The 5 Guys You Date After A Break-Up

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Breakups come in all sorts of forms, the blindside breakup, the ultimatum breakup, the love-does-not-conquer-all breakup, the “mutual” breakup — the list goes on. No matter which type of breakup you endure, it takes some time to bounce back. After a breakup, all you truly want is to feel normal again. You’ll do just about anything to see some semblance of your old self. To bring yourself back to life, you’ll probably think about rebounding back into the dating game. You know, the ol’ “Get yourself back out there!” tactic. Well, from someone who has recently tried this method, here are my findings. Here are the five guys you’ll date after a breakup…

1. The guy you’ll almost go out with

This date happens pretty quickly after the breakup. Most likely this will be a guy who you’ll be set up with by a friend. Your friends care about you and want you to get back out there. They’ll look at you and only see a sad, three-legged-dog that no one wanted to make a “forever home” with. They won’t know how to make you feel better so they’ll assume that dating is the only magical trick that will fix everything. They’ll have plenty of ideas of how to do this, but my personal favorite is the meddling-where-they-don’t-belong-set-up. You’ll hear things like, “Oh, you just need to get back out there!” or “I know the grrrreatest guy, you’ll definitely hit it off!”

Fortunately for them, right around now you’ll do just about anything to get out of your own head for a bit. You’ll also appreciate a reason to escape your bedroom that you’ve been hibernating in for the past week or so. You’ll be desperate to wake up from your Netflix-coma. You’ll agree to the date.

The day of the date will arrive and you’ll be a wreck. You’ve forgotten what first-date jitters felt like. You’ll start getting ready and realize you have nothing to wear. You’ll be frozen, staring at your closet only remembering what you wore on your last first date. The first date that you thought was going to be your last first date ever. You’ll fall into a cloud of bittersweet memories. You’ll want to cancel right then and there. You’ll text a friend and they’ll talk you off the ledge. You’ll find something to wear; you don’t love it but whatever. You’ll be ready a half-hour early. You’ll be nervous.

Then, you see him pull up. His car comes to a stop and he gets out. He has flowers. (Cue the “awes”). You’ll meet him at the door and engage in an awkward handshake/hug. You’ll size him up – cute guy, not bad. He smells nice too. You’ll get in the car and realize that you can’t do this. You just physically can’t go through with the date. He’ll start talking about something, something so normal, asking you about your favorite food or movie, and you’ll be on a different planet. He’ll turn off your street and start heading to dinner. You’ll realize more and more that you can’t go. It’s not that he’s repulsive or you’re completely turned off by the situation… You’re just not ready.

You’re not ready. You’re not ready to get to know another person. You’re simply exhausted and you don’t have it in you to learn what type of music he likes or how many siblings he has. Then you’ll do something terrible – you’ll fake an emergency to get out of the date. You’ll have a friend call your phone and you’ll answer and act like a huge emergency is happening. You’ll be extremely vague. Your friend on the phone will say, “You owe me big time,” as you hang up. He’ll be sensitive and caring and he’ll understand that you need to be taken home immediately. He’ll drop you off and you’ll tell him that you’ll call.

You’ll go into your house, feeling relief and also feeling awful. You’ll feel bad, not only because he was a great guy that you legitimately ditched within 3 minutes of the date — but you’ll also feel awful because you just want to feel normal again. You just want to get back to yourself. You’ll sit on the couch, still in your coat, with your purse strapped to you. You’ll be in hazy, cloud of fog, wondering if it will ever get easier. You’ll curse yourself because you’re now convinced you’ll have the worst dating karma in the world because you “fake emergency-d” this guy. You’ll think of texting him, apologizing, and asking for another shot. You’ll get your phone out to text him, but you won’t. You won’t because you know, deep down, you’re not ready and it’s not fair to him. It’s not fair for him to be kept on the hook, kept as a place keeper.

You’ll wash your face and close the drapes. You’ll hop into bed and cue up an extra sappy episode of Grey’s Anatomy. You’ll text your friend and they’ll sympathize with you, but you know that they want to scream, “What are you waiting for!? Get back out there!” You’ll doze off to sleep, hoping to dream of anything but the person you’re trying so desperately to forget.


2. The guy who’s playing the field 


A few weeks later, you’ll meet someone else. This guy will be elusive and interesting. He’ll keep you guessing and you’ll like the mystery he provides. Unexpectedly, only a few days after you met, he’ll ask you to grab a drink. You’ll think, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?

