Getting dumped for your best friend can suck. That happened to me a few years ago. Met a cute guy. Went on a few dates. Then he got interested in my friend and slipped a breakup note under my door. That put a ding in my self-confidence. They had sex just a few floors above me in the same huge apartment complex. I could almost see it in my head falling asleep in my sad, borrowed mattress.
I saved the breakup note for a while. It read something like this:
You’re really hot. Like, seriously. But you’re boring as hell. I need someone who does crazy stuff like sing at a full moon. You’re just not wild enough.
Well, I was wild. I just thought singing at the moon was kind of…stupid. I was too nice to tell him anything.
Of course, what happened after that made me laugh. I got my revenge. But not in a spiteful way. Nope. Instead, I moved ahead and focused on my life. Success is the best revenge. Always. In fact, you can get revenge against all your enemies just by succeeding at your goals. It’s so much more efficient than taking them on one at a time.
My ex dated my friend for a few months, then they broke up. A couple weeks after that, I met him at a party where he announced to the room that he’d somehow contracted a venereal disease. Awkward. Was he proud or something? Did he think it was funny? Still not sure. But I knew one thing: So glad I never slept with him. My friend, on the other hand? She decided to get tested.
Last year, something caught my attention on my drive home. A sign outside a drugstore read something like this: Did you forget Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry! Roses, chocolate, stuffed animals, butt plugs, all half off. It was February 14th. I’m lying about the butt plugs. I mean, life’s not that good.
Seriously, fuck whoever bought their girlfriend or wife anything from that place on actual Valentine’s Day. Do you know what that says about that person? First, they actually care about this holiday. Second, they also forgot. They’re a spineless piece of shit.
Hey, I’m really sorry if you did that. You’re not a piece of shit. There’s time to repent. You could do something real this year, like take your spouse to a concert or something. Or make plans for a nice dinner. My lovey dovey and me are going to a concert this Saturday. We might fuck. I don’t know. It’s been a terrible week for us both. We might just make out and feed each other Breyers. Well, who am I kidding? We’re both in our 30s now. Frozen yogurt. Less guilt.
Long term relationships can suck. Even the great ones have one problem: you have to care about someone else. That’s hard. You can’t just care about them when you feel like it, or when you’re having a good week. You have to do it all the time. Did you have a shitty day at work? Do you just want to veg-out in front of Netflix and ignore the world for a night? Too bad. You can’t do that anymore. The best you can hope for? Talking to your spouse and convincing them to watch your favorite show with you. You’ve got to fake some level of happiness. On the flip side, your spouse might come home pissed off, or just feel tired or worn out for no reason. That’s even worse. You wonder if it has anything to do with you, and you try all night to make them happy. They smile warily and say, “Thanks, honey. I’m just worn out.”
I’ve enjoyed my guy for about two years now. But we’ve reached the point where we reminisce about the single life. Well, at least I do. Look, I know in the end I’m happier in a relationship. Referring to my spouse at work makes me feel like a true adult. I can have sex pretty much anytime I want. I never have to go to the movies alone. On the other hand, sometimes I miss going to the movies alone. Here are some other things I miss about those stretches where I was single, or only casually dating:
If we have anything in common, I bet you’ve dumped someone for bad reasons. Me? I’ve passed up plenty of partners. I once dumped a guy because he didn’t know what a CV was. I’m not proud of that. Okay, I’m kind of proud. I still can’t decide if that was a bad move or not. After all, he wanted to be a professor. I tried to date him for a couple of weeks. But every time we went out, I kept seeing this Sherlock-style text above his head that read, “Has no future.” So I stopped returning his calls.
A couple of years later I did something similar, with a guy who wanted to be a historian but couldn’t pass Latin. Maybe If I had a soul, I would’ve stuck with him. But that was kind of a deal breaker. I couldn’t get through a date without wondering if he would ever retake the course. Besides, anyone who has failed a course falls below my standards. I can’t tolerate that level of incompetence, and it has no place in my life. On that note, also make sure I don’t see you lose a video game. That’s a huge turnoff. If you think I’m bad, I was worse in high school. I wouldn’t date anything below a 9.3. Why a .3? Because we all know that people can drop a quarter of a point if they’ve just woken up, or look tired, or just eaten. I needed someone who could stay in the 9-zone no matter the time of day. My senior year, I also dumped a guy because he used different fonts in his poetry. That’s just ridiculous. How can you take someone seriously when they pull that shit?
Dating isn’t easy on girls with Asperger’s. Flirting and romance are all about subtlety and nuance. Some people with this condition, or autism, might miss your little hints completely when you’re hitting on them. With me, it’s more like I overthink things into oblivion. I’ve completely missed when cute guys were interested, but I’ve also been overwhelmed with the number of possible ways to interpret gestures, facial expressions, and conversation cues that most people readily identify as flirting. I can identify a song by the first three notes from two blocks away even against traffic noise. But I can’t tell if you like me or not until you grab my ass and say, “Let’s fuck.”
For example, two or three times at different parties guys would ask, “So do you have a boyfriend?”
I would say, “Not right now, but I’m looking. Maybe that guy over there. He’s glancing at me like he might be interested. What do you think?”
Friends often pulled me aside at these parties and said things like, “What are you doing? That hot guy is really into you, and you’re blowing it big time.”
Then I’d say, “Ohhhhh.” And if I hadn’t ruined things too much, I would try to act more like girls I’d seen on TV.
Twice my freshmen year, guys directly asked me out, and I laughed at them. I thought they were joking because they were smiling and acting sort of silly. I honestly thought smiling and laughing when you asked someone out meant you were telling a joke. Granted, those kinds of jokes never made much sense to me. But few jokes did. So I just assumed I was missing something. Awkward. Maybe one day I’ll call up some of those guys and ask them what they really thought about me back then.