She smiled shyly the first time she brought me flowers-
They were my favorite colors.
She wanted me to remember
That someone was thinking about me
And that I was not alone as I navigated my grief.
I later took pictures of the bouquet from all different angles
And sent the photos to all my friends
Who were so impressed by such thoughtfulness
She smiled proudly the next few times she gifted me a flower arrangement
Some were roses of different sizes,
Others were seasonal blooms
The flowers were to honor our anniversaries,
Or to celebrate my accomplishments
I took pictures of all those flowers
And I changed their water daily
To extend the time I could admire them before they wilted
At some point, her smiles weakened
Sometimes even tears stained her cheeks,
When she handed me beautiful flowers
In an attempt to seek forgiveness,
To seek reassurance of my love for her
I always accepted the flowers graciously
And put them in a vase
To be admired until they died, or until they stank too much
The last time she brought me a bouquet, she was crying hysterically
She had been waiting an hour for me
And I had been waiting for weeks for things to improve between us.
Her shoulders slumped as she offered me the flowers
This time…I told her to keep them
She put them in a vase,
Placed the vase on her nightstand
And sent me a picture.
© 2019 Vic Romero
I’ve begun watching Sex and the City, and it is an addictive show. First of all, I love 90s/early 2000s shows, and I also love shows that center around a group of friends that I can connect with. Lately, I’ve been connecting with Miranda in Season 2, who so far is bitter in regards to dating. She is closed off to getting serious with someone because every person she dates proves to be scum.
While I am not dating casually and thus I am not meeting scumbags, I think I’ve become bitter and closed off to dating. One of my hometown friends pointed it out to me on the phone recently. She affirmed my suspicion that I need more time alone to heal, but she also warned not to be closed off to dating in the future. Unfortunately, I currently don’t envision myself being open-hearted anytime soon, especially considering how I’ve sabotaged my breakup healing process time and time again. It’s as if I keep picking at the scab, which causes it to hurt and bleed, yet I wonder why the scab is taking so long to heal…
Let me provide an example.
A few days before my sister graduated from college, I found out my ex was in a new relationship. While it has been about four months since our breakup, up until the week prior to her committing to someone new, we had been talking nearly daily.
Yes, I know that this was not the best way to handle a non-mutual breakup.
Unsurprisingly, we weren’t talking amicably as friends. She would confess that she missed me, that she still wanted to be with me, etc. I would reciprocate the feelings of missing her and still loving her, but I repeated that I stood by my decision to end things.
Anyway, finding out that she was with someone new caused me to completely lose all control over my emotions. Hysteria transformed to despair, and then to possessive jealousy that inspired me to hook up with my ex in her car after a night of bar-hopping together.
No, I don’t know what I was thinking because I wasn’t thinking.
I gradually came to accept the situation, albeit with some bumps that still need to be smoothed out. Those bumps are called nostalgia with a few dashes of illusion: I miss who I was when we were together, I miss how we were together, and most confusing of all, I miss who I thought she was and/or who I wanted her to be.
Clearly, I am not emotionally capable to casually date, let alone get seriously involved with someone. Instead, I want to spend time with my friends and family and mingle with new people. I want to focus on my full-time job, on teaching and studying yoga, on reading, and on creating. I think I’ve been pretty successful in doing these things, although it takes a lot more energy to do them rather than mindlessly watching TV, which was what I was doing previously.
When my energy feels low or when I get trapped in the nostalgia/illusion bumps, it’s helpful to reflect on why I ended things with her. There are a few reasons: I didn’t feel like I was being treated the way I deserved, no matter how many times we talked about our issues, and I didn’t want to be held back anymore. I didn’t want to spend so much time and energy on our relationship, partially attributed to the fact that it had become taxing and toxic. Most importantly though, I broke things off because I wanted to focus completely on myself. I wanted to be selfish and I didn’t want to feel bad about it.