On the drive there, you’ll check your make-up in the car and text your roommate to ask if she’s still positive your outfit was a good choice. You’ll park and wait a bit. You wait just enough so he’s the first one there and you don’t have to nervously pick a table and wait. You’ll walk the few blocks to the bar and check your reflection in every window. You’ll get to the bar and see that he’s at a quiet booth in the corner. You sit down and order a beer. The conversation is easy and you even forget to send your friend the “I’m alive” text that you’ve concocted to alert friends when you meet up with people you barely know.

You’ll notice that you’re actually listening to what he has to say. You’re asking questions and caring about what the answers are. It will be a surreal moment, for a split second you feel like you’re watching yourself. Look at you! You’re on a date and you’re enjoying yourself! Holla!

Before you know it, the date will be winding down, the bar will be closing, and you’ll find yourself outside on the sidewalk with this new guy. You’ll both say you had a great time and he’ll walk you to your car. He won’t kiss you, but you aren’t ready for that anyway. You’ll end up doing the whole hug-hide-your-face-thing when it looked like a kiss was about to happen.

You’ll get home and see yourself a bit differently in the mirror. You’ll see someone who can go out on a date — the whole date. Things won’t work out with this guy though; he’s not your knight in shining armor. He’ll text you here and there, but he doesn’t want more than just something casual. Which is probably the best for you right now anyway. You won’t care too much that he’s not “the one”. Because really, the best part has already happened. It’ll happen when you go to sleep that night. For the first night in a long time, you’ll be thinking of someone else. It’ll feel amazing to be worried about another guy. It’ll feel liberating to wonder about someone new. It will feel refreshing. It will feel good. So, while it may seem like nothing came from this date, in actuality, everything came from it. You’ll be back. You’ll be ready to date again. You’ll be thinking of the possibility of something new. And that’s all you really needed, possibility.


3. The guy who’s completely wrong for you


The next guy will be a breath of fresh air. He’ll be so different from you that you’ll be intrigued. He’ll be a cute, nerdy, engineer-y type guy, when you’ve always dated the preppy, athletic ones. You’ll think, well maybe this has been the problem all along — you’ve only dated people too similar to yourself. You’ll listen to his stories and begin to recognize his adorable quirks.

About halfway through the date, he’ll be talking about some work thing and you’ll realize you haven’t heard a word he’s said. It’s not that he’s uninteresting; he’s just uninteresting to you. Not even boring really, you just don’t have anything in common. He doesn’t spend much time with his family, while your family is your rock. He’s not into sports, while March Madness is, in your opinion, one of the greatest times of the year. He doesn’t like trashy reality TV (not that many guys do) but he also doesn’t get as pumped about pizza as you do — um, hello? Who doesn’t love pizza?

However, he will have his strengths, he’ll be a great listener and he’ll be able to make you laugh – something you’ve been missing for a while. You’ll begin to realize he could be a great friend. You’ll then realize that at some point, other guys that you’ve been out with in the past probably made the same call about you. In your head, you’ll begin to pick out people who would be thrilled to be on a date with this guy. Someone who also has a passion for craft beer and the sciences. Someone who would love to be out with this great guy. It’s just not you.


4. The guy who’s perfect


The next guy will be amazing. He’ll be attractive, have a stable job, be looking for something serious, yada yada. He’ll have all of his ducks in a row and you’ll think you’ve found the Holy Grail. But just like they say, things that seem too good to be true… usually are.

The date will go smoothly. He’ll say all the right things and you’ll swoon at all the right moments. He’ll surprise you by being extremely straightforward about his feelings and he’ll explain how he really sees a potential future with you. You’ll sigh a breath of relief because maybe for once, just once, you won’t have to play the whole, “Does he really like me?” game.

You’ll walk out to the car and he’ll grab for your hand. He’ll kiss you goodnight. It will be a nice kiss — a kiss that is nice, but you don’t feel much behind it. You’ll question the kiss the whole way home. You’ll wonder if you’re holding yourself back. You’ll wonder if maybe you’re sabotaging your own happiness. So, you’ll brush off the ‘meh’-ness of the kiss and continue to talk to this guy — hoping that you’ll feel something more. Unfortunately, nothing changes. You’ll want to fall for this guy. You’ll want that so badly.

