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3 a.m.

October 8, 2010
clock, time, 3 a.m.

Photo Courtesy of Rodney Libraries

It was 3 a.m. on Saturday, and somehow I found myself driving to see him. The roads are empty at 3 a.m., and those on the road are mostly going home, not heading from their warm beds out into the darkness. Not heading out to see someone for only a few short hours before they have to head back to work. But here I was, driving, overnight bag packed. No makeup. Wondering why I wasn’t in my pajamas, warm in my bed.

This random excursion was to go see Chef. Friday night, my friend Dana and I had dinner and a pitcher of beer at Chef’s restaurant. I wanted to see him; I missed him. His schedule is so crazy that while I feel like we see each other enough, I never quite know when I’m going to see him. And that bothers the Type A planner in me. So I brought Dana to his restaurant, both to meet him and also to just have dinner. Chef calls this “bonus time,” time that we didn’t know we would have together, but that we get because we somehow find a way to make it work.

Chef annoyed me at dinner, admittedly. I know he has a tough schedule, the man works almost every single weekend. A few weeks ago, however, we talked about how I was sad that he wouldn’t be able to go to my family’s lake place. During the summer, my family goes there every weekend. It’s pretty important to me that the guy I’m with long-term will be able to partake in that. During our conversation, I told Chef about Halloween weekend at the lake, which is the last weekend the campground is open until next spring. It’s not actually Halloween, but the weekend before. He then stated to me, so emphatically that it made my heart hurt (in a good way), that he would be there that weekend. He would make it work. He knew it was important to me. Major points to Chef.

During dinner Friday night, I tried to convince Dana to join “us” at the lake that weekend. I probably shouldn’t have said “us” because Chef suddenly forgot that our previous conversation had ever occurred. “I’m not going to the lake that weekend, no way. I can’t get off work,” he said. He looked at me as though I had lost my mind. I simply couldn’t believe that a conversation that had struck me so much, meant so much to me, he had completely forgotten. Let’s just say I was, um, pissed. Not just pissed though, it made me feel like this was all a mistake. I didn’t sign up for a relationship with this man to be let down already.

I went home, fell asleep on my couch and when I got a text message from him at three in morning, somehow forgot I was pissed. Because he said he wanted to see me. Not sex – he wanted to spend a few hours with me in his arms, before he had to go to work again at 9. He admitted it was a crazy idea, but that was the fun in it. I thought it was fun too – and agreed. I don’t know what got into me.

The entire 3 a.m. drive to Richmond (about 25 minutes away), I was excited to see him. Almost inspired by how spontaneous I was being. About how much he wanted to be with me, and the excitement I had for him. It was almost overwhelming. I couldn’t remember ever feeling this way about anyone. When I picked him up from his restaurant, he was incredibly drunk. Not good. Now, it felt like a booty call. I’m not going to lie. And that doesn’t feel good. I told him I didn’t know he was drunk – I thought he was sober. He sort of laughed, “Of course I’m drunk. It’s 3 a.m. and I convinced you to come out and spend the night with me. You thought I was sober?” Well, yes. I mean, I was sober. I thought it was just a fun, random idea. I guess I was wrong.

We went back to his house, and I immediately took some Benadryl so that this night would not end with me in the emergency room with an allergic reaction to his cat. We lay in bed and talked. And by talked, I mean kissed. I told you he was an amazing kisser.

And that’s when he told me he was in love with me. Incredibly, unbelievably in love with me. Not that he was just in love with me – he loved me. He could marry me tomorrow. Not that I should expect that we get married tomorrow, but he was so in love with me that he could. This all coming from a very drunk man. Obviously, drunk enough that he forgot that “marriage” is like a dirty word to me these days.

I didn’t know what to say. You all know that I was falling in love with him too. I felt this hesitation on his part after he said it; he really wanted me to say it back. The silence between us was palpable when I didn’t say anything. I told him he was really drunk, and maybe he should tell me this all once he was sober. He repeated it, and said he would say it in the morning as well. 

And then I said it back. “I love you too.” I can’t, to this day, tell you why I said it back. Maybe it was peer pressure; maybe I felt it in some part of me. Maybe I wanted to feel it. But I said it back, and he looked so happy. And it immediately felt wrong. Like a lie. Or a half-lie, because I wasn’t there yet. I immediately regretted the words, but they were out. He continued to say them to me the rest of the night, he seemed so happy that it was out there. That we loved each other. Only I was slowly panicking. I just hoped he’d forget the whole conversation in the morning.

Cue a terrible allergy attack, and I took two more Benadryl. Eventually I fell asleep, and when I woke the next morning, I felt incredibly hung over from the allergy medication. I felt like death was on my doorstep. I felt awful. And sad. But I wasn’t sure why. 

I was hoping the love conversation was behind us, but he turned to me first thing and said that he loved me. That he’d told me he’d say it sober, and now he was saying it. He loves me and wants me to be his girlfriend. He’s so in love with me.  

ME: Silence. My head is pounding. I want to kill his cat. I want to kill myself for having made this ill-fated trip. I want to crawl into a hole and erase the last five hours. I want to be home in my bed.  

CHEF: What do you think? I love you.

ME: I have to pee.

Yes, that’s literally what I said. “I have to pee.” I got up and went to the bathroom. I am so awkward. I seriously did not have the skills, the words and the maturity to handle this situation. I had told him I loved him and I wasn’t sure if I meant it. I had heard him tell me he loved me – and it made me sad. It made me sad because I wasn’t ready. It made me sad because he was drunk when he said it (and I’m such a romantic that I wish it were more special). And it made me sad because, frankly, I wasn’t ready for a man other than my ex fiancée to tell me he loved me. Only this was news to me, I had no idea how un-ready I was. 

