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Friday Links, May 17

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“Even asleep, infidelity counts: Study finds dreams affect our relationship behaviour” [via The Windsor Star]

“I left the love of my life because I thought I could do better. Now I’m childless and alone at 42″ [via Daily Mail]

“Love Behind Bars: Why did a nice girl like me date an inmate?” [via Slate]

Loneliness can kill you [via The New Republic]

Related: “Shaking Off Loneliness” [via The New York Times]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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{ 64 comments… add one }

  • avatar HmC May 17, 2013, 1:24 pm

    RE: “I left the love of my life because I thought I could do better. Now I’m childless and alone at 42″ [via Daily Mail]

    This is hard to admit, but this is basically how I felt for years. I was with my ex from 18-26, dumped him for greener pastures, he’s an amazing person and was everything everyone wants in a guy- attentive, super smart, kind, committed, etc. Unlike that author, I pretty quickly wanted him back, but like her, he had someone else and wanted to be respectful to her, of course, so we had to stop talking. I felt like an idiot for a long time, and I think the whole experience has really informed my opinions surrounding this false notion that you’re just going to meet the exact right person at the exact right age. Sometimes you meet them young, and brainwashing everyone into thinking they should all be on the exact same timeline is crazy.

    Anyway, I’m in another happy relationship and I’m 10 years younger than the author so I’m not in the exact same spot is her. I’ve also made peace with my loss and learned a lot from it. But still, it may seem crazy to some but it nags me occasionally, 6 years later and him married and me in a relationship. I think the whole first love aspect of it is huge… does anyone really truly get over their first love?

  • iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson May 17, 2013, 1:29 pm

    Wow that “I left the love of my life because I thought I could do better” article is heartbreaking. It makes my stomach hurt.

    • avatar HmC May 17, 2013, 1:29 pm

      me too! (see above)

      • iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson May 17, 2013, 1:48 pm

        It’s so crazy to me that you really can’t predict your life. Maybe it’s just scary to me because I am such an optimistic person. So I never think that I won’t be happy and fulfilled and get everything I want in life if I work hard and prepare myself for it. But people can do all the right things (or what they think are the right things) and still not get their version of happily ever after. It’s really scary to me. And the thought of people being lonely makes me so sad. I worry about the older people in my life that I know that aren’t married and I just hope and pray that they’re happy and fulfilled and not like this lady, who is clearly missing out on something that she wishes life would have given her.

        • avatar HmC May 17, 2013, 1:55 pm

          Well I think part of the issue with her is that she is recently out of a 4 year relationship that failed.. that always puts a damper on one’s outlook. But I relate to her a lot, I have a hard time understanding how people can so instantly dislike an ex or move on to someone new. I think because my ex was just a super good person generally, so convincing myself he’s an ass did not feel genuine or helpful to me and I hear that helps people move on.

          But I think we do need to teach our kids that planning and preparing and working are important, but so is understanding that many things are out of our control and some people just happen to get lucky with some things and it doesn’t mean they’re better or worse than you. Sometimes shit will just hit the fan despite good intentions and good choices. And some people will fall ass backwards into awesome relationships despite breaking all the rules and being a trainwreck. That’s just how it goes. It’s scary, but I think it’s less scary if you learn that young and aren’t shocked by it as an adult.

          I’m naturally like you, I just always assumed things would work out splendidly for me. Maybe it’s the 80′s baby thing, or my parents specifically, but things came easy to me when I was younger and I got spoiled by that. Then the world was like, no HmC, you don’t actually get everything you want.

        • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 1:59 pm

          But people can do all the right things (or what they think are the right things) and still not get their version of happily ever after. It’s really scary to me.

          Oh man that is so scary. I’m not scared of ever being lonely though at least, although maybe I’m just naive to think that way.

          • iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson May 17, 2013, 2:01 pm

            That’s because you have the little minime. I need to get one of those to insure my happiness and scare off the loneliness. That’s the reason that you have kids right?

            • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 2:09 pm

              Apparently they leave you when they hit 18. And you’re not a good mom if you don’t let them go to college just to keep you company.

          • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 2:01 pm

            ps I read an article last night about the biggest risk you can take is not taking any risks. THAT scared the shit out of me because I really don’t like taking risks or change, at all. Terrifies me. I’ll try to find it and send it to you.

          • avatar bethany May 17, 2013, 2:33 pm

            I think the sooner you realize that life it’s fair, the easier it is to come to terms with. Shitty things happen to good people all the time. It’s sad, but it’s reality.

