Out with the Old, In with the New

In light of the New Year, I started to think about the appeal of a blank slate, of starting over. Having something new and fresh to look forward to. You count down from ten, and reset the clock. Maybe even throw in a little confetti. No headaches. Wave bye-bye to last year – it’s so 2014 anyway.

Saying goodbye to expired relationships, however… Not so blissfully clean-cut. Nope. Those are more like the streaks of shit left behind, which you can never seem to wipe off completely. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was basically a documentary.

My dad always told me, “Jules, men are like jobs. You don’t leave one until you find another.” (FYI: badass parenting wisdom). But – I must admit – coming from a thrice-married man, this might not have been the soundest of advice. Still, it’s a concept we appropriate to a lot of other scenarios, every day, sans qualms.

Think about it.

If you need to upgrade your car, you don’t just sell your rusty clunker without finding a replacement first. It wouldn’t be practical, right?

And we always have to have a plan B. Restaurants, college alternatives, backup Saturday night plans (in case your TiVo pulls some diva sass on your ass, and you need to put on something else than sweatpants).

It’s a defense mechanism thing. We like to expect the unexpected. Surprises aren’t always good surprises – unless they’re jumping out of a cake.

What’s messed up, though, is how you’re perceived if things don’t workout, and your emotional balance dares to falter for a second. Society holds you accountable for not being better equipped at facing the unpredicted ‘what ifs’ that have smacked you in the face. Because putting all your eggs in one basket is a ludicrous thing. Tsk tsk.

Optimism is dead. No wonder we live in a world of prenups and trust issues.


And as a result, we’ve perfected the art of coping mechanisms when it comes to love and other hot messes, which is why you don’t ever really get over someone until you find someone new.

Now, now, hakuna your tatas everyone, because this isn’t meant to argue with how we need to be happy by ourselves before sharing our life with another, or similar self-empowerment hoopla of sorts. Because I agree with this notion, 100%.

What I’m talking about here is not in regards to the actual letting go, but in regards to points of reference your donzo relationship still provides in the aftermath.

You see, mourning a relationship (or an idea of a relationship) is a two-part deal: letting go of the entity that you (thought) was so important, and adjusting to your reality 2.0. It’s pretty much a face fuck-full of emotions. And I mean this literally because, believe me, nobody cries pretty.

Thing is, no matter how much time has passed, no matter how many arts and crafts classes you sign up to, or how many holes you burn through your credit card with shopping sprees every second Sunday…

Repeat after me:
You never get over someone until you find someone new.

Last date? That jerk.
Last fancy dinner? Ugh, right.
Last person you swapped spit with? You guessed it.

No matter how amazeballs your life is, or how comfortable you are with being a dinner-for-one, your last special someone will remain your last reference for all romantic contexts. Until you find a new replacement piece. Fact.

And there’s no shame in that. It’s perfectly normal.

What I’m trying to say is: we can’t judge anyone on the time it takes for him or her to move on. And we need to cut ourselves some slack too, for that matter. Sometimes, one just needs to jump right into a get-laid-parade to break the ice for themselves and their newfound singlehood. Other times, it takes a little longer to experience butterflies again, even if just dick butterflies for a night.

All in all, take your time. Everyone is entitled to his or her own process.

Unless you’re hitting expert-level “sad single,” where your cat is eating your Michelina’s sad-ghetti leftovers by the side of your bed. In which case: get up, shower off and go kiss a stranger. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

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One comment

  • Trolled your FB wall and found this article. Every time I break up with a girl, the time I had made for her is suddenly unfulfilled. All of a sudden, all this alone time becomes available to me. My fear is that if I leave it unfulfilled, it will consume me. I don’t go to movies or restaurants alone, I don’t really buy myself stuff because as much as I love shopping for hours on end, I’ve got this stupid ass guilt complex with regards to rewarding myself with the fruits of my own labour. So how did I cope? I’m not a bar shark, nor am I into hookups.

    After my 2007 breakup, I took up pro wrestling. Learned the trade, eventually bought a wrestling ring, and even managed to have it set up in front of the Nintendo Dome at La Ronde as part of a cross promotion with Musique Plus with some boy band.

    In 2011, after a rather wild long distance thing (in conjunction with the sport of rugby changing before my very eyes and needing to find something more than beerceps curls as a workout), I took up Mixed Martial Arts training.

    In 2013, after I ended a relationship which dragged and had a rather long “transition” phase during which she showed up at my door insisting that I give it to her regardless of what I wanted or how I felt, I stepped up my training to four to five days a week. I also traveled so much and saw so many things. As a result, in Feb 2014 I won a pretty cool belt in a four man tournament. Never got face punched so many times in the same night.

    I’m over those women, I’m happy, but I have love to give, I can’t give it and it kills me a bit on the inside. Not the “yeah I’ll drive you to Toronto and back in 22 hours for your fight because you’re my best friend and I owe you my health and my life” kind of love. I mean the “yeah I’ll totally go pick this up for you at the store because it’s freaking cold out, but you’d be colder than me so I’ll do it for you because you’re awesome” kind of love.

    I’m too weak to double dip from one relationship to the next, couldn’t even do it to my previous job when I left because unethical events occurred.

    But now that I’m a little older and getting headhunted by two other companies offering substantial increases, the whole sneaking out during lunchtime for interviews, leaving work early to meet potential bosses, holding a secret that I just can’t wait to tell, the imminent tough decisions, the coming clean to my current boss about my secret movements, making self-satisfying cryptic comments, knowing that even if I get fired RIGHT NOW I can earn a paycheck rather quickly, the negotiations, the freedom… it’s f’n thrilling. I couldn’t possibly do it to another human being, because it would just be so much guilty pleasure in one place. I can’t handle that. I wish I could play the game, but I care too much about what nice Bi thinks of asshole Bi. Not strong enough.

    People always ask me, wherever I travel for work or pleasure, why I’m still single. I’m too weak. I finish last. I don’t want to go for the kill because of the word kill. I even feel bad if I’m winning a fight by too much and will lower my hands to encourage an exchange to excite the crowd with my face. FACK. Thanks for this. I just understood myself a bit better.

    I’m a sucka for love, nigga, but I’m only money makin.

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