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5 Things I Told Myself after My Breakup That Turned out to Laughably False

November 12, 2013

So by now some of you have probably realized that I have a real fetish for finding truly godawful crap online related to dating and relationships. Maybe it is misdirected masochism; maybe it stems from the same compulsion that some of us have to watch horror films that are painful to watch because of their gory nature and more so because of the “quality” of the writing and acting (everything I’ve ever been in excluded, of course).

But occasionally, I stumble across articles that aren’t altogether horrible. Obvious, perhaps; as-painfully-as-a-chestburster-birthing-itself self-evident, occasionally. However, these articles have the benefit of doing what good reading and viewing material should set out to do from the get-go, at least if the creator is of an appropriately angsty literary bent: get people thinking.

In the case of an article I found on, of all things, Your Tango yesterday (one of today’s eye-grabbing headlines featured “8 Swoon-Worthy Love Quotes from ‘the Notebook’.” Suffice to say whoever created a Freddy and Jason vs. Nicholas Sparks franchise would get me to eagerly pay movie theater prices, possibly multiple times in one day), an author who’s apparently a big deal but I’d never heard of before, Bo Sellers, wrote about 5 bald-faced* lies you tell yourself during and after a breakup.

*Where did this phrase come from? Was the inventor a werewolf trapper and noted that the hairier species was better at realistic-seeming lies? Is this some kind  of jab at ZZ Top-style beards? Also, this was clearly not in the actual article title. I’m paraphrasing a little here for the sake of having an excuse to introduce this particular tangent that’s been on my mind since I last used the phrase during the Broncos game, of all things, two days ago. No, I don’t remember what it was about the boys in orange putting the Chargers in their place that made me say it. 

The article itself is hardly groundbreaking. If you need Bo Sellers to tell you that you’re giving in to sheer hyperbole by wailing, “I’m gonna die alone!” then I got some beautiful beachfront property on Colorado’s Eastern Plains to sell you.

But breezing through the list did remind me that it’s been almost a year since my last relationship and that I’m sure I said and thought some things then that, while I might have genuinely believed them at the time, turned out to be not so much lies, but more like inaccurate projections of the future based on indeterminate data points at the time.

So here, for those of you who like when I get all list-y, are 5 things that crossed my mind shortly after I broke up with my boyfriend that didn’t exactly pan out:

1. “I’m not ready now, but maybe in six months or so, I’ll try dating again.”

I was, and still am, insistent that marriage and cohabitation are out of the question, but I at least figured I’d try going on a date or two, just to see if any sparks reignited. Almost a year later, I have still had absolutely no desire to get coffee with anyone who isn’t already in my circle of strictly platonic acquaintances.

2. “Maybe in a few months, I’ll be interested in physical intimacy again.”

Back when I first got into the relationship that dragged on for six years, I wasn’t seeking anything more than friends with benefits. But I was like SOOOO IN LOVE, gaiz, and, like, I just wanted to be with him forEVER and EVER and EVER!!!!

So even though that turned out to be a pretty dumb idea, I still thought that after the shock of it wore off, I’d go back to being my early-twenties, sexually curious self. Nope.

3. “I’ll have to move. A two-bedroom apartment is ridiculous for one person.”

Plenty of couples get by just fine in a one-bedroom apartment. Plenty of couples get by just fine in a studio. Hell, plenty of people, couples and singles alike, get by just fine crammed three or four to a room, if the location is desirable enough. My ex and I moved into a two-bedroom apartment close to downtown Denver because the rent was amazing for the size, condition, and location of the place, and I’d figured that with two bedrooms, we could carve out a bit of private space.

Turned out we needed more space, like two states’ rather than two bedrooms’ worth, and I thought for sure I’d need to look for a new, downsized space once the lease was up. But my landlord seems to like me for some reason–that’s the only reason I can figure why he charges me roughly $150 less per month than I should be paying–and the hassle of finding a new place and paying people to move the piano from my elevator-free third-floor apartment to, well, anywhere else seemed like it’d do more harm than good, both mentally and financially.

4. “I’ll never get to go out for dinner again.”

One of my reasons for prolonging the relationship was the fact that I have absolutely no creativity for or desire to be in the kitchen. The ex cooked and cleaned, I ate and tried to get dishes in the vicinity of the sink. When I realized that those reasons weren’t enough to counteract the fact that I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out ways I could kill him in his sleep and make it look like an accident, I thought I’d have to learn to cook, because going out to eat as a single woman was, like, dangerous. Also scandalous.

Psssh. I live in Denver, not Benghazi. A lot of the places by my house have bars that are ideal for single people to sit and have dinner and, if they bring a book, not get bothered. Plus, if I really feel like eating someplace that’s farther than a few blocks away, there’s the bus. And those drivers do not have time for anyone’s bullshit.

5. “My cat’s going to be so lonely!”

Go ahead, make all the cracks about how much I fit a certain stereotype. But my 16-year-old senile furball was another reason for extending the relationship past its warranty date. My cat likes having someone around, and I knew with my ski instructor job whisking me away to the mountains at least once a week (okay, so most of the time, it wasn’t for the actual job…), he wouldn’t have anyone around for not insignificant stretches of time once my ex was gone.

But then I remembered that he’s a cat. And a pretty tough little hairball to boot–he somehow survived on his own for a good eight days after my mother died! Sure, he likes the warm lap and scritches when I’m around, but as long as he’s got food, water, and a fairly clean litter box, he couldn’t care less if I leave him all alone to go skiing. My ex, on the other hand…

But who wants to think about him anymore? Even though he still invades my thoughts occasionally, I’d like to think that the mere fact that my primary concerns in the immediate wake of the breakup were more about my cat and eating (and definitely not the two in any way together) said that it was time for it to be over.

Especially because it seems so much better, mental-health-wise, if I’m watching Freddy vs. Jason and imagining Nicholas Sparks’ face in place of whoever is the current ass-whooping recipient instead of my ex’s.

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