        • avatar ktfran May 17, 2013, 2:26 pm

          I didn’t read the article, so maybe I should, but . . .

          Over the years, my view of happily ever after has changed. My entire life, I wanted the wedding, then the house, then the kids and an awesome job. I had it all within my grasp and I threw it away and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I haven’t had a long, serious relationshop since I made that decision six years ago, but I rarely ever feel lonely. Granted, I’m only 33 and that might change.

          I would never, ever want someone to feel sorry for me if I’m 45 and still single without children.

          I think a key to being happy and fulfilled is adapting to change and learning that it’s ok not to have everyone else’s standard idea of the perfect life.

          • avatar ktfran May 17, 2013, 2:42 pm

            Alright, I started reading the article and I couldn barely get through it. I don’t really feel sad for her, I feel sorry for her that she hasn’t gotten over this and moved on.

            • dabbler dabbler May 17, 2013, 2:45 pm

              Yes. The one line about it being 11 years and just realizing the door is closed? 11 years.

              • Skyblossom Skyblossom May 18, 2013, 11:22 am

                I got the impression that she felt superior to him and assumed he was lucky to have her and she would always be his ultimate woman because of her being superior to the other women he might be able to find. The fact that he was able to move on and do fine without her was a gut punch and she has to face the fact that he didn’t wait around for her and isn’t pining after her and he can be completely happy without all the trappings of life she disdained him for not having.

            • avatar tinywormhole May 17, 2013, 7:54 pm

              I agree. The fact that she’s alone and sad at 42 is not because she left someone that long ago, it’s more to do with her actions since then. Her inability to make the last relationship work due to previous heartbreak, as she puts it, shows that she’s still letting her ongoing regret sabotage her life.

          • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 2:43 pm

            What was sad to me reading it was that she seems to have a fulfilled life in other ways. She says she’s got a dream job, great finances, great home in London. Sad that she’s not content with all of that.

            • Kate B. Kate B. May 17, 2013, 4:19 pm

              It made me sad because I can relate. I have a pretty good life, I think, but I don’t have anyone to share it with. That makes me sad sometimes. But, I don’t regret my life overall. Having to live with that regret must be hard.

              • Lindsay Lindsay May 17, 2013, 4:48 pm

                I’d phrase it more that she’s “choosing” to live with regret, really.

    • avatar lynn May 17, 2013, 2:36 pm

      I had a lump in my throat reading it IWTTS. :/

  • theattack theattack May 17, 2013, 1:33 pm

    The dreaming article is really interesting. I used to have nightmarish dreams of my now-husband being evil to me. He would say and do really mean things to me in my dreams a couple times a month, but our relationship was great in real life. For better or worse I always told him about the dreams because I can’t keep my mouth shut, and he usually apologized for what he did in the dream world and told me he would never do those things to me. Of course I wasn’t looking for an apology because that’s ridiculous, but I wonder how receiving apologies affects next day behavior. I don’t ever remember feeling angry at him, but a couple of times I felt insecure when the dreams involved other women, and those times I really wanted some extra affection.

    • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 2:19 pm

      I’ve had dreams about him cheating on me with my friends and was secretly mad the whole next day. Not mean to him or anything, but this underlying sense of mad I guess. Sounds crazy.

    • lemongrass Lemongrass May 17, 2013, 2:22 pm

      I’ve told my husband that I was pissed off at him because of something he did in a dream. I was joking of course, rationally I know I shouldn’t be mad but the feeling is still there a little bit. Sometimes it does have to do with what’s going on though. Last night I dreamt that mr. Grass forgot my birthday but really it was just leftover hurt that he shit the bed on Mother’s Day.

      • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 2:41 pm

        Mr.Grass shit the bed on mother’s day?

        • avatar lemongrass May 17, 2013, 3:03 pm

          Yeah, we were in his hometown so he could do a favour for his friend, staying at his parents house while they were gone, which I much prefer them to be there (his mom does everything!) I didn’t want to go on the trip but agreed. He told me that E would buy me a present but then E forgot. No card, no present. Wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if we were at home. I just wanted something to mark the occasion, being it my first. We ended up spending the day as a family though and that was nice. We went geocaching and to the town’s plant sale where his aunt gave me a card and our friend’s mom had a present for E.

          • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 4:11 pm

            Ok, so I’ve never heard that expression I guess. I thought you meant literally!! Then I guessed you meant E and not him. Here’s a quote I keep on my phone for being disappointed about your expectations: If husbands remembered everything, we wouldn’t need sisters and girlfriends, and that would just be sad.

