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The Disappearing Act

17 Nov

In the past few weeks since I’ve started writing Live & Love in L.A. I’ve gotten so many girlfriends and guy friends reaching out to me about their dating dilemmas… and I love it! That’s the exact reason I started writing this blog! Men and women need somewhere to vent, a place to feel they’re not alone, and more importantly, a blog that can give you a good laugh about the crazy world of dating—and I’m so glad it’s serving that exact purpose. I wanted to create something light-hearted, candid, and easy to read because after all, it’s not that serious! Dating in Los Angeles is, more often than not, just a long funny movie… at least my dating life is.

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One dating topic that has been brought to my attention at least twice in the last couple weeks is guys going M.I.A. (missing in action– for all you newbies). My girlfriends date a guy—for let’s say, 2 to 4 months—and everything is going great! You’re spending a ton of time together, he tells you he’s totally falling for you, you’ve hung out with his friends, and one day… he just stops calling! You low-key freak out and text him but all you get is…. *crickets*….  Maybe you even go so far as to texting him a novel long angry rant about how he should just tell you if he’s over you! WHY?! WHAT THE F#!& HAPPENED?! EVERYTHING WAS FINE AND IT’S BEEN 3 DAYS SINCE HE’S CALLED!!!!

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Ladies, this is what I like to call The Disappearing Act. Totally standard douchebag M.O. (mode of operation, come on people!) You can spend countless nights asking yourself why or bugging your girlfriends to death trying to make sense of it all OR you can get real and realize he’s just over it!

Here are several possibilities why your guy fell off the face of the earth:

-He’s seeing someone else

-He chose that someone else over you

-He’s freaked out feeling it’s getting “too serious”

-He’s in his young, party mindset and he’s too busy making it rain at the club with his fellow douchebag friends

-You’re not a big priority to him

-He lost interest because you gave it up too quickly

Notice I did NOT say:

-He lost his phone

-He lost your number

-He’s just super busy right now. Come on, he’s a doctor!

-He wants to play hard-to-get

-His dog died

-HE died

-His grandma is sick

-He’s going through a lot right now

Okay, I know this sounds a little harsh but it’s the truth. The truth your girlfriends are too afraid to tell you because they’re afraid of hurting your feelings. When men really want a woman, there’s virtually nothing that can come in between them and their chase. I often hear my girlfriends excusing this kind of behavior for him being “really busy right now” and “he’s going through so much”. All of these excuses could actually be legitimate but that doesn’t mean he has zero time in the day to shoot you a text and touch base with you. Nobody flips the script after weeks of blissful dating because they’re too busy. If a guy “goes ghost”, as my cousin Mariel says, it’s most likely because of you. NOT meaning you did something wrong, but it’s his feelings for you… or lack thereof. It’s part of a man’s primal blueprint to pursue you if he’s really interested in you. I’m not going to quote some weird Harvard study where I read that… I just know that shit is true. And you do, too.

Regardless of why he’s avoiding you, there’s really nothing you can do about it. A very important lesson I’ve learned from my crazy dating life is that when you’re in a relationship you cannot control anyone but yourself. We women waste so much energy trying to make sense of a situation we have no control over. We want an explanation and we want it right now!

So here it is. The explanation you’ve been waiting for. He is too immature and/or cowardly to meet face-to-face and properly break it off with you. He wants to avoid the confrontation of you being angry with him, crying to him or asking a million and one questions. A real man will communicate with you and a real man knows you are worth the explanation—simple as that.

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Now you’ve read this… it’s starting to sink in…. and you’re kinda depressed. It’s okay! Totally normal! I know I write this sounding like it’s a cake walk to move on but I don’t mean for it to sound like a no-brainer. Of course it’s hurtful to be dropped by someone you really liked even if it was a short whirlwind romance. But what other choice do you have but to move on? Like I’ve said in my past entry “Cry Me a River, Build Me a Bridge”, break-ups suck no matter how you slice it!

Do keep in mind that all break-ups are hard but the one kind of heartbreak that shouldn’t consume one more second of your life is when a guy pulls The Disappearing Act… If he’s not that creepy David Blane dude, disappearing is SO not cool.

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Cry Me a River, Build Me a Bridge

26 Oct

…and get over it! I just love this saying that was told to me by my awesome friend, Jordyn, back in high school and it stuck with me for years! “Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and GET OVER IT!” Simple as that—or is it?

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Haven’t we all checked into the Heartbreak Hotel? Whether it was after you got dumped or even if you were the one doing the dumping, break-ups are the worst. You can’t help but stew over the what-ifs and why-nots as it completely takes over every bit of your mind leaving no room to think or function normally. You’re just waiting for anyone to bring it up so you can get another chance to hear yourself explain it out loud for the 15th time—hoping it’ll all make sense eventually.

