Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM
There are two kinds of women in the world. Those who clean their closets when a relationship goes bad and those who climb into bed and assume the fetal position.
Meet Jessica and Bailey. Bailey was involved with a 33-year-old divorced male in a whirlwind three-month romance fully equipped with flowers, candy, funny little cards, intimate code words, pet names and special places. Each day brought them closer and closer. Each day, their lives became more entwined. He left his tennis racket at her apartment. She kept her makeup at his. They started looking at brochures for Caribbean vacations. And then ...
“He ran into the proverbial brick wall. ‘I need time. I’m not ready for this kind of thing.’ He hadn’t wanted his divorce and he was really vulnerable when we met. Even though we both agreed we were going into it with our eyes wide open, it wasn’t the case. I was really into him. I wanted to believe it was going to work. When he left, I ate myself to death. I cried and I let myself be miserable. I’d come home and I’d eat and I’d cry.
“Then I shopped. I bought everything I ever wanted. It was like a death. I went through all the stages — denial through acceptance. My girlfriends gave me books to read. And how did he handle it? As a matter of fact, he found someone else. He started dating her right after we broke up.”
Jessica was involved with a divorced male, 42, with kids, for 21/2 years. They lived together, traveled together, entertained together. She bought his socks. He paid her insurance. She used his accountant; he used her dentist. Then one day she looked at him and said, “Do you want more children?”
And he said, “No,” and Jessica said, “’Then I’m going to be leaving you. I love you and I’m not going to see you again because it would hurt too much.’ I got an apartment. I busied myself lining my silverware drawer, changing my address, buying furniture. I just snapped it off. I kept thinking he doesn’t want what I want. We’re in different stages of our lives.
“I look at the women who con these 40-year-old men into having a baby when they’ve already got grown kids. Are those husbands going to burn out on them when they’ve got a little crying baby because they’ve already done it? I wouldn’t want that.
“I’m glad I had the guts to leave. I could have gone crazy and become depressed. Instead, I started looking for a new job and filling my life back up. Essentially, what you do is distract yourself. I’ve been accused of snapping off love affairs without any emotional trauma. I think it’s true.”
How do you deal with break-ups? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.