I deleted my Bumble account last weekend. As I predicted, I didn't get to go on any dates with any of the guys on Bumble this time around. I imagined several guys going through the online dating profiles, seeing mine, and possibly thinking, "Hmm, she's attractive, maybe...oh, wait, she's 37? Swipe LEFT! Swipe LEFT!" (I think that the guys in their thirties in particular did this a lot.)
On Bumble, if you and the other person both "swipe right" on each other's profiles, then you're "matched". I actually got dozens of matches, but when I wrote to the guys, they either didn't write back at all or wrote a couple messages and then pulled disappearing acts. I think the ones who answered might have thought they were being polite, but I think it's rude because it gives people like me false hope.
My heart wasn't really in online dating this time around. I didn't really want to date anyone, but I thought I should since I have the summer off from teaching and thus have more time to date. But after the Model took my heart and stomped all over it with the girlfriend he never told me about, I no longer want to even try to date anyone.
Like I wrote last week, something froze up inside of me when I realized that he used me to cheat on his girlfriend, and it's like my heart has turned to stone. I find myself turning back into the full-fledged workaholic I was back in my twenties, before I screwed up my life by dating, the kind of person who was solely focused on her work. Back then, I occasionally noticed if a guy was attractive, but I felt no emotion for him. I didn't really feel any kind of romantic emotions for anyone for years. For now, it's the person that I need to be because despite all the anger, bitterness, and resentment I feel towards the Model for what he did to me, there is still a part of me that has lingering feelings for him. I hate that weak, stupid part of myself, and I want to destroy it and make it disappear forever. And I hate him a thousand times more.
I've been keeping busy, in order to keep my mind off of him and the pictures his girlfriend posted on her Instagram page from their trip to Mexico, where she gushed about her love for him and referred to him as "my boo" and bragged about their "baecation" (She could be the nicest person in the world, but because she gets to be with the person I wanted to be with for the past year, I'll always be biased against her. Also, I think that anyone who uses the word "baecation" deserves to be slapped in the face with a thesaurus.)
Despite my love for pop music and singers like Taylor Swift and Britney Spears, I've been listening to a lot of rap music lately. There is a lot of anger, sadness, and passion in these rappers' lyrics, and listening to them makes me feel a little better because I can relate to what they wrote. For example, Cardi B's song, "Be Careful," totally captures what I'm feeling right now, though I should warn you there are a lot of four-letter words in her song, which is really good nevertheless:
I've been rereading the 300-page dissertation I wrote when I was a Ph.D. candidate, mining it for ideas for articles. In order to advance in academia, it's not enough to be a good teacher; you have to establish your reputation as a scholar by publishing articles in scholarly journals, presenting your research at academic conferences, and writing scholarly books. I've also been reading other resources, like The Professor Is In, which gives really detailed advice on the academic job market, and How to Write Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks. I've been spending a lot of time at the library on the campus of the school where I teach, poring over the books written by scholars in my field. Being around all those books, immersing myself in other people's ideas and dreams, is also comforting.
I've been working out five days a week this summer, and I cut way down on my junk food intake. I've lost ten pounds in the past two months, and I feel really good about that. In the back of my mind, though, I keep thinking of cake and people laughing at me while they eat cake.
I've been revising another story I've been working on, and I plan on sending it to another creative nonfiction magazine soon. I've cleaned almost every inch of my apartment and reorganized my closet. I read somewhere that cleaning can be therapeutic because you're bringing order out of chaos. I'm still doing work for my website job, and I picked up a lot of extra hours.
I've been planning my upcoming trip to New York City (I'm leaving in two weeks!) and making a list of all the things I want to do: visit Central Park, eat ice cream at Serendipity Cafe, and yell at rude people on the street, which is apparently something you can only do in big cities without people thinking that you're weird.
I've been trying to keep as busy as possible because if I stop to think about how the Model slept with me just two weeks before he took his girlfriend to Mexico, how he ignored my texts where I tried to confront him about her, and how I realized that he never cared about me, I know I'll start crying again. The first time I saw those pictures of them together in Mexico, I was at the movies by myself, watching The Incredibles 2. Everyone around me was laughing at the movie, while I sat there in the dark, clutching my phone and crying quietly.
If I let myself think about him (or her) too much, then I'll start Googling curses on the Internet, using search terms like "how to make him impotent for life" or "how to make him have nightmares that cause him to wake up screaming every day". I find myself wanting to track him down and go all Chicago on his lying face and smack that smug look right off him. If I let myself slow down, even just for a moment, I'll look at her Instagram page again and see the pictures of them together, and then I'll feel miserable all over again.
Sometimes I think that feelings, especially romantic ones, are overrated, and that maybe a heart made of stone and a life devoted to my work are just what I need right now.
What about you? Have you ever gotten your heart broken? If you have, how did you cope with it?
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