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Alone

December 9, 2010

2,542

The number of days I have been someone’s girlfriend in my adult life (adult defined as 18 years old)

339

The number of days I have spent single as an adult

 
I spent 6 years, 9 months and 9 days in a committed relationship with my ex fiancée (plus the few months spent casually dating).

I spent 2 months and 6 days with Chef (plus the 2 months spent casually dating).

I’ve spent less than a year of my adult life alone. Approximately 11 months, to be exact. About 6 months of that included the first 6 months after I turned 18, when I hadn’t even graduated high school yet. The other 5 months included the time right after my breakup with my ex fiancée.

Why would I spend the time doing such a calculation, you ask? Well, I have a lot of free time on my hands these days. And frankly, I can’t stop thinking about how I have always defined my life, and my happiness, by the person I was dating. How happy were we that year? What stage in our relationship were we? How happy did he make me? That was our first Christmas together. That’s the day he asked me to be his girlfriend. That was the day he took me to my first (and only) concert. That’s the month he proposed to me on the doorstep of his house. That’s the year he and my sister threw a surprise birthday party for me. That’s the year my dad got sick and I didn’t feel like he was there for me. That’s the day that I was sick and he came over, took care of me and cooked my favorite meal. Was he proud of me when I graduated from college? What about when I got my first job? My first promotion? Was he proud of me when the post I wrote about him got Freshly Pressed?

So many moments. So many important moments of my life, and almost all of them were spent with a man. I’m lucky to have always had someone love me, but I wonder about the person I would have become if I had spent some, even a handful, of those moments alone.

“I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone,” Chef told me several times. I felt disappointed in myself and guilty that I couldn’t say it back. Indeed, I’d loved my ex fiancée more than I loved Chef. Isn’t that fair? I mean look at the difference in days alone – I spent 2,475 days with my ex fiancée and 67 days with Chef. I’m not saying that a day in one relationship is equivalent to a day in another in terms of the love you have for the person, but the sheer amount of time I spent with my ex fiancée is daunting to overcome. The amount of love I had for him (partially still have) is hard to surmount. I was going to marry the man, after all. I envisioned having children with him. In fact, I thought I’d be pregnant right now and we’d be spending our first married Christmas together.

Figurine standing all alone

Photo courtesey of Malkolm - Bust It Away Photography

This past weekend, I broke up with Chef. I feel like I can’t breathe typing those words because somehow, admitting it on this blog makes it true. There’s no going back. It was an incredibly hard decision and I feel terribly sad. And, I miss him already. He was wonderful, is wonderful. He loved me, and I didn’t have to doubt for one minute his love for me. He took care of me, sacrificed for me and did everything he could to make time for me, no matter how busy he was. He cooked for me, held me, made me laugh, listened to me cry, trusted me, kissed me, forgave my faults, met my parents, played with my hair, encouraged me, left me sweet notes, bought me flowers, introduced me to his friends and shared his hopes and dreams with me. Even with all that, it wasn’t enough.

It should have been enough, but it wasn’t, because I’m simply not ready. I’m not ready to be loved so deeply and I don’t feel capable of returning that love adequately. Some days, I find myself almost traumatized from what I’ve been through with my ex fiancée and cancelling the wedding. But then other days, I feel completely fine, and it makes me feel like I imagined the sad days.

The past several weeks, I’ve found myself filled with guilt about not being able to reciprocate Chef’s feelings for me. The nicer he was to me, the closer we got, the more he put me first in his life, the more guilty I felt. I love him, truly love him, but I’m having a hard time letting go of everything I’ve been through. I’m having a hard time releasing all the memories of my ex, especially during the holidays. And I’ve had doubts. Doubts that I’m ready for a serious relationship and doubts that I was with Chef for the right reasons. Was I with him because he made me feel better, because after my breakup, it felt amazing to have someone love me again? Was I with him because I loved him and he’s right for me? Or was I with him because, well, because I simply don’t know how to NOT be with someone?  The fact that I couldn’t confidently answer those questions concerned me.  

Along with the doubts came the guilt – especially when he seemed so happy and so certain of being with me. For example, Chef wanted me to go with him on a trip to Seattle in April. He was ready to book his ticket and asked me if I was going to book mine. Yet, I couldn’t. I had too many doubts. Planning something for April scared me. I wanted to go, and genuinely thought it would be really fun, especially since I’ve never been to the West Coast. However, I just couldn’t commit. I realized that Chef deserves to be with someone who would be thrilled about going on a trip together, not confused and uncertain.

I came to the conclusion that if I have these doubts, I must give myself the time to heal. I know now that I jumped into dating far too quickly after my breakup. I jumped so fast because A: I wanted to get back the years of dating I believed I’d missed, and B: I was certain I wouldn’t find anyone for a long, long time. I thought I had plenty of time to casually date the wrong guys until I found someone special. Then, Chef came along, before I was ready. But he was so great that I tried to convince myself that I was ready for him. I didn’t want to lose him. As everyone so readily reminds me, good guys are hard to come by.

Now we’re in so deep that I’ve hurt someone. I’ve hurt Chef and he didn’t deserve to be hurt. He says that he will wait for me to be ready, and that I’m worth the wait (for a reasonable time, anyway). I really don’t know how much time I’ll need. I don’t strive to get my number of days in a relationship to equal the number of days I’ve been single. I can’t say I need to be single for 2, 3 or 6 months in order to know I’m ready to move on. I’m striving for a feeling. The feeling that I am healed, over my ex and ready to move on. Who knows how long that will take? While I’d love it if Chef were around when that time comes, I also don’t think it’s fair to ask him to put his life on hold for me.  

My goal is to spend some time alone. I don’t want to date; the thought of dating makes me sick to my stomach. Right now, I want to spend some time recovering from the past year. And, I want to spend some time learning how to be alone and how to truly love myself. I don’t know how to get there, exactly, but I know it’s worth trying. And that journey starts right now.

I’m not sure exactly what I’ll write about in the coming weeks and months, but trust me, I’m going to keep blogging. This blog and all of you wonderful readers have helped me tremendously, and I’ll be forever thankful. I’m hoping to explore different kinds of writing, and maybe even post some creative pieces here. I hope to not be emo all the time and make you laugh once in a while. And I hope, in the end, to be healed. And ready for love again.


114 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2010 9:32 am

    I wish I had your courage at your age. Maybe it’s social networking that helps let people know everyone feels the same way and you’re not alone. None the less, get to know yourself as a single unit. When you do, you will be a better half of a couple. Congrats Catherine!

    • December 12, 2010 1:34 pm

      Edmonton: Thanks so much. I would agree that social networking and the Internet has probably made it easier for people to make tough decisions… you can easily Google and find someone else in the same boat as you. Helps you not feel so alone. This blog has done that for me as well, so I’m very fortunate!

  2. December 9, 2010 9:36 am

    Catherine,

    I’ve said it time and time again, that so many times you and I are in similar stages of grief since our breakups happened within days of each other. I, too, jumped into dating. But after I quit talking to The Has Been Matt McFaggot, I haven’t been on a date since. That was months ago.

    I had a heart to heart with ShyGuy, and he was the one who brought it to my attention that I’m just not ready. And it’s okay. While it does hurt, it’s better that you were honest with Chef. If he wants to wait for you, great. And if not, then it just wasn’t meant to be.

    This may sound like a wacky analogy, but shortly after my breakup I read The Time Traveler’s Wife. It was a great book, that really made me think about time. So many people blame failed relationships on “timing”—oh it just wasn’t the right time. But for us to say that, is also us ignoring fate. The right person will come at only the right time. If that makes any sense.

    Anyway, time alone is difficult, but I think it will help you. I find that actually scheduling things to do alone helps make me feel busy—seeing a movie alone, planning to read at a coffee shop, planning a girls’ night, etc.