    • Fabelle Fabelle May 17, 2013, 2:27 pm

      Yeah, I have dreams like this all the time. My boyfriend & I always tell each other though, so we can purse that little bit of “how dare dream-you!” before moving on.

      The most recent one I had involved us being at a party that was hosted by his “ex” (except she looked nothing like any of his exes, & in my mind, it was a completely new person who wasn’t so much an ex, but a past intense love/crush person that he’d had sex with?) He was walking around the house muttering about revenge, & I was mad because if he wanted revenge, that meant he wasn’t over her! He says something about finding his “stuff” that he left there, but when I go look for him, he’s rooting through the girl’s underwear drawer. I try to call him out, but he insists he’s not doing anything wrong.

      Then it’s “the next day” in the dream, & I’m on the phone with him? he’s all cold, & then when I try to bring up something about the party, he hangs up. I remember waking up SO MAD from that—not even about the “ex” shenanigans, but about the hanging up. I think he tried to cuddle me after that dream, & I sleepily pushed him or something, haha.

      Sorry, that was long! But yeah, I told him about that dream. I also tell him when ~I~ have sex dreams about other people (& he tells me, but he usually doesn’t have them)

      • Fabelle Fabelle May 17, 2013, 2:28 pm

        um *purge, not PURSE. Ugh. Also, I feel like my last line sounds all smug, but he honestly just doesn’t (usually) dream that way. His dreams are all video game-ish, with bad people & guns & zombies.

        • CatsMeow CatsMeow May 17, 2013, 4:55 pm

          I’ve noticed that a lot of guys seem to dream that way – more like a video game or action movie. (At least, those are the dreams guys are willing to tell me about).

      • theattack theattack May 17, 2013, 2:31 pm

        Wow, you tell him about sex dreams with other people?! That is so interesting that you’re that open with each other. Do you guys not get mad or jealous? How does that play out? Please tell me more. haha Obviously I know my SO has those dreams, but I could not handle hearing about them if they were real life people. I keep pestering him to tell me about his sex dreams about Ginger Spice from junior high, and he refuses to do it.

        • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 2:42 pm

          I tell him about sex dreams I have all the time, he’s always jealous. He never has them. Or he’s lying and cheats on me in his dreams all the time :)

        • Fabelle Fabelle May 17, 2013, 2:45 pm

          We usually take on a tone of “whoa, I dunno what craaaazy shit dream-me is doing, BUT…” Like, we don’t ~say~ that but it’s implied through tone & facial expression (if that makes sense??) Also, my sex dreams tend to be super weird & occurring during random points in my dream, so I’ll be narrating what happened earlier, & then switch into, “And then, uh, the crossing guard started ________ my _________…?” Or, “And then all of a sudden your dad was there, & he started groping me…it was kinda hot…?” (Which, yes, was a dream that actually happened)

          And (sorry this is getting long again, but I wanted to give one of his examples also) his sex dreams are usually less graphically about actual SEX, so it’ll be like “and then this naked girl was there & I was trying to get her number?” The one time he did have an explicit sex dream, he was all excited to tell me about it, haha.

          But yeah, anyway, I think what helps is that we can both remember a LOT of detail in our dreams, so the telling of it isn’t so much “sexy”, it’s just as weird as dreams usually are? Basically, if one of us was like, “Oh, so I had the HOTTEST sex dream last night…” it would be more upsetting.

        • avatar lemongrass May 17, 2013, 3:05 pm

          I tell Mr. Grass about sex dreams I’ve had about other people. He is not the jealous type.

          • theattack theattack May 17, 2013, 3:17 pm

            For me it’s not so much jealousy as it is not being able to get the picture out of my head, which then sickens me from seeing it for too long. Or maybe that’s jealousy too, I don’t know. I just visualize things a lot, so I don’t even want to know who he’s had sex with. The information doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the image.

  • dabbler dabbler May 17, 2013, 2:43 pm

    That “I walked away…” one really frustrated me, because I feel like I could’ve been the guy in the story.
    He didn’t want me, but he couldn’t let me go. He loved me, but he proposed to the bipolar chick that treated him like trash and demanded he buy her a car within the first few months of knowing each other.
    We had everything he said he wanted, but he just wanted it in a better/prettier/more exciting package. Or something. I don’t know, I still don’t really get it.
    I feel for her, I do. I’m sorry she’s sad. But at the same time, I kinda want to shake the shit out of these people for the damage they’ve done to their partners/ex’s. yeah, she has to live with the consequences of her choices, but so does he. You move on, but does it ever really heal?