I behaved quite awkwardly the rest of the morning and we talked some when I drove him to work. I was honest and told him that I was feeling sad and that I felt awful for feeling sad because he loved me, it was just a lot. The Benadryl overdose probably wasn’t helping. The three hours of sleep wasn’t either. I just wanted to go home. I tried to wait it out the next couple of days – maybe I did love him, I just needed to get used to it. I tried it out, test drove it a bit. But it still wasn’t right.

Before Chef came over to my house on Monday night, I totally pulled a girl move and told him we needed to talk. I told him it wasn’t serious, but I guess that was a lie too, because it was serious to me. That night, I told him I’m in no way ready for the L word. I feel it, in some ways, on some days, but I’m not there. And I desperately don’t want to let him down.

I cried a little during this conversation, because frankly this whole thing makes me sad. I want to be ready. I thought I was. But suddenly, once those words were out there, I felt sick. Scared. It was all too much. I missed my old life again, my pre-break up self. I missed my ex again. I missed KNOWING with everything in me that I loved someone. I was angry at myself for saying it to someone when I wasn’t sure. I didn’t mean to lie. When I said it, I thought I meant it, but once those words were out, it was too late. And they were wrong.

I told Chef that I’m not seeing anyone else, and I really do want to continue to see him. I just need us to slow down. A lot. He seemed to understand, but seemed a little sad himself.

I haven’t seen him since Monday. Tomorrow, I’m going to a wedding with him. I’m not even sure if I’m ready for that – I’ve been avoiding weddings like the plague. This is my first wedding since I cancelled mine. I can’t wait to see Chef, and I care about him very much. But now things feel uncertain. And I have no idea what I want. I want him in my life – but I can’t seem to shake this sadness.

I want to feel the way I felt on that trip, at 3 a.m., to go see him. When things were exciting, new, not confusing. When we were just two people who really wanted to see each other. I was not a love Indian giver, and I was falling in love – in my own time, at my own pace. No pressure. Here’s hoping that spending some time together this weekend will get me, get us, back there.


84 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2010 8:58 am

    Wow.

    Sorry, I have nothing insightful to offer here. Just one little question:

    But now things feel uncertain.

    Is that a bad thing necessarily?

    • October 10, 2010 11:26 pm

      Ahh, good point. Uncertainty is always been in my head, but I guess… it doesn’t have to be that way? I just really like plans and knowing EXACTLY where everything stands at all times. I’m trying to be more open though. Because relationships aren’t that simple.

  2. natasha permalink
    October 8, 2010 9:11 am

    You did the right thing in explaining to him why you weren’t ready for the ‘L’ word… Hopefully he is able to take a step back and take things a bit slower! 🙂

  3. Eagle permalink
    October 8, 2010 9:46 am

    Would he have said it without the alcohol. See after that little trick, he’s had to reinforce it by saying it continuosly to prove it wasn’t a drunken act . Be cautious trust your own instincts. It also sounds that you know yourself and will know , when it’s really it. Take good care, we don’t want casualties 🙂

    • October 10, 2010 11:27 pm

      Yeah, I could see how that could possibly be the case. I guess only time will tell. Definitely do NOT want casualties, LOL 🙂

  4. October 8, 2010 9:55 am

    Man, this is tough. I feel for you. I got scared when I started to fall for McFaggot—he was the first person I really liked after my ex. And that really scared me. And it pissed me off that I was scared. I still miss my ex more than I wish I did…in fact, I cried about him a few nights ago, which in turn pissed me off.

    Your head is in the right place, your heart just needs to catch up. But I think you’re doing the right thing by keeping it honest. As they say—if he really likes you, and in this case, loves you, he will be there through it all.

    Good luck this weekend!

    -Lucky

    • October 8, 2010 10:00 am

      Your head is in the right place, your heart just needs to catch up.

      Well, that totally makes sense. A nerve impulse travels at around 100 meters per second, while the heart maxes out at maybe 200 beats per minute….

      Yes, yes, leave it to me to totally nerdify a great metaphor.

      • October 8, 2010 1:50 pm

        Dennis, you’re nerd-tastic (I have a soft spot for nerds)

        Catherine, first of all, I love that your answer was “I have to pee”. I’m going to answer every question this weekend with that.

        I think this whole saying “I love you” thing is tough and it’s become such a huge barometer of how relationships are defined. Unnecessarily, in my personal opinion, because they are JUST WORDS. That whole saying “actions speak louder than words”… I’m not saying that Chef doesn’t love you, I don’t doubt he does. But I think that as a society, we place way too much context on those three words. His actions, your actions should tell both of you how you are feeling toward each other – this coming from the emotionally walled-up, poker-face who scowls at everyone 🙂

        • October 10, 2010 11:44 pm

          AMY: Haha, you SHOULD answer every question with that. Funny, and an easy way out for sure. LOL. Maybe you are right. There certainly is a lot of pressure put on these three words. Actions are very important as well, but I guess I haven’t been putting as much of an emphasis on those. Thanks for your comment 🙂

      • October 8, 2010 4:03 pm

        Seriously?

        What the fuck. Get a life.

        -Lucky

      • October 8, 2010 4:47 pm

        Well, I’m posting from Spain, so clearly I do need to get a life. But…

        Whoa, whoa, really? What, are you still bitter about my comments regarding Faggot McMuffin Matt, or whatever you call him? 🙂

    • October 8, 2010 5:08 pm

      I don’t give a shit about McFaggot.

