her completely on her own.

Second, I asked Melissa out the very next day. We went on one date which I thought went pretty well for a while. Then, for the first time since I'd met her, we ran out of things to say and things got very awkward. Being fond of commitment, I was certainly willing to keep seeing her and see if we could improve. She, I learned much later, didn't even want to go on that first date. She just liked the attention.

Third, over those next couple of months, I would mention in my blog about girls I met that I found cute or I'd talk to friends about the Melissa situation which was still going. All of this would get back to Jerida and create the impression that our two-year relationship had meant nothing. Over time, she's vindicated me for a lot of things. She acknowledged that it was time for us to break up, she understood my reasons for not wanting to contact each other and she seems to have forgiven me for falling for someone else. But my open, public pursuit of what seemed like every cute girl that gave me attention was the one thing she said was completely and totally wrong.

And fourth, I couldn't stop wanting Melissa. We kept chatting on Facebook and text and I'd analyse every word she said for signs of how she really felt. She said she still wanted to keep me as a friend, but I didn't want to believe it. It took me months to realise that she'd never been interested in the first place. Like her friends had said, she just liked attention. Getting over her was honestly like breaking an addiction. I tried to break contact with her just like I had with Jerida. But it took me three goes to successfully do it. The frustration of it all made me act out in stupid ways. I consider it a great shame that in the end, it was harder to get over Melissa than it was to get over Jerida.

Knowing Melissa, this will probably get back to her somehow. There was a lot more to that part of the story than I've mentioned here, but out of respect I'm not going to make any of it public. I do however have one thing I'd like to say to her, and that's this: I've acknowledged my mistakes and you haven't. That's how I feel my actions are forgivable. It's why I feel like the better person.

Jerida is now my best friend and closest confidante. We worked very hard to sort out any unresolved feelings between us, both good and bad. She's happier than she's ever been in the whole time I've known her and really, she's the true winner in all of this.





- See more at: http://www.alifeexamined.com.au/p/blog-page_26.html#sthash.E0AcA1Zi.dpuf

40 comments:

  1. You live and learn. I guess I'm glad I never had to do the dating thing when the Internet was around. It's made it a very small world when it comes to people's business.
    And I think cheating on someone is also one of the lowest things a person can do.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I come from a curious generation that grew up at the very birth of the internet, so I haven't embraced it quite as much as the people born just a few years after me.

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  2. Thanks for writing all that out. It might help someone else. I know people who stay in those ping pong relationships and never move on. It is not healthy. And, I'm glad you and Jerida are still good friends. That's what your relationship was always meant to be.

    Play off the Page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We feel the same way. We couldn't be ourselves as partners.

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  3. I never went through any difficult romantic break ups, but I've been through the wringer with friendships. I can think of only one situation that was completely my fault, I pushed them away, but it's still hard for me to talk about that. Being able to admit wrong is a big deal.

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    1. It is - it's very hard to do and I comsider myself lucky that I can at least do it a little bit.

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  4. Yep, cheating is the lowest crap going. Ugg, with the internet there is so many of those attention types online, then in real life they can't say two words. Why I just stick with cats, much easier lol

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    1. I'm sure your cats will never cheat on you ;)

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  5. Glad things worked out so you could keep your friendship with Jerida. I bet most people look back on their relationship history and shake their heads. It's a learning process for sure.

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    1. The trouble is, that's my whole relationship history :P

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  6. Relationships can be so tricky. Our unconscious and conscious desires and motivations can color everything. I'm glad that in the end, things worked out for you and your good friend Jerida.

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    1. Yeah it's interesting that another girl had to come along to make is see how unhappy we both were.

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  7. Relationships are so difficult to explain. I am happy you found a way to stay on decent terms with your ex. That's tough.

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    1. No one can believe it. We keep getting asked "Are you sure you guys aren't..."

      Yes, we're very sure.

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  8. I guess Melissa didn't reveal her true self in chatting. You had to meet her in person. I'm glad you're such good friends with Jerida after all that. Everyone needs a friend like that.

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    1. I have a couple and they're the best thing in my life at the moment.

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  9. The world of relationships is never easy, but always teaches us something about others and ourselves that is valuable to learn.

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    1. Jerida says she feels like herself again, which is wonderful and sad at the same time.

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  10. love and relationships... they're weird.. people are weird too ... Glad it worked out ok in the end :)

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  11. you got a good friend you were supposed to have. You just never know what will work and what doesn't. But stay positive and things work out for a reason - all clichés, but they are true. Thanks for telling the story

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    1. No problem. I hope telling it was the right thing to do.

