Every time I hear Sinead O'Connor's song "If U Ever," I start to think about my ex and cry. I get teary-eyed even hearing it in my head, for Christ's sake! The first time this happened, I actually bawled. (Like most men, I'm not much of a crier.) At least now I'm functional.
We were together for five years and always seemed to bring out the worst in each other. After a nasty spell with her blacking out (10 shots of tequila—and she drove home) and getting violent (she tried to hit me— I held her until she stopped), I asked her to either get help for substance abuse or move out.
She moved out a year ago. We still had sex for a few months, but then she started dating a man she worked with. They've been together since last September, and she seems pretty happy.
But I still miss her! My question is, what gives? Why do I long for this person who's as healthy as a bottle of tequila and who will undoubtedly make me miserable? Do I want to be miserable? I don't think I do—I'm trying to be happy.
I'm not talking your basic longing, either. We're talking epic, gut-wrenching, heightened longing. We went through a lot together, and she has known me probably far better than anyone else in my life.
What's a man to do?
First of all, stop listening to that Sinead O'Connor! I love her too, but I've spent far too many evenings sobbing along to "Nothing Compares to Lou" (my slightly edited version of her big hit) after getting dumped by my now-deceased ex.
Secondly, you do not miss this toxic excuse for a broad—you miss the small portion of her that you loved. Unfortunately, her good bits were attached to an abusive alcoholic. What you need is time. You were together for five years—that's half a decade, ferchrissakes! You're allowed to miss her; with time, you'll realize you're better off. For now, go out and buy yourself some new CDs—but think metal, not mope-rock.
Obviously, I must be retarded. I consider myself to be pretty intelligent, but, in the course of the last nine months, I have been used, stepped on, ignored, and duped. I befriended an attractive man I work with back in September. He was everything I wasn't: strong, confident, brilliant, and a hottie. Naturally, I fell completely in love with him. After becoming fully aware that he was NOT interested, I decided I would become his best friend, figuring something is better than nothing. I began to get confused when he started telling me I was beautiful, saying how lonely he was, reading me freakin' poetry, telling me I meant more to him than any girl he had ever met, carrying on five-hour phone conversations, etc. I ignored it—until he started to date my best friend. The irritating element to this was that he had told me he had amazingly high standards, and I didn't meet them. She didn't make the grade either, but somehow she was much better than me.
Unfortunately, I still love him. Although he has broken up with her now, I still can't get him to see the light (which looks suspiciously like me). All my friends tell me that he is an idiot and an egomaniac, and I should just forget him. But I keep thinking that if I change just a little, he'll fall madly in love with me. I need advice from a third party. (Did I mention he writes poetry and is amazingly attractive?)
Screwed (but not in that fun, spanky sort of way)
Experience has taught me that if all my friends dub someone a scumbag, he probably is. Your friends care about you and don't want you to get hurt or make a jackass outta yourself (though it sounds like they're a little late on this count). Have no fear; no matter what you do, this guy will never fall in love with you. He's got you where he wants you right now—wussed out and worshipful.
Sigh. Reread your letter. You know what to do. And poetry? You say that like it's a good thing! What you need to "change just a little" is your spineless nature. I suggest you grow a backbone and tell this low-rent Rilke to go peddle his cheesy little limericks elsewhere.
Melancholy? Screwed? Write email@example.com or Dategirl, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste 300, Seattle, WA 98104.