      I’m trying to say a little something nice to our friend Catherine here, and you insist on taking my words, quoting them, and turning into some ridiculous math problem.

      Enjoy Spain, or however much you’re seeing of it from behind your computer screen.

      -Lucky

      • October 8, 2010 5:15 pm

        It’s called a joke.

        They tend to make life a little bit more fun. You might wanna try them out sometime.

    • October 10, 2010 11:28 pm

      LUCKY: It’s good to hear that others have been scared when you started falling for someone new. It’s reassuring that I’m not completed F*ed up. This weekend was great, by the way.

  5. October 8, 2010 10:08 am

    Awww, that had to be hard. I will say though good for you for finally admitting you’re not ready! The hesitation was definitely there in your freshly pressed post, and now at least you’ve gotten it out in the open. I said Chef seemed to be jumping the gun a bit, and hopefully now that you’ve explained how you feel, he’ll be able to step back a little and you can both take this at a pace that’s more comfortable for you.

    I’m totally going to quote Green Day on this one: “You can’t go forcing something if it’s just not right.”

    I’m not saying your relationship is NOT right, but I AM saying what you’ve already alluded to but haven’t spoken outright – *something* is missing right now. You’re not sure what, but it’s just not right. That doesn’t mean it won’t be eventually. Try your best to have a fun time this weekend. I’m sure it will be difficult, but maybe this time together is exactly what you and Chef need to figure things out.

    • October 10, 2010 11:29 pm

      Thanks, Katie. You have been right on about my conflicted emotions. I think that Chef knows where I’m coming from now, and I think he’s going to give me that emotional space I need. You are right about something being missing – but it’s hard when youd ont know what it is.

  6. October 8, 2010 10:52 am

    I am so PROUD of you. Wow, how odd is this electronic world we live in: I don’t even know you, yet I find myself cheering you on from the sidelines! 🙂

    Congratulations on being honest. That is a sure sign that you are healing, but it takes a long, long time (trust me on that one). I know I made the mistake of admitting love way too soon in my own situation, and it made all the difference in the world. In a negative way.

    So step back, keep doing the work toward your own healing, have fun with Chef along the way AND feel proud of yourself. You rock.

    • October 10, 2010 11:30 pm

      Mikalee: Thank you so much, that means a lot to me. Was hard putting this post up (and behaving as I have) because I am totally aware about how I can come off as a jerk in this situation.

  7. October 8, 2010 11:01 am

    Follow your instincts on this one. They never fail. Take care! -SG

  8. October 8, 2010 11:06 am

    In my last long-term relationship I told the guy that he wasn’t allowed to say he loved me because in the past that phrase had felt like a promise when a man said it and it had felt like a promise broken when he left (and up until recently, they have all left me.)

    But he said it anyway — relatively early in the relationship. I got mad at him and I told him to stop. He just kept repeating the phrase. We were cuddling on my couch and I started to cry.

    I had told him why I didn’t want him to say it. I had even said that he wasn’t allowed to say it unless he had a ring in his pocket. I told him again how I felt.

    He said he understood and that I didn’t have to say it back. But, he said that wasn’t fair for me to tell him what to say. Okay, good point. He said love was the only word that could describe how he felt and he had to tell me how he was feeling. And I had to concede that I wanted him to tell me how he was feeling.

    He made it clear that it wasn’t a promise that we would be together forever — or even for very long. It was just how he was feeling about me and he wanted me to know how it. And he wanted to know how I was feeling about him.

    So I thought about it, and I realized that love really was the only word that came close to describing how I felt. I loved him. I was even in love with him. I didn’t know how things would turn out, and I didn’t know if I could make him any promises. But I loved him. And he hadn’t asked for any promises. So, soon after that I told him how I was feeling.

    I loved him.

    And we aren’t together anymore. But it’s okay. I’m grateful for the love he gave me during that time and I’m proud of the way I loved him while we were together. Sometimes I’m sad that our relationship didn’t work out, but it wasn’t right.

    So, now I have a few questions for you.

    Why aren’t you ready for the L word? If he loves you, don’t you want to know? What does the word mean to you? Is it a promise you’re afraid he’ll break?

    What does the L word mean to him? (I know he said he could marry you tomorrow while he was drunk, but you wouldn’t let him do that so it isn’t an important part of the equation.) Is it a promise in his mind? Is it just how he feels?

    Defining the terms could be really helpful here. For us girls when a man says, “I love you,” sometimes we hear, “I want to marry you.” But that isn’t what that phrase means.

    I’d be curious to find out what he means by it and for you to really think about what it means to you.

    Also, you wrote “I feel it, in some ways, on some days, but I’m not there.” Again, definitions, please. What is “there?” And what would happen if you told him how you felt at those moments when you felt that you loved him? If you were specific. And you let him know how you felt beyond just those 3 words?

    He’s already laid it out there. I don’t think you can be more vulnerable than him after the conversations described above. And if you guys stay together after all this and he holds off on saying the L word as you have requested, you’ll probably have to be the one to say it next.

    People fall in love at different speeds. And putting on the brakes to hard in a relationship is effectively putting on the breaks. If you don’t want to lose him you have to decide to move forward and understand that there is no way to know for sure that it is safe. You have to decided to trust him and to trust yourself or it will never happen. And if you really truly aren’t ready to decide to trust someone, well…

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

    • October 11, 2010 12:04 am

      Crystal,
      Your comment has been with me since I first read it Friday. It’s been in the back of my head, this definition of love and what it means. You made some amazing points here, things I never thought of. If he wants to say it, because he wants to share his feelings about his love for me, I guess you have a point about it not being my place to keep him from talking about how he feels, as long as there is not required reciprocation. If that’s what he’s comfortable with. I guess I need to think more about what I think love means. I guess to me, it means you will do anything and everything for that person. You want to be with them, maybe long term, and you care about their happiness, at times more than your own (but not at the expense of your own, ever, cause I don’t think that is love).