    You made the right decision, and I’m ready to follow your new journey!

    -Lucky

    • December 12, 2010 1:39 pm

      Lucky,
      I’ve never been much one for fate – I’ve always liked to think that I had full control of my future and my decisions were all that impacted me. After this past year, I’m starting to feel a little more open to leaving things up to the universe a bit. If it’s meant to be with Chef… it just will. A few months of me spending some time paying attention to myself isn’t going to change that. I have to believe that, it helps me get through this.

      It seems that both you and me will know when we’re ready and dating won’t be such a hassle … hopefully neither of us have to deal with any more jerks. I like your idea about scheduling things to do by myself…but I gotta tell you, the thought of going to a movie or going to dinner by myself is daunting. I’m gong to have to work my way up to that :). But I definitely have been learning by your example – you are so strong!!

  3. Kelly permalink
    December 9, 2010 9:38 am

    I am proud of you for standing up to the issue the way you did; most people would not have done that and regreted it in the long run. I am sorry that you are once again hurting and that Chef is hurting. Hopefully things will work out for both of you weather together in the end or apart, things happen for a reason that we do not always see at the time. You have plenty of family and friends that are here for you when you need us.

  4. duke1959 permalink
    December 9, 2010 9:43 am

    There is a plan for you in your life. Right now you are in the middle of a forest but can’t see the trees. Remember there are all these expects about how you should live your life but they don’t have to live with the choices you make. Only you do.

    • December 12, 2010 1:41 pm

      Duke: Thanks for this comment. I do feel out of control right now and I can’t see the plan… it’s not evident in front of me the way it’s been in my past. I am struggling with that. But I’m trying to believe there’s a plan… I just can’t see it. There better be. Haha 🙂

  5. December 9, 2010 10:21 am

    2,590=Number of “adult days” I’ve been in a relationship.
    348=Number of “adult days” I’ve been single.

    I’m right there with you. I want to be single for a while. I don’t want to date. I would like friends…and I don’t mind if they’re male, but I don’t want to have to worry about that awkward I-want-in-your-pants kind of relationship. I just want to enjoy the single life, and when I’m ready, I’m ready. (I know I’ll get lonely, but that’s where friends come in handy.)

    Good Luck on your journey! I hope you find happiness…with yourself and, when you’re ready, with the right person.

    Keep your chin up, doll!
    –Kimmie

    • December 12, 2010 1:45 pm

      Kimmie: Thanks for you comment! I’m glad to hear there is someone in the same boat as me. I would love to have some real guy friends – but the problem with me is, they never stay plantonic. I’ve never once (in my whole life) had a guy friend that did not at some point in the friendship hit on me. It’s very frustrating!! And as far as loneliness, that’s the thing I am the most afraid of. I need to do a better job A: planning stuff so I don’t get lonely and B: surviving even when I do get lonely – just dealing with it. It’ll get easier – I’ve just never really had a chance to get used to it!

      Good luck to you too – it sounds like you know what you want, and that’s the first step to achieving happiness. Enjoy your single time!

  6. Nancy permalink
    December 9, 2010 10:42 am

    Simply Solo,

    I have no idea how I stumbled upon you blog, but I love it. I already follow way to many to name, partially because my job is dreadful and I love some good internet reading material. Every morning, I scroll through google reader and check yours first – I truly enjoy your postings.

    I like I like Simply Solo because it’s relate-able and partially because I wish I had the confidence and self-understanding to write about my trials and tribulations of dating. It’s like reading a chick flick without the mushy non-sense. While you’re on your sabbatical from dating, why not write about new found hobbies, things that make you happy and help you work on being simply solo for a while.

    I’m sure you’ll work it out.

    • December 12, 2010 1:47 pm

      Hi Nancy!

      I’m so happy you did stumble across my blog … however it happened! Thanks for the tips on what to write about during this time – I have a list of blog ideas that I think could be fun. I’m also trying to figure out a new hobby or challenge to take on. I’m actually thinking of taking a creative writing class in the new year – that could be a lot of fun!

      Thanks for reading (and commenting), and take care! Hopefully your job gets better 🙂

  7. December 9, 2010 11:02 am

    When I called off my engagement, I spoke with the priest who was to marry us (this was a day after I spoke to another priest who told me I was a sinner for living with my FI before marriage), and he shared some words that have stuck with me. He said ‘Listening to what the Lord has to say isn’t always easy. Sometimes you have to just get out of God’s way and let God work.’

    Again, you don’t have to be religious to get this. It’s about patience and about trust. It’s trusting yourself that there is something greater out there and there is a bigger plan for you.

    No, it doesn’t ease the pain you are feeling now, but in time it will all make sense. If you and Chef are meant to be, you’ll be ready to be with him and he will with you.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Chin up.

    • December 12, 2010 1:49 pm

      KD: Thanks for your comment and for sharing your priest’s advice. I’m definitely going to keep it in mind, and working on the chin up piece as well. It’s been a rough week but it should only get better from here on out! I’m sending good thoughts your way too – I can imagine that this is a rough time for you as well, and I know things will be looking up for you soon too!

  8. Chad permalink
    December 9, 2010 11:05 am

    You are incredible. You’re maturity at your age is amazing. Not many people at any age could have backed away from a great rebound guy, but you saw the reality that Chef was the rebound guy. I’m sad for Chef too, but I’m guessing he knew the dangers of your situation.

    • December 12, 2010 1:53 pm

      Chad –
      Thank you for your comment. Gosh, hearing the word “rebound” is hard because I never wanted Chef to be my “rebound.” It seems like such a mean word – like when someone uses that word, they are devaluing the “rebound” person so much. I think you are right, Chef knew what he was getting into in a way, but I think he’s also dissapointed in the way this has turned out. For me, I’m not saying I never want to be with him again. I just don’t feel comfortable giving him everything right now – I don’t think I can. But maybe in the future he won’t be a rebound. Only time will tell.
      As always, thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate your support!!

  9. December 9, 2010 11:06 am

    Catherine, I am truly sorry to read about the break-up, but really do believe that everyone needs to find out who they are… as their own person… living their own life… alone. It’s how we discover our true selves. It’s hard being alone, hell I’m an expert on it, but I do think that all that time spent alone and not in a relationship has molded me into the person I am. I am confident that you will figure out YOUR path in life and it will lead to your happiness (and ultimately the right person, though finding your true self is most important). You are super strong, have a great support system and if things feel bad, you know you can lean on all of us!

    I can’t wait to follow you on this journey.

    xoxo,
    Amy

    • December 12, 2010 1:56 pm

      Thanks, Amy. Being alone is a scary proposition for me, considering I’ve never really done it. In a way, I don’t even know what being “alone” means. Chef and I have continued to stay in touch, and part of me feels like I’m breaking the “alone” rules or something. I just really care about him and genuinely want to know what’s going on in his life. I’ll figure out what all this means moving forward – but I’ve already spent this past week reflecting on the past year and thinking about what I want in my life. We’ll see where all of this takes me.
      Appreciate your reading and commenting – and love hearing how well things have been going for you!!