    Side note, I get what the point she’s making, but I wish she’d used a better choice of words so that it doesn’t sound like she’s advocating to settle in any old boring relationship. There’s a difference between realizing every day won’t be puppies and rainbows, and staying in the wrong relationship so you’re not wondering what if in 20 years…

    • iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson May 17, 2013, 2:54 pm

      See I think she WAS saying though that you should learn to see the happiness when you have it. Direct quote – “To those out there thinking of walking away from humdrum relationships, I would say don’t mistake contentment for unhappiness, as I did. It could be a choice you’ll regret for the rest of your life.”

      • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 2:56 pm

        Don’t you feel like articles like that will just fuck with people’s heads? Someone who is in a failing relationship who SHOULD leave, might read something like this that will push them into staying when they shouldn’t. Ahhh. How do you know when its right? I wish people came with guarantees!

        • iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson May 17, 2013, 3:01 pm

          FINALLY. Thank you for letting this be about me. And YES I feel that way. Like fuck what if Ethan is my only shot at the life I want. I mean he’s not that bad. Sure he said some of the most fucked up things a human being has ever said to me, and intimidated me, and liked it – BUT he pays all my bills and blah blah blah.

          • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 3:59 pm

            This is exactly what I feared this article would do. :(

            • dabbler dabbler May 17, 2013, 4:20 pm

              Yes, this is the point I was *trying* to make.

            • iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson May 17, 2013, 4:24 pm

              Haha aw don’t feel sad for me. I’m okay. But yeah I am indecisive by nature… and like I mentioned before I feel like no matter what decision I make I’ll regret it… so I feel like if we do get divorced I’m going to have to be on operation replace him immediately. I can’t imagine regretting a decision for 11 years though. 11! She should have gone to therapy like day 1.

              • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 4:29 pm

                Yes, she should’ve. Listen to Taylor. She had great advice. Or listen to Taylor Swift :)

          • avatar Taylor May 17, 2013, 4:02 pm

            I think this –> “Sure he said some of the most fucked up things a human being has ever said to me, and intimidated me, and liked it” <– is a really really good reason not to be with someone!

            The Daily Mail article didn't ring entirely true to me – it seems like she has idealized this relationship in her mind for so so long. Also, it struck me that she was using it to reach out to him. This sounds cold amongst the other much nicer comments, but if she had written in DW a decade or so ago, it seems like she would have been told to MOA, work on herself etc. Can someone move on to a successful relationship when they are still attached to an ex like that?

        • avatar SasaLinna May 17, 2013, 5:27 pm

          OK, I’m a little drunk right now, but this article was f***king ridiculous. And yes, it’s going to fuck with people’s heads for sure. Don’t buy it. For starters, she only started regretting her choice to leave this guy when another relationship failed. She just got unlucky, or maybe chose the wrong guy after this relationship ended, and then somehow idealized this past relationship to the “love of her life”. Yes, I bet she’d be divorced right now if she hadn’t left him, and then she’d have written article whining about that. It’s always scary leaving someone good for the unknown – but honestly, you shouldn’t be with someone you have doubts about – doubts that are deep enough to cause you to actually make a decision to leave. It’s not fair to anyone. And yes, you have to take the risk to “end up” alone. That’s just how things are. There are no guarantees. But better free & alone than unhappily married, 1000 times.

          • iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson May 17, 2013, 5:31 pm

            Points for you for 1. Making me feel better, and 2. Bringing back drunk dwing. Why don’t we all do that anymore?

            • theattack theattack May 17, 2013, 5:38 pm

              Yet again I thought you said drunk driving.

              • avatar SasaLinna May 17, 2013, 5:40 pm

                I also read drunk driving and was kind of surprised because I can’t drive. Oh well.

      • dabbler dabbler May 17, 2013, 3:06 pm

        Right, I get that. I just think it could have been worded better. Humdrum might translate to boring and unfulfilling for one person, but settled, stable and fulfilling for another.
        Like the couple that used to be wild partiers back in the day, who now have kids and their idea of a wild night is staying up past 10, versus the couple you see out to dinner that ran out of things to talk about 7 years ago.

  • veritek33 veritek33 May 17, 2013, 2:56 pm

    Oh God. What an array of stories. The lady who left her fiancee, I hate to admit it, but I hope my ex feels like that someday. I hope he regrets breaking my heart after letting me think we’d be together forever. I hope he seriously, seriously regrets it someday. And I hope I’ve moved completely on by the time he does.