      When you said, “Is it a promise you’re afraid he’ll break?” that was exactly it. I’m afraid to believe that he loves me, and want to love him too – because he might let me down. I do not want to be let down again. I’d rather keep a little more distance, just until I’m sure he wouldn’t let me down. But then again, you never know, do you? I never would have thought my ex fiancee would have let me down. Ever.

      “There” means to me comfortable saying it freely, with reckless abandon, knowing for SURE I mean it. No doubts. I love this man. I want to be with this man. I am IN LOVE with him and want to make him. I’m not THERE yet. I’ve been there like for a minute, short time frames in romantic moments. I want to really believe it with all of me to say it. It’s seems too big of a deal to mess up, you know?

      On the well… I hear you. Trust me, I definitely hear you. Not sure yet what I’m thinking – I get off of two days of just a huge HIGH of spending time with him, and there aren’t hardly any doubts. That counts for something, right?

      • October 12, 2010 3:03 pm

        That definitely counts for something.

        The truth is, even if he feels comfortable saying it and you don’t you still might be in the same place. He might feel exactly the way you are describing how you feel but his way of expressing it is to say, “I love you.”

        I think you’re doing great.

  9. October 8, 2010 11:18 am

    I once said “I love you” for the first time over a text message. My friends nearly killed me for that one. At least Chef said it in person! Hello drunk cloud, meet silver lining.

    It’s wise that you take it slow if you’re feeling so much hesitation, and not jump in because of peer pressure. If your heart tells you it’s too fast, then it’s too fast, no matter how much you *want* to be in love. If it’s meant to be, then in time every moment will feel like 3 A.M.

    • October 10, 2010 11:31 pm

      LOL – via text message. CLASSIC. That’s up there with breaking up with someone via post it night (a la Sex and the City). I love your quote “If it’s meant to be, then in time every moment will feel like 3 a.m.” Awesome.

  10. Dana permalink
    October 8, 2010 11:30 am

    Jesus, you’re living my life. Kudos for not just playing along. I’ve done that a few times, and I’m blame that on my bad karma. It’s the worst lie to tell. Love that I was mentioned, though! Oh, and I’m working on my little guest post!

    • October 10, 2010 11:31 pm

      Thanks, girl. And thanks for listening to me vent about the lake 🙂 Can’t wait for the guest post!

  11. October 8, 2010 1:10 pm

    After my last long term relationship ended I was seriously uncomfortable with the word, the concept and the emotion that is “love”. I questioned everything – how could I have thought I was so in “love” for five years only to have it end so horribly?

    The girl who once read Jane Austen novels until their bindings split, began to doubt that she could ever be truly in love; to doubt that love really exists. But, as the old adage goes “time may heal all wounds.”

    I’ve been in a new relationship for the past six months and we had the “love” talk about a month ago. Like the Chef, my guy didn’t pick the best time to have the conversation (via text message) and I took a full twenty-four hours plus multiple conversations with my lifeline (a.k.a. mom) before I managed to tell him that I do love him. Even then, I told him while I was hugging him so I wouldn’t have to say it while looking him in the eyes. It took me another forty-eight hours before I got comfortable with the “we love each other” concept.

    I don’t think I’ll ever be the hopeless romantic I once was, but this hope I can give you: If you are anything like me, you will be in love again, you will want to say those words again, saying those words and feeling those emotions will make you happy again, not sad!

    I think this is all part of your story. Give yourself time and permission to let it play out. I think this experience will help you grow and heal. I am sure the Chef appreciates your honesty and this experience may actually strengthen your relationship. Hang in there and good luck at the wedding!

    • October 10, 2010 11:34 pm

      Wow, lots of people having the love talk via text message. Come on people! Technology is good – but not for that. Your reason you were uncomfortable with the word “love” is so close to how I feel. Thanks for explaining that. It’s exactly how I feel about my relationship. Love is complicated and it can sometimes be hard to communicate – read yor not. I think you’ll like an upcoming post I have about being a hopeless romantic – it says a lot of the things you are saying here. Just finished i tup 🙂

  12. Claudia permalink
    October 8, 2010 1:21 pm

    Am I the only one curious if in the middle of all of this he was held accountable for promising to go away for the weekend, forgetting and being a jerk about it? The entire thing sounds classic push/pull.

    My worry with the entire situation is that even if you slow things down with him, it’s still halting your healing process. If you were fully healed, you wouldn’t have freaked out when he drunkenly threw out the L word. You wouldn’t miss the things that you do. And you wouldn’t have any problems going to another person’s wedding.

    Breakups are better thought as a new beginning instead of an ending. It’s the time when we can look at our lives and change what we don’t like. Relationships make us stagnate where a breakup forces us to focus on ourselves and our individual happiness instead of the other person.

    You know the idea of you can’t be happy with someone else if you can’t be happy alone? That you shouldn’t be serious with anyone until you like the person you are more than the person you were. Because you haven’t fully healed the draw of the feelings you had driving at 3am is quite possibly clouding your judgment.

    • October 8, 2010 2:58 pm

      Wow, Claudia, great points! I’m looking forward to checking out your blog!