I do believe that I’ve attracted more positivity into my life since releasing the heavy, negative energy of my last relationship. However, waves of loneliness crash on me sometimes, especially when my friends share stories about or pictures of their serious relationships. It causes me to crave the rush of falling in love, of being in love, and feeling at home with someone. It simultaneously causes me to desire more single friends I can commiserate with about dating, like in Sex and the City.
Anyway, I will have to manage with the occasional loneliness because I don’t want to put myself out there yet. I wouldn’t be offering my best self because I don’t feel like my best self even to myself. I want to finally allow the scab to heal and I want to smooth out all the bumps around it. Hopefully, it won’t take as long as it did when my first ex and I split, but even if it does, I want to have my own fun in the meantime.
So…tell me how it all happened.
Did it begin when you sent her a flirty text?
Did you send that text between professing your love for me
And conveying how much you missed me?
Did you ask her out on a date
Between wrongfully accusing me of dating my friend,
and expressing how upset you’d be if that were true?
Did you hold her hand after texting me
To ask if you can still see me this summer
Because you couldn’t imagine your life without me?
Did you kiss her between writing about me
And confessing that you’re still grieving the relationship?
When did you begin to fall for her?
Around the time you blew up my phone
To call me a coward
For not responding to your texts
About hopefully getting back together again in the future?
I don’t know when you finally found the closure
I tried to give you at the end of our relationship,
And I don’t know when you found someone else to love,
But these endings and beginnings seem to blur
I think you only began to respect my desire for space
Because you became distracted by her.
© 2019 Vic Romero
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
One day I will have it all: A bountiful, dynamic, creative career, and a satisfying, secure, love life. That day is not today though.
Today, I feel like I’m playing whack-a-mole. For months I was stressed about my professional life and not worried about my romantic life at all. Now, my professional life is flowing, and my romantic life has been torched to the ground and then pulverized for good measure.
I’ve become a little numb to the devastation of my relationship. This is both good and bad…good because I’m able to function relatively normally at work, with my family, and with friends. It’s bad because my feelings aren’t really being addressed since I opt to distract myself, thus this numbness has been hampering my creativity.
So…below is a little check-in with myself based on my breakup-recovery checklist from a few weeks ago.
How to Bounce Back from a Breakup
- Keep applying for jobs. I know, this is probably the most eye-roll-inducing item on the list considering “applying to jobs” is all that I’ve done since May. I will land a job soon though, I’m positive of it. I did land a job! It’s fantastic!
- Clean my room and the spare room, which is essentially a disastrous extension of my room because it’s filled primarily with my own belongings. I don’t need that much shit! If most of it was thrown out, I wouldn’t even notice. Plus, by organizing my space, I am more prepared to move out. I did organize a little bit…but this is still a huge “to do.”
- Get a haircut and paint my nails. Sure, they’re not necessarily transformative tasks, but I am well overdue for a haircut and painting my nails would make me feel fancy, which is important. I want to feel good about myself. I did get a haircut, but I never painted my nails.
- Plan a weekend trip, then actually follow-through on it. It’ll be something to look forward to, which I definitely need. I’ve been doing my best to plan small outings with friends on the weekend. It’s definitely been helpful.
- Lean on the friends that I have during this time of healing. Yes, but more importantly, I need to allow myself to grieve.
- When I get a job, fearlessly put myself out there, both professionally and casually. Perhaps I can make some new friends through work. I get along with my coworkers really well! We plan to go to a Thai meditation center together next week.
- Finish reading Don Quixote because I’ve been meaning to finish it for over a year, plus it’s hilarious, which I definitely need in my life right now. I haven’t finished this book, but I’ve finished about three or four other books. This is still a work in progress.
- Resume reading my chakra book so I can begin to create chakra yoga classes. That will be a fulfilling project to work on and to share with my students. I haven’t done this.
- Do guided meditations for a few weeks to establish the habit of meditating. Meditation is medicine. I did it for a bit but my meditation habit continues to be inconsistent.
- Find something weekly to get excited about and to look forward to. This can be something as simple as treating myself to a nice meal or trying a new class at the gym. Yes…I’ve accomplished this.
- Free-write daily to alleviate my burdensome thoughts. Express myself and my creativity! I have been journaling…it helps.