    And the loneliness article? Well, let’s just say a lonely person shouldn’t have read that today :( Hopefully it won’t kill me.

    • dabbler dabbler May 17, 2013, 2:59 pm

      Haha. Your first paragraph is exactly what I couldn’t quite find the words to say. :)

      • veritek33 veritek33 May 17, 2013, 3:14 pm

        i wasn’t sure how to write it without sounding like a bitter hag! lol, glad you can relate :)

    • avatar ChemE May 17, 2013, 3:16 pm

      I feel the same way with my ex. I hope he regrets leaving me. And he sees how awesome my life is now and how he could have that instead of all the problems he has. (or maybe I’d be in the same boat as him if we stayed together.)
      However, I don’t regret for a second that we aren’t together. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened in my life had we stayed together, but I’m happy where I am now.

      • Copa Copa May 17, 2013, 3:42 pm

        This is how I feel. I don’t want anything to do with the boyfriend who broke up with me (and ended things sloppily and like a total ass, might I add) a year and a half-ish ago, but the petty side of me will always hope he regrets dumping me. I don’t regret that we parted ways because he was a toxic presence in my life, and if I end up 42 and single, he won’t be my “one who got away,” but I’d like to be his. Cause I’m awesome.

  • bittergaymark bittergaymark May 17, 2013, 3:02 pm

    Yikes, the 42 year old sure left him for SHALLOW reasons… His car, his career? And yet, I can kind of relate though, strangely. She’s eerily my same age. Perhaps all us 1970s babies are cursed — who knows? Only my situation is curiously reversed. See, I probably SHOULD have faked my way through life with one of my exes. Problem? He wasn’t my soulmate. Or ideal sexmate. At the time, he seemed to be heading into a semi-successful theatre career in NYC as a lighting designer. And while I loved him — I wasn’t that attracted to him and was SO convinced I would and could do better. There was NO heat. He was “too gay…” Ironically, he thought I was the hottest thing ever, and I later learned through a mutual friend that my ending things shattered him and there was a slew of Mark clones even for a while… And so I left. Hey, I could do better — right? Plus, wasn’t I on the brink of a HUGELY successful writing career?

    Whatever.

    He’s married now and has won Tony’s even. On Broadway. (Ugh… Thanks, Facebook. NOT!) And (of course!) has an utterly AMAZING apartment in NYC occupied with a trophy spouse who doesn’t work. (Sounds ideal for a failed writer…) Also, had I stayed with him? I probably would have THAT killer writing career. All those shitty bad musicals on Broadway? Christ, I could pen those in my fucking sleep. (Not the music, but the book — all the words.) Seriously, I can rhyme anything…ANYTHING on the fly… With him at my side, I now suspect I’d have INSTANTLY made the right connections and would have done something with my life. Side lesson? TALENT is worth LESS THAN nothing. Don’t believe me? Come to LA.

    Conclusion? BEWARE thinking that somebody better will come along. All too often? They don’t.

    • avatar lets_be_honest May 17, 2013, 4:12 pm

      But that’s no reason to stay with someone…at least I know I hate for someone to stay with me for those reasons.

    • avatar ktfran May 17, 2013, 4:13 pm

      In reality, if you would have stayed with this dude, I promise you would have been unhappily married, or whatever. If there is zero heat. Zero attraction. One or both of you will be miserable. Unless you’re the kind of people who don’t care about that stuff, like you know, sex.

      These articles on settling really piss me off, if you couldn’t tell. And if this 42 year old really loved this dude, she wouldn’t have cared about all that other stuff. I’m actually glad he found someone that could appreciate him.

      • Skyblossom Skyblossom May 17, 2013, 4:42 pm

        While I was reading it I was thinking that if they had gotten married she would have gotten even angrier with him and she would have divorced him because of her attitude. He was lucky to move on from her.

      • Lindsay Lindsay May 17, 2013, 4:46 pm

        Agreed. And I wouldn’t want to be with someone who was only with me because they were scared they’d have shitty luck and not find anyone else.

  • Lindsay Lindsay May 17, 2013, 4:17 pm

    I think the the woman in “I walked away…” is delusional and this problem only exists in her head. Maybe if she had married that guy, one of them would have cheated or she would have been bored and they’d get divorced. Who knows? She acts like that decision was inherently wrong, but if she met someone new and married him, she wouldn’t care.