    • October 8, 2010 4:11 pm

      Claudia, I completely agree with you.

      Catherine, I am really starting to wonder here if you are even sure of what you want? Now, don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy reading your blogs and following your progress with starting over, but the question is are you really making any progress? Some days it seems as though the pain from your breakup shines through a little brighter than others, but up until now your feelings have been constant for “Chef”. I really hope that this incident will not be the breaking point for you and Chef, but my fear is that it will. You have not allowed your wounds to heal and in turn may have reflected those same injuries on another. Although Chef may have been drunk during his epiphany, that in no way takes away from the seriousness of this meaning. A little liquid courage never hurt anyone and perhaps with you have such a strong and opinionated personality, this little boost is what he needed to tell you how he feels. If you are going to make this work, I think you have a lot of making up to do. Don’t immediately withdraw your feelings completely from him, but make sure he knows how you still feel about the relationship. It’s not fair to either one of you to have to guess how the other feels.

      • October 10, 2010 11:47 pm

        AJ22010: Thanks for your comment. These are tough questions, some I need to think about more. I think I’m in flux, and I’m in progress. I’m moving forward, but I’m not sure if it’s fast enough or in time with where I should be in the breakup process. But, who knows where I should be? Who’s to say what is exactly right at this place in time? It’s not like there is a stead fast manual for these things. Sometimes you meet people at the wrong time… what do you do then? And what do you do when you aren’t even sure if it’s the wrong time at all, and maybe you are just overthinking things?

        We actually had a really good weekend (well I did anyway), and I think things are OK… I just need some space in the L-word department, and I think that is fair to ask for. Having just gone through a break up or not – we have only been seeing each other 2 months. That’s a short time. And only a few weeks of it has been exclusive (on my end anyway). Just need things to slow down…

    • October 10, 2010 11:38 pm

      Claudia,
      Thanks for your comments, as always. Very insightful and I appreciate your honesty. Hard to take, at first, to be frank, but you are honest nonetheless and part of me knows that in some ways you are right. He was not held accountable in the middle of the lake conversation, but later on we talked about it. Because during, my friend was there, that felt weird, and he was working. I definitely do not want to be the dramatic girl (even though I can find myself in that zone sometimes).
      As far as weddings, I think that one’s going to be sore for awhile. Whether I’m over my ex or not. I planned a wedding for months on end. I had my dream wedding all bought and purchased, to cancel it three months out. That doesn’t just go away when you’re over your ex. That’s like a loss in itself, a loss of a dream. So I do not feel badly that I was a little nervous about heading to this wedding. It’s totally normal, I think.
      I think you have a good analysis of breakups/relationships in the healing process. I’m going to have to figure out where exactly I am and what needs to be done. I’m working on it …

      • Claudia permalink
        October 11, 2010 1:40 pm

        Sometimes being as blatantly honest as I am, it tends to come off more harsh than the intention. We don’t get the entire story, just what was on your mind at the time of the writing so my comment was just ideas to consider.

        I’ve had past dating experiences that were made considerably worse by 1 or both not being ready after a break up. Arguments that didn’t need to happen. Serious issues overlooked. Distance. Drama. Constant comparisons. Things that no matter how right the person is, the relationship is bound to fail.

        Right after the separation from my ex I jumped in too quickly with someone else who also wasn’t ready. It almost broke me. When I finally got out of that situation, I waited a year until I was fully healed from both and ready to start again. Occasionally I did the boredom dating, but it just reinforced the fact that I wasn’t ready. For the most part I was completely closed off so if the right guy came along, I probably ignored it.

        What to do about right person, wrong time? Tell them it’s the wrong time but they’ll be your first call when you are. That’s what I’d want if the situation was reversed.

        But that’s not to say this will fail. Maybe it is the right time and you are over thinking things. Or maybe the freak out was just a random freak out. Maybe it was just going too fast and all you need to do is slow down. Or maybe your mind going to the ex when someone else tells you he loves you is your mind telling you that you aren’t ready.

        In the end no one can tell you what is right for you.

        • October 15, 2010 2:28 pm

          Claudia: I just realized I never responded to this follow up comment, and for that I’m sorry! Thanks for sharing your perspective – and don’t worry, I’m developing more of a tough skin on this blog, so comments are welcome – even they are harsh. Just don’t say I have a big butt. Then we may have a problem. lol, jk.

          Thanks for sharing your background and how you’ve experienced some of this before. I don’t want all that drama and constant compromises that you speak of. I don’t think Chef and I are there yet, but I do want to make sure that I don’t purposely ruin this relationship because I’m not ready.

          I think that there is some truth in that I’m just overthinking things. Sometimes having this blog, but also going through what I’ve been through, forces me to analyze every single thing in my life – more than I would if these two factors were not there. I’m doing my best to chill out a bit, and enjoy what we do have, instead of focusing on the negatives. And if it’s all too much – then you are right, you just have to say it’s the wrong time. I’m just not sure I’m there yet.

          Thanks for your comments 🙂

  13. October 8, 2010 1:41 pm

    Oh, Catherine, my heart goes out to you. I understand your ups and downs, and it sucks. You are such a composed and thoughtful woman, even if your awkwardness is hilarious (“I have to pee”–I’ve totally been there haha), and Chef is lucky that you’re not rushing into this and are able to be honest with him. I hope this weekend can be a celebration and a renewal instead of dwelling on your own wedding.

    • October 10, 2010 11:19 pm

      Thank you Maggie. LOL – glad you found humor in how unbelievably akward I am. This weekend was really great. The sadness over the wedding wasn’t so bad. It was a little weird at first, but I got over. After a few drinks. LOL.