  10. December 9, 2010 12:00 pm

    Love this post. You got me to calculate my single days…
    572, dating or married = 5179
    As with you, 206 of those days single were from my birthday until the end of my high school senior year and that summer before college. Any “alone” time in my 4 years at college still involved guys… just not anything I’d categorize as relationships or even dating. At a minimum, I was never alone – I always had roommates in college – some designated and some chosen and even before graduation, I was already moved in with the man who became my husband and still is.
    Although I love my husband and we’re still together, 11 years later and now with a son, I am actually a little jealous of your journey to simply be alone. Sometimes I regret that I never got to live on my own. To have that chance to truly get to know yourself outside of someone or something else.
    Yet, I’m kind of doing that now, but in a different way… I’d been working even before I was 18 all the way up to when I was 31… always having full-time work. Then I lost my job unexpectedly. With unemployment seemingly becoming the norm instead of the exception (due to crappy economy and the competitiveness for fewer and fewer jobs), I get to experience who I am without a contributing paycheck, without feedback, without appreciation and that feeling of a job well done. It has been a whopper on my self-esteem and self-confidence and I feel like I need to get to know myself for the first time without this “crutch” that apparently a job was for me. Same can definitely be said about an ending relationship.
    I wish you luck on your journey… by the sense of your reflection in this post, you will do fine… more than fine and be a better person in the long run.

    • December 12, 2010 2:01 pm

      Gwen:
      Haha, love that you also figured your numbers out. I hope you used a quick date calculator online like I did – otherwise this could be some pretty complicated math!! 🙂

      I am in the same situation with my “alone” time including men. I’ve always either dated or been in a relationship. I’ve always been on some sort of quest for love. I’ve never just stopped and just lived. I know you know what I mean.

      I’m sorry to hear about your losing your job. I can imagine that can really mess with your perceptions of yourself and even your self worth – especially if part of the way you defined yourself was your job and your career. I wish you the best of luck finding a new job that will fulfill you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the time to reflect and discover yourself. It sounds like you are willing to make the best out of it – and that’s all you really can do.

      Take care! Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing your story!

  11. Just Saying permalink
    December 9, 2010 1:48 pm

    I can not add anything the above readers haven’t already said.
    Proud of you, and sorry at the same time that you and Chef are hurting. Love isn’t easy.

    Kootos to you for having the courage to relearn about yourself now, and not following the pattern a lot of people take, cos they are afraid.

    Xo.

    • December 12, 2010 2:03 pm

      Just Saying: Thank you very much. I’m definitely trying to identify my patterns and work on them – and make sure I’m not doing things simply because it’s the way I’ve always done them. I appreciate your help!

  12. December 9, 2010 2:45 pm

    Whatever you do, you know you have your internet support group here with ya. 🙂

    Good luck….

  13. BeneathTheSpinLight permalink
    December 9, 2010 3:22 pm

    I’ve always been Chef in these situations. There comes a time when you realize the other person isn’t ready to be with you, and that moment sucks. Everything after that moment is tainted. Even if he hadn’t realized it yet, he eventually would have. It’s good that you realized your need to be single early, so you can still salvage a friendship with Chef and maybe, one day, start something with him again.
    You’ve been through a lot. You need some time to figure out what makes you happy before you start trying to make someone else happy again.

    P.S. If you stop blogging I'll be devastated.

    • December 12, 2010 2:05 pm

      Beneath: I know you have always been Chef in these situations. When I was reading some of your most recent blog posts, I felt like such a jerk. I was basically doing the same things to Chef that these guys have done to you. I think you are right though – I gotta learn how to make myself happy before I can work on making anyone else happy. And for years, I’ve relied on men to contribute to my happiness. It makes me feel almost incapable of doing it on my own. So I have to prove to myself that I can.
      You better not stop blogging either – I love following your blog as well! 🙂

      • BeneathTheSpinLight permalink
        December 12, 2010 2:41 pm

        You shouldn’t feel like a jerk! The most recent guys I was with (The Musician and The One Who Got Away, but definitely not The Infatuation) started things with good intentions. In that respect, you were similar to them. You went with things because when a good thing presents itself, it seems almost wrong to turn away from it, even if you aren’t 100% ready for what it could turn into. You tried and realized you weren’t ready. In my eyes, that’s better than not trying at all and wondering what could’ve happened. That’s more like torture than nobility.
        As much as being the Chef sucks, every time I walk into one of these situations I realize that I’ve lived my life completely unattached from a relationship (though clearly not unattached from emotion) and try to understand that puts me at a slight advantage in some respects. I’m more apt to “go with the flow” and see where something goes, which I couldn’t do if I were the one getting out of a long-term relationship.
        Chef knew that there was a very large chance that you wouldn’t be ready. If he didn’t voice it, he probably felt it. It’s unavoidable. You’ve been very open and honest with him and I’m assuming you’ll be keeping the lines of communication open. That’s crucial. The only guy who left me severely broken was The Boy From Last Semester… because he cut ties completely. That’s a hard thing to accept and it left me with too many questions. Was I just a rebound? Did he actually mean everything he told me? Did he have good intentions? These are the things that keep a girl up at night.

        • December 12, 2010 3:01 pm

          Beneath: Thanks again for your thoughts on this. I feel like I learn so much from you, because your experience is so unlike mine. I think you are right, I’ve always been honest with Chef. And we’re definitely keeping the lines of communications open – I can’t imagine completely cutting Chef from my life. He’s such a great guy and I just fundamentally want to know what’s happening in his life and how things are going from him. And, I don’t want him to feel like I used him or that what we had wasn’t real and important to me. I’m afraid that if we just stop talking all together, he’ll think he didn’t mean anything to me. Right now, I’m honestly struggling with the balance of how much we should talk, what we should talk about, etc… but I think it’ll get easier and boundaries are set a little more clearly. I almost envy your “go with the flow” attitude because I’ve never ever been that way. Not in a relationship and not in life. I’m trying hard to be more laid back, but it’s not something that comes easily to me – I’m pretty high strung.
          I guess I am happy I gave this a try, because I did have a wonderful time with Chef and he reminded me that there are good men out there. That’s a huge feat in itself. I’m not sure if he would agree that he’s happy we got this far… because it just makes it hurt that much more. Hopefully, maybe, we’ll have another go at this at a time in the future.

  14. Nikki permalink
    December 9, 2010 3:38 pm

    I…just…feel…sad :o(

    • Nikki permalink
      December 9, 2010 3:39 pm

      Ok- the huge smiley was supposed to be this 😦

    • December 12, 2010 2:06 pm

      Nikki,
      You and me both. Rough week. Will get better.

  15. December 9, 2010 4:11 pm

    I just want you to know that I appreciate every post that you write. Thanks for sharing so much with us. I’m sorry that you are hurting, but I am proud of you for putting yourself first.

    • December 12, 2010 2:07 pm

      TL: Thank you very much. Not always easy to put this stuff out there – it almost makes me too accountable. You know? But I want to try and put myself first – for the first time in my life, really. I appreciate your reading and commenting.

  16. December 9, 2010 4:18 pm

    I think I’m the opposite of you, I’ve had approx. 5110 adult days not in a relationship and 1095 adult days in one. Not a good record for sure. And here I sit, back on the bench, no interest in dating anyone. But, ultimately, what I’ve learned this time around on the bench has been eye opening. I’ve learned that if I never get married, never fall in love, never have what others think is important but isn’t to me, it’s okay. What matters at the end of the day is my happiness. And I’m okay right now. I’m happier alone working on other things than looking for something in the wrong people.

    If Chef wasn’t right for you for whatever reason, you did the right thing. I always think it’s healthier emotionally for everyone to spend some quality time alone finding out who they are without the codependency of a relationship. You will come out the other side so much more happy with which ever direction your life goes.

