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I did the math. And boy. Do I suck at math.

Yesterday I turned my mattress back the 180 degrees that I’d shifted it at the start of my latest attempt at an ‘us’.
Putting it back as it has been in the previous years of sleeping alone and in doing so drawing the line under what ‘we’ had been. Over. Now.
Moving it back into the single position (aka, the side that has a dent in the middle from always sleeping there by my lonesome) knowing full well that it might remain like this for a long while yet.

And as I nestled back into the familiar curve that my body dug into the foam – I felt torn.

I have been in ‘relationships’ for a good 13 of my 32 years. They’ve taught me a lot of things. About myself. The things I want, need and despise. The things that work, that break, that build and that end. But mostly – what they’ve taught me – is that I can no longer believe in what I think relationships are supposed to be. I can no longer believe that what I’m hoping for is out there to be found. And though this might be the ‘recentness‘ of it speaking – I know that this knowledge has changed me to my core.

In the past I have been stood up. Ghosted. All of that nasty business. But this was the first time I was broken up with. My first time getting dumped. Blindsided. Unexpected. Harshly. And that just ‘feels‘ different. It carries more meaning than I care to admit.

There was no classic ‘it’s not you, it’s me‘ this time. No. Though the words may not literally have been said, the message was there plain as day: ‘It’s not me. It IS you. And it will always be you.‘. And the worst thing is. I know that it’s true. Because everything corroborates that notion. Every love in my past shows that it IS me. The common denominator is but one thing. Myself.

My ideas on love, what it is and what it should be have shifted over time. A lot. And that’s natural progression. But in that change they’ve also slipped further and further out of my reach. Because what I know and want love and relationships to be these days – is almost an entire world away from what I could ever be. An impossible combination of things that are not likely to ever be found in that ‘one special person’. And the things that I want to do now, experience now, try now – take me ever further away from what I need to be for my kind of love – one step at a time.

Every attempt at love that fails miserably because of this is a piece of evidence on my court case of ‘not being made to be loved‘. At least not in the way I think I should be.

Every notch on my belt is a nail on the coffin of my chance at finding that ‘forever love’. Because I am ever less eligible for that type of love that I want.

So every ‘new’ love diminishes my worth for another. Every ‘fresh’ chance adds to the damaged package that is me. I feel the taint of my conquests. The weight of my body count. I feel the scars of my past. I feel exactly as dirty and empty and lost as I’m surely viewed by the ones that are still on the market for exactly those same reasons.

Yet the years keep ticking up. The failures keep adding up. The body count keeps rising. And I’m getting increasingly less attractive for a new partner with every time they do. I know this. I look at them the same way, don’t I. And I’m feeling increasingly less attractive as that realization sets in more and more. Who’s going to want ‘the afgelikte boterham’ in the end? What will I have remaining to offer up to another?
But at the same time my clearer vision on what works also means an evergrowing list of requirements and demands on the brave men that WOULD still make an attempt. Even though I may have no clue as to what WILL work – I have all the wisdom about what doesn’t. And add that to the calculations of taking the next chance.

The result of the sum of all of those actions is simple – Remaining chance at true love: 0.00000000maybesomethingifyou’relucky.

So I settle back into that comfortable pit in my mattress. Bury my face in the pillows that I no longer have to share. Fold myself up in the blankets that are once again all mine. And shed a tear for what is already lost, and what might never be found. Just this once.

50 thoughts on “I did the math. And boy. Do I suck at math.

  1. Big hugs. But know that not being in a relationship can be just as fulfilling. I was coupled up from age 17-37 but these last two years on my own have shown me that I don’t need a partner, like I always thought I did. I’ve learned that I am whole, I don’t need someone to complete me. So if love does come along in my future, I’ll be approaching it from a stronger perspective. 32 is still young enough that there’s a large dating pool, but give yourself some love first xx

    Liked by 10 people

  2. Reading this resonates so kuch with me… I’m sorry you’re hurting. I have a complicated story of my own.

    You haven’t met your match. Yet. So many relationships coexist even while misaligned… It’s a tricky situation to navigate. To be comfortable on your own is a skill many people lack, but you will find a way. And it won’t last.

    Write about it. Times like these make us most creative.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. There’s a lesson in every breakup. It seems you’ve found something in the ending. But it’s not YOUR ending. I wish you well during this healing/mourning process. Peace.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I know very little of love and relationships, and what I do know is probably completely alien to your world, but I do know that this is not a good feeling. Hang in there. And it’s good that you’re learning from this.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There is no one “right” answer. I happen to be in a monogamous relationship that works, but have been in plenty that didn’t. If you don’t find a “the one” it’s not a fault, nor a criticism. It just is what it is. Personally, even though I’m in a monogamous relationship, I don’t think monogamy is necessarily “natural.” Trust your gut that, in the end, you’ll figure it out. And, if that doesn’t work, keep telling yourself it’s not you it’s THEM. Every last one of ’em. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a personal perspective but I don’t believe that the success or otherwise of a relationship is alway a reflection on the individuals involved. We move through life learning about ourselves and others, and walking different paths – some that lead us in the right direction and others that don’t match our expectations but from which we learn. Focus on you and the things you enjoy and, when you least expect it, you will meet people on the same path, enjoying the same journey, and with the same beliefs and expectations as you. On common ground is where true connections are made.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lovely perspective. But I fear that one will actually have to be willing to tread a path again in order to reach that common ground. Finding safety in stand-still sounds like a sane choice atm though.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s certainly tough and takes strength and bravery. Taking time to stand still isn’t a bad thing, it’s natural – it’s valuable time to evaluate, learn and reassess. I think that’s why we need to start with ourselves and learn to appreciate who we are, our values and attributes. The more comfortable we are in our own skin, the easier it is to deal with setbacks and view things through a different prism (e.g. rather than feeling responsible for a setback, look at it as a situation where expectations didn’t match). We’re always learning about ourselves but I suppose the key is do to it constructively rather than critically and putting ourselves down.


