Two weeks ago, I decided it was finally time to dust off a pair of heels, spend more than two minutes doing my hair and make-up and actually go out for a night. I met up with a friend at our usual place, which happened to be incredibly crowded with summertime Berkshire residents.
We sat in the only seats available and, after a few moments, noticed another friend across the room. After volleying a few waves and silly mime exercises, we decided to make the trek to talk to her.
It took roughly 30 "excuse me's" before we reached her and she shifted down to make what little room for us she could.
I hadn't even put my purse down before my first friend looked beyond me and asked "Isn't that that guy?"
In the modern dating world, this statement really isn't as random and obscure as it may sound. Isn't there always "some guy," "that chick," or a "total jerk" you used to date, lurking around when you're trying to have a night of fun with your friends?
I turned and shrugged. "So what? I haven't talked to him in a year."
You see readers, this whole relationship business has really changed me. If I was still available, there was the possibility that I would have tried at some point to make eye contact with him, perhaps say a few words, maybe even flirt a little.
Despite the fact that we both chose to dip below the highest level of our maturity the last time we interacted, I probably still would have given him the benefit of the doubt as a human being. Even more stupidly, if we were both available, this could have ended in perhaps another kind of column.
Instead, I now look at the men I once dated as wastes of my past time and attention. To step back into such a wormhole would not only be detrimental to the progress I have made in my life emotionally, but also to my own improvement as a woman in general.
In saying this, I also need to state that the men in my past aren't awful, cruel or reincarnations of Adolph Hitler. They just weren't right for me and I was too stupid to see it.
I might have never come to this realization if I hadn't dropped my guard and given my current boyfriend the chance he deserved. When I finally settled down with someone who makes me feel all the things the other men couldn't (stability, trust, emotional-availability) it suddenly became ludicrous to me how much effort I put into past relationships that left me longing for these things.
Why should you have to settle for someone who can only give you a sliver of his attention? Why should you tolerate someone who only contacts you at his own convenience and never bothers to think of yours? If someone doesn't have the decency to treat you respectfully before you're in a serious, committed relationship with him, what makes you think anything will change once you're finally together?
And WHY does it take so long to figure all of this out?
Should your partner be the underlying factor in how you feel about yourself and the relationships around you? Of course not. However, it is our relationships with other people in this world -- friend, family, lover or foe -- that help shape who we are and who we are meant to become. It'd be silly to think that someone who is good to you, wouldn't also be good FOR you.
On that same note, maybe it's time for you to admit that the relationship you are presently in may not be the one for you.
Did that sentence grab your attention? Good, because I am talking to you. The person you are longing for, the one you think you love, but who won't publicly introduce you as any more than a friend, won't bring you around to friends and only calls you after midnight? Guess what? They suck. You can and will do better.
Seriously! Move on, you'll be glad you did!
And to those who are still strung out on a ex, thinking if you only send one more heartfelt voicemail/email/text message, he or she will truly know how you feel. If you claim to want to be friends, with the small ember of a hope that he or she will come back to you or you think of venting your anger over the injustice your heart is screaming, guess what? They have already moved on. Otherwise, it wouldn't be so hard. Now it's your turn. There's someone better out there waiting for you.
I wish I had someone to tell me all of these things only a short year ago.
And so, as I sat chatting with my friends this night, I heard an ear-to-mouth yell that wasn't supposed to carry over the music.
"Isn't that that girl?"
I never bothered to look back and see the reaction. It didn't matter any more. I had moved on to something better, and no longer cared for what wasn't meant for me.
Write to Amanda Marcisz at