I was having brunch with my mom last week as I received a text message from one of my girlfriends—who shall remain nameless since this is sort of a sensitive subject—saying, “Dear love doctor Joyce, I would like to request a blog piece on ‘getting over it’.” My first blog request (yay)! Well, I definitely don’t have a PhD in the love department but I have gone through more break-ups in the past few years than most people do in a lifetime; which I think makes me the opposite of an expert haha! But one thing I DO know about love is how to bounce back! No one wants to mope for months and become that poor, jaded girl who can’t let go. So, how does one “get over it” in a healthy, brief manner?  Well, everyone is different. We all cope with loss in very different ways. Here are a few ways I shake off the break-up funk that might just work for you, too!

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1. BRIEF PERMITTED MELTDOWN: Many girls spend the first post-heartbreak days reciting to themselves, “don’t cry, don’t cry”, but I say, just f-ing cry! BE SAD! And don’t apologize for it. Depending on how serious the relationship was, it could literally feel like losing family—so why are you holding back from feeling anything? You are human and being ripped out of love is one the most painful experiences you’ll go through in life. I allow myself to stay at home post-break-up-weekend, no make-up, sweats-only dress code while stuffing my face with Thrifty’s chocolate malted crunch ice cream (5 cool points if you know what’s up) and watching my favorite chick-flick, “The Holiday”… don’t ask me why this is my movie of choice when I’m sad. Oh, I know… Because Jude Law is insanely hot, that cheating bastard! But don’t get too carried away ladies. I said a weekend and not any longer. Have your pity party then bounce back to reality. Sure, you’ll still be pretty bummed but you have no choice but to carry on with life. Remember, there are worse things in life, you are still alive, you are still fabulous and there are like 674,000 men ages 25 to 34 in Los Angeles (I totally just Googled that) ready to help you get over your lame ex.

2. KEEP BUSY:  Staying preoccupied is key to your sanity after a tough break-up. I always drown myself into my work, grab drinks with my girlfriends, or hit the gym way more than I ever would while being in a relationship (great revenge is feeling super fit & sexy— definitely my kinda ‘eff you’ to an ex-boyfriend). I specifically remember being heartbroken and my two best guy friends, Jules and Richard, physically dragged me out of bed by my lifeless limbs to get me to stop watching Oprah, change out of my PJs, and go to the gym with them! Don’t give yourself too much time to think about it. The more bored you are, the more likely you will obsess over the details. Find a new hobby or perfect an old one that you put off while being consumed in your old relationship. Just do you!

*Especially if it was a break-up over a bullsh*t reason like him cheating or being a disrespectful asshole, GO OUT AND FORGET ABOUT THAT LOSER! Two years ago, I went over to my ex’s condo after being out of town for a couple weeks and found a condom wrapper in his downstairs trash can. Let’s just say, we were never getting freaky in the living room and I didn’t buy his ‘maybe it was my friend Christian’s who came over’ story. Oh, please! Are you bleeping kidding me? So, after quite a violently angry rage, I called my cousin Michelle to tell her about this idiot and by the end of the conversation, we had our bags packed and flights to Las Vegas booked! True story.

Here’s a pic of me literally less than 48 hours after the break-up. A little bitter, a little drunk, and a whole lotta RELIEVED! (Seen in the background: my hilarious cousin/BFF Michelle  who is always down for a good time and helped me laugh my way through my broken heart)….

I mean, of course you’d normally need healthy healing time but if he had the audacity to cheat on you, the very least you can do for yourself is not waste another second on this person. If it’s a done deal and an unforgivable reason, I say, to Hell with him! Put on your best little black dress, slap on that hot red lipstick and celebrate your independence!

 

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3. STEP AWAY FROM THE STATUS UPDATE: There’s nothing more pathetic than updating a status or Tweet on your social media accounts to notify your friends how heartbroken you are. Sure, it’s your Facebook and you can do what you want—but do you really want your ex or his friends or even YOUR friends knowing you can’t move on? It’s like those awkward statuses people post when they’re fighting with their boyfriends… your friends don’t know if they should “like” the status, comment “are you okay?” when they really just want you to shut up, or just leave it alone and keep scrolling down their News Feed. That’s what your girlfriends are for! Call them privately or go out to lunch to tell them how you feel. You don’t need support on an open forum because sadly, a lot of people get sick pleasure out of your pain, and that’s the honest truth. Misery loves company. My ex-boyfriend who is still good friends with my sister told her, “I guess Joyce is handling it well, she looks really happy on Facebook.” Why? Because I don’t post emo song lyrics!!! Social media should be used for light-hearted subjects and keeping in touch with friends… and relentlessly plugging your blog (just kidding). It’s like a photo album you’d show to a girlfriend you haven’t seen in years; you wouldn’t document when you’re miserable.

*I just realized this has nothing to do with HOW exactly you get over someone. I think I just added it in there for kicks. Just do as I say, don’t ask questions haha! Well, here’s some correlation to getting over him: DON’T FACEBOOK STALK HIM OR HIS NEW GIRLFRIEND. It’s not healthy for you and it’s super creepy. You don’t need to keep refreshing his page to find out what his latest move is; all you have to know is it’s not with you! Geez, even I think that sounded a little harsh…

4. START DATING: Now, this one’s tough. What is too soon? What is not soon enough? Let’s just say, after you’re sick of being depressed over your ex, start putting yourself back on the market. You don’t necessarily have to pursue every hot guy you bump into, but don’t be opposed to meeting someone new. Some say, “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” That’s a little vulgar; but may have some truth to it. I do not suggest hitting the sheets with the next available guy… this is a FIGURATIVE saying. My interpretation of it? A great way to forget about someone in the past is to meet someone new and realize your ex doesn’t compare to them. It’ll open your eyes that you may have just found someone even better than the rest! But be careful, rebound dating can be a double-edged sword! You might go out with someone so awful that it makes you want to run back into your ex’s arms OR you might just meet the love of your life…. I think it’s worth the risk.

My current boyfriend, Nate, and I had both just gotten out of relationships when we met at the bar I worked at where his friend’s band was performing; his former relationship was what I understand to be very brief and the break-up was a couple months prior, mine was a year long and the break-up… a couple DAYS prior. Crazy, I know. After catching each other’s eyes all night (I mean, hello? He’s 6’5” and a gorgeous hunk of man and I’m almost considered a legal midget—how can you not stare?), he finally asked if I’d like to have dinner with him sometime and I could barely let him finish before saying yes! I normally dread when customers ask me out on a date while I’m bartending. I tend to dodge the question by making up a pretend boyfriend that gets so far stretched that I’m even sometimes impressed with how creative the lie was. With Nathan, on the other hand, the second I saw him I got extremely nervous and felt myself blushing and literally sweating (so gross) when I’d catch him watching me. Even though I had just broken up with Anthony, something inside of me said I just had to go out with Nate. Weeks of dating went by and we shared this undeniable, strong attraction to one another that every chance we got, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other—instant mental and physical stimulation. I took him to a family gathering and it turned out that all my cousins were his old high school friends or his current clients, and they already loved him… Small world! After acknowledging both of us being newly single, we tried to “take it slow”, although, that quickly changed. We both came to grips with the fact that we were both over our exes and they just didn’t come close to comparing to one another. Our bond was like none we’ve ever experienced before. So, what are we waiting for?! Let’s make this shit official! It’s funny how you think a relationship is so meaningful until you’re in one that makes that old relationship seem so amateur. And now, almost a year and a half later, we are borderline annoyingly crazy about each other, parents to three beautiful baby DOGS, share the same hopes and dreams, and travel the world together. Here’s us in Santorini, Greece…

 After a devastating split with Anthony, I thought to myself, “I give up! I seriously am done dating in this stupid city. All the good ones are married or gay.” And just then in a very unassuming dive bar, when I least expected it, I found a man who is some kind of wonderful. *cue in Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” song*

I realize none of these suggestions may help you because you might have a totally opposite personality than mine, but the point is you need to find what works for you and stick with it. My girlfriend Cecilia who enjoys reading Live & Love in L.A. mentioned on my Facebook thread regarding this subject, “I tend to grab some boxing gloves. There’s something therapeutic about beating the crap out of a sand bag. It’s good to release all those negative emotions somehow.”  You go, girl! Better the sand bag than your ex’s face! Or is it? Hehe. (Disclaimer: That would be considered an illegal assault and Live & Love in L.A. does not promote domestic abuse). LOL!

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Bottom line, no matter how you slice it, breaking up with someone sucks. Getting over that someone might suck even more. It rarely ever ends amicably and mutually which always results in one person from the equation left with the task of moving on. Some say you are supposed to consider how long you were with your ex, divide that time in half, and that is approximately how long it’ll take to fully recover from that relationship. Although that might be an accurate analysis more often than not, you can’t use one universal rule for every relationship. It may take much longer for some, and surprisingly much shorter for others. If you take one thing from reading this post, please let it be that you are worth the difficult process of moving on. Whether it was a good relationship overall or a very unhealthy glad-I-got-out-of-there affair, if it’s over, it’s over. Cliché warning: Life is really too short to be stuck on someone who is not stuck on you.

Side note: Live & Love in L.A. has reached over 1,000 hits! WOOHOO! Cyber high-five to all you awesome readers. I absolutely love writing about my dysfunctional love life and I’m glad some of you out there find comfort, humor, or whatever it is that makes you feel good about reading my stories. Thank you times a million!