    • December 12, 2010 2:09 pm

      Vendetta,
      “I’m happier alone working on other things than looking for something in the wrong people.” That is so moving. That fact that you have realized that, after all you’ve been through, is so amazing. You seem to be really happy with yourself, and I think that will be so attractive to the right person for you. But like you said, if that doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world. You are an inspiration 🙂

  17. December 9, 2010 4:37 pm

    Oh Catherine, my heart goes out to you today. It was so brave of you to realize that you needed to be single, when it would have been so easy to stay with Chef just because he was head over heels for you. YOU ARE SO BRAVE! Lots of love to you from Minnesota 🙂

    • December 12, 2010 2:12 pm

      Maggie,
      Thanks for your comment. You hit it right on – it would have been much easier to continue as we were going. He treated me so wonderfully and made me feel so special – it’s hard to give that up. It’s hard even now that the decision is officially made, but still desiring that attention and love from him. It’s just rough. It’ll get better. Thanks for the Minnesota love – I’m sending you some warmth from VA – I bet it’s getting cold there!! 🙂

  18. December 9, 2010 4:53 pm

    I agree with all of the earlier commenters writing that you’re very brave to be taking this step, and from what you’ve writen it sounds like it’s the right step for you at this time. It won’t be easy at times but hopefully it’ll be really valuable in the long run. I plan to remain an avid reader of your blog whatever you choose to write about!

    • December 12, 2010 2:14 pm

      Thank you, Matt! Appreciate it. I’ve been going back and forth all week on my decision (I never trust my own decisions – hell, I order food at a restaurant and always wonder if I should have ordered something else), but I feel like the fact that I had any inclination to make this decision says a lot. Even if I do miss him – a ton. I appreciate your always reading and commenting – and soooo happy your blog is going again!

  19. December 9, 2010 4:56 pm

    I think you are smart and brave and are doing the right thing. When my marriage ended, I came up with a declaration of self-imposed exile from any relationship for two years. Two months later, I was in one, and you know what? I just wasn’t ready yet. I needed a period of alone time to discover myself – to figure out who I was, what I wanted, and where I was going. It wasn’t easy; I was often lonely and frustrated, but in the end, it helped to shape the person I am today.

    And by way of encouragement, the woman I was seeing way back then, before I was ready? We’re together now, and happy. The truth is, if something is meant to be, it will be. Plain and simple.

    Good luck…and don’t you dare stop blogging!

    • December 12, 2010 2:15 pm

      Mark,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s really good to hear on my end someone who has gone through something similar. I’m so much trying to believe that if things are meant to be, they will be. Makes it easier to get through rough times 🙂

  20. December 9, 2010 7:12 pm

    It sounds like you made a mature and very unselfish decision, Catherine. Recognizing that something wasn’t quite right–and facing it–is far kinder than allowing the relationship to deepen and become more committed.

    Just give yourself time, and be kind to yourself.

    • December 12, 2010 2:16 pm

      Hi Maura, Thank you so much. I was just so afraid of going much further into the relationship and hurting him even more. I appreciate your support.

  21. Kevin StepDad permalink
    December 9, 2010 7:39 pm

    I have always been proud to call you my youngest Daughter and now I can say how proud I am of the young woman you have grown up to be, you are an insperation to so many people who are at the same point in their relationship and not sure how to or if they can survive day to day life after the long relationship ends but you give them hope. The day will come when you love yourself as much as I love you than I know you will find yourself in a loving relationship that will last forever.

    • December 12, 2010 2:17 pm

      Aww, Kevin. I love you so much! You’ve been an amazing father to me and I can’t say how much you and Mom have helped me. I just hope to repay you someday!

  22. December 9, 2010 8:16 pm

    (((hugs)))

  23. December 9, 2010 8:54 pm

    When I read the first paragraphs of your blog, I felt sad for you for a moment (and also at the same time sad for myself). We’ve had such opposite experiences. I think our numbers for “single days” would be reversed – as I’m always single.

    And my memories of years gone by are not defined by men (altnhough they often play a role) but rather by the country I was living in, the job I was doing, the outfit I was wearing. And while I often feel lonely, I feel proud of my independance and a bit sad for women who have never understood what it’s like to be alone and learn to put yourself and love yourself first.

    And when I read that you had broken up with Chef, I felt sad for you but also glad at the same time. I’ve been following your blog for awhile now and it seems that although you care about Chef, you continue to doubt that you are ready. And I truly believe that relationships are as much about timing as they are about anything else.

    And it’s great that you are mature enough to know that you need to learn to figure out yourself before you are ready for someone else and that’s awesome. I totally support you. And I’m so glad you are not going to stop blogging.

    And I also don’t think that you should give up on men totally. Flirt, have fun, do whatever you want. That’s what’s important – DOING WHAT YOU WANT. And I know it’s such a cliche… but if it’s really meant to be with Chef, it will be. But I’m so glad that you are mature enough and respectful enough not to string him along.

    Huge to you Catherine! I’m totally rooting for you!

    • December 10, 2010 1:07 am

      I totally agree with this mysterious woman. And I think what you did was brave and smart.

      And you talk about not knowing what you’re going to blog now. What about blogging about being Simply Solo. Really going it alone. Just living alone can be a crazy experience. Living the way you want to without having to compromise or coexist. Just worry about Catherine and what she wants to do right now. Have fun. And be selfish! 😉

      • December 12, 2010 2:26 pm

        Mandy,
        Thanks for the comment. Permission to be selfish? I’ll take it anyday!! 🙂 You are right, there are some things that are unique to living alone and being alone that I could blog about. I have some ideas, and looking forward to it. I imagine you are probably trying to figure out what you want to blog about next, now that your grand experiment is over. I wish you luck too – just let me know where to go to read it 🙂

    • December 12, 2010 2:21 pm

      International: Thanks so much for your comment. I sort of envy your experience – learning who you were while single, traveling, experiencing so many different people, places and cultures. I think you are so much a different (and probably better) person because of those unique life experiences. I think those life experiences will be what get you ready for the person you are supposed to be with.

      Love the advice on the flirting. Thing is, I’m such a flirt by nature. Would be kind of hard to turn that off anyway. haha. But, I’m just so sick of focusing my energies and thoughts on men and what they think about me, will they call, will they like this outfit, wonder what they are thinking? It’s all too much. I think it will be nice for awhile to just worry about what I think and how I feel.

      • December 12, 2010 7:14 pm

        I’m totally with you on the thinking about yourself for awhile. I’m pretty down on men right now… I had a bad experience with a colleauge who has a girlfriend (I know – epic fail on the professionalism) front and I feel pretty roughed up from it… I was vuneralbe after just moving back and all. I haven’t really blogged about it because I don’t want people at work to read it. So, I’m going to be in the same boat as you. Trying to focus on myself and not on men for awhile. Can’t wait to see how it works out – for the both of us. 🙂

        • December 14, 2010 9:54 pm

          International: I’m sorry to hear about the bad experience you had recently. I bet it has been tough for you with the move and I can imagine the stress of that could make even the most rational person do things they might regret… It’s hard having such a major life change. Take care of yourself and let me know if you need anything! Enjoy your mancation 🙂

  24. December 9, 2010 11:11 pm

    Sounds like you are doing the right thing–never anything wrong with taking some time alone to reflect.

  25. Claudia permalink
    December 10, 2010 12:08 am

    As someone who’s been (and currently is sadly enough) on the other side of this situation, I’m so happy to read that there are in fact people mature enough to do the right thing.

    There was a really good line in this week’s episode of Being Erica (very good Canadian show, highly recommended especially now): I’d rather live and try and fail, than give up.

    Being in a relationship when you aren’t ready and stringing the other person along is giving up on yourself. Give yourself the time you need to heal and also the time to learn about what makes you happy.

    When you are ready, you’ll know.

    • December 12, 2010 2:24 pm

      Claudia,
      Haha, I was hoping you would comment. Because I know you’ve been saying this since September’s Falling post that was Freshly Pressed. I guess I just wasn’t ready to entirely admit it to myself. But I think this time will be good for me… not sure exactly what it will include yet, or how long, it’s all sort of up in the air. But it can’t hurt, right?
      I LOVE Being Erica. I used to get it on Soap Opera Network, but I don’t get that channel anymore. That should is so poignant and funny … I love it and admire you Canadians who get to watch it!
      Thanks for your comment and for reading 🙂

  26. Lost in France permalink
    December 10, 2010 4:39 am

    Thanks for sharing these deeply personal thoughts with us.
    It is times like Christmas and birthday that always get us thinking back over past years, and considering are current status in life.