      • October 11, 2010 2:53 pm

        haha I’m so glad to hear that all it took was a little liquid courage!

      • October 11, 2010 2:54 pm

        PS I bet we’d have a great time with a few drinks if we’re ever in the same city! Is Minneapolis on your work or travel radar at all?

        • October 12, 2010 12:42 am

          I totally agree! Actually, I’m working on planning a trip to that area now… isn’t that funny? My client has a hotel in Minneapolis. I’ll let you know once we firm down the details. We totally should get together!!

      • October 12, 2010 1:35 pm

        Fantastic! Definitely keep me posted!

  14. October 8, 2010 4:21 pm

    Hey all… Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for their thoughts and responses. I’m going to respond to all these comments later tonight/tomorrow… Good points have been made and some thought provoking ones as well. And a couple that my gut reaction was “ouch,” but that’s to be expected when you put so much of your personal life and honest feelings on a public blog. I think a lot of people feel the things I am going through and don’t admit them, to themselves or even to hundreds of readers. So I even appreciate the ouch-inducing comments.

    Anyway, my car won’t start, and I’ve been really sick all week. So at this moment, I’m reading these comments while trying to figure out what is wrong with my car and hoping I’ll be feeling better soon.

    Just wanted to say thanks for your thoughts… And play nice. 🙂 Catherine

  15. Matt permalink
    October 8, 2010 5:24 pm

    I think it’s admirable that you had that conversation with him and let him know that you needed to rewind a bit. It must be tough feeling this uncertainty but the fact that you’re honest with yourself and with him about your feelings is a really good thing in my opinion. I hope you feel that excitement again over the weekend!

    • October 10, 2010 11:48 pm

      Thanks, Matt. This weekend was so fun, it was a good reminder of all we have together. Appreciate your thoughts.

  16. October 8, 2010 5:26 pm

    Catherine, I know how you feel.

    I miss the exciting moments where everything is perfect and things are still in the like mode… but in all honesty move into the stage where the LOVE mode is a possibility I will run away.

    I just want to get there. I want to already be at the I love you stage I just want it to appear. I don’t want to put in the time and sacrifice. It hurts way too much to be in the uncertain, idk if it’ll work, idk if you’ll end up hurting me like the ex did, etc.

    Chef sounds like a good guy-he isn’t pushing the relationship, he’s truly waiting it out, and waiting til you’re ready. stick with it and don’t look back. your ex made decisions and there are consequences to those decisions. take control of your thoughts. this is where you are now. live in the now not in the what could have been or where i should be…

    • October 10, 2010 11:50 pm

      The like mode is so much easier to handle. So much more manageable and frankly fun. When you get to the LOVE mode, so much can go wrong, and there are real consequences. If someone says that’s not somewhat scary, then I think they are nuts. Chef is a good guy – that’s one thing I’m not sure I’m adequately conveying. He is a really good guy and has good intentions. I find myself focusing on the negative – which is what I do (all the time, not just dating). I should share with ya’ll some of the things he does/says that make my friends say, “I want that!” You know?

      • October 11, 2010 2:57 pm

        Oh, please do share a few more details! My friend Annie and I are a bit down on boys at the moment–we set up a dog park double date for Sunday at 1pm, and the boys never showed! Lame, lame, lame. But I’d love to hear a little more about Chef, living vicariously through you as I am 🙂

        • October 12, 2010 12:41 am

          Boo to no shows!! Sorry to hear that. Definitely will include more details… 🙂

  17. japanesemiscellany permalink
    October 8, 2010 6:14 pm

    Your blogs soooo nostalgically reminds me of my past. I remember feeling sick to my stomach…missing my ex while out with a new man…it felt like a bad dream that couldn’t be true. Time is what I needed and what you need ….and one day the weight will lift from your heart and you’ll feel free. It’s an amazing feeling….in all honesty it took me a year and a half to get there. Everyone goes at their own pass though. Goodluck and have a great weekend!

  18. October 8, 2010 9:05 pm

    I think it’s so brave of you to have told the Chef how you really feel – I’ve made the mistake of saying I love you when I didn’t mean it and the courage to then talk about your true feelings is so impressive.

    • October 10, 2010 11:51 pm

      Thank you – it was really hard to talk with him about it, and it’s hard to put it out here on the blog too, where everyone can tell me what a jerk I am. LOL. Appreciate your kind words.

  19. October 8, 2010 11:12 pm

    Wow. Nicely written story – very relatable. I hope that things work out for you and the Chef and that the weekend goes well. I think you are doing the right thing by taking it slow!

  20. Random Cook permalink
    October 9, 2010 1:01 pm

    I shouldn’t even be reading this, let alone leaving a comment, but seeing as how I happen to be the subject matter in this and many previous posts, I feel as if I need to get some things off my chest.

    It’s a hard situation to be in when you are dating a girl that writes a blog like this. Not because of the blog necessarily, but because I find myself in it. I find real life situations that I have personally experienced with the writer told in a very well written romance novel. It’s hard for you, the reader, to really put yourself in my shoes or the writer’s shoes. So, I am left with numerous comments to scroll through where I am told what I am doing or what my intentions really are. I find that I have learned a lot about myself through the opinions of others that I will never have the pleasure of meeting. Mr. Dennis Hong, you are the man by the way. I usually do not read this blog at all, but sometimes I am drawn towards it like it’s a drug. A drug that makes me feel terrible, excited, hopeful and most of all–proud. Proud that someone like the writer has taken the time to actually write about us. Proud that she considers me in the way she does. Proud that I passed the test so many others couldn’t pass and that is having as serious of a relationship as we are developing. I am excited for the future, to tell about the fun we have had or for her to meet my units(a.k.a. parents). We call them units in my family. Hopeful that we can make this last. And yes, sometimes I feel terrible. Which brings me to the entire point of this rant. I never understood how sometimes I mean what I say, but it’s so poorly delivered and poorly timed that what I am saying is lost. That I create a monster when I was trying to be truthful. Someone mentioned something about liquid courage. I agree, but it shouldn’t take a drink to open up about how I feel. And in a way, it didn’t, however I just happened to be intoxicated. I stand by what I say sober or otherwise, however, I feel so terrible that I let that cat out of that bag under those circumstances.