  7. I don’t think every relationship is meant to last forever or we’d never learn and grow, that goes for romantic and platonic relationships. I, sorry you’re feeling so sad but please don’t anything so superficial as a body count affects your worth, be kind to yourself, feel your feelings but don’t write yourself off like that.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Oh God This Hurts my

    HeART Yet You

    Are Amazingly


    Witty And Truly
    A Delight i Always
    Stop What i Am Doing
    When i See the Zoe Notification

    Just So Inspiring Always A Worthwhile Treat…

    Oh Lord You are

    So Much More

    Than A Body

    You Are Super
    Cool The Shape
    of Imagination And Creativity to me

    You Know The Things That Last For
    Centuries my FRiEnD Here is a Letter
    i Wrote For Another One of my Close
    to 30 Young Lonely FRiEnDS This

    Morning Will Share With You
    As it Feels Your Pain Now too:

    Yeah And i Understand
    What It Feels Like to
    Be in The Theater

    Alone Watching
    All The Couples
    Snuggle Smiling
    Laughing Sitting
    There Alone


    If i Will Ever
    Be Good Enough
    For Someone To

    Love me That Way
    If i Could Have Seen
    You And In That Theater

    All Alone Then i Would
    Have Hugged You And
    Told You No


    i Would Never
    Leave Your Side
    Perhaps It Doesn’t

    Feel So Special Since
    i Treat All FRiEnDS This
    Way Even Strangers

    Yet It’s

    True Each

    Is A Unique

    Breath Of

    This Way

    Is What It
    Means To Keep
    God Breathing
    Everyday You
    Sit Next

    To Your

    In The Theater
    Come What May…

    In Other Words Zoe Lean

    On Your FRiEnDS Break A Record SMiLe..:)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh no, not again!!

    To be honest I share your feelings. The chance of finding someone compatible to have a good relationship with is so impossibly small, that it’s not worth chasing or viewing as an end or a necessary thing. Or at least for me it’s just not worth the effort. If it happens organically, it happens. If you’re able to have a real feeling of life purpose to begin with, it all just melts into the background really. But then that’s easier said than done when you don’t care about having kids either, haha.

    I think finding a life purpose becomes seemingly harder in a world that grows more complicated and abstracted from human nature. But the simplest things and goals are often the most valuable.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Big Hugs, My Dear!!! Sorry about the latest!! Loved your post and your message and openness and sharing it!!
    Maybe you are like me – Not a good picker? I understand how you are feeling but I’m doubting you are due the credit/blame that you are feeling. It takes two to tango and it seems that your previous partners have just been – Not Right For You! Sometimes it’s more important to see – what you don’t want – than what you are wanting in the – infatuation phase.

    If you are happy with who you are, at least mostly, then let the person who you make happy find you! A friend, a kindred spirit/soulmate, someone that loves to just be with you and not just for the sex. Someone who can honestly say to themselves – I can’t imagine not having her in my life!! Maybe you’ve been shopping in the wrong store???
    I did. You be you and keep armed guards around your heart until someone – the right one – finds you and loves every bit of you without needing to change you or have you be something different.

    Don’t take it all on yourself – it wasn’t all you – no matter how it feels now!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, forgot to tell you, been married for 21 wonderful years to the girl that clicked on my profile (without a photo) – STOPLIGHT KISSER, SEEKING KISSEE! After 4 days of constant emailing (a reams worth of paper -500 pages between us) We decided to meet for coffee that turned into a 12 hour date – dinner – Titanic and an invitation for dinner at her house the next night. The rest as they say is history – true love can find you if you let it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so sorry for you. I wish I could write something to take away your loss, but unfortunately I can’t. What I do know . . . those scars that you write about, they make us who we are, unique and one of a kind. I apologize for sounding like a fortune cookie or something out of a Hallmark card, but that’s what I believe. I applaud you for sharing your story and writing what so many others feel. I don’t have any great wisdom except to offer a wish that one you find the love and relationship that you deserve and feels a world away. You are worth it and I firmly believe you will find it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sending you lots of virtual hugs, love, healing and warmth during this time. I think it was Rupi Kaur who said “women like you drown oceans” and I without a doubt think she was talking about a woman like you Zoe!

    You’re ridiculously funny, powerful with your words (a woman’s best superpower), independent, fearless, educated and a beautiful person both inside and out so some people won’t be able to exist in your presence for long because they see their shortcomings and that’s okay (that’s their fault and loss).

    I can’t exactly imagine how it feels for you but I have an idea have been in a similar situation so I’m emphatic. You’re a phenomenal force so take your time, cry if you need to, drink a few glasses of wine and do whatever you need to do in this moment and come back to your little corner on the web (we’ll be waiting) ❤

    P.S. Je zult “jouw persoon” vinden 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve been told 33 isn’t old, but there’s this feeling of time slipping away, that whomever I should be with is missing something important and can’t be regained if not known now…. Doesn’t make much sense honestly, fear and anxiety just taking hold and sucking the life out of me.

    I’m going to pick the optimistic road and say there’s someone out there who will appreciate you far more than what you had before.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Big hugs to you. Relationships are hard, and more people than you would ever imagine are with “good enough” or “better than being alone.”

    I was dumped Labor Day 10 years ago, and despite every effort, can’t recapture that magic I felt with him. It’s probably for the best, but the journey has dramatically changed how I see love and relationships and “happily ever after.”

    It’s a process to take day by days, and I hope you heal quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

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