I’m feeling the need to write this post, because I’m still in an active grieving process. Grieving from being abruptly broken up with after three and a half years together. And after these four months, I’m still trying to pick up the pieces and make sense of the whole thing. So, as part of my healing journey, I’m wanting to make sure that I take some responsibility for myself. And I don’t want to just be a complete victim in the whole thing. Even though that’s 100% how I feel about it most of the time, which I don’t like, but can’t seem to help. However, it really takes two to tango. And we both made great contributions, as well as lots of mistakes. So, here’s my attempt at getting honest with myself, about the things about me that really bothered him.
I chose this featured photo because that’s honestly how I feel about myself when I think about this topic. I feel ugly, and gross, and unlovable (no offense to the Rooster). There is so much shame and embarrassment around getting dumped. And it can feel really confusing, deciphering the difference between what things about myself I need to change. And what things about myself are okay to accept. Because ultimately, no one is perfect. And success in love isn’t necessarily about making ourselves perfect for someone. Instead, it’s more about finding that person who is okay with our rough edges. And finding someone who’s rough edges we really don’t mind either.
In this last relationship, I think my rough edges just really didn’t suit him. And that hurts and sucks. But, it’s also a part of the path to love.
Read my related article, “I Have Quirky Traits And That’s Not A Bad Thing.”
1. I DON’T LIKE MESSES, OR DIRT, OR SLOPPINESS
My ex was a huge slob, and this is no secret. And I ultimately don’t think his messiness was something that would’ve bothered me in the long run. But, I think the fact that he had to really shift himself so much, in order for me to be comfortable, probably made him really uncomfortable. I’m clean and he’s not. And I think he hated that he had to be clean for me.
Verdict: I think it’s okay for me to stay this way, and I think it’s totally possible to find someone who is a bit more on the cleaner side of things. Although, I can also probably try to loosen up a bit when it comes to other people and messes.
2. I DON’T APPRECIATE, I FEEL HURT, AND WILL PUSH BACK WHEN MY THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS ARE CHALLENGED OR CRITICIZED
This one is definitely something I know off the bat I could probably work on. Although it’s really hard for me. Because I’m super stubborn when it comes to what I think and what I believe. And in some ways, I think it makes for a fantastic individual who knows herself, and who can stand strong in her beliefs. However, it can be really problematic in relationships. And there are many, many, many people who I think are incredible people, who may have opinions that differ from my own. And there needs to be space for both people’s thoughts in a relationship.
Although, I will also say that in this last relationship, it was a slippery slope. Because sometimes I felt like I would be simply venting about something, and needing someone to just listen and understand. And he would be so quick to offer an opinion, almost always the opposite of mine. So often in fact, that sometimes it seemed like he was offering a different opinion, just to be different. And it often felt very hurtful that he almost never sympathized or sided with me about anything. When really, I just needed some support from my boyfriend in that moment.
Verdict: I still think this is an area that I need to work on. Because even my closest and dearest loved ones have gently expressed this to me over the years. So, I know there’s some room for improvement here.
3. I DON’T LIKE TO BE AROUND ADDICTION OR ANY FORM OF ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR
I come from a family of addicts, and I’ve had my fair share of addiction-related trauma over the years. Therefore, I don’t want to be around active addicts and I don’t like it. Period. It’s so ultra triggering for me, and no one should have to relive their traumatic childhood in their love relationship.
I don’t need to get into details, but my ex did like to use a certain addictive substance, sometimes in excess. And although he kept his usage at bay during our relationship, I think this would have been a huge problem later on. So, I think it’s okay for me to think of this breakup as a bullet dodged in this respect.
Verdict: I won’t and can’t budge on this one, and I 100% know that I don’t have to.
4. I’M VERY CURIOUS ABOUT PEOPLE, AND VERY OPEN, AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHEN SOMEONE IS CLOSED OFF AND SECRETIVE
My ex was super secretive at times. And he would often get so offended if he answered a question about himself and I wanted more information.
For instance, one time we were walking down the street in his neighborhood. And I remarked on an apartment building that I thought looked nice, and asked him if he thought it looked like a nice place to live. He then sort of flatly answered no and that he didn’t like it. And I wanted to know why.
I’m telling you, this was like one of our worst fights ever. And honestly, I was just so curious to know why. Yet, he simply would not give a reason. And he just wanted me to accept his no without explanation.
