Making Myself Feel Better (an Ex-GF Rant List) in New Beginnings

  • Nov. 13, 2019, 4:02 p.m.
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Funny how potent FOMO can be. When Erika and I were together, or even in that friends with feels phase, I was uncertain if things would work out between us. I wanted things to, obviously, but there were obstacles, most obviously career obligations and geographical distance. As soon as she moved on, I had this nagging feeling that I might have let the love of my life get away. I should have done more when I had the chance. I should have quit my job and moved to Saint Louis with no prospects, trusting that things would work.

I’m being sensational, and I know it. A part of these sentiments came as I was looking threw some of our photos together, deciding which ones to discard. As even this little bit of time has passed, the charged emotions dissipate and logic reasserts itself as the dominant worldview. Realistically, while Erika and I are compatible in a lot of regards, there are plenty of issues that might have caused an impasse later on (or at least became annoyances to which I’d regret being blind). Instead, I try to focus on the reasons I might have dodged a bullet as opposed to missing out.

  1. To begin with the most obvious, I’d have to quit my job and relocate to Saint Louis. Nothing against Saint Louis, but I’d be the one making all of the change and sacrifice. Such an arrangement sometimes kills relationships. Either the person making the change feels entitled to more accommodation from his or her partner than is given. “You want to spend more time together? I gave up my job and moved halfway across the country for you; can’t I at least keep a little ‘me time?” Alternatively, the person not making the sacrifice feels pressure to be extra accommodating and won’t discuss issues that should be addressed. “How can I nag him about rinsing off his dirty dishes? He gave up so much for us. I should just grin and bear it.” The end result is almost one person eventually resenting the other. Not that such a challenge can’t be resolved, but it takes intentionality to avoid it, and it’s best if it’s not an issue at all.

  2. Her finances concern me. I talked about this in a previous entry. She only makes $30k a year, maybe a little more since she started recording audio books. That said, she lives in a $300k+ house because her dad put up the money for the down payment when she couldn’t find an appropriate place. What if she unconsciously expected me provide financial benefits on par with her dad? That’s a speculative fear, and I suspect an unfounded one, but even if she wouldn’t do such a thing…

  3. Her dad’s money might have been a problem. I noticed a bit of a phenomena when I visited. I don’t know if such was intentional, but her dad seemed to use his money to maintain a degree of control over Erika and her siblings. Case in point, similar to Erika, her dad put up the down payment for a large, expensive house for Alicia, Erika’s next youngest sister, when she got married and had a child. The problem being that Alicia’s house is more than she and her husband can manage. They’d like to sell it and move, but they’re afraid of doing so might come off as ungrateful. Would her dad and I have butted heads of Erika’s and my finances? Would he have inadvertently pushed me to live a financial lifestyle above my comfort level? If number 2 above didn’t happen, this point could have.

  4. She’s a picky eater. She doesn’t like anything with flavor, which may explain why she was attracted to me. She promised me it wouldn’t be an issue if things worked out between us. She said I could cook whatever I wanted for myself, and she would take care of her own meals. I find it hard to believe that I wouldn’t eventually feel guilty when I make a big bowl of whatever I want just for me, meanwhile she’s eating a bag frozen broccoli for dinner. I’d probably have to cull my recipe rotation for things she’s willing to eat, eventually.

  5. She has two cats. I have two cats. My two learning to accept her two new kitties as housemates, in addition to her, could be cataclysmic.

  6. She’s a faux introvert. This one drove me bonkers. Apparently, in the light of geek culture taking over, identifying as an introvert is trendy. When she said in her profile that she was an introvert, my heart started fluttering. I don’t hate socializing, but when a party lasts for longer than an hour-and-a-half I start considering kicking out the bathroom window and running for it. During my Christmas visit, we had to go meet EVERYONE. I didn’t mind hanging out with her family, as everyone mostly did their own things, but she wanted to have a party for her friends to meet me. I immediately acquiesced to it, but eventually came clean that I didn’t feel comfortable being the center of attention of such a social event, and she accused me of back-pedaling. Yes, I should have been honest from the beginning, but suffering in silence to defer to what others want is sort of my default, and correcting that is going to be an imperfect process. I think I should have been allowed to come clean on this issue after the fact without being berated. Of course, she suggested a compromise at making it an open house, wherein her friends would pop by to visit for just a little bit over the course of several hours, so it wouldn’t be overwhelming for me. What actually happened, all her friends showed up at the very beginning and stayed the entire time, so it was a party. Worst of all, I couldn’t leave. When previous roommates had parties, I could eventually retreat to my room after I grew weary and everyone else was too occupied to notice my absence. If I had done so then, it would have been conspicuous and rude. The same thing happened when we visited Mary. Mary and her husband invited us to dinner. Shortly after eating, her husband retreated to bed, and I immediately became a 3rd wheel. She and Mary had a grand ole’ time together, and I was stuck there. I couldn’t do anything other than sit there silently. Doing anything, anything, to entertain myself and pass the time (listen to audible, open my kindle, etc.) would have been rude. The exact same thing happened when we visited her friends, Greg & Cheryl. The visit turned into a social event for her and an exercise for me in trying to appear engaged in conversations I didn’t belong. I’m glad that won’t be a regular occurrence.

