I recently had a date for a fun event, who cancelled on me at the last moment. A date that cancelled on me for a related previous very important event, earlier in the year. I notified them of the change, yet their name was still attached to my check-in. It's not their fault - I notified them at the last minute, because that's when I heard the news. It didn't feel good to see the designation of that name. Thank goodness they didn't list the entire name, or I probably would have collapsed on the floor sobbing.
It didn't feel good to walk in alone, once again, when I should have been in their company. It didn't feel good to go through something incredibly fun and exciting and do it alone AGAIN. Fucking again. Alone. Without that specific person that meant so much to me. Because they cancelled.
I sent a text in the afternoon asking how their meeting was going - the reason they cancelled on me last minute. No response. That lack of response was a tiny stab in my heart. It didn't feel good to finally understand that this is what it meant to have them in my life: CONSTANT FUCKING DISAPPOINTMENT.
I still had a fantastic time at the event. I dressed up, I spent the entire time with best friends. I can't even begin to express how fortunate I am to have such amazing people to call my friends and how there are times that they all wind up in the same place at the same time...exactly when I need them.
It was an open bar and I made full use of it. I was careful not to get drunk because I didn't want to go on a drunk texting spree, "WHY AREN'T YOU HERE? I MISS YOU!!" and other nonsense like that. I didn't send a single text that night. Or the next morning. I am so proud of myself!
I bought a special dress for that night for him, something much sexier than I would normally wear to a work event. I still brought that dress, and I felt so awkward and unlike myself that I donated it to the Goodwill down the street when I came home from the event.
That dress was meant for him.
Looking back, I realized that the tiny little lacy red dress stood for so much in my relationship with him. It was me outside of my comfort zone. It was me asking absolutely nothing in return, just to enjoy his company. It was me opening my heart to him, knowing full well that there wasn't a place in his heart for me - and I was OKAY with that. He was always honest, he never lied; we had a mutual understanding and there were never any false promises.
I finally understood...this just isn't HEALTHY for me.
He is not a bad person. He cancelled for a legitimate reason. I don't dislike him. I still care immensely for him, and that will not change.
I ghosted. I actually ghosted someone...and it feels weird and unsavory and very unlike me. I almost feel guilty, although I'm pretty sure that they don't even know that I ghosted - because they probably haven't attempted to contact me in the days since.
It took me a few hours to figure out how to block his phone number and delete him from the cloud - that's the really hard part, seriously, no one could figure that shit out, but I was determined!!! I didn't want to do this. I didn't want to let go. But if his phone number was still in my phone, I would have continued to try to have this friendship/relationship, whatever it was - and I knew deep in my heart that it was time to let go. If he needs me, he knows of alternate ways to contact me. But I can't put myself in a position to constantly reach for the phone to text him when I see something that I know he'll enjoy. I can't constantly reach for the phone to invite him to important events and trips. I. just. can't.
I can't expect him to be a part of my life if he doesn't want to.
So I took a walk to mull it all over. A walk through New York City's Upper East Side on a beautiful Saturday afternoon? It's one of those moments of pure happiness, the chilly breeze caressing your cheeks, listening to the sound of children playing in the park, admiring the changing of the leaves above your head...
I knew that I did the right thing. I didn't want to do it, but I had to. For myself. I never cried over it. If you know me, then you know that I can cry at the drop of a hat - happy tears, sappy commercial on tv tears, full blown "what the fuck is my life?!" tears - you name it, I'll cry.
I didn't cry over him this time.
You have to watch out for yourself. I'm a giver, a lover, a forgiver. I spent time with this man a few weeks ago and accidental caught our shadows as I was taking a photo of a mural in Brooklyn.
BUT. You have to learn to recognize that those people who move like shadows through your life? Yes, they can be wonderful and magical and make you SO HAPPY for a fleeting moment, but in the end, you're left alone at an amazing event, something that you should have shared with an amazing person...and you're alone. And it hurts.
Stop doing this. Stop setting yourself up for failure. STOP. Magical fleeting moments are the things life are made of - but they're also devastating when they're over.
So this time? I walked away before it had the chance to hurt. I'm learning. I'm learning to take better care of myself.
Being single is hard, but I'm learning.