- Until I get a job, find ways to engage with people. This can be by making small talk with someone while I wait in line at the register or by offering someone I pass a compliment. Lately, I’ve been engaging with people primarily at work.
One thing I’d like to add to my list is below:
13. Allot time to grieve weekly.
Do you have any breakup recovery tips? Let me know in the comments below!
Have a splendid weekend 🙂
I wasn’t expecting to ever be single again, but here I am. Single. It’s still surreal, but that’s probably because it’s a fresh wound. We called it quits only yesterday.
So, how am I feeling? I’m both devastated and relieved, regretful yet confident, depressed but also accepting of it. Essentially, I’m feeling a mixed bag of emotions. My feelings are overwhelming and they ebb and flow, but it’s part of the breakup process, which I’ve become familiar with. I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve gone through this process, but it’s hard to forget something so emotionally messy.
To help myself with my healing process, and perhaps to help anyone else that is going through a break-up, I would like to share some notable lessons I have learned from the three relationships that I’ve had. Well…one of them was a confusing friends-with-benefits situation, but it taught me a lot, so I included it.
1. My First Love
My first girlfriend introduced me to the world of dating and lesbian relationships. She was my first kiss and my first love. She supported me during my horrific experience coming out to my family. I enjoyed my time with her during my senior year of high school until we broke up during my first semester of college.
Although she wasn’t a terrible girlfriend, she left much to be desired. We seldom hung out outside of work or her house. She never wanted to do any of the activities that I proposed to her, but she would feign interest and then flake last minute. So, she also had horrible communication skills, which I somehow overlooked until she broke up with me by completely ignoring me.
From that relationship, I learned that I wanted a girlfriend that made an effort to spend time with me. I also learned that if someone hints that they aren’t interested in you anymore (AKA by completely ignoring you), take the hint. It’s not worth chasing people if their heart isn’t in it. Not everything is meant to last forever, and that’s okay.
2. The Dick, AKA the Friends-With-Benefits Dick
I hate talking about this guy, but he’s important for the purpose of these “relationship lessons.” To summarize our shitty interaction that lasted too many months: he never spent time with me outside of a bedroom, he didn’t respect me at all, and he was only my “friend” (with conditions) until he got what he wanted from me.
I learned that I needed to follow my heart. I had wanted to end the relationship for weeks, but I was afraid to end it. Thus, we only stopped being FWB after he was “done” with me, and he made that clear when he never reached out to me again. Ultimately, I had chosen to protect my fears at the expense of myself, and it took a long time to forgive myself for that and to heal from the wounds he left.
The main takeaway: DON’T TAKE SHIT!!!!!
3. My Truest Love
I was introduced to my most recent girlfriend during the darkest period of my life: I was depressed from the devastating and shocking loss of my cousin. She supported me, cared for me…she was so patient and kind to me. We became close friends. She chased me from the very beginning because she wanted me to be hers, and even when I was hers, she never stopped chasing me. By that, I mean that she continuously prioritized me and made me feel wanted. She valued me as a person. She initiated dates with me, and thus, we’ve gone on many adventures together. Being in love with her made me want to come out to my family for a second time, and she supported me through that. The relationship I had with her is the longest relationship I’ve been in, and she’s been part of significant accomplishments in my life. Our relationship was really beautiful, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Although there were so many amazing aspects of our relationship, eventually they weren’t enough to sustain a healthy relationship. In fact, things became very challenging between us as adulthood became more demanding. As young adults trying to navigate the most tumultuous time of our lives, we had been suffering as individuals and bringing that negativity into our relationship. It is impossible to sustain a healthy relationship when both people are suffering.
When I realized that we were enduring a repetitive, toxic cycle, I began to reflect on the lessons from my previous relationships. For the first time in my life, I took my own advice.
I’m proud to have been confident in myself to end things before it became more toxic or before we grew to hate each other. I followed my heart, and it was super hard…it still is hard, but I know I made the right choice. I’m also proud that I practiced bravery and patience with her so that we were able to break up in person, face-to-face. She was able to walk away feeling as respected as possible, which is really important to me. Thus, we ended things on a rather positive note for a breakup, so there’s potential for reconnecting if that’s in our future.
