I’m a borderline serial dater. It started in college, once my fear that if I dated someone, they would fall in love and propose immediately went away. (I grew up very religious and saw that happen a LOT so don’t judge me, please.) Of course, that isn’t to say I haven’t had a few meaningful relationships peppered in between a lot of casual dating or companioning (a term I coined for when you aren’t dating someone romantically per se, but you make a good match for social events and other “plus-one” types of things so you just “companion” for awhile – dating sans romance).
(after the month has passed, you can detach the calendar and voila! a lovely print!)
Because of this, I have a lot of theoretical exes. In my younger years, I would just refer to anyone I had dated as an “ex” and not think twice about it because typically we didn’t remain friends exactly, but acquaintance seemed too formal and detached considering our history. So “ex” it was until yesterday. I was talking to a dear friend (who is in a serious, committed relationship but still holds wonderful advice for a dating nomad such as myself) and talking about past relationships. I mentioned something about being single for awhile, figuring out these next moves in my life without taking into account anyone else or how my actions would affect their lives (or vice versa). And then out came the little lightbulb : “The next person I am with deserves me, not the ex-girlfriend of __fill in the blank__.” I have long referred to myself or others in terms of past relationships. Referencing someone only as So-and-so’s ex-boyfriend, the guy that you-know-who dated last summer, etc. When did I become so focused on these titles? When did being someone’s ex suddenly have this mysterious power than no one on the other side possessed? After my lightbulb moment, Dear Friend had a some wise words, as she typically does: “Those experiences with past lovers are important, they make you who you are, but they are over, and what matters is the future, it is the only thing you can change, and it is the only direction to go…the future is what will make you happy.”
(a graphic designer I went to college with – although had I stumbled across these on my own, I would have posted anyways!)
So that’s going to be my New Year’s resolution. I don’t know that I have ever really made a serious NYE resolution before so this is new territory for me. This doesn’t mean I forget about the things I learned in past relationships. Sometimes men DO propose marriage to you after an entirely too short amount of time (you can say no!). Sometimes men hurt you, physically or psychologically (but they are NOT the majority, they are pieces of trash). Sometimes men hurt you, emotionally (but the good ones will do it with a kind heart and from a loving place). Sometimes men are the best friends in the world (and it’s perfectly okay to keep them as just that).
(pocket sized monthly calendars so you can look très chic when you need to check the date instead of très boring by using your phone)
So I’m going to buy a new calendar, delete some phone numbers I don’t need anymore and start the new year as Abby, maybe a little wiser but no one’s ex-girlfriend.
(ps. It’s a good thing I head down to New Orleans next week for work though. There are a few voodoo dolls I might pick up to use during the last few weeks of 2010) 🙂