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  12. Those darned chats can be so detrimental. I know a mature couple who have the gifted life. Success, wonderful home, beautiful kids, financial security and while he was working hard to provide all that she started getting chats from some guy and she liked the attention. It almost brought down the house so to speak but they went for counseling and thankfully, they are stronger now than ever. It's good you realized your issue with M and I'm glad you and J are now great friends and she's happy.

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    1. It's so upsetting that that happens. It's new and exciting and that makes it enticing.

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  13. You are, actually—the better person, I mean. The authenticity and transparency (and self-awareness) necessary to write this post is... well, impressive. Like Alex said, I'm glad all my dating—uh, experiments—happened (mostly) before the internet... But I do know how detrimental this social-media pseudo-closeness can be, especially if you encounter one of them attention-seekers. On the other hand, it's easy to blame that on online life, but the truth is it existed way back when, too... I had friends who loved to keep a string of dudes on the back burner, guys who basically served no purpose in these girls' lives other than stroke (and stoke) their egos. And provide emergency car transportation or nightclub-bill-paying when needed. It made me so uncomfortable to watch... but I was in the minority. Even the guys seemed in tune with their situation. What can I say?

    Great story for the Lost & Found, Michael. I'm so glad, and grateful, you joined :)
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

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    1. Yeah guys can be paid off quite easily with cheap sex. It is uncomfortable. There was an episode of How I Met Your Mother which dealt with that. Ted liked a girl who was just stringing him along. He lamented how awful that is until his friends pointed out that he was doing the same thing to a different girl. And that girl was doing it to another guy and so on. Meanwhile, the girl Ted liked was chasing after a guy who was stringing HER along...

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  14. Dude, you broke up because your relationship reached its natural conclusion. You didn't do anything wrong as far as I can tell from the limited information you're doling out to us here. How long were you supposed to wait? Would a month before going on that first date have made things more palatable? That just meant that you broke up a month earlier than you were supposed to. Sometimes relationships just reach a natural end point. We think there's supposed to be a moratorium or a mourning period, but that's all arbitrary. None of your actions were egregious. Hence why you're still great friends with Jerida. Take it easy on yourself, you're doing fine.

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    1. Haha thanks man. I may not have made it clear that at the time, she didn't think anything was wrong between us. She was prepared to spend the rest of her life with me. That makes it very hard to just up-and-move-on.

      Delete
  15. Wow, that was quite the confessional post. It makes sense to me though. I think early relationships are often experiments or trial runs in learning how to have a proper relationship. What you've gone through is probably something many people go through. It would have been worse had you actually been married or something like that. Better to learn the lessons now than then.

    Thanks for joining forces to make Lost & Found a bigger success and create more exposure for Question of the Month.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. It's interesting, most of the people I know said they were in their first relationship in high school. They were barely seen together and had "broken up" a week later. I'm glad I managed to do so well in my first.

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  16. Wow, that's some serious insight. I'm so glad to hear that, after all of it, you and Jerida are best friends. You are both winners. And hopefully it will be a lifelong friendship. My ex and I are best friends and he's always there if I need something, without question. He's loyal as all get-out and I feel very fortunate to have him in my life. I wish the same for you both. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I'm so glad for you. Do you ever have to deal with questions of whether you'll get back together?

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  17. The internet can be a dangerous place for relationships. We tend to open up more in emails/chat than we realize and sometimes things are shared that we would never say in person (I'm guilty of it myself). I'm glad you were able to still be friends with Jerida after that.

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    1. That's interesting, I haven't noticed that. I usually consider myself an open book most of the time, whether online or in person. Just ask and I'll tell.

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  18. That's what dating is for- to try until you find the perfect fit.

    Jerida sounds like a very special lady. Whether you two are a couple or ever will be again, it's obvious she holds a special place in your heart.

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    1. She does, and I constantly wonder why I'm so special to her :P

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  19. You learned a lot by the whole experience, and the most important thing is you and Jerida are still close friends. All I can say is I sure am glad things like Facebook and Youtube and all that stuff weren't around when I was young!

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    1. That seems to be a common sentiment around here. Social media does do some great things for society too - Most of the time I was talking to Melissa, she was holidaying in Europe.

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  20. I'm glad that you learned from your mistakes. It's the best way to go through life, I think.

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