    You know, up until about 3 months ago, I wasn’t sure what a blog was. Really. I had heard this made up word and had no idea how cool they can be and how you can find subject matter on anything you want from bumble bees to love to old cars. This blog has really intrigued me because I find myself clinging to the comments and the advice offered. I see what the casual person in Des Moines or Decatur or Romania has to say about how I am acting or how the writer is acting. Very therapeutic I must say. It gives me hope that if the writer and I have problems, we can toss them out on the blog and grab tons of low cost advice. I also find myself reading 2 blogs. Dennis Hong’s, of course, and Crystalspins. Who am I? This isn’t the Chef I know. I don’t read internet banter. However, I feel grateful that I have started. I appreciate all the comments and how most of you tell the writer to give me a chance and that I am really a good guy. I feel that I am.

    And to the writer, who has inspired this entire post. Thanks for making me feel special. In the end, that’s all we have. The people that make us feel special are the ones we never forget and long to be near. And that is a dangling participle. So long…….

    • October 10, 2010 2:15 pm

      Hey thanks, man! I think it’s an interesting (to say the least) community you’ve stumbled upon here. I’ve found that, ironically enough, the words of strangers can often be more helpful than the words of friends, because strangers are better at being impartial… and blunt.

      And sometimes what we really need is bluntness.

      That’s cool of you to be so accepting of Catherine’s blog, though. I know many of us bloggers have had issues with the folks we’re dating. It can be nerve-wracking when a budding relationship is open for the world to see. But hey, if you’re able to gain some insights, then maybe it’s worth it, right?

      Anyway, it’s good to have another guy reading my blog! So, thanks again. I started it as a way to get women and men to communicate better, but… sometimes I have a hard time attracting men to it.

      Guys… sheesh. 😉

      • October 11, 2010 12:18 am

        Interesting (to say the least)… you said a ton there. This community can be downright crazytown sometimes! 🙂

        I think it’s cool he’s been so accepting too. My advice though? Don’t read. Nothing good can come of it. LOL

    • eagle permalink
      October 10, 2010 3:26 pm

      Man you are in a tough spot. I dont know if I could deal with the same level of scrutiny, and here we are cheering one way or the other. Thats what makes this crazy in a way, we get one side of a story. Dont really know you and make a judgement call one way or the other.

      And you are two sensible people who seem to care a great deal about each other.

      So assuming you are you. You write way more sensitively than you are portrayed, I can relate to the poor timing issue, and have the scars to prove it :-).

      I wish you guys would work this out in a healthy way, that is going to be good for both. I know that sounds stupid, but turning to the net for advice you are going to be swayed by crazies in one direction or another myself included.

      I dont think a blossoming relationship can handle that, hell even one which is stable and solid for a few years is going to take strain. My suggestion is for the two of you to go dark. Enjoy each other for the sake of each other and not a following or fan club. From there you will be less clouded by our comments and judgement and can truely make up your minds by yourselves without any undue pressure.

      Its a tough call , so good luck

      • October 11, 2010 12:17 am

        LOL on the fact that you think Chef writes more sensitively than he is portrayed. I’m realizing that I’m not giving the most adequate of descriptions of Chef, and what a good person he is. I hope I’ll do better on that front.

        I think we are healthy-enough. I do not post thoughts on this blog before/without talking to him. Nothing on here is a surprise, or it shouldn’t be anyway. I mean sometimes he might realize until he reads it just how deeply something affected me, but that’s just because I have more time to put the words behind my feelings here. I don’t know if I want to go dark – this blog is important to me. It’s about sharing my journeys with others. It’s about improving my writing. It’s not really about putting my emotions/thoughts/feelings/relationships up for a vote. I hope I’ve never given that impression. Love your guys’ insights and whatever learnings you share with me are essential to my progress here, but at the end of the day, it’s my life and I have to live with my decisions. I don’t think any of this is for a following/fan club or whatever. Because if that was the case, I’d still be dating. That gets way more readers – talking about crazy first dates and new experiences. Plain old complicated relationships aren’t huge traffic drivers 🙂

        Thanks so much for your comment and thoughts, as always! Catherine

    • October 11, 2010 12:11 am

      When you (Chef) said that you wanted to comment, I was a little nervous. I certainly don’t want to get into a back and forth on the Internet with the guy I’m dating, I mean the blog is crazy enough as it is to add that to the equation. So, I’ll say (because I think that you’re probably monitoring any other comments on this post), I understand how weird this is. I thank you for letting me do it, day in and day out, seeing my blog posts on your Facebook page and not always reading, knowing you probably shouldn’t, and then sometimes stopping for a visit – and it’s very awkward. And I’m sorry that I don’t present you, in many ways, as the great guy you are. You would not still be in my life if I didn’t think you were a genuinely good guy. I hope to do a better job of conveying that in future posts, but it seems that it’s just my personality that negative things always come to the forefront of my mind. I’m hoping to work on that. And while I love my commenters, I love their advice and I love their insights (because this relationship/dating/single thing is all so new to me, I’ll take all the advice that I can get), my relationships are not based on what people tell me to do on my blog. I love the insight, and I definitely consider it, but I want to follow my heart and my own judgment. I don’t want to blame anyone (or thank anyone) but myself. Thank you for putting up with me and this crazy blog … 🙂

      • October 12, 2010 3:10 pm

        First of all, Chef, thanks for reading my blog.