There’s just something missing. You can’t put your finger on it, but you feel the empty space. You keep talking to him, hoping that the lacking connection will miraculously show up. Then one day it will stop, you won’t keep talking to him or trying to figure out your indifference. The missing puzzle piece is chemistry. If the spark isn’t there, even the most appealing person on paper won’t make your heart skip a beat. At the end of the day, that’s all you’re after — someone who makes your cardiac muscle go pitter-patter.


5. The guy who makes it all worth it


… stay tuned.

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It’s not me. It’s you.

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I’ve gone through a few break-ups lately that I’d like to share with you. No, this isn’t some sappy, “This is how you can get through this really tough time”. Here are four different types of breakups that I happen to think are sometimes worse than the ever-popular-star-spangled-five-alarm-real-relationship-breakup.

Breaking up with your old lifestyle

This has to be, by far, the hardest type of breakup. Because first of all, who wants to break up with themselves? You’re awesome! No one would ever want to breakup with you. However, there comes a time when we have to say goodbye to a few of aspects of our lifestyle.

Style: Alright. I’ll say it. I once wore overalls to junior high. I KNOW. How was I to supposed to know that the cutoff for “appropriate time to wear overalls” was the sixth grade?! As you can imagine, I quickly learned to stay ahead of the fashion game.

While it definitely hasn’t been easy learning when to say goodbye to certain items in my closet over the years, it is something that had to happen. You may be thinking the halter-top that you’ve held on to from 2004 will come in handy some summer, but I promise you – – It will not. Just let go.

Diet & Nutrition: I’m the absolute last person that should be doling out advice about what someone should and should not eat. However, I do know that I should be adhering to the following dietary break up rules …

  • Your digestive system can no longer handle 3am Taco Bell trips – – Just say no.
  • A box of Wheat Thins and a Diet Coke does NOT constitute as a meal.
  • Breakfast is not just something made up by fictional doctors – – EAT BREAKFAST.
  • A pack of fruit snacks does not apply to one of your allotted fruit groups for the day.
  • Water does the body good. Whiskey does not. (Hard to remember this one…)

Toxic Friends: These friends, the ones that you actually don’t really like, are usually left lingering around from an old lifestyle that you just can’t seem to kick. These friends have “gots to get got”.  These are the types of friends that:

  • You find yourself censoring your good news from them because they always somehow manage to make you feel undeserving of whatever great stuff comes your way.
  • These friends are never at fault for anything. They hurt you and pretend that they had absolutely no idea what they did was going to upset you. “If I had known it was a big deal, I wouldn’t have slept with you fiancé!” Ummm. Okay.
  • They tell everyone your secrets.
  • You always feel like you’re competing for their attention… and sadly, you’re always losing this game.
  • You’ve used the line, “But we’ve been friends forever…” to justify staying in the friendship.

It’s time. Breakup, already.

Breaking up with a television series

I’d be lying if I said I liked TV. I’m obsessed with TV. Okay, obsessed is probably taking it a bit far, but let’s just say my DVR is busier than most H&R Blocks around this time of the year.

My addiction to TV stems from my inability to stop myself from getting extremely attached to a show. As I sat catching up on The Office this weekend, I realized just how much Pam, Jim, Dwight, Michael and myself had been through. Remember when Pam broke Jim’s (and every other person in America’s) heart on Casino Night? Or when they saved my belief in marriage by tying the knot over Niagara Falls? Or when Dwight set the office on fire? Or when Michael, gracefully (and much to my chagrin), bowed out of the series?

It may not be The Office, but I’m willing to bet that most of you have a show that you’ve grown attached to, whose characters have accompanied you throughout life, and that you will never stop watching until the show ends, no matter how bad the show may get (i.e., My relationship with The Office right now…). Regardless, I intend to see the story through, if nothing else, just to make sure Jim and Pam don’t get divorced.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we get so attached to characters and their stories? I’d argue that there are a few things working together here…

First, suspension of reality. These shows, whether they be Friends, Game of Thrones, Friday Night Lights, The Bachelor, Entourage, Seinfeld, Breaking Bad, HIMYM, Greys Anatomy, Sex & The City, CSI (people still watch this right?), One Tree Hill, or Parks And Rec, these shows allow us to forget the real world, even if only for 24 minutes, and replace it with something much more appealing than what is actually going on in our lives.

