But Not With Me

August 29, 2008 at 9:19 am (Dating)

Last night Ichi told me that he is in love and is considering getting married!

Hurray for Ichi.  And while I am genuinely happy for him, I can’t help feeling a little sorry for myself.  So I called my other ex for some solace and got the worst pep talk ever.  I think I understand what he was trying to do, but it was just the wrong stuff at the wrong time.

How to cheer me up: A Primer

If I call you in the middle of the night and tell you of some heartbreak, here are some things you can do:

  • Feel free to question the intelligence and taste of any man who would prefer another woman over me, especially after getting to know me for some time.
  • Remind me that he and I were fundamentally incompatible in significant ways.  (Ichi’s 4 cats vs. my debilitating cat allergy, for example).
  • Email me amusing videos from Mr. Pregnant‘s oeuvre.
  • Give me chocolate.
  • Recount the many ways I am awesome.

What NOT to do:

  • Compare my experiences with Sex in the City.
  • Remind me about the other areas of my life that suck like my job and lack of academic progress.
  • Mention the woman you left me for.
  • Start ranting about some work-related stuff.
  • Give me advice on what to ask the next guy I date to make sure he’s not in love with someone else.


  1. zantimisfit said,

    Ah, men suck. I swear they have no idea how to listen and be empathetic sometimes. Women know that when someone calls you for looking for sympathy you agree with the distressed person and tell them that the offender is a jackass. I think men sometimes think when women tell them stuff that is upsetting they are looking for solutions when really we are just looking for support.

    By the way, it upsets me to no end when I hear about the kind of thing happening that Ichi has visited upon you. I’ve heard of this type of situation way too many times. Who the fuck are these people?? And what is their fucking deal?? Why do they date people when they probably know they aren’t going to get invested (or are already divested) and are already looking for other prospects?? I hate them.

  2. Ten Feet of Steel said,

    *Sigh*. I am sorry, but I haven’t even met Ichi, and I already think him unworthy of such charitable emotions from you as feeling happiness for him. But that is for a private conversation.

    On a more general note, I’ve decided that it’s better to not try to establish friendship where there are other things (romantic and sexual, and disappointment arising from the romantic and sexual) going on. I know there’s a huge cliche about one’s romantic partner also being one’s best friend, etc., and over time, if someone becomes a long-term partner, that person will also become a friend (if you’re living in an Anglo-Saxon or other culture which holds that as an ideal). But, my logic goes, I already have close friends. How does the fact that I’ve interacted with someone’s penis make my relationship with this person worthy of conversion to friendship? There are many kinds of affection and bonding, and it’s not as though they default to some form of friendship. Platonic friendship should not be a default setting; when it is, it’s usually to alleviate the guilt over one party’s decisions to end the romantic relationship and/or to give the other party a way to prove that he or she is OK with it.

    There is nothing wrong with accepting that one is wounded and/or angry and deciding to not remain in contact with an ex, even if you like that person. Such a choice does not make a person any less wise, strong, or good, and it is possible to be civil about cutting ties with a person. I think it most often makes more sense to not interact with someone after romantic ties end, and then, after you get over things, decide whether friendship is something you both actively want to cultivate. It took me a long time to learn that, so I present that here for your consideration.

  3. GunMonkey said,

    Two of my exes married the person they met after me, so I feel your pain (one of them told me via e-mail “I met The One!!!” and it was impossible for me not to mentally add in paranethesis “that you are not”). I know if you truly love someone you’re supposed to find some consolation in the fact they’re happy, but after a while that particular well of human compassion starts to run dry. You’ve got every right to feel badly.

    And I agree with TenFeet on the friendship thing. Being friends with exes only works if the relationship was fundamentally a friendship to begin with. I’ve never found you can tune down the intensity of your feelings for someone from “love/romantic relationship” to “friendship” the way to turn down the volume of TV. Besides, isn’t the whole “we can still be friends” just a consolation prize? It’s sort of insulting when you really think about it.

    And he probably didn’t deserve you anyway.

  4. ashyknees said,

    Good for you for knowing what makes you feel better. That’s another sign of your awesomeness.

    Negative feelings after a break up do not count against your awesomeness at all in my book.

    A good pep talk is hard to find. I’m not so good at them since I tend toward the “let’s get in there and fix it” method instead of the “I hear your pain” method of consolation. Sometimes, life just sucks and the best things for it are a little harmless distraction, focusing on the times that didn’t suck, and knowing that life will change.

    I know you have many cool projects in the works and an upcoming scholarly event. I look forward to reading about your accomplishments in those areas here soon.

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