I’m sure there are lessons from this most recent relationship, but it’s still too soon to know. The pain is too fresh to be objectively reflective. If/when that happens, I’ll be sure to share those lessons.
Do you have any relationship lessons that you would like to share? Please tell me in the comments below!
The silver ring glistened beneath the clear water in the harsh fluorescent light. Stunned at my mishap, I gazed at the ring, which now rested at the bottom of the porcelain bowl. Thank god I hadn’t used the toilet yet.
Still, I wasn’t eager to stick my hand into the toilet bowl, considering it was a public one. I pursed my lips, also reluctant to flush the ring with all of its significance down the drain.
The truth was that that whole relationship had gone down the drain, so maybe the ring didn’t matter anymore. It had been two months since we stopped seeing each other, yet I still wore the ring religiously.
I brought my hand that usually donned the ring to my face, and frowned at its nakedness. My hand had gone from glamorous to dull in a moment of negligence. My hand used to wear a ring that symbolized love, but then the ring became a reminder of what I lacked.
I had gone from strolling beside her while holding her soft warm hand, to trudging along, empty-handed. My hand used to caress her smooth skin as she slept curled into my side, but now my hand only caresses the folds in between my thighs when I’m vying for a single moment of joy and bliss in my otherwise depressive existence.
Then my biggest fear struck me: Will someone be able to love me again? Do I deserve love?
I lowered my hand and stared helplessly into the toilet. I sighed deeply, and then flushed the ring down the drain.
© 2019 Vic Romero
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
My reflection is dark and difficult to see in my glass. It’s a passionate red mixed with the heaviness of black, of nothingness. Or it’s blood that is bled slowly. Painfully.
I frown, and so does my reflection. This annoys me. What does she have to frown about? I bet her life on the other side of the wine glass is fantastic, I mean, she gets to swim in wine all of the time!
I may sound a little jealous of her, but I’m not. My life isn’t not fantastic, it’s just difficult right now. Wine-glass women probably don’t deal with any of life’s challenges, whereas normal people, like me, do.
I swirl the merlot around and I guess my reflection gets scared by the sudden tsunami because it disappears. Finally, I’m alone at last, lone for the screeching crickets on the other side of my front porch.
My knees begin to pinch so I uncross them from underneath me and rest them on the small foldable side table in front of me. A mosquito must’ve smelled my freshly exposed legs because it immediately begins to fly around them, so I swat it away. I should head back inside soon. First I want to finish my last glass of wine.
I take a meager sip and the bitterness of the fermented juice bites the tip of my tongue. Then I take a gulp and it burns my throat, but not as much as it did with the first glass. Still, I relish the slight pain and the way the wine causes my balance to swirl.
I down the rest of the glass. The rest of the expensive wine is gone at last. Thus, any remnants of him are gone too. I set the glass down on the table, next to my feet. Don’t drunkenly knock it down when I get up, I stress to myself.
Leaning back in my rocking chair, I close my eyes and succumb to the deafening screeching of the crickets. I reflect. I feel good…not great, but good. I feel different than how I was expecting to feel though. I thought that finally being done warranted a celebration, but instead it just feels a little empty. Not necessarily in a bad way. There’s just more room in my heart for other people.
Satisfied with this conclusion of a chapter in my life, I rock forward and pull my feet off of the table, and my feet gracefully knock the wine glass to the ground. Shit.
© 2018 Vic Romero
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
I’ve been single for many months. I don’t care to count exactly how long it’s been because it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I’m happy, and I can honestly say I’ve never been happier.
This weekend was amazing.
My girlfriend (we got back together on Monday, September 8th at like 2:30am) just left about a little bit ago. I feel really sad…like I started crying a little bit but I think that’s mostly because I’m homesick and now that she’s gone I’m alone again. But I do think a part of me is really sad because I’m scared because…I feel kinda ruined.