On the other hand, we tend to see a lot of ourselves and our lives within the characters. Yes, I just completely contradicted what I just said. But while we like to escape through our shows, we also like to relate. I can’t watch an episode of Friends or Sex & The City, without picking out which character I’m more like. I’m completely a Monica (who wishes she was a Rachel) and definitely a Carrie (who wishes she was a Charlotte). That’s what TV gives us… The perfect mixture of difference and similarity. It’s really in our human nature; we fall in love with these moments.

So obviously, it’s pretty awful breaking up with a TV show. For this, I usually follow the five stages of grief.

  1. Denial: Deny, deny, deny. Once I hear that one of my shows is getting cancelled or I’m about four seasons into a series on Netflix and I realize that there are only two episodes remaining… I don’t believe it. As I attempt to accept the reality of the loss, I start to ask myself questions to begin the healing process.My thoughts during this time:Nooooooooooooooooooooooo.This can’t be happening?

    There’s been a mistake.

    But what will Patrick Dempsey do now??

    You’re a liar.

    I don’t believe you.

    This show is that network’s gold!? They can’t be cancelling it…

  2. Anger: This, my friends, is a necessary stage of the healing process. I’m willing to bet there are many other emotions that people get when their shows get cancelled, but anger seems to be the ticket we are most wired to manage. During this stage I usually spend my time furiously plotting a way to corner the network CEO and demand the show to remain on the air. (I’m half-kidding about all of that…)
  3. Bargaining: After the loss, I will next think about all the “What ifs…” and the “If onlys”. “What if I just watched more of it “live” instead of DVRing? I’m sure that has to play into it!” “If only less people watched that stupid Big Bang Theory, maybe this show wouldn’t get cancelled!” (I apologize if you fancy Big Bang, I’m clearly in a dark place during this stage)
  4. Depression: After the bargaining, my attention moves squarely to the present. I become sort-of depressed for a few reasons. First, I’m sad because this show that I’ve devoted so much of my time and energy to is just gone/done-zo. And secondly, I’m depressed because… I’m depressed that a TV show has ended. Snap out of it, Stacey!
  5. Acceptance: Once I’ve woken up from the fog of being an insane person who was overly attached to a fictional entity, I feel better. I’ve accepted the reality that the show is gone and yes, there may not be another show that leaves me on the edge of my seat just as much as LOST did, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other shows out there to tackle…. And I fully intend on tackling them all. I really do have a problem.

Breaking up with your hairstylist

I’ve always had issues finding a hairstylist that I would like for more than two visits. For starters, I’m not the type of girl who likes to constantly gab with her hairstylist. After I’ve been asked all the go-to small talk questions (What do you do? Where do you live? Are you married/seeing anyone? Don’t you have anything interesting to say? Yada yada?) I like to just sit back and relax. On it’s own, small talk is the worst. Add in someone whose hands are in complete control of your appearance and is trying to keep up a shitty conversation, while whisking a blow dryer around your head – – No thank you. The other reason I have a hard time holding down a regular hairstylist… I’m kind of a nightmare client. Let me explain.

I don’t ask for much when I go into the salon, I really just want a color update and a trim. While I’m spending upwards of a $100 each visit (aren’t women ridiculous?) I would like to get my money’s worth. The problem rises when the hairstylist doesn’t understand what I mean when I say the words “update” and “trim”. When I say “update” I literally mean I would like to freshen up my color that may have faded between my last visit and now. This is when the stylist usually says something like, “Oh don’t you want to spice things up for the summer, like high lights or something??” Um no, no I do not.

The next problem happens when our definitions of the word “trim” don’t exactly match up. I love my long hair and I have a very difficult time parting with it… Even centimeters or millimeters of it. So, when I have a stylist who is willing to just chop-chop-chop, I have a problem. Let’s be honest, when I walk into a salon, I like to walk out looking almost exactly the same, just freshened up. I’m boring — so boring. Obviously, I’m sure I’m not exactly the picture of a perfect client.

About a year or so ago, I changed salons and picked a brand new place. I didn’t have a specific stylist in mind when I called to make an appointment so they just set me up randomly with Vince. Now, I know this will go against everything that I stand for, but I completely followed the stereotype of presuming a male stylist would be gay. I know, I’m awful. To make a very long story short, Vince turned out to be straight. Very straight. Straight to the point of telling me super uncomfortable stories of his late night romps with various women and to asking me out on numerous occasions. (NOTE TO MEN: Don’t tell women about your “Playboy” moments and then ask them out)

Anyway, most women would have just said screw it and change stylists, right? Well like usual; I don’t fall into the “typical women” category. The problem… he was the first stylist that I was satisfied with. Alright, that sounded wrong. He was the first stylist that actually listened to what I wanted and I left happy. Okay, I really can’t make this not sound sexual. BASICALLY, he was doing such a great job on my hair, I couldn’t bear to leave… no matter how uncomfortable things got with his stories or his persistence in “asking me out to the bar”.