    I can not imagine how hard it must have been to be so close to being married and for all that to be taken away.

    A scar like take will take time to recover from.

    I can see what a bold move it is for you to walk away from chef, after having read the way you feel about him and he about you. But to be fair to both of you, it is importnat that you get your mind straight and you truely do purge yourself of the Ex.

    I wish you luck with your journey, and am glad to hear that you will be continuing with the blog.

    Only you can know what the right path is for you, and I hope you continue to be strong enough and brave enough to follow it.

    • December 12, 2010 2:29 pm

      Lost:
      Thanks for the comment. It’s funny that you mention birthdays too, because I have one of those coming up soon. That, coupled with the holidays, does add to my desire for reflection. I’ve been struggling being HAPPY with my decision to leave Chef, because I miss him and find myself wanting to talk with him and find some way to keep that connection that we’ve built the past couple of months. I’m not sure what the answer is or how it’ll go in the coming months, but I’m hoping this time will help me get over everything. You are right, what I’ve been through was very hard. I even forget sometimes, until it sneaks up on me. I can’t wait for the day to feel healed.

  27. December 10, 2010 8:39 am

    Catherine,

    I admire you! You should be proud of yourself, for you are doing that most difficult and important of things, which is being honest with yourself, and with others. I admire you all the more for the openness of this honesty.

    Self-honesty is fundamental to self love and ultimately to a happy life. It is also a real reflection of personal maturity and growth. You may not count your adulthood large in the count of years, yet your words speak of a maturity and an understanding of yourself that few achieve.

    I love the sanity of your analysis; we count many things in life, yet rarely do we count the time that we spend with our own self, which has to be one of, if not the, the most valuable aspects of our time here. At the end of the day our own life matter most to each and every one of of us, not someone else, however much we love them or they love us.

    Yet we spent so little time getting to know our own self. Indeed most of us spend most of our time either ignoring or actively running away from our selves; we focus on our work, we immerse ourselves in our relationships, our partners, lovers, friends, our pastimes, allow ourselves to be distracted and drugged by food, drink, TV, our house, our car, our possessions; we fill our time up and distract ourselves so that we forget who we are, the sound of our own voice, sometimes even that we have our own existence.

    I find the way that many people take vacations away from home interesting; they rush around to do everything the need to do before they go, they go, and get there wanting to forget their normal, real, life for a short while, wishing their life was different, and then return to find everything unchanged.

    We are not here to live others’ lives, or our life for others; we are here to live our own life to our own satisfaction.

    Time to ourselves, time alone, listening to our own voice, is essential to understanding ourselves and also essential to learning to love ourselves. Loving our self, being selfish, is a pre-requisite to being happy and being able to truly love and bring joy to another.

    Axx

    • December 12, 2010 2:42 pm

      Axx, Thanks so much. You put this more eloquently than I have been able to explain it. I’ve had people tell me that they believe I’ve made a mistake basically letting Chef go – that I don’t need to do the work to love myself, that they think I love myself “enough.” How does one love themselves “enough”?? You either love yourself or you don’t. There is no enough about it. I’ve never really completely loved myself – especially the way I look. So that’s something I want to focus on in the coming days, weeks and months.
      I appreciate your support and your ever-so-eloquent comments!

  28. Lizz permalink
    December 10, 2010 11:48 am

    Catherine- I have been reading your blog for quite some time now and never commented before until I read this post and must. I know a lot of people have said that they understand where you are— and its so strange to read someone’s words and totally GET it. I’m (27), a serial monogamist myself. Was with someone for 3 years, bought a house, the whole 9 yards. I was sold on him. He was not. It’s been a year. In that year I met someone amazing (a week after I bought and renovated a new condo, started a new job, new life) we dated for 7 months. He was sold on me. I was not. Even though I deeply cared for him, and had dated other ppl in between, for some reason… I just couldn’t get there. ONLY because I was not ready. 3 weeks ago we broke it off. And now, once again alone I fear I lost someone that truly cared. It’s scary… But I can only hope that everything will pan out. Enjoy this time, deepen your friendships, let yourself have sad and happy days. That’s all we can do. thank you for writing this post.

    • December 12, 2010 2:32 pm

      Lizz,
      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m so happy that this post resonated with you, it does sound like you’ve been going through something very similar. I appreciate you sharing your story. I think it was brave of you to end things with the recent guy when you realized you weren’t ready. I have to believe that things will pan out, as you said. I agree, the fear of losing someone who cares for you is really scary. I just have to remind myself that it’s not lost forever…. and I will find it again (as will you). Sending good thoughts your way!

  29. December 10, 2010 3:22 pm

    Catherine,

    I didn’t read through the other comments yet, so I apologize if I’m repetitive. I just wanted to say that it’s wonderful you’re really being honest with yourself about how you feel. I’ve always been a reader of subtext, and I guess I was never fully convinced (maybe it was the “tone” of your writing?) that you were ready for the Chef relationship. I might’ve even said it in that first Freshly Pressed post I read of yours – “You can’t go forcing something if it’s just not right.” Green Day said that. 🙂

    Speaking of Green Day, you should definitely get some girlfriends together and go see a concert! I think I’m going to road trip it down to Texas (I live in NC) in April to meet up with a girlfriend and see a band we both love. Music you like – especially when heard LIVE – is a soul-healer. Trust me on this. AND please do me a favor and look up the song “Melody” by Kate Earl on Youtube. It will make you feel better.

    I can relate so much to the things you said about getting into a serious relationship and staying in it for so long that you’re not even sure who you are without it. Did you even let yourself become “yourself” before your Ex? Well now’s your chance to find out. I’m wishing you the best of luck, and I know you will be okay!

    Katie

    • December 12, 2010 2:36 pm

      Thank you, Katie! You definitely did say you didn’t think I was ready back in September in the Freshly Pressed post. And part of me agreed with you then, I just hoped that the doubts would go away because Chef was so wonderful.

      Now, your idea about going to a concert is a good one, especially considering I’ve only ever been to one concert! Lol. And I’m off to check out that song – thanks for the suggestion 🙂

      Appreciate your reading and commenting, and your supportive words. Means a lot to me!

  30. eternallyemo permalink
    December 10, 2010 10:46 pm

    I read this over carefully, because I immediately identified with Chef.

    Once upon a time I was the rebound, the nice guy a great girl wasn’t ready for. Fiona had been with her fiancee Marc for six years when he left her. He wasn’t exactly her whole world, but once he broke off the engagement… her life was ripped apart at the seams.

    Fiona’s mother was dying of cancer and she had held it together pretty well up to that point. She had always been a very strong, stable person… but once Marc left she just could not cope. Her life spiralled out of control. She was a mess.

    And that’s when I came along.

    At first I didn’t want to date Fiona. We connected so well right from the start, and she was very attractive… but I didn’t want to rush into anything. I knew that I was a welcome diversion from all the heartbreak in her life, so I tried to be the best platonic friend I could be.But she needed more from me and made the first move. I just couldn’t resist her and I was amazed that she thought I was the guy to get her over Marc. Only she wasn’t over him at all.

    I was 100% focused on her and she knew it. Some days she tried hard to reciprocate, some days she just blew me off without warning. We fought constantly because I was trying so hard to help her move on (and to give us a real chance) but she just wasn’t ready.

    When her mother died, our problems just intensified b/c our relationship wasn’t built on a solid foundation. To put it bluntly, she used me when she needed me, but wasn’t capable of being an equal partner. We broke up three times that year. She ended the relationship for good; I ended the friendship.

