4.8
July 16, 2011

Relationship Sabbatical.

“Last night I kissed someone for the first time in six months.”

My Six Month Relationship Sabbatical.

The positive side of being alone.

My last relationship was hell.

Well, it was heaven, then, quickly, weird, then, like watching yourself tumble off a cliff in slowmo, horrible. One month great, one weird, one horrible in which she dumped me something like 16 times over 40 days.

It was so bad my ex-gf prescribed ordered me to go to therapy. She talked shit about me all over town. I talked shit about her all over town. She prescribedordered me to go to meditation instruction. I’m still doing that, and the therapy, and grateful for both. And I’ve stopped talking shit (even if it’s true) for what it’s worth. I now no longer even say her name outloud.

So without going into sordid details, let’s just say that when she hates me she has one version of what-went-wrong, and another when she thinks of me fondly. And I have my version of things. That’s how tough relationships, or rather bad breakups, go. Par for the course.

As a part of our agreement to part ways, she told me, several times, that she didn’t think it appropriate for me to go out with anyone for a looonnng time. She said some of my relationships in the past had been inappropriate (a girl-dash-friend of mine pointed out that...she of all people is in no position to talk…but we’re not going into sordid details, remember, Waylon?). She said, twice, that if she saw me with someone…and then trailed off. I didn’t want to find out. More to the point, I didn’t want to put a young lady on the receiving end of my ex’s evident…er, disapproval…toward me.

So. I went single.

I like single. It’s NBD. You can walk around naked and fart and make a mess and listen to Flogging Molly too loudly and come and go without coordinating shit, and you can eat what you want and meditate when you want to without someone blabbing at you and stretch out on the bed crossways and stay up until 3 a.m. working on your laptop in bed.

Photo via Reddit.

Loneliness is a powerful ally to entrepreneurs. In the six months since she-who-must-not-be-named and I broke up, I started working 14 hours a day. No hyperbole. Having nothing else to do but hang with my dog, I worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. And worked. 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And whenever I met a girl whom, under more happy skies, I might have liked, I kept walking. At some point in there, I described in painful detail every bit of my old relationship/breakup to my ma and asked her: Should I listen to my ex? Am I ready to go out with someone new? I feel paranoid that my ex will do something nutty to me and/or my hypothetical future girlfriend.

My mom, somewhat surprisingly, said, “Respect your paranoia. If you don’t feel safe, you’re not ready.”

So I stayed single. I’ve been single this long—intentionally—only one other time, about a year ago, just to see if I could be best friends with myself and deal with the loneliness. It wasn’t really a big deal—it was fun, you know?

So that’s been a lot of loneliness for this not-so-long-ago “Denver-area most eligible bachelor.” But like I said, I’m a happy workaholic. And, like every entrepreneur: broke.

Loneliness is an entrepreneur’s best friend. And broke is one hole I was psyched to climb up out of, for good. I’d been so broke a year and six months ago that when my dog stepped on something in the snow and was bleeding, I couldn’t do more than bandage him up myself—I had nothing in either bank account, work or debit. So broke that when I pay my mortgage on my only-recently-out-of-foreclosure home, it bounces once, and goes through the second time. Yo Waylon so broke that when the dishwasher broke, or two years ago at my New Year’s Party when a window got broke by a kid, or a random vandal rock got tossed through a stained glass window on my porch…they stayed broke. So I didn’t mind working. You can’t blog about sustainability and, at the ripe old age of 36.9, fail to have a sustainable business without feeling…well, as my ex liked to call me, fucking hypocritical you asshole!

But Winter left and Spring thawed my heart’s fearstress, if only slightly. I finally asked someone out, tentatively, a month ago. Got rejected, nicely: I have a boyfriend. Then I asked another girl out, same thing. I have a boyfriend. All the good ones do, I sighed. I was in no rush anyway. Work was going well, and after the Hiroshima/Nagasaki/Auschwitz/Mordor/Chernobyl/Six Mile Island/Katrina/Hindenburg that was my last relationship, I was a bit love-shy, anyway.

So, five months in, I returned to singlehood: “I’ll wait ’til I meet someone really sthpethal, and just, y’know, great to talk with on the phone for hours, someone who understands me and likes to do dishes, ’cause I suck at those.” No, seriously, just anyone hot who’s willing to make out with me.

Plus, the ex was still around—doing, er, strange things that I’m willing to list off and record in a lawyer’s office, but am not talking about publicly, unless I’m drunk or in a bad mood or it’s Wednesday. Suffice to say, it’s been endless. Her mood swings, in respect to myself, have been so consistently, repeatedly extreme as to cause spiritual whiplash.

Except that, fortunately, I’m no longer on that particular rollercoaster.

Because, remember, I was alone. And had been alone. For one two three four five months.

Make that, 5.9 months.

And then, just a week ago, I met a girl, a friend of a friend who I’d stopped to chat with downtown.

Then I had to go, and said goodbye to everybody, getting the girl’s name wrong. I biked over to Saxy’s, where my 6 foot 5 cyclist/chocolatier pal Robbie works, and got to work on my laptop, and drank more coffee that I didn’t need.

A week later, my still coffee-soaked brain said, who was that girl?

I texted my acquaintance pal, asking what her friend’s deal was, and, if my acquaintance pal approved of me, if she’d let me ask her friend out. She did, and gave me her number. I asked her friend out: via text.

Driving back down from the Mountain Pose Yoga Fest, some pals of mine and I had a passionate argument about whether it was better to ask folks out via text or phone. I said phone puts people on the spot. I hate answering my phone, personally. I like text: no pressure, no awkwardness, it’s yes or no.

She said yes.

On our second date we got dinner with my friends Graham and Lauren, at Sherpa’s, a Nepalese/Tibetan joint, on the patio, with the sun shining and the bluegray clouds promising their daily rain, with my dog, and Sunshine with lemon. After our double date of sorts, my new friend and I went for a walk. We sat down on a bench. We went to a cafe. We went to a bar, got a drink. Her friend came n’met her toward the end. I left, said goodbye and walked out into the dark night…where my dog was being adorable, sitting up on top of a picnic table. So I