This morning, on a long (and collision-free!) bike ride with my friend E, she asked how long I took to get over the guy I dated last semester.
As often happens with direct, straight-forward questions about my love life, I wasn’t sure how to answer.
“It’s kind of difficult to quantify,” I said, explaining that it was initially devastating because I’d met him within forty-eight hours of moving to New Mexico, but that I felt “over” it rather quickly since I had known basically all along that he wasn’t someone things were likely to work out with in a serious way.
Also, I told her, I’m not entirely sure I know what that statement means: it’s not as though you wake up one day and realize that you are “over” someone.
E–who, by the way, is in one of the happier and more functional relationships I know–went on to tell me a story in which that was, actually, the case. She described someone she dated in college who was similar to my last-semester guy in that she recognized he wasn’t good boyfriend material, but still felt uncontrollably attracted. After a few months of dating, things ended abruptly and for a long time later she felt angry and hurt.
Until, she explained, they slept together again.
“In the morning,” she said, “I knew I was over him.”
Which is a great story, because it has closure. Most of the time, though, things don’t resolve so neatly.
If being “over” someone means feeling certain you no longer want to date them, I’m certainly over last-semester guy. (Sorry, I know I should have a better nickname, but it’s too late now and “Tall Anglo” just feels weird to repeat out of context, even though I just did.) But if it means feeling certain that you’re no longer attracted to them, I’m not so sure.
And what if it means no longer feeling angry? I told her if that was the case, I certainly wasn’t “over” My Latest Hiccup–who, as you may recall, I blogged about for longer than we actually dated because of the incredibly annoying way that things worked, or rather didn’t work, out.
“I still feel bitter about that,” I told E.
This feeling was reinforced about three hours later, when, for the second time since our brief whatever-you-wanna-call-it, he and I ran into each other.
Actually, it wasn’t so much running into each other as awkwardly winding up at our mutual friend’s house–the one we met through–at the same time.
Again, it was relatively painless: if nothing else, the guy’s got solid got social skills and a convenient, if unhealthy, way of avoiding the uncomfortable.
But after he left I couldn’t help but look at my friend and confess that still, two months later, I am pretty pissed off.
Bless her heart, she assured me that my feelings are not unwarranted.
Like most feelings, I’m sure they’ll wear off with time–whether or not that time is proportional to the whatever-you-wanna-call-it itself.
I once heard it takes twice as long to get over someone as the amount of time you were together. But I’m not sure that time has as much to do with it as the nature of the relationship: how it ended, what the expectations were, and whether there’s any safisfying resolution.
Such as, in E’s case, a mutual desire to sleep together and then move separately, happily on.
Which is a scenario I do not expect, or desire, to encounter with either of these men.
But I’m okay with that: it probably makes more sense to seek satisfaction in my present and future relationships, after all, than my past.