Moving on and getting under.
Two months ago, I vividly remember sitting there at 9 o’clock at night, my Whatsapp chat with him open, watching “online” appear and disappear underneath his name over and over again. Online all night long and yet the two check marks at the bottom of my message never turned blue. “Online” never turned to “typing” and I can only pace my living room so many times before my step counting app rudely interrupts my thoughts to tell me I’ve reached the day’s target. I’m not sad; I’m restless. I’m confused. Which I would argue is just as devastating of an emotion. I have considered every single moment. Every variable trying to pinpoint where I lost my cool. What triggered that reaction? I’m confused by him too. How a grown, intelligent man in his 30s can’t understand how I followed his signs to that conclusion. One week prior I was “everything he ever wanted” and then it just seemed like he couldn’t be bothered. A switch he flipped so fast I didn’t even have time to run before I was left completely in the dark. Every part of me wanted him to call and say “I know how you got there. This situation we both created is more delicate than I would have ever imagined and I set an expectation for you that I then failed to reach. So I understand.” But he won’t say that, because that’s my logic. That’s what I want to hear. But oh what I would have done for him to at least say “We got off course, let’s start again.”
Some say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else and I wish, hand on heart, that wasn’t true – but I think there’s really something to it. And I say that proudly, with zero shame. Hear me out. It’s particularly effective in situations like this where you haven’t really had a relationship yet. You’ve made plans together, you’re getting along well, you’ve fantasised in your mind what life with them might be like, but you still haven’t made that commitment to each other and spent those years getting to know them to their core. So you can’t ever really say you miss them and mean it. Because whether you like to admit it or not, it’s not him you miss, its how you felt. And here’s a real bombshell… someone else can just as easily make you feel that way too. “Oh no, it’s him, its his personality and his values…” Bullshit Stacey. You’ve been talking for 4 weeks, you don’t know shit about him yet. You’re not heartbroken, you’re shaken up. He dove right in, decided too quickly he really liked you, made you feel good and then pulled back when he decided he didn’t anymore. You know what sucks even more than that? He is well within his rights to make that decision. Live with it. If you liked a guy and then decided you didn’t anymore, no one would be asking you to waste his or your time worrying about it. Let’s not demonise men for making the same decisions for their own happiness. Next.
It’s now 11 O’clock on a Saturday night, three weeks later and I’m wearing the new dress I just bought. I’m not meeting anyone. I’m not out with my girlfriends. I’m at a bar in Darling Harbour in Sydney by myself, on purpose. On a mission. Because enough was enough sitting around thinking about a man I didn’t even have. Casamigos tequila, on the rocks, orange twist. Blue eyes wearing a cashmere sweater, Japanese tattoo sleeve and a sideways grin, said “That’s a serious drink.” Bingo. My getaway car. Within an hour he’s brushing my cheek and buying shots at the bar. Within two, his hands are in my hair and my new dress has been thrown on his hotel room floor. Needless to say, Berg was the furthest thing from my mind. When the sun came up, I could still taste tequila, so I left “Thanks x” on the hotel notepad on the pillow next to him and slipped out of the room feeling like I was floating on cloud nine. I still had Berg on the brain but I wasn’t upset or longing for him anymore, I was just… calm. It was what it was and now it isn’t. I’d never see Mr Blue Eyes again, at my request mind you, but what he gave me besides mind-blowing sex was a very important reminder that I needed. That in an era where women can jump on board the anti-men train any time something doesn’t go our way, there are truly brilliant men who are sweet, respectful and want to make you feel good. Case in point – me. A girl in a bar who got what she wanted and got it good. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t call it a rebound, call it a resurgence.
I know there are sceptics reading this thinking “well where are they all?” And unfortunately, I have to say what you don’t want to hear – all around you. There are three reasons why you’re adamant good men are so rare, or you’ll never find anyone better than the human Valium you’re currently with. (Heh Pete.)
- You’re not even trying. You can tell yourself you are but you’re not ready to freely and actively put yourself out there to meet whoever, wherever. Bars and Tinder are the best places and no I’m not joking. You should be trying to meet as many people as you can because soon enough you’ll create a little pool of draft picks you are actually excited about. Before you know it, you’ve filled the roster. You may not meet your Tom Brady straight away, but what you will do is gain more clarity about what it is you really need and what you’re not willing to put up with. You’re not meeting the love of your life at your cousin Sam’s wedding on a gorgeous spring day. Get real. You might know a story just like that, but they would be the exception, not the rule. You, Stacey, are the rule. Get your heart rate up, eat your veggies, buy a new dress – whatever it is that makes you feel hot and get out there. If you’re serious about not being a hermit in your apartment and only having a committed relationship with Mr Rabbit, then act like it. Because Mr Rabbit might rotate in all the right places but he can’t hold you in his arms, kiss your forehead and whisper sweet things in your ear like “wanna order Chinese?” And that’s worth having.
- You’re not open to it and honey that’s fine, you’re not ready. Head down, work on you. Focus on a hobby, your career or therapy and get yourself right. Once you’re there, refer to step 1. Because one of the most important things is that you are open to everything and allow yourself to be confidently and comfortably honest with everybody. Sure, he may seem like he’s genuinely excited about you and get to know a few intimate details about you, then never call you again (we here at Noir et Blanc like to call that move “the Berg”), but if you don’t open yourself up each time, he’s never falling in love with you anyway. You have to give him the real you and give him the chance to.