    And it didn’t have to be that way if she had only realized the same things you’re realizing now: getting in a relationship before you’re ready is a recipe for disaster. Inevitably someone will get hurt.

    I probably could have been more understanding, and less selfish, so maybe I didn’t handle things as maturely as Chef. But while I can see things from his side, I also see your perspective reflected in my very long story ( 😉 )

    It’s great to have someone who loves you and supports you when you need them. And it’s understandable that you feel bad about breaking up with him. But it was the right thing to do. Give yourself time to regroup. As someone who has been on the other side can tell you… Sometimes you just need some “you” time.
    Don’t be afraid to take all that you need!

    • December 12, 2010 2:48 pm

      Eternallyemo: Thank you so much for sharing this story. It’s interesting to hear it from your perspective, and it sounds like what you went through with Fiona was pretty hard. But it seems to me you helped her get through a really hard time, so while it hurt you in the process, at least you know that you helped another human being go through something very challenging.

      There were times that I felt myself picking fights which Chef, so I’d have a reason to feel so uncertain on my feelings about our relationship. I found myself unwilling to make plans for the future, which made me feel so guilty. I knew these were signs I wasn’t ready, and I just don’t want to be responsible for stringing him along for however long that would happen. I want to get things right with me, so that if we do have another chance, it’ll be more likely to be sucessful. I would hate to do to Chef some of the same things Fiona did to you – but I have this strange feeling that I am capable of it.

      I appreciate your thoughts on this, and your support. It’ll all work out in the end!

  31. December 10, 2010 10:47 pm

    We are there for you. How about blogging every day about one thing that felt wonderful for you that day? It could be one sentence or a whole page, but reflecting on what feels good makes you think and appreciate – and then the feelings grow.

    You are ready to be alone. That’s why you made the choice. Trust yourself.

    • December 12, 2010 2:38 pm

      Workingtechmom: Thanks for your comment. I think your idea is a good one – actually, I’ve been trying to do it not in blogging, but just thinking at the end of the day what I loved about that day. This lady I work with spends time before she goes to bed at night thinking about all the things that brought her joy during that day, and it definitely contributes to her appreciation of her own life. I’m hoping that will help me keep my spirits up, and some of that will be transferred here to the blog too.
      Thanks, also, for your last line. I can’t tell you how good that made me feel – it was like a feeling of calm came over me. I appreciate it.

      • December 12, 2010 11:31 pm

        I got shivers reading your response. Hang in there Catherine.

        I do a similar reflection every day as the lady you work with, but I do it on the way home from work as that is when I have time alone to think. It really is easy every day to think about the painful stuff..you need to train your brain to cherish the good stuff…hearing a song you love, a hot cup of coffee, someone opening the door for you when your hands were full, putting on warm gloves when it is chilly outside, and yes – your blog friends who are pulling for you. (in the good times too)

        • December 14, 2010 9:26 pm

          Workingtechmom: I think you are so right. I’ve spent a few days wallowing and focusing on the bad and sad stuff, and now I’m ready to try and be more positive. I really am very lucky for everything (and everyone) I have in my life and I would be incredibly stupid if I lost sight of that. Thanks so much for your advice!

  32. December 11, 2010 6:00 pm

    Sometimes, I think it’s best not to quantify things such as this in days, hours, or what have you. It usually ends up exacerbate the bad, and diminishes the good. People, as I always think… are there in certain moments of your life for a reason, whether it works out or not.

    Keep the good memories, and forgive the bad times. In the end it all works out, I promise 🙂

    Stay strong, grow stronger. There’s nothing more attractive to a good, strong man than an independent woman who understands herself. Go go go, you can do it!

    • December 12, 2010 2:51 pm

      Ladies Man: This is a nice way of looking at it, thank you for your support. I do think working to love myself and know myself better will definitely make me a more attractive and better partner. On the way to getting there…

  33. Joy permalink
    December 11, 2010 8:27 pm

    I am sad that you are hurting again or still but like others have said-you need to truly love you before you can truly love someone else. Take all the time you need and if chef is truly the 1 he will be waiting for you with open arms!

    • December 12, 2010 2:52 pm

      Joy,
      Thank you very much. I appreciate your kind words and your support. It has been a rough week but I know that I will survive. I made it through the last couple of months, so I know I can make it through almost anything! 🙂

  34. perpetuallysingleandsometimesokwithit permalink
    December 12, 2010 12:46 pm

    What you did (breaking it off when you did) took an incredible amount of courage and was the right thing for you to do for Chef. Even though he might not agree at this time. I find myself being a “chef”. At times I wish he would just do what you did for Chef, and for yourself. Someday it will be the time for you and you will both know it unequivocially. Thank you for sharing your journey. You help others in ways you don’t even realize.

    • December 12, 2010 2:54 pm

      Thank you very much… I’m sorry to hear that you find yourself like Chef at times. I wish that people would always be honest about their intentions and motives – would save for a lot of heart ache in the long run. I appreciate your reading and commenting. Good luck with being perpetually single – I’m working on being single at least for a little while, lol 🙂 I’m perpetually monogomous! haha

  35. Thaddeus Wilson permalink
    December 12, 2010 5:36 pm

    Catherine,

    I took the time to read through your blog and read the string that followed. I even took the time to comment on it thoughtfully, and the site erased my comment!!!!
    Sorry bloggers, I wish I could reconstruct it:o(
    If you want the skinny on what I wrote, just call me. I’m at 254-1042.

    Thaddeus

    P.S. How are those Gucci bag shoes??? ;O)

    • December 14, 2010 9:35 pm

      Lol Thaddeus! Sorry my blog deleted your comment. It happens sometimes. It was great to meet you…thanks for making our trip to the shop more interesting! And, I’ll never look at my shoes the same way again! Take care and Merry Christmas!

  36. Thaddeus Wilson permalink
    December 12, 2010 5:45 pm

    I took the time to read your blog and the string that followed. I even went the stretch to comment at length, but the site erased my comment:o(
    If you would like the rehashed skinny, just call me. Im at 254-1042.

    • Thaddeus Wilson permalink
      December 12, 2010 6:09 pm

      I didn’t think that the original blogs went through, so if you are seeing it in duplicate, just know that I am not crazy. Just a little ignorant!
      Since I’m cleaning up my record, HEllO all yall bloggers! :o)
      I was blessed today. I met Catherine this morning while she was on a hot date with her dad and older sister. The hot date was being dragged or conned into a small car repair and made to wait. After hearing the constant whining and complaining with smiles on their faces, I had to come out of the closet and admit before myself and them, that I liked them:o) They are a funny bunch. But let me tell yall something, Catherine has this way of saying, ” You will Look at my blog, MISTER!” So here I am:o)
      If you haven’t met her, she is quite a lovely gal. Catherine, I felt like I had known your fam for forever. Your Dad is a funny fellow, and your sister too. As for you, well, mmm, keep up the good work:oP

      Later On,
      Ms Gucci Bag Shoes,
      Thaddeus Bartholomew Wilson

      • December 14, 2010 9:48 pm

        Thanks, Thaddeus! You made the trip far more interesting…. And the right word is conned. We were totally conned into going on that trip to the car shop! Thanks for checking out the blog… I’ll do anything for new readers, including telling strangers about the blog while I’m out and about :). Thanks for humoring us and providing us with some conversation on an otherwise boring trip. Take care and I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

      • July 28, 2011 10:50 pm

        I know its been a while since this conversation was had but I am trying to find out if Mr Thaddeus Bartholomew Wilson spent anytime in the UK growing up? If so I may have gone to school with him and would like to say Hi.