    Of course, if you decide that your life only has meaning when you have a man or when you put someone on a pedestal like that, you’re going to be unhappy. Though I could hazard a guess that her attitude is probably a very large reason why she hasn’t found anyone…

    • Paki Paki May 17, 2013, 4:41 pm

      I agree.. She is living in the past and thinking OH, if I only did this, then I would be the happy, perfect person. Well you didn’t, so move on. You can’t change it. You have to be happy with who you are, where you are now. Not comparing your current interest to something from years and years ago. That isn’t healthly and no one is going to compare. She built this memory of this guy and his love to some level that no one else will ever reach. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda. Just stop and move on.

    • avatar ktfran May 17, 2013, 4:52 pm

      YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      She’s romantisizing this guy because her relationships have failed after him. Or maybe they failed because she knows she was a dumb ass. Regardless, she obviously has some serious issues she needs to work through before she can be happy.

  • avatar convexed May 17, 2013, 5:19 pm

    I think there is some wisdom in that article–that it can be foolish to expect relationships to always be exciting, partners to always make the decisions you want them to make in their personal lives, and newer, better loves to be waiting just around the corner. Clearly, there is value in realizing the value in what you have, and understanding that some tension or plateauing is normal even in happy, healthy relationships.

    However, I also think there is danger in living in memories, because memory has a way of making the past look much uniformly brighter (or darker) than it actually was. The past has nuance, just as the present does—but we manipulate the past to frame our narratives today, which is what the writer of the article is doing.

    Sure, if she had stayed with Matthew, she may have been happily married, with lovely children, and maintained her successful career. Perhaps Matthew would have also worked through the phase that annoyed her, and become a professional man himself. That’s unknowable. It’s also equally likely that their relationship would have ended anyway (perhaps by him). Hard luck hits everyone, whether coupled up or single, and it’s silly to imagine that, had she only stayed with Matthew, she would have everything she has now, plus all the benefits of a family and loving husband. There’s no formula to guarantee that.

    Plus, breaking up with Matthew is not the reason she is alone and childless now. It is only the reason she is not married to HIM, raising HIS children now. For whatever reason or combination of reasons, she did not meet anyone that stuck, and that’s not necessarily a direct result of breaking up with Matthew, though for sure her insistence on keeping a dead relationship so present in her own heart has held her back immeasurably. Richard, Rob, whoever else she had relationships with, could never compete with Matthew because she never let them succeed on their own terms.

    I would never be able to be with someone who held a candle for a relationship that ended so long ago. I couldn’t even handle it if my boyfriend was hung up on a much more recent ex-girlfriend—I think it’s disrespectful to enter something new without clearing your head of the past enough to live in and enjoy the present.

    When you end a relationship, you have to do so with no expectations of what the future will bring—a better relationship, a worse relationship, no relationship. You need to make your decision based on whether the relationship you’re in is a good one, with promise, or not. Whether you want to be with Matthew or not be with Matthew, not whether you want to be with Matthew or some hypothetical alternative to Matthew.

    • Lindsay Lindsay May 17, 2013, 8:30 pm

      “When you end a relationship, you have to do so with no expectations of what the future will bring—a better relationship, a worse relationship, no relationship. You need to make your decision based on whether the relationship you’re in is a good one, with promise, or not. ”

      Exactly. That’s something she needs to figure out because it doesn’t just apply to relationships. Anytime you leave a job or move or make any decision you’re risking what you have for the possibility that it’ll turn out to be something you like better or something you don’t. That’s just what life is. You can’t live in a bubble and keep things the same way forever just because you’re afraid that you’ll regret doing something new.

  • avatar Miss MJ May 18, 2013, 3:37 pm

    The thing about the “I walked away” article is that that woman wouldn’t be happily married to Matthew now if she had stayed. She’d be miserable. She’d have kept on finding flaws in him. She never would have seen the good things he does or did or brought to her life. He’d have quit trying to do them. She’d have made him miserable, too, and he’d probably resent living with someone who found him so flawed and harped on them and who could not be pleased, ever. It’s easy to think someone would be “perfect” when you’re only in a relationship with them in your head. She seriously needs to let it go. She has no idea who Matthew is now, what their life would have been like or if they’d have lived happily ever after. If she’s alone and childless and she wants that to change, she should stop romanticizing the past and instead take the lessons she’s learned over the past years and find someone who really is perfect for her now.

  • katie katie May 18, 2013, 4:52 pm

    im really glad all of you guys called out the “i walked away” lady as crazy. she doesnt get it, at all, that much is fairly obvious…

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