- You’re placing the wrong expectations on the wrong man and blaming him for it failing. Figure out what it is you want and then date accordingly. If you’re ready to settle down, then talking to the guy who just got out of a 4-year relationship and is looking for something casual, is a waste of your time. You’re going to wind up having the shits with him because he made you feel good (because he likes you) but pulled back when you said: “My Mum wants to meet you.” HE ISN’T THE BAD GUY! You just tried to put him in a box he didn’t want to be in from the very start. Don’t be a psycho. If you want hot sex with a stranger, say so. If you want a relationship, then just say so! Stop worrying so much about whether he’ll like you or not because you’re honest about that fact, and start worrying about how regardless of his handsome his face, he’s never going to give you what you want and that pain will be all your fault. “But his facccceeeeeeeeee.” Focus, Stacey. His intentions haven’t changed. Us women buy into this bullshit rom-coms have fed us since the birth of Katherine Heigl’s woeful career that we can change men. That he’ll take one look at us and suddenly turn into everything we’ve been looking for – because he wants to. Look at me – you’re not special. You’re just somebody. Looking for somebody else who you can laugh with, enjoy spending time with, be happily committed to and not want to kill. Also, fool them into thinking you are special once you’ve achieved those three feats – I think its called Marriage or something. I’m not asking you to walk around every Friday night wearing a big sign on your forehead that says “Marry me or fuck off,” I’m saying keep this in mind when you’re allowing things to progress with a guy that you like. If you meet someone you’re really into and he’s not at the same stage as you, then you can’t be mad at him when he doesn’t meet your expectation of where this is going.
Fast track to 2 weeks ago. Messing around on my phone thinking about Berg, Mr Getaway Car and the guy from Jiu Jitsu who won’t stop messaging me, I decided to take my own advice. I couldn’t have been bothered to get dressed up and go out to meet anyone but I was actually going to put some effort into seeing if there’s anything here worth my time on Tinder. There’s a group of 13 out of about 200 that I had consistently been talking to on a very casual basis but none of them really progressed far enough for me to be excited about it just yet. I scrolled through everybody leftover that I hadn’t talked to and decided to pick one to start a proper conversation with. When you’ve got as much choice as Tinder provides, everybody kind of just looks the same. They all blur into each other and you start to become overwhelmingly bored having the same conversations over and over. I start calling John, Jack and Martin, Michael and honestly, I don’t really know what I’ve said and who I said it to and I don’t really care. There wasn’t anything obvious that set him apart from the rest – he just wasn’t trying so hard. There were no pictures of sharp navy blue suits or gym progress shots… just him, his dark eyes looking slightly drunk, holding a drink with his two mates. Without even looking at his other photos, I knew he was the one on the right. In my previous blog, I talked about how I can tell a guy has it just by looking at him. I didn’t need to meet this Mr Somebody New to know he had it in spades. There were two things I noticed about him immediately that made me want to get to know him. 1. His hands. I could instantly tell he was a tradie. He had those strong, can probably fix anything, kind of hands. 2. His age didn’t match his face. His profile said 25 but his face said 35. I don’t mean that to sound like he looks old, he doesn’t at all. What I mean is, he isn’t baby faced. He’s not freshman, he’s varsity senior, winked at you in the hallway, make you dream about me all day kind of face. He had it: that self-assured, quiet strength about him and his dark features that no other 25-year old I’ve ever seen has. Dark hair, dark beard, dark eyes, great smile – drool. So as someone who normally dates 30+ years old, I had to find out what the catch is. He’s not going to be as mature and attractive as this incredibly handsome face suggests, surely… But he is. He isn’t afraid to be upfront and honest about what he wants, who he is and what turns him on all while still being incredibly considerate and sweet – not at all egotistical or demanding. That isn’t the kind of calm confidence and dominant, masculine energy you’d come to expect from your regular 25-year-old. To be totally lame and quote the Queen, Tay Swiz: “Younger than my exes but he act like such a man so I keep him forever.” He’s not trying to be too cool either by blowing me off or not responding to my texts. He jumped right it, crazy about me and for the first time in a very long time, I believed it. “You mean a lot to me” and “I won’t let you down” are far better words to hear a man say than “Sorry I do really like you, just been busy.” Oh ladies and gents, we already know how much I hate the “I’m busy” speech. Suck my figurative dick, Berg. Look what you made me do, I’m with somebody new.
So I’m sitting here, writing this blog, watching the original Pete & Berg from 1999 on TV, missing someone else. When I check my phone at the office, I want to see his name. Mr Somebody New turned Berg into Mr Somebody I Knew Once. Mr Somebody New has me wondering whether he might be Mr Somebody Special. Mr Boyfriend? Mr Husband? Mr Daddy Carrying Our Daughter on his Shoulders? Mr Somebody New could very well turn out to be Mr Sike! He could read this and be like “Noooo thank you.” But if I’ve learned anything over the last few months it’s that none of these Mr’s are irreplaceable… yet. Each Mr Somebody New can be exciting in the first few weeks. You make them feel good, they make you feel good and it ends up going one of two ways. It either freaks them out and they become terrified of this being something serious, or they don’t. You’re allowed to be excited every time you meet Mr Somebody New. Why wouldn’t you be? He makes you happy. Just know that eventually, one steps up to the plate. Eventually, one of them is actually the man you thought they were. Eventually, Mr Somebody New becomes Mr Irreplaceable.
Maybe my Mr Somebody New will be the man that tells his friends “she’s with me.” If not, maybe it’s the next one. Maybe he’s 5 Mr Somebody New’s away. And to that I say…