  37. December 12, 2010 10:16 pm

    You are so much stronger and smarter than I. It probably hurts like a bi-y*tch right now, but it’s soooo much better to end it now, before the damage is irreparable.
    Sigh. That’s what I shoulda done when I started my newest relationship. I was still damaged goods, still finding my single legs, but it felt so good, so nice to be loved so deeply and truly, that I couldn’t say that I wasn’t ready to dive in head first. He was, and he did. And now we are reaping the consequences of jumping into something that neither of us was quite ready for.
    So bravo, and shoot me a line if you need moral support! 🙂

    • December 14, 2010 9:33 pm

      Beata: Thank you for your comment. I’m so sorry to hear that you are having a similar problem. It’s so hard when you want the love that is being offered to you, but you aren’t quite ready. It’s like you have to turn down a good thing… And never know if you’ll get the chance to get it back. I hope everything works out for you too… I’m also here if you need someone!! Take care of yourself 🙂

  38. December 13, 2010 11:38 am

    I’m so sorry Catherine but speaking from experience, this was the right thing to do! It’s always tougher to make the more difficult choice but I’m proud of you for doing it. Keep us updated!

    • December 14, 2010 9:19 pm

      Thank you, Darcy! I appreciate your support and your comment meant a lot to me.

  39. December 14, 2010 3:01 pm

    Catherine,
    I was truly shocked when I read that you and Chef broke up. I have nothing new to say that everyone above me hasn’t already said. But stay strong. You’ll be ready when you’re ready, and honestly it’s better you realized now then if you and Chef were even deeper into the relationship. I believe that everyone needs to know hwo to be “single” or be their own person, even for just a little while, before jumping into another relationship. And given your history you really should take this time and figure out who you are. It will be refreshing when you realize you’re ready.
    I can’t wait to hear about your journey, because you have so much more to come!

    Amanalynn

    • December 14, 2010 9:17 pm

      Amanalynn: Thank you so much for your comment and supporting words. It was a shock to my family as well. I’m definitely hoping that this is all for the best. I can’t wait for the day that I am ready for the love that Chef had to offer me…. Or someone else if it doesn’t end up being him.

  40. Keep Your Woman permalink
    December 16, 2010 1:30 pm

    Sounds like you simply don’t know how to NOT be with someone when you look at the facts. I think you did Chef right, not hurt him, by breaking it off, and not leading him further into a relationship and thinking there is something more, when it wasnt there. That’s the RESPONSIBLE thing to do. You know, responsibility, the thing most fail to own up to in their lives and relationships.

    I can tell that you’re on the right track in wanting to learn about yourself and find love for yourself. After all, how can you love someone else if you don’t love yourself?

    • December 19, 2010 2:44 pm

      Keep Your Woman: Thanks so much for your comment and support. I think your last line definitely says it all!

  41. December 16, 2010 9:09 pm

    Oh dear Catherine, I commend you for being so open and honest. It’s hard. I know. I was no where near you regarding time with the ex but I know what you mean. I too, wanted to jump into a relationship but when relationship status finally presented itself. I wanted to run away! The only relationship I can possibly handle is a long-distance one where I still have my time, space, and emotions. Everything is moving slowly and we don’t see each other every day, every week, or even once a month. Some days I really miss it just to have someone ya know? But I think those are the days when we’re supposed to reach out to someone other than ourselves-the friends, the family, the co-worker, etc. Hang in there, blogging is very therapeutic! Don’t give it up 🙂

    • December 19, 2010 3:57 pm

      Melanie,
      Definitely won’t be giving up blogging – it’s probably the most rewarding thing I’ve done for myself in years!! I hear what you are saying with having your own time, space, and emotions. Gosh, it does feel so good to do whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it. To just give myself time to be myself, for better or worse. I’m definitely taking the time to do that now, and I could see how a long distance relationship could lend itself to that as well. Thanks for your comment and support!

  42. January 7, 2011 7:30 pm

    Hey Catherine 🙂

    I don’t have time to read all the other comments (congrats btw! 93 I mean bloody hell lol!) so hope this point hasn’t been covered…but I have to ask…

    What is it that you want out of life (or more narrowly in a relationship?) oh wait…

    Sidebar: I think it’s a wonderfully good idea for you to be single and spend some time really getting to know yourself and what it is you want. I have a post coming up soon about this…so if you’re still reading lol keep your eyes peeled 😛

    But like I was saying…from your blog it seems you know all about what you want in a relationship in the broad sense. But those are the same things everybody wants. Everybody wants someone who makes them laugh, lets them cry, turns them on, get along with their family etc.etc.etc.

    But perhaps you could think about focusing this more. Maybe you won’t have the answers right away. But it’s something to think about. Because I’ve done this before. In a post (http://somethingshedated.blogspot.com/2010/12/im-retarded-for-you.html) and also just in convos with friends. And on one hand. For me. Humor is EVERYTHING. and I really mean that. For my other friends stability. honesty. etc. basically different things come first. Now it’s not that I don’t think people can have it all. But what does “all” look like for you, ya know. Because I know you cared about chef. And it seems like he had many things you loved. But (and this is no reflection on chef – I’m sure you’re wonderful sweetheart if you’re reading this) it kind of seems like he just wasn’t the one for you. Maybe not now. Maybe not ever. Just a thought. Hope you’re well 🙂

    • January 11, 2011 11:16 pm

      Something:
      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I know – tons of comments on this post! Means a lot to feel such support from mostly strangers 🙂
      I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for your post on being single… looking forward to it. I’ve got you in my Google Reader so I don’t think I’ll miss it.
      You are right – I have more general ideas of what I want in a partner/marriage, but I’ve never sat down and made a list of exactly what I want. It’s something I’m spending some time considering, however I think it’s important not to make this list so all ecompassing that no one person could fulfill it… or to put things on there that I THINK I mean, but I actually don’t when it comes down to it.
      As far as Chef – I don’t know about “the one for you.” I’m not sure if there is a “one for you.” I think that a lot of his great qualities I wasn’t able to adequately appreciate at the time because I was still so sad. I don’t know that I gave him credit where credit was due at some times. I can’t say he is the one… and I can’t say he isn’t. I just want to wait and see what happens, you know? I’ve lived my life planned out for so long, it’s nice (in a way but also scary) to not know what’s going to come next.
      Thanks again for your comments and for reading! Appreciate it!

  43. poets notes permalink
    January 27, 2011 9:18 am

    you should tell him not to wait, if it is love, it will happen and you wont lose it, it will just change. He will probably get frustrated waiting for you, and you may feel guilty about that, so its best just to close that part, and open a new chapter with him. If its love you will be together, no matter what. who ever you love. Its interesting reading it from a different side, i mean i decided not to date after my long term relationship, because i think the problem is, they can start to blur in to each one after and maybe you lose a part of yourself, when the point is to grow. It isn’t easy to see the other date, and do it so quickly but then you grow in to yourself and see that you don’t have to think about another, and you have time to get to know yourself. I think what you have done is good, and the right thing for you.

    • February 1, 2011 9:55 pm

      Poetsnotes: Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate your perspective. Especially what you said about how your relationships can seem to blur into one another… I totally see that. Thanks for putting it into words for me.

  44. duckgrad permalink
    June 15, 2011 12:55 pm

    Catherine,

    I just found your blog, and I find it fascinating. Honestly, I’m not sure why I started reading it… perhaps I’m looking for some personal understanding of my own… and, in some weird way I think you’ve helped me get some clarity. I feel like I’m chef… on steroids.

    It’s been 2.5 years since my divorce, and while trying to come to grips with the pain I met a wonderful woman that was going through many of the emotional lows I was going through. We were there for each other and it grew into a relationship that neither of us expected… I proposed on Valentines Day and because we’re both in our late 30’s we decided to start a family… a few weeks after the proposal my fiance ended our relationship and stated many of the same feelings you express. The problem… two weeks later we found out she is pregnant.

