The after breakup “closure” – a myth

Long after a break up I would insist on meeting with my ex for “closure”. Something I thought I needed in order to move on. That somehow, speaking to the person I was no longer in a relationship with would bring me some sort of peace or comfort. For some reason I thought that closure was the medicine to cure a tainted heart. But it was just an excuse to see him again lol.

There was a lot I didn’t understand when I was younger. More common was “why would a guy say I’m such a great person but in the same breath say that he doesn’t want to be with me?”. I accepted the split and called it mutual but after a few weeks or months I would still have questions. Questions that I believed could only be answered by the person who once loved me but stopped all of a sudden. So I would reach out, asking to meet up so we could talk about what all happened between us and how we got to the end. Some of them were open to it and some were not (mainly Shawn’s scary ass, thinking I just wanted to jump him lol). I would rehearse for this closure meeting, the things I wanted to say, the questions I had and I would write down some of those questions just in case I forgot. See, this was very important to me. I’m the type to think about what I could have said way after something happens so I had to ensure that I would not do that this time, I would not get lost in his charm, or whatever else I found attractive, that could distract me from my purpose.

It’s closure day and I have said nothing I had rehearsed. Instead I’m kissing all up on him like nothing ever happened (huge face palm). Then we spend the rest of the day like we’re boyfriend and girlfriend again. Just for me to go back home and send a long text message (that he never read) saying all that I intended to say. And that right there was my closure.

Closure for me is a myth. Why do I need to speak to the person that broke up with me, pleading for the reason why we didn’t work out? Why couldn’t I just accept it and move on the same way we accept many other things we cannot change? We had a good run together. We laughed, argued and learned new things while in each other’s company and just because it’s over doesn’t mean that it didn’t mean anything. You know, I think that it was mainly because I didn’t want to start over. I was so afraid of starting all over with someone new that I would have tried anything to get that old thing back. But with age comes wisdom and some people are truly just seasonal and I have found comfort in that.

Closure comes with true acceptance within oneself. So what if he has already moved on? So what if you miss him? So what if that song reminds you of him? That’s how life experiences are. Many things in life will remind you of the past, some will make you smile and some will bring you sorrow. Yet, we tend to separate a romantic relationship and look for a deeper meaning when emotions resurface. I had to learn how to manage my emotions and I am still learning. So now, when I feel like someone owes me an explanation I try to be clear on why I feel that way. Do the work within yourself before you waste time and possibly money chasing “closure”.

xoxo

Jess

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That long text he never read

“He needs to know how much he hurt me”, “He has to feel the pain that I feel”…and those were the thoughts that started off that 4 paragraph text message I would send to the lucky young man who hurt my little feelings because of what he did or didn’t do at the time. I have a message for my old self….HE DON’T CARE AND HE’S NOT GONNA READ IT SIS!

I thought I was making a statement and actually guilt tripping him into caring about how hurt I was but I should have just packed up my dignity and kept it moving the same way he did. He said he was coming to town to see me and I was hype because after the 4th cycle of break up to make up it was make up time again. But this time was different, he said he also wanted to go see the other girl he dated during our “break” and I lost it. The audacity of you to want to go see that dog-fac….that woman who was nowhere near as poppin’ as me!! See I was also the girl who would speak ill of the next chick (man I’ve grown lol) when I didn’t even know her from Adam (but I did know her from Facebook, my search game was on point). After he said that I felt like an option, like he was saying “well imma go see both of them then choose who I wanna be with for real”, well I wasn’t having it because this girl right here is always the only choice. I was so livid I didn’t even give him a chance to finish his sentence (I would regret this later on but life goes on). I hung up the phone and started typing. Yes, it would have made sense to stay on the phone and say all that I wanted to say but remember, I’m upset so my sentences will not be formed correctly and I’m emotional so I will cry while yelling at him and I have to remain a thug and thugs don’t cry. So there I was walking to the train crying and typing a few strong worded messages (with a voice message when my tears took a break).