I found this so bizarre. Because I’m used to being friends with people who, if we don’t agree about something silly like this, then we are both super excited to explain why. Like, “eh, I don’t know, the place looks kind of old.” Seriously, any reason would have satiated my curiosity. And he was so offended that I kept badgering him about it. When really, it was just my way of wanting to get to know him better, and wanting to understand the way his mind worked. And it actually felt really hurtful that he didn’t want to participate in that exchange. It felt like a door slammed in my face, and he made me feel like I deserved it.
And I swear, this wasn’t me pushing my strong opinions one way or the other. Because I didn’t really have a strong opinion about that apartment building. I just couldn’t understand why he shut the conversation down. And in that moment, he accused me of bullying him.
Verdict: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking to go deeper, and expressing a curiosity about a person’s thoughts and feelings.
5. HE HATED WHEN I ASKED HIM WHAT HE HONESTLY THOUGHT ABOUT SOMETHING BUT THEN I’D GET UPSET ONCE HE SHARED HIS THOUGHTS
Okay, I get it. I totally get it. And I know this is kind of a thing that women typically do, that typically drive men crazy. And I don’t really have an excuse for it. We always really want to know what men think. We really do. But then when we hear the truth, we are in fact pretty appalled by some of the awful things we hear. I don’t like to hear what I don’t like to hear. And I suppose at times, when I asked him what he really thought about something, I had a predetermined answer in my mind. And if that answer didn’t match what he said, I would be upset about it.
Verdict: That’s all me, and I get why it drove him crazy. Oh well.
6. I’M PRETTY GROSSED OUT BY BODILY FUNCTIONS IN GENERAL
Yeah, I get that this one isn’t so great to live with. Because we all snot, and fart, and poop, and pee, and puke, and smell. And if you’re going to live with someone, you’re going to kind of see a bit of all of this at some point. And it’s not really very fun to live in your own home and feel like you can’t relax in your body.
HOWEVER. I will say that because my ex was said slob, there were also some bodily function situations that carried over into everyday life, that I think were a bit extreme and disrespectful. And I don’t think he was meaning to offend or disrespect. But, there were some pretty gross things I had to deal with. And when I confronted him about it, he always owned up to it and apologized, validating my feelings about it. But, it was ongoing and quite frustrating at times. I’m not going to get into details, because I don’t really want to disparage (too terribly) this person I gave three and a half years of my heart to. But, I’ll just say that he could’ve used some help in the area of cleanliness and respect for the other person he was living with.
And I understand that I could’ve been a bit more flexible and understanding when it comes to this sort of thing.
I’m also the first person to talk toilet humor. I actually love talking about bodily functions because I find it all so grossly fascinating. And I think, as per usual, talking about it, for me, makes me less anxious. And there’s a part of me that’s DYING to give you the details. But really, you don’t want to know.
Verdict: I honestly don’t think it’s expecting too much to have basic bodily function and hygiene issues under control. But, I’m also aware of the fact that I am pretty rigid when it comes to this kind of thing.
7. I LIKE TO TALK A LOT, AND I FEEL HURT AND OFFENDED WHEN MY WORDS AREN’T HEARD, UNDERSTOOD, OR RESPECTED
I think at times, my energy was a lot for him. And when I would return from a trip, I used to completely unload on him, without even taking a breath. And I had to learn to not do that as much. It kind of sucked for me, because I always just have so much to say. And it kind of felt like he really wasn’t interested in hearing what I had to say. And in all honesty, I actually don’t think he cared what I had to say. Which is proof that this was a mismatch. In fact, when I was talking passionately once about a song that had just come on in the car, he literally said, “I’m sorry, I just really don’t care.” That hurt like hell to hear. And was super rude.
I think this was just another sign that we were not very compatible together. Because other people in my life talk just as much as I do. And listen to me when I talk. And it’s just not a problem for either of us. But, I also get that not everyone has the bandwidth to listen and take it all in. And my ex definitely did not.
Verdict: Hmm, I think there is room for improvement when it comes to me respecting what another person can handle from me in any given moment. But, I also think I can find someone who is a bit more accepting of my loquaciousness, and who gives more of a shit about me in general.
