This is what heartbreak looks like

July 30 This is what heartbreak looks likeI collect break-up messages and archive them – I’m planning on writing a book; it will be hilarious. Getting dumped in your twenties is almost a rite of passage, this carousel of really indecisive men. You need to find yourself? Seriously, who are you, Julia Roberts?

 I have gotten every variation of “the speech,” which I am learning to accept graciously.

“Sometimes it’s best to not ask questions,” Alyssa sagely cautioned me numerous times during our African road trip. The journalist in me cringed every time, but she’s right. Too many questions and “You’re awesome, but it’s just bad timing” turns into “The truth is…you’re too young, you’re too old, you’re too mature, you’re too immature, you just want more than I do right now, you’re not serious enough, you’re too hot, too cold, too black, too white”….all the way to my personal favourite, “You chew your gum too loudly” and the close runner-up: “You made me a pie once, but you didn’t let me keep it” (yes, I’m serious, that is actually how one relationship went down – have I sold you on my book yet?)

Ah! Why is this so agonizing? You open up, you hope, you’re ultimately rejected.

And you start to think maybe I’m not as awesome as I thought? Maybe my awesomeness is invisible to the naked eye. [Sam’s comment: Learn modesty]

And this self-hatred is of course, one hundred times better than thinking there is no integrity left in the world or that you will never fall in love.

I am seriously bummed.

“How did your date go?” Derek, my colleague and work husband, asked.

“It was great. Really great, actually. The fact he decided he wasn’t interested anymore only a few days later does not change the fact it was a really good date,” I replied.

“Why’d he decide he wasn’t interested?”

“It just seems to be my luck. But it’s not me. I’ve convinced myself it’s not me,” I said a little desperately.

“Hmmm,” Derek thought for a moment. “It might have been you.”

“Ugh, gee thanks. Way to be encouraging. You’re supposed to say, ‘There’s someone else out there for you, Raquel.’ Come on, you work with me all day, you know what I’m really like, you know lots of guys would really love to be with me.”

Derek hesitated. “Ugh, well…”

“Seriously? Come on! I know I rant and rave sometimes, but I’m funny. I think a lot of guys would think I’m funny.”

“You are pretty funny,” he said matter-of-factly.

“That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me,” I said ironically. “Besides that one time I said something really complimentary about myself and you said, ‘yeah.’”

At that, Derek let out a sincere chuckle.

Okay, I am funny…and slightly over-dramatic – but also sincere and really caring. And it wasn’t me. Unless, of course, you know, it was.

“It’s a possibility,” Derek offered. He was teasing me…I think.