The purpose of the messages was to tell him that he was a horrible person for hurting me again but I knew that he knew. He was aware of the impact those words would have on me but he just didn’t care. Those messages didn’t make him feel guilty for hurting me or made him hurt the same way. My feelings were separate from his and expressing my disdain for his existence was not going to take away the pain I was feeling nor strike him with the same discomfort. I was suppose to work through my feelings by myself with the help of a diary or a trusted friend who would just listen and not suggest that we find some dudes to jump him. All I wanted was to vent and he was not the person to vent to at all. I did more damage to myself because I allowed my emotions to take over. It’s even worse when the guy doesn’t respond to any of the 10 text messages or if his response is not what you expected. Hours later he finally responded and hit me with the “are you done?” (lmao), and just when I was going to start another long message he calls and I decided to answer because I was calm already. He explained himself and I actually listened and when he said he didn’t read after the first two sentences I was kind of relieved because I was embarrassed after I read what I had typed. I did not present myself in the best light and it seemed like my self esteem was not present at all.

When my feelings are hurt by someone, friends, family, or significant other, first I try to dissect why what they said hurt so much. Is it because there’s truth in what they said that I haven’t faced yet? Are they speaking from a hurt place and only trying to hurt me in the process? Is it even worth picking a fight over? My dignity is more important than letting someone know how much they hurt me. I give people more credit than that now. You know what you did, no need for me to tell you.

xoxo

Jess

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Lincoln was 6’4″, caramel complexion, with a voice like the dude from Boyz II Men who be talking on all the tracks (I think his name is Michael McCary). I was already arguing too much with Emanuel so meeting Lincoln was a sign that I should just end things with Emanuel and get with Lincoln right? So after just meeting Lincoln, walking around Manhattan for hours just talking and enjoying each other’s company, I decided to send Emanuel the text – the “it’s not me it’s you” text, because he was acting up for awhile and he knew it so the end was inevitable. Emanuel was a family friend so imagine how awkward it was when he was at the summer BBQ just as Lincoln pulled up looking like the only dessert!

I was 18yrs old, he was 22 and serving in the military (I had a thing for a man in uniform…still do…). We spent hours talking on the phone, he would visit me after work and we would just walk around the block and stop at a park bench on those beautiful summer days in New York until it got dark and he would walk me back home and be on his way. Just to do it all again the next day. It was only a few short months of this summer romance then he had to report back to his base in Baltimore. I thought it was over but Lincoln still wanted to see the kid (well duh) so I would hop on the bus (no I didn’t drive then…still don’t lol) to spend the weekend after I got off work. After the second month with about three visits, things started to get weird. Lincoln was starting to pull away and because I don’t chase after no man I pulled away too. He made the decision to break up and I agreed even though I didn’t want to. Since he was also a friend of the family (I also had a thing for dating friend’s of the family…still do) we tried to keep it cordial for when we would end up at a family function.

That didn’t last long because just a few months later……I was having a rough day so I decided to call Lincoln to complain about it but his vibe was off. It wasn’t the usual warm inviting consoling tone I normally got from him. So after what seemed like hours of pulling teeth he finally tells me that he’s getting married to the girl who saved his life when he was in a car accident the week prior. Yup, my face was on the floor! So I went off because I just couldn’t believe it! We talked about marriage and kids and all that good stuff but there I was listening to him say that some other woman he didn’t even know was going have the life him and I had dreamt up. Being cordial had flown out the window and got hit by a plane. After I was done yelling, screaming, crying, he calmly said to me “You’re a great girl, probably too good for me and you deserve someone better than me….I’ve hurt you too many times…” blah blah blah! And he had put those words into the universe for it to be said to me by every guy I would date after him *insert eye roll*.

Lincoln was the love that broke me. My heart was so cold after him. I was emotionless. Until I met Alonzo in….(I’ll tell his story in another post). See I was finally over Lincoln and in a new relationship when boom he calls me from a number that wasn’t stored in my phone. It’s always when you’ve already moved on and happy that the ex wants to slither themselves into your life again for no logical reason but to mess with your head, but I digress. He knew I wouldn’t have answered if I saw the call coming from his number, that little sly fox got me. So as I caved in to have a conversation with him he said he would be back in town for a bit and wanted to give me my birthday card that he never sent because he knew I hated him. So I asked if his wife was coming with him to bring me my card and his response was “C’mon Jess, it’s not even like that”. I didn’t know what that meant at 19 years of age and still don’t but boys are dumb (boys not men) so I just left it at that. We met a few days later, he parked his car and I stood on the sidewalk with my arms folded and face screwed up making sure he know just how I felt about him without using any curse words. I stuck my hand out for the card and he asked if we could talk. Silly me said yes and got in his car, he apologized for being a jerk and I accepted his apology. It wasn’t long before he started to reminisce on our good times but I had to burst that bubble real quick. I read the card in the car which had everything he just said written down along with “You’re the Best I Ever Had” but he got no points for that because Drake just released that song and he wasn’t going to mess up my jam for me.

That was probably the most affective form of closure I ever got after any break up. He admitted he was an idiot and I agreed. All was well with the world. However, those words “you’re a great girl and deserve someone better than me” haunted me. If I’m so great then why don’t you want to be with me? That was a question my young self never got an answer for. But if I could have a conversation with 18/19yr old Jess I would tell her that Lincoln leaving was the first great thing that could happen to her. Young Jess would have been a military wife living away from her own family and friends with two kids. She would have missed all the family functions, all the other relationships that taught her so much and most of all she would have never met Alonzo. “You’re a great girl and deserve someone better than me” is just another way of saying “It’s not you it’s me” and he was right. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t my path to follow him in his career. I had to make a life of my own and learn about who I truly am. So if you ever hear “It’s not you it’s me” don’t question it, just accept it and move on. Better is yet to come and life is about living through experiences like this one so one day you can start a blog and write about it or at least have a really great story to tell your kids when they start dating.

Disclaimer: Names in this true story were changed out of respect of the other individuals involved

xoxo

Jess

My online Boyfriend

Shawn was cute, 5’10” and Guyanese. He knew how to cook, planned some dates and was super nice to my younger sister. He was caring, charismatic and hilarious. I just knew he was the one. I was done with searching so it was time to delete the apps.

Oh yes the apps, because I met Shawn on an online dating app, like Tinder – did that too and a few others but this one was POF (Plenty of Fish, because apparently there are a lot of them in the sea *insert eye roll*). After a full day of exchanging messages we realized that we lived a block away from each other. Sure he could have been some stalker/murderer but I was living my life dangerously. So we decided to meet after a week of messaging. We had exchanged numbers and he was suppose to meet me at the train station when I got off work. He was 10mins late when I called with concern and not anger as he may tell it. He was at the auto shop dropping off his car, so I was ready to write him off because why didn’t he tell me he was going to be late or couldn’t make it? Why did I have to waste my free anytime minutes to call him to find out he was at the auto shop?

Well I started to walk home since I clearly wasn’t meeting him then decided to stop to get some curry chicken roti because I deserved it after the kind of day I just had. As I’m getting ready to leave the restaurant with my to-go bag I get a call from Shawn, he’s done from the auto shop and is a few minutes away from where I am. I’m not so annoyed anymore because I have food so I wait, he pulls up and I get in the car. He looks like his pictures thank goodness, accent even stronger in person, which finally made me comfortable with speaking with my own accent. See, he always asked if I could understand him because I claimed I was born in Belize but he couldn’t detect an accent. So now that he’s hearing it, my sexy just got bumped up 10points okkuurr! He drops me home after a great 5min car ride convo and as I open my door he calls me to say he wants to talk some more (but of course you do cutie). So I grant him his wish and we sit in his car in front of my apartment just talking and laughing.

So now it’s been about two months of us being in a relationship. My cousin sends me a screenshot of a profile on POF that has Shawn’s face, the other screenshot is the bio which is his exact bio. I’m actually at his house when I receive these screenshots so I’m laughing hysterically and he’s juts so confused. So I show them to him and he simply says that he just never deleted it, that he’s not active at all and hasn’t been messaging anyone on the app. He shows me his inbox on the app as proof. There was nothing to worry about, he gets up to bring me my dinner that he cooked.

Only my roommates at the time and my sister knew about him. I had this thing where I wouldn’t make him known to my family until we reached our three month mark. Well here we are at three months and after him spending the night at my apartment we kiss goodbye because I’m heading to Boston for my annual cousins’ weekend. I’m catching up with my cousins and I reveal that I’ve been dating this cute ass Guyanese dude and I have pictures of us together to prove it (my ex never wanted to take pics with me so he always seemed to be a mystery lol his story is coming soon). After my trip has ended and I’m home all comfortable I call my boyfriend Shawn who does not answer. I text him and no response. Three days pass by and finally Shawn sends me a text saying we should break up because we don’t make time for each other. Between me working 9-5 then going to school 6-8pm and him working 12-11pm we would spend nights at each other’s apartments and go on occasional dates when he wasn’t working on weekends. That schedule actually worked for me and he never complained about it so I was completely shocked.

