Sunday, April 30, 2006

The 60 Day Rule

I usually wake up to z100 in the mornings. I like the chemistry of Elvis Duran, John Bell, Danielle Monero and everyone else from the "Morning Zoo." They all have such distinctive voices and really can offer some insightful observations and comments.

One morning, a few weeks ago, I tuned into a discussion that the Morning Zoo was having about "The 60 Day Rule." That is, sixty days of no contact after a break up. Everyone on the radio was advocating it so that you'll keep your sanity. All the DJs were telling their own stories. For example, Danielle Monero talked about how she would check her cell phone 10 times every minute and take her phone with her to the gym and prop it up on the treadmill. Another girl on the show talked about how she would run home to see if there were any messages on her answering machine from her ex.

Then the guys on z100 began to take calls. This one girl, Rebecca, really stood out to me. She had just broken up with her boyfriend and was distraught. She really was a mess, and I really felt for her. She had recently gone through a breakup and she missed her ex terribly. She told the z100 guys that she couldn't stop thinking about him. She would check her phone 100 times day just to see if he sent a text message or called. Her ex would never talk to her anymore except for a "booty" call or to tell her about the other girls he has been meeting. Rebecca kept making excuses to the guys on the radio for her ex and was still hoping he'd come back. You could hear the fear, dread and panic in her voice. The saddest part was that the "60 Day Rule" was a grey area for her. She asked the radio guys, "Well, after the 60 days, then what? Who calls who?" She didn't seem to be getting it. The point of the "60 Day Rule" is to give you the opportunity to take control of a situation that has you reeling out of control.

A couple months ago, I was Rebecca. Now it's kind of complicated, but I wasn't really dating my last guy. Nonetheless, we were pretty close and he ended up breaking my heart. For a while, after the "puppy love" was over, I was the guy who wouldn't go away and he could still push my buttons. Finally, one day I told myself that I was really tired of the way he was treating me. I went through a detox from a guy who was always making me feel bad about myself by not talking to him anymore.

I'm better now and less sad. But I feel more empty. It's still hard for me to not think of him and "romanticize" my ended friendship with him. I haven't seen him in about a couple of months. I can't seem to remember what my guy looked like the last time I saw him. I remember a lot of other details. I remember the dvd I brought to his apartment and the dinner that I had made for him. I remember the guy playing "Imagine" on his guitar at the subway station, while I was waiting for the 7 train to take me to Queens. I remember how relatively warm it was that day. I remember the new dimmer light switch that my guy had just installed in his apartment. I remember trying to find something to reheat the pasta that I had brought for him and ended up using a pie pan to reheat it because he didn't have a microwave yet in his new apartment. I also remember leaving his apartment the next day and trying so hard to be cool and smiling at him when he genuinely smiled at me and said "Have a nice day."

These days, I almost feel as if I am telling myself I *should* feel sad because it's the expected way to feel and because I'm so scared that if I let go of the connection, then he really will be out of my life. I'm still so afraid to say that I've lost him, even though I know I really have. The tears are gone now. But I don't really have any emotion right now. Hopefully, soon I'll accept the situation and really move on.


EM said...

terry cho cho, the thing that sucks about break-ups (even if you weren't officially dating), is that it usually takes finding someone else in order to really move on. that someone else doesn't have to be THE someone else, but it helps to remind you that the person you miss isn't your only hope at love. you'll always be sad that it didn't work out, but the emptiness you mentioned goes away when you realize there is not only life after that person, but a damn good one.

glad you were able to see the situation wasn't good for you and remove yourself from it. here's hoping to find a way to move on quickly, but if does take awhile, don't berate yourself for it. this stuff takes time.

big hugs going your way (and you're not allowed to be grossed out by them because they're virtual - so ha!).

Jon said...

Well, if I've learned anything in life, it's that you can't help how you feel. I someone dies and you don't cry, it's ok. If you do cry, that's fine. As long as you don't completely repress your feelings, you should be fine in the end.

Anonymous said...

From Jayne: I am so sorry. On NPR's "Day to Day" today, Lynn Miles was featured. They played part of her "1000 Lovers" song from her album "Love Sweet Love." The song talks about how sometimes despite everything she is inconsolable. She says, "Sometimes I think it's very important to go through things and let them happen, rather than avoid them." How true. But while you are going through them, it just sucks. Do whatever you need to get through. Sorry for your loss.