    And – now I’m grieving much more than the loss of somebody I consider my best friend, but now I fear that what should be the happiest time of my life is in peril. We’re communicating, but she’s determined to find herself again before she gets back into a relationship. I’m torn and frustrated, but I think I understand.

    I know this is random, but thank you.

    • June 23, 2011 9:30 pm

      duckgrad,

      Wow, that’s really tough. I can’t imagine what you are going through right now – all this uncertainty must really be clouding what is supposed to be a great time of your life. I am glad that my blog has provided some solace to you, although I am aware your situation is far more serious than mine. I am sending positive vibes your way and I really hope everything works out. Stop by sometime and let me know how things are going!

  45. August 16, 2011 8:56 pm

    thanks for replying Catherine, 6 months later reply, me that is, have been getting off the broken heart drug. 🙂 i have been working though my emotions, once all the anger was gone, it felt something like Jekyll and Hyde moment, which left my ex puzzling over how i could be so kind one moment and yet so horrible in words the next. well duh usually you still care and but you feel stupid for doing so. But luckily time passed and the time has moved on, and that helped a lot, almost like it never happened. and i suddenly thought about myself and my own happiness. and what i want. i am not waiting for my true love, as people talk about, why should anyone wait for love, when its all around us? what a waste of time and perfectly good energy. i like love, if love and i drunk, id take it out for a drink, and i can understand about how you feel about people taking your thoughts and ideas, i often felt i was being copied, but they copy you because your ideas are good, and they didnt think of them. I just started to find the actions a bore and stopped caring. Only focusing on what i wanted to share with people. In general what i always remember just about others peoples actions, you cant control them, but you can control your own. Even on the internet you sort one out legally. another would take their place. aka poetsnotes.

    • August 18, 2011 10:41 pm

      Lotusinthemud,
      Thanks for the update. I’m really glad to hear you are doing better and working through your loss. It’s a process, and sometimes you do things when experiencing heartbreak that you never thought you were capable of. You are so right too – you can only control yourself. Focus on that, and the rest should work out.
      Take care and hope to hear from you again sometime!

  46. September 22, 2011 8:53 pm

    Oh dear, something drew me to this post today. I remember reading it way back when, and it resonates with me right now.

    I thought I had done everything right: not jumped into anything too quickly, tried to discover who I was as a single girl. Yet, here I am, with a wonderful guy who cares about me, who I am not sure I can reciprocate those same feelings with. I fear I’ve gone too far, but am scared of letting go of someone who has been nothing but an enhancement in my life. Why can’t it just be like the sitcoms… where we just can glide from friends and relationship and back again like it’s no big deal?

    Any thoughts you have would be appreciated. And I thought things would get easier after my previous breakup!

    • September 24, 2011 9:24 pm

      Wow, KD, what you are saying is so many of the same things I said/thought during this time. I’m going to respond to your email tonight – sorry for the delay – I really hope you are feeling better. My biggest advice would be to follow your heart at all times…. if you aren’t ready, you simply aren’t ready.

  47. Whitney6 permalink
    August 20, 2012 2:01 pm

    I have been following your blog since breaking up with the guy I thought was “the one” (July 2011). It felt like it took forever to even consider dating someone, and now we’ve been together for about 3+ months. He reminds me of how you always talked about Chef. Today I went back to this entry because I am very close to breaking it off with the guy I’m with now. I still feel like I am not entirely ready, and I feel guilty for stringing him along while I continue to ‘figure things out’. Of course, it’s hard for me to admit this – even to myself – but I’m going to have to come clean with him because I’m to the point where I can’t stand to do it to him anymore. I am hopeful that after a little bit of distance and perspective I’ll have a better sense of what I need. Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know that it helped to go back and read this entry. We’re all on our own paths and even though it unnerves me to no end that it seems to be taking forever for me to move on. It made me feel better (and not so guilty…) because what I’m going through is normal. Thank you!

  48. Danica permalink
    September 30, 2012 1:02 am

    I just started reading your blog from the beginning. I broke up with my boyfriend of a year and a half 2 days ago. I loved him deeply and still do, but there were a lot of big things that I wanted in a relationship that I wasn’t getting from him. So the past few posts I’ve been reading, but thinking, “these will be nice when I’m a little further along, when I start dating, this blog has been mostly about dating, not being sad as I am now”. But this post really spoke to me. Those first, fresh, raw feelings after a breakup. And around the holidays too. I’m going to keep reading! Thanks!

    • September 30, 2012 12:00 pm

      Hi Danica,

      I’m sorry to hear what you are going through. I’m glad you found my blog and that it’s helping you at least a little. It’s possible that some of the guest posts will be helpful too, particularly under the Breakup Survival Guide page. I’m thinking about you and hope that you start feeling better soon 🙂

  49. andrew permalink
    January 17, 2015 6:32 am

    Dear Catherine, I just discovered your blog today looking for breakup survival stories. When I finisihed reading your post I couldn’t believe that I am “Chef” in my story, and you are indeed my exboyfriend. When we first got together he has recently come out of a 4-year relationship and after 5 months, where I feel in love completely with him, he broke up with me citing exactly the same reasons as you did. He wasn’t ready and even if he thought I was amazing and he had feelings for me, he just needed time. I had such a hard time and felt such pain since I couldn’t understand why wouldn’t he let himself go and just stay with me. Still today I’m grieving, and I never loved anyone like I love him, exactly like Chef told you. Sometimes I think timimg is a bitch, but I also believe that we met when we met for a reason, had us meet early and he would’ve been in a realtionship and nothing would’ve happened. I’m glad to read your perspective since I had a hard time understanding the place he was coming from. I woud love if in the future we can reunite and be together, as I hold no grudges and I really think he’s amazing. At the same time what you say it’s true, sometimes we need to be with someone that is really to give everything back, and he certainly wasn’t ready.

    Do you regret letting Chef go? Did you still keep in touch? How did Chef cope with it? Did he try to win you back, or did he just wait silently?

    Thanks!!

  50. andrew l permalink
    January 17, 2015 6:36 am

    Dear Catherine, I just discovered your blog today looking for breakup survival stories. When I finisihed reading your post I couldn’t believe that I am “Chef” in my story, and you are indeed my exboyfriend. When we first got together he has recently come out of a 4-year relationship and after 5 months, where I feel in love completely with him, he broke up with me citing exactly the same reasons as you did. He wasn’t ready and even if he thought I was amazing and he had feelings for me, he just needed time. I had such a hard time and felt such pain since I couldn’t understand why wouldn’t he let himself go and just stay with me. Still today I’m grieving, and I never loved anyone like I love him, exactly like Chef told you. Sometimes I think timimg is a bitch, but I also believe that we met when we met for a reason, had us meet early and he would’ve been in a realtionship and nothing would’ve happened. I’m glad to read your perspective since I had a hard time understanding the place he was coming from. I woud love if in the future we can reunite and be together, as I hold no grudges and I really think he’s amazing. At the same time what you say it’s true, sometimes we need to be with someone that is really to give everything back, and he certainly wasn’t ready.

    Do you regret letting Chef go? Did you still keep in touch? How did Chef cope with it? Did he try to win you back, or did he just wait silently?

    Thanks for writing about it

  51. Shielah permalink
    April 29, 2015 2:38 am

    My boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me 2 months ago. whats worst is that its hard to move on because he is my workmate. and we have to work with one another every single day. He seems ok. he’s happy. I got the feeling that he already has someone else. seeing him everyday, its killing me. but i chose to stand up and put myself first. yes it hurts so much but i know i can do it. i believe i can make it. thank you for writing this. This is a great help. 😊

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