8. I BELIEVE IN GODDESSES, FAIRIES, SPIRIT GUIDES, GHOSTS, ANGELS, AND ALL THINGS UNSEEN
It never really bothered me that my ex was a full-blown, die hard, cynical atheist. Or, maybe it did, and I just didn’t want to admit it. But, it certainly bothered him to no end that I was not an atheist. And from the beginning of our relationship, he always talked about how this was a concern of his. I suppose that I always thought he would see that it didn’t really matter, as long as we respected each other’s beliefs. But, in the end, I don’t think he respected me for my beliefs. And perhaps I didn’t respect him for his.
Verdict: I don’t think anyone should have to compromise their deep and personal beliefs for another person. Again, I just have to find someone who is more compatible with my beliefs.
9. I’M INTERESTED IN BEAUTY AND SUPERFICIAL THINGS
I’m an artist, so beauty is always going to be something I pay attention to. I see it everywhere, and I care about it. And I think this made my ex really confused and uncomfortable. He simply did not hold beauty as a value of his, in any capacity. He didn’t care how nice a room looked, and he wasn’t even that moved by a beautiful sunset. Although, he always appreciated my art, which I did always appreciate. But other than that, he didn’t really pay much attention to beauty.
I often felt like he was secretly judging me for spending time in the mirror. And I often felt like he thought I was some superficial idiot for making a big deal about pretty things in the world. But this is an integral part of who I am. And to me, beauty is a spiritual thing. Beauty in people, and nature, and art, and the world. It’s all important to me, and all of value. So, it’s true, I don’t really understand why people don’t value this. And I guess, he didn’t understand why I did.
He also hated when I complimented him on his attractiveness or natural sexiness, or anything really. And he ultimately asked me to stop doing it. So I did. And that was no fun, because I really enjoy enjoying someone and letting them know. And it was disappointing to be denied that.
Verdict: I think it’s okay to stay the way I am in this respect. And I just need to find someone who doesn’t feel so freaked out by how much I enjoy beauty.
10. I’M NOT INTELLECTUALLY CHALLENGING ENOUGH FOR HIM
This is something he told me when he was breaking up with me. That was so shocking and hurtful to me, I wasn’t able to conjure a response in the moment. And I still can’t quite make sense of it. However, I think it was an incredibly rude, unnecessary, conceited, and preposterous thing to say, amidst my heartbreak, which he was well aware of.
I also think it’s important to note that a partner can’t be all things to their mate. I can’t be the beautiful, charming, fun-loving, socially active, nurturing and warm girlfriend, while cooking all of the meals and keeping the house tidy. While at the same time challenging him intellectually in between snuggle sessions. If he needed intellectual stimulation, I think he should’ve sought it elsewhere, and not from me. It’s not who I am and I don’t like the same things that interested him.
I also thought we had lots of intellectual conversations over the course of our relationship. But, they were apparently not challenging enough for him.
Honestly, I think my recent post about this was a subconscious response to this jab, so if you would like to know how I really feel, you can read, “There Are Other Kinds Of Intelligences Besides The Patriarchal Kind.”
Verdict: Go fuck yourself, Asshole.
You know, no one is perfect, as we all know. And even in working relationships, a lot of this stuff can be common, I think. And none of these conflicts were really powerful enough to make me want to leave that relationship. But, they were for him. They just were. Or, maybe they weren’t that bad and he left for other reasons. Who knows? I’m really trying to get past the “trying to make sense of it all” part of my grief. And some days I really don’t care about why he broke up with me, and can really just accept that it happened. But, other days it’s hard. However, time heals all, I do believe this. So, I’ll just keep moving forward, sharing as I go, until it starts to feel better!
My sis and I heading up the escalator to our friend’s VIP suite at a Philadelphia Flyers game! We lost, but it was so fun!
THANK YOU FOR READING!
So, what do you think of these bothersome things? Do they sound terrible, or does this just sound like a mismatch? I know I defended myself for most of them, but I also think that’s part of the healing process. Because it’s so easy to feel so rejected and unlovable after a breakup. And to feel the need that I must change before I can ever find love again. I’ll do my best, but I hope what I have to work with is lovable enough! xo
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Featured photo by Arib Neko on Unsplash
Brick wall photo by Marl Clevenger on Unsplash
Green door photo by Bogdan Dada on Unsplash
Woman with megaphone photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash