When we last left our heroine (me, duh) she had just been dumped by her boo of almost five months, D. She had also just decided, possibly against her better judgment, to go out for a drink with him in the hopes of getting some closure. And now for the thrilling (nope) conclusion of S and D’s break up story.
We drove to the bar in silence. D parked in one of those insane new garages where there are no humans operating anything and your car gets taken away/moved around by a conveyor belt. I stared at this spectacle, dumbfounded, the absurdity of my situation finally sinking in: I was out on a post break up non-date with someone who had just rejected me. We were about to drink some alcohol and say what we needed to say to one another. My brain was suddenly like:
Too late, though. It was done. We walked into a crowded bar. Music was blasting and there were zero dark corners for me to cry anonymously in, so we walked right back out. It was still pouring so I made an exec decision to go into the next place we passed. As we walked in, it hit me: it was the site of our second date. I didn’t really mention D’s and my second date on this blog, because it was so completely bizarre I honestly didn’t know what to make of it when it happened. In summary, we both drank too much, he got sassy, and I yelled at him. When I walked away from the date I thought I’d never see or hear from him again. Fast forward five months…
“Do you realize where we are?” I asked him. “Of course,” he said. “I didn’t suggest it because I thought it might be too weird.” I shrugged. Things were already so weird, a monkey could have seated us at that point and I probably wouldn’t have been fazed.
We were shown (by a human) to the very back of the restaurant and sat at a long bar facing the kitchen. The waitress took our drink orders and I could feel her stare as she looked back and forth between me, doing this:
and D, doing this:
A few sips of legal sedative later and I was much calmer. We started to talk and it was minimally awkward, at least for me. I was surprised that D and I seemed to be on the same page about so many aspects of our relationship:
- how lately things had felt off between us during the week but then great again when we’d see each other in person
- how we both felt lonely and alone sometimes, especially at night, even when we were together
- how we were incredibly similar in many ways and how that may not have been the best thing for two people in a relationship
I admitted to D that one of the things I had liked most about him in the beginning was that he was super clear about how he felt about me and what he wanted. For the first time maybe ever with a guy I’d felt like I could relax and just enjoy being with him and getting to know him. I should have known, of course, when that feeling slowly started to be replaced by anxiety, that something was up. I did also reprimand him for not being honest with me sooner and making me feel like a crazy person for suspecting something was wrong the last few weeks we were together. It felt good. He took it like a champ.
I cried basically the entire time, and I am really not a crier, or at least I wasn’t until I started online dating. AMIRITE?
I wonder if Okcupid wants to use that glowing endorsement on their homepage. Shoot me an email, Sam Yagan. Anyway, I’m sharing this embarrassing crying detail only so I can also share a funny anecdote: since it was a rainy Tuesday, the bar was basically empty and the servers and busboys were all standing around close to where D and I were sitting. The longer we sat there, the more they noticed my crying, and the more blatantly they glared at D. By the end of the night, many of them were giving him the straight up stink eye as if he was an abusive boyfriend (which wouldn’t have been the worst guess given the scene they were witnessing). It reminded me of this wonderful vintage Scrubs clip (except obviously D pissed off the waitstaff, not Asians):
Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the honesty, maybe it was the dirty looks D was getting from total strangers, but I started to feel… better. Like I actually understood what had happened and why it had happened. Like I knew where D’s head was at and got to say everything I wanted to say to him. Like I could move on. Hey, what do we call that, Rachel Green?
And that was that. There was no drama. No one yelled or stormed out. The whole thing felt very…mature. I suppose my lifelong dream of throwing a drink in someone’s face will just have to wait.
We left the bar, watched D’s car being lowered absurdly onto the street, and he drove me home. I had been thinking about what would come next ever since he told me at the beginning of the night that he wanted to stay friends. Maybe I’ve seen When Harry Met Sally one too many times, but I’ve always kind of scoffed at that idea of being friends with an ex.
This feels different, though. I mean, I still need time to process things and let the dust settle a bit before 100% knowing what I want. But I think (and I hope) that D and I can be friends. I don’t know in what capacity, and I don’t know what that says about our relationship to begin with (were we always meant to just be friends all along?) but I think I’d like to give it a try.
I’m curious about other people’s experiences with this, though. You know what that means… reader poll time!
I know D wasn’t the right guy for me, romantically speaking. Even before he dumped me I think I knew, deep down, that one of us would have to end it eventually. But I don’t feel like I wasted my time. I don’t regret giving it another shot after that awful second date. I honestly think he was what I needed at this moment in my life. Beyond the fact that I had a lot of fun with him, I also think I just needed to know that there are nice, decent, considerate, thoughtful guys out there. After being jerked around by commitment phobic douchebags all last year, I needed someone to remind me that I deserve more.
I think what’s making me so sad is this: I’m going to miss his company. Even though we didn’t work as a couple, we had a connection and we had a lot in common. D became that person who I texted and chatted with on pretty much a daily basis, shared details about my day with, exchanged music, stories, and random crap from the internet with, tried new restaurants with, went to museums with, shared inside jokes with, and just did all the wonderful fun stuff that you do in an exclusive relationship. Saying goodbye to him, and to that, feels really lonely.
One thing that has made me feel better is the outpouring of ‘I know this sucks–I’ve been there’ texts and emails I’ve gotten from friends and readers. I also happened to catch an old Parcs and Rec on TV last week when I was glued to my couch in a post break up coma, and it made me seriously LOL. The fool who posted the video disabled embedding, so click the link below to enjoy these (fictitious but still amazing) breakup stories from Leslie Knope:
On the bright side, none of those things happened to me. And as awful as it was, at least D had the decency to 1. be honest with me and 2. end things in person. He could have faded away or even pulled a Jack Berger, although I’m pretty sure this is just the early 2000s version of a text breakup:
Do you have a break up story to share? And do you feel like cheering this dumped blogger up? Tell me about it in the comments and I’ll be forever grateful.