So my online boyfriend of three months broke up with me right after I decided to tell my family about him. As upset as I was at the time I got over it quicker than my previous break up. Shawn was great but he never wowed me. With all of Shawn’s good qualities I always compared where he lacked to my ex, the ex that had broken up with me three times in four years but he was still the blueprint for the man I saw myself with. I call Shawn my refresher relationship. He was my first non long distance boyfriend and it was so weird going out on a Tuesday night, I was so use to only going out on weekends when I would travel to see ex bae. He was my last online boyfriend, and now three years later I got on another online dating app for just one week to realize that the online dating world just ain’t for me and I’m ok with that.

Dating isn’t what it use to be and we can go back and forth about what we should do now because times have changed but I’m going to stick to the old fashion way of meeting someone when I step out the house. My next boyfriend might be the next man I run into at the train station, or it might even be someone I’ve already dated. Either way, I’m looking forward to the next dating adventure life throws me into.

xoxo

Jess

It’s just pure luck that I still have this pic (I delete everything after a break up), I was so secretive back then lol, but that’s Shawn’s hand from our Vday date circa 2016.

Single does not mean Lonely

Four years ago on my 25th birthday I felt grown. I’ve had a steady job for the past four years, my relationships with my friends and family were striving and I had finally stuck to a workout plan and ya girl was looking snatched and yes I was single!

Now as we fast forward to me approaching 30, with a new job that I’ve only had for the past three months, some deteriorated family connections and friendships, and don’t even think of asking me when was the last time I did some cardio. I am still single and somehow I have been categorized as “lonely” from people ranging from a 10yr old child to a 40 something male. It might be based on the fact that I have not introduced my family to a boyfriend since, well, never. There was this one dude back in 2011 that one side of my family met but he’s still a myth to the other side, I’ll give you the story on him later on.

By definition, single is “unmarried, unattached, without a partner, free (which is a personal fav)” — loneliness is “feeling sad and unhappy about being socially isolated.”. I am not sure when these two words became coupled but I believe them to still be mutually exclusive. Sure some may say that they feel lonely when not in a relationship but feeling that way sometimes does not make you a lonely person. There is a stigma on being a single woman that makes it hard for the majority to believe that she can be happy while single. That her jubilance can only stem from companionship. That her joyous exterior is only a fa├žade and deep down inside she is secretly wishing for a partner. I am currently in the “when are you gonna have kids?” phase, because I am not quite a full woman until reproduce. Interestingly enough, I don’t hear “when are you gonna get married?” anymore, as if they gave up on that dream for me.

The most frustrating part is that I have friends and family members, females ranging 25-33yrs old questioning their entire existence. “I’m 27 with no kids, that’s crazy”, “I’m almost 30 with no man, why did this happen to me”, “I’m tired of seeing these young girls getting proposed to on Instagram”. Age has put us all in a panic, thinking that we should have a certain status because we’re getting older and maybe it’s linked to the fear of dying alone, I’m not sure, but what I do know is that it’s sickening and quite heartbreaking to hear these grown women with many accolades negate their life achievements and being consumed by the chase of a certain social status.

I use to chase the same thing. When I was 17 I just knew that by 25 I was going to be married with a child right out of college. Well, as you live you learn and I had to learn that God/the universe (yea religion is another subject I’ll talk about later) had a different path for me that what I had convinced myself to be true.

As a 29yr old single woman I would like to tell my sisters that you are not alone. Just because you see happiness through companionship all around you does not mean that you are defective. I’m not saying to give up hope of your dream of having a family of your own with a husband and child/children. I am saying to find happiness in this stage of life that you are in. We only have one life to live so why spend it worried about what we don’t have and when we will have it? Enjoy your days of being single, take up a new hobby (like I’m doing with blogging lol), take yourself out sometimes (I love my solo sushi dates), read more (I just started “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones…yea I know but it’s not what you think), just do more of whatever you love to do and spread that joy to those around you. Your heart will thank you and your mind will stop punishing your spirit.

 

xoxo

JayEll