  7. She had no tolerance for stubble. I’m not a hairy guy by any means, but even 24 hours between shaving was too gritty to nuzzle with her. Is that normal? I hope not. If I ever find a woman, I hope she can stand at least a couple of days’ worth of facial hair growth.

  8. She outsourced her relationship contributions. Related to #6 above, when I visited her, I cooked for her, I did the dishes, I cleaned up, I emptied the litter boxes. Her contributions came in the form of other people’s efforts. She’d call her mom to see if we could have dinner with them. She’d orchestrate a dinner for us with one of her friends (again, see #6 above). I wonder if that would have caused problems later on. She owned that her love language for showing love was not acts of service, but I’d like to be with someone who willing to expend a little more effort and energy than she did.

  9. This one’s a minor quibble, but I’d like to be with a woman feels physical pleasure more emphatically. Amazingly, she could be so enthusiastic about everything but physical affection. One thing I miss about Holly was how she reacted when we were necking and I did something she really liked. Erika would just lie there with a somewhat dopey grin on her face. I don’t think I’m bad at physical affection. Holly would have to ask me to stop before she…ahem…responded too much. Erika would insist that it felt so good she couldn’t move. I much prefer the former.

  10. She’s excessively emotional. I discussed in my last entry how I’d often times answer her phone call just to be greeted with uncontrollable sobbing. I was patient, gentle, and empathetic. I’d let her cry it out for the first few minutes until she regained enough composure to tell me what happened, all the while I was wondering why she didn’t wait until after she had regained her composure to call me. I realize hurt is a part of life, and anyone I would be with will need to lean on me in moments of trial and pain, but is that the normal way it happens? The way she was crying, it sounded like she couldn’t even see. How in the world was she able to pull my number up on her phone? She calls it scream crying. How common is that? I wonder if I’ll be better off with someone with even just a little more control over her emotions. I really would love to be a fly on the wall with her new beaux when he gets that first call just to gauge if I should have responded in another manner.

That’s it. All the reasons I’m better off taking my chances on someone else. I probably won’t ever find another woman as beautiful.

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Last updated November 15, 2019

Marg November 14, 2019

The link didn’t work for me - just got an error message - can you post the pic in here? I agree with you - many of these would have definitely interfered with the relationship eventually. And that crying thing is not normal in the slightest - nobody makes a phone call sobbing so much they can’t speak - that’s just total attention-seeking! Stubble is difficult - it can be really sexy to see but not so great to kiss! My ex shaved off his moustache he’d had for years for me because it was hurting me so much (as in red skin and rashes) - now that’s what I call love :)

whowhatwhere November 14, 2019

You dodged a bullet.

Women have much more sensitive skin then men do. It seriously hurts when my husband has stubble going on. It gets softer after a week (he’s don’t the beard/gotee thing a few times)

Small Town Girl November 18, 2019

The links didn't work for me either.
I love stubble. Shes a hot mess. I agree you dodged a bullet.
totally understand the concern about the kitties! Mine is a clear only child! IDK what I am going to do should I ever have to move in with a guy who also has pets. My baby would be distraught.

Robbo Small Town Girl ⋅ November 19, 2019

So apparently, I'm the only one who can see the photos posted within my entry because I'm logged into my Google account. The link should have worked, though. What happened when you clicked it?

Small Town Girl Robbo ⋅ November 20, 2019

Nothing happened for me. But I didn't click on them, they just didn't show up.

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