Getting over someone & Thinking in boxes
Recently I had been talking to someone I met on tinder, and we had organised to meet up on Friday night to catch a rooftop movie and have a few drinks. This girl was funny, cute and intelligent. I was really looking forward to it. My first potentially romantic outing as a single person since my separation. Pre-bought tickets and everything.
For the past few days she hadn’t responded to my messages. She was recently graduating from nursing, and her life was crazy busy so I got it. But I started to worry. Was I being ghosted?
Today (Thursday), I got a message from her saying that she isn’t over her ex, and that she doesn’t feel that it would be fair to go forwards with me as her heart isn’t in it. She doesn’t want to mislead me, and she feel terrible.
And that’s fine. Hurts a little bit, but that’s normal. Not the most successful first outing for a recently separated man, but what can I do. I appreciate how hard it would be for her to send that message, and I am pretty sure she is avoiding her phone so she wont see the response (no seen notification in messenger). She is the kind of person that would genuinely feel bad about it.
Thing is, I’m not angry or upset. A little sad, but that is expected. Why would I be angry? She was honest and upfront, didn’t lead me on, and didn’t just stand me up on Friday night. That is what I was really afraid of.
I find the time for getting over someone to be so different between people. For me, I am essentially over my ex-partner. My separation has sucked, but my emotions have more been about figuring out who I am now and concern for my daughter. There have been backslides and dark times, but mostly it has been a positive experience.
I don’t miss my ex, and if she wanted to get back together tomorrow I would say no. She wasn’t abusive or horrible. I just made the decision that I was going to move forwards with my life. Going backwards has no appeal to me.
There is a character in the Mass Effect series that is from a species that has what they call ‘faster emotional processing’. He goes through a life changing situation, found out that someone is using his research to do horrible torture experiments, shoots his former protege and decides to dedicate the rest of his life to undoing something that took him 10 years to do, and is emotionally fine by the chopper ride home.
It is a very male mentality, but I am good at thinking in boxes. When I left my wife, I took the relationship out of the ‘my current relationship’ box and put it into the ‘past relationship’ box. That is something I did with all of my relationships. There was a period of mourning, and the occasional misery journey, but afterwards I walked away with my head held high looking for the next one.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t think or care about my past relationships. I just move on more quickly. Perhaps this is a sociopathic trait, the ability to discard relationships easily when they are no longer ‘useful’, but it has come in pretty handy.
I do certainly carry my hangups with me. My emotional health is not what it should be. My naturally low self confidence has taken a bit of a hit over my various relationships, but I am using my CBT experience to work through that, to be understanding and rational about it.
Thus far she hasn’t really responded beyond saying sorry. I hope she goes on to happier things, and figures out her emotions. And hope that I have better luck in future.