Well, like most of you ladies can probably agree, a girl can only take so much. After a year and a few months of Styles By Vince I made my exit. Well, kind of.

This past week, I had a scheduled appointment for Thursday evening. My hair needed a trim extremely bad and a color refresh. I realized that I had plans on Thursday that would interfere, so I rescheduled for the following Tuesday. Then I realized that I had plans that evening, as well. So, I call back again to reschedule and I was greeted on the phone by the sassiest receptionist of all time.

My conversation with someone who should be fired:

“———— salon, this is ———–, can I help you?” – Sassy McSass-a-frass

“Hi, yes I have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday with Vince, but I just realized that the timing won’t work so I’d like to reschedule.” – Me

“Um, ok.” – Sassy McSass-a-frass

“Okay… Do you have anything open on Saturday? Or Monday? I know it’s short notice but I really would like to get in ASAP.” – Me

“Nothing Saturday. We aren’t even open on Monday.” – Sassy McSass-a-frass

“Alright. Anything earlier on Tuesday? Or even Wednesday?” – Me

“Nope.” – Sassy McSass-a-frass

“Thursday, Friday, next Saturday?” – Me

“He’s booked. Look, there’s really no openings.” – Sassy McSass-a-frass

“Alright, well I’m going to have to go somewhere else then. I really can’t wait that long, thanks for your help.” – Me (Trying so hard not to kill her through the phone)

“Yep.” – Sassy McSass-a-frass

So yeah. I guess Sassy McSass-a-frass did the dirty deed of “breaking up” Vince and I. But isn’t that how it goes sometimes… Sometimes, someone else has to step in and break it off for you. It was very junior-high-esque, but I’m relieved. However, I am still waiting for a text from him wondering why I cancelled my appointment… Stay tuned for info on that, readers.

Breaking up with your car

Whether it is the first car you ever owned or the best car you ever owned, letting go of your vehicle is never easy.

The first breakup I ever had was with Peaches, my beloved first car. She was a beautiful 2000 Dodge Neon. Peaches and I met right around the time I turned 16. I remember she wasn’t in the greatest shape when my parents bought her for me, but I could tell she had potential. Once she was cleaned up a bit, we were ready to cruise.

I think it’s amazing that when I talk to people about their first car, they can vividly remember the first time they ever drove their car. I remember my first adventure out with Peaches. I had just gotten my license and my parents had finally allowed me to go somewhere by myself. In their defense, I have a winter birthday and the roads were always pretty terrible. Nevertheless, we were finally on our own – – Peaches and I.

After five years together, I ended up selling Peaches when I was a sophomore in college. I wasn’t sad about getting rid of her at first… mainly because I was getting a shmancy new car with power windows and locks. Yeah, you could say I was moving up in the world.

However, when the time drew near and my dad found a buyer for my beloved… I wasn’t ready to let go. I sat on my front porch one evening and saw Peaches sitting in the driveway. I got so sad. I wasn’t sad because this hunk of metal was no longer going to be my possession, I was sad because I was saying goodbye to something that held my youth. Getting rid of Peaches was like closing a chapter in the book of my life. It’s funny how many memories can be wrapped up within one object.

There sat the car that took me back and forth to high school, every day, for 3 years. There sat the car that took my friends and I on an unforgettable trip to Myrtle Beach when we were 18. There sat the car that I had my first real make out sesh in. There sat the car that I cried my eyes out in after my first boyfriend broke up with me. There sat the car that I packed up and drove to college in. There sat the car that I grew up in.

My friends and I actually had an “Ode to Peaches” evening right before she was sold.  We drove around, windows down, singing songs, and celebrating Peaches. The evening ended and we said our goodbyes. I drove home and parked in front of my house. Before I went inside, I hid a letter my friends and I had written to the future owner. The buyer that my dad had set up was purchasing the car for his daughter who was in high school. The letter detailed how much fun we had with Peaches and how we hoped she would find the same with her friends.

I really hope she did.