        Second, after reading your post I feel even more strongly that you and Catherine are both amazing people with amazing things to give to one another. I hope you keep it up.

        Even if it isn’t a promise. Even if it isn’t forever. Take love where you can find it and give love where you can…well, where you can.

        And Dennis is the man. I have a retarded crush on him.

        Crystal
        http://www.crystalspins.com

      • October 12, 2010 3:21 pm

        *huff*

        *puff*

        Maybe it wouldn’t be so retarded if you didn’t live three thousand miles away…. 😉

  21. October 9, 2010 8:24 pm

    Okay well this is beginning to explain away my comment on the last post…clearly that one just jumped ahead and the whole chef relationship is from the past a bit…got it now 🙂

    So here’s my question:

    Why do you want to be ready so quickly??? (This question isn’t actually specific to chef). Why is it so important to be in love at the drop of a hat? Think of all you’d be missing out on…all the fun dates?? Learning about yourself through your encounters with different people?? Learning to grow, be comfortable with yourself, pursuing all the important things in your life?? Not to mention it sounds like you likely have more than enough love in your life (obvs. close with your family if you’re spending weekend together, and obvs. have good friends) to help withstand any lonely periods that may come while not having a man in your life (that’s secure or at least presumably). So I ask again, Why do you want to be ready so quickly (and presumably rush the healing process?)

    • October 10, 2010 11:55 pm

      Haha, sorry for my confusion. I’m not exactly linear in my writing. LOL. Gosh, part of me really hears you. I really do enjoy the dating, it’s a blast. All the things you mention here are very important to me and have been part of my struggle. I do have plenty plenty plenty of love in my life with family and friends, I am very lucky, and really, thank you for reminding me of that.
      I’m going to think further about the “why do you want to be ready so quickly?” My only reaction now is because I like this guy. He was supposed to just be a random date to help have fun and learn about myself… and I ended up liking him. I think lesson here is, don’t go into it sure it can be casual because emotions often get involved.

  22. October 9, 2010 11:53 pm

    This made my heart hurt for you just a bit… in that sort of, ‘wow, I wish I could just give her a hug and maybe a martini’ kind of way… You’re so brave to share this with us, to open your heart and expose your journey. I’m honored to read it.

    Thank you. Truly.

    P.S. I DON’T like that he forgot he was going to the lake either…

    • October 10, 2010 11:56 pm

      Aww thank you. Would love a hug and a martini, that sounds phenomenal after this whole ordeal :).

      PS: As far as the lake, he says he legitimately forgot. I was really pissed about it. He has since said he’s taken that Saturday off to spend with me. So we’ll see…

  23. October 12, 2010 8:15 am

    I once said, “I love you” to someone way to early because they said it to me. It did feel wrong and make me sad.

    Try to think of great it will feel when you say it and don’t need to say, “I have to pee” instead.

    • October 12, 2010 7:41 pm

      I know… that moment will be AMAZING! 🙂
      Glad to know I’m not the only person who’s done this.

  24. October 13, 2010 7:50 pm

    Dennis…you live in LA LA land, right? It’s only between 1,300 and 1,500 miles away…by car.

    Yeah…that’s far.

    Crystal

    • October 13, 2010 7:58 pm

      Actually, I’m in San Diego, so you have to tack on another 120 miles or so on top of that…. :-I

    • October 14, 2010 3:03 pm

      Oh, don’t worry, it’s a pretty straight shot from LA to San Diego. Not too many turns….

      • October 14, 2010 4:24 pm

        But from S.D. to CA is quite a haul.

      • October 15, 2010 12:34 am

        You mean from SD to SD is quite a haul? How’s that for confusing? 😉

        But, yes, that’s true. It is.

      • October 15, 2010 12:34 am

        By the way, I love how we’re pretty much just using Catherine’s blog to chat now…. :-p

        • October 15, 2010 2:30 pm

          LOL! Dennis and Crystal, you guys crack me up. I fully support this budding long distance romance. 🙂 So… I think the most logical conclusion is… you guys should meet in the middle. Vegas? Wyoming?

      • October 15, 2010 2:36 pm

        Well, I think Vegas would be more, um, accommodating of impulsive romantic decisions….

        • October 15, 2010 2:37 pm

          I would agree. But how fun would it be to tell your friends that you are going to Wyoming to meet someone for a date? Totally unexpected. LOL

  25. October 15, 2010 6:56 pm

    Romantic decisions? Or sexy ones? I think I like to try sexy before romantic…

    But, it’s only like $99 for a ticket from here to Vegas. I drive by a billboard that says so every day. And I’ve never been to Vegas. I’ve been to Wyoming a million times. The border is like 60 miles from me.

    I’m all for a Vegas trip if we can get a chaperone…I mean it would be a first date. What do you think Catherine. You wanna chaperone?

    • October 15, 2010 7:21 pm

      LOL — I am totally in. Never been to Vegas but always wanted to!!

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  1. Weekend at the Lake (Meet the Parents) « Simply Solo: Single girl starting over – follow the journey
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