Every now and again on ShoreBread one of our “single ladies” will give you a firsthand account of their trials and tribulations navigating the shore’s single scene. We’re in favor of the romantic notion of letter writing–you remember, in the olden days before emails and Facebook, when people handwrote letters and waited weeks for a response.  With that in mind, each writer will be signing off under the same penname—Single at the Shore.  They are writing to you, dear readers.  Feel free to comment, or share your dating stories too.

Have you ever looked back on a relationship and thought: “Really? That happened?”  Welcome to my life.  A closer-to-thirty-than-twenty-something year old whose handful of serious relationships have all ended in that very thought.  I can’t help but laugh at myself.  My love life is sad but at the very least, entertaining.

My first boyfriend turned out to be a nutcase.  His mother showed up at my house after I broke up with him begging my mother to make me go to couples counseling. What?!  No doubt someone needed counseling but it was not me. I certainly didn’t need couples counseling at fifteen. Then I dated a string of douchebags, including a serial cheater whose excuses were “just because I could and you never got jealous so I wanted to see if you cared.”  OH!  Note to self: America’s Next Top Trailer Park skanks are indeed a threat. Thank you Captain Toolbox.

After that idiot I swore off relationships. I went on dates but as soon as any sign of douche-ism appeared I peaced out (I went on a lot of first dates). It wasn’t until five years later that I got back into a relationship with someone I thought was different.  Let’s be serious, we know how that works out!

The summer of 2011 I reconnected with newly single Matt, a guy I’d been friends with for the last ten years.  We started talking nearly every day and hung out a few times.  It wasn’t until early this year that he actually asked me on a date after confiding our crushes on each other.  On our first date he took me for dinner and drinks in his hometown and drove me around since I’d never been there. We talked and laughed the entire night and made plans for another date. I had never dated a friend and was hesitant (plus with the winners in the past I didn’t want to get my hopes up), but things were easy and a lot of fun.  We already knew each other pretty well so we didn’t have to go through that awkward beginning.

We spent every weekend together and most of them with friends. We met each other’s families and got really close. Everyone seemed excited that we were together, including us. You can imagine my surprise when we were out one night early in our relationship and a group of our friends told me I could do better and shouldn’t date him. I was caught off-guard and pretty pissed. A few days later I went out with a different group of friends who said the same thing. I thought it was drama and ignored it. We were really happy together and that’s all I was concerned about.

Not long after we started dating he was placed on the overnight shift at his job, which sucked. I dated two guys who worked opposite schedules than me and cheated on me while I was at work, so obviously not a great experience. I didn’t worry about him cheating though. I was friends with him while he had girlfriends and knew he wasn’t that type. It was just a bummer that it’d be more difficult for us to see each other.  I was understanding to a fault. (Kicking myself now!)

At first it seemed like his schedule bothered him more than it bothered me. He never complained but made an obvious effort to say he missed me or take me out during the week before he went to sleep. We spent every weekend together (his request, for real) and talked every day even if we didn’t see each other. He’d always say how much fun he was having with me and loved that I’m so laid-back. Even mentioned plans and trips with me next year. Sounds happy, right?

After seven months together, we went to his hometown for a festival with his childhood friends one weekend. I’d been there a few times since we’d been dating and met some of them, who told me he’d been bragging about me (nauseating, I know). He had talked about this stuff since the day I met him so I was excited. When we got there we ran into his parents, talked to them for a few minutes, and took pictures. Out of nowhere he got a huge attitude with his mother and stormed off.  I was embarrassed and when I caught up to him he was the same way toward me, “we’re here to have a good, time not hang out with my parents,” he said. Well alright! Five minutes into the night and this is how it’s started. Parrr-tay.

That whole weekend he went through spurts of being fun and then angry at the world. I’d never seen that side of him and didn’t know what was up. I asked if he was okay and felt like he was going to blow up on me, so I left the subject alone. If he wanted to act like a bipolar baby instead of a nearly thirty-year-old man, he could knock himself out.

The next time we were together was completely normal and fun. He was going on a trip with his brothers the following weekend and asked if he could see me during the week. The weekdays came and went with no effort on his part, even when I asked the day before he was leaving.  I didn’t hear from him for three days – out of character and utterly confusing.  It was not okay and I planned on talking to him about it when I saw him. Looking for a distraction, I went out of town to visit friends. That Sunday morning I heard my phone beep and rolled over to see his name.  A quick pinch of excitement quickly turned to disbelief as I read him breaking up with me…

…in a text message.

Speechless. I immediately woke up my friend who read it with hilariously angry threats as she tried to come up with a response. I couldn’t believe I meant so little to him that I didn’t deserve a face-to-face discussion, especially since his reason was his schedule. Ludicrous! Neither of us had ever even complained about that much less discussed it!  My favorite part was the last line: “I hope we can still be friends. You’re an awesome person inside and out.”

Friggin’ jackhole.

I never replied and still haven’t spoken to him. When friends ask what happened I’m honest and laugh at their responses and jokes. Most of them say, “I told you so.” His friends say I was too good for him, which could explain his odd behavior at the festival. What a waste of time.   don’t care that I was dumped; after dealing with his sudden multiple personalities, I may have ended it myself. But the way it was done? I can’t help but think of Carrie Bradshaw and her post-it break up.

“I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.” – Famous words from Sex in the City. Photo from Letters for Love blog.

Have the guts and the decency to tell a woman to her face that you no longer want to be with her – whatever the reason. There are perfectly acceptable ways to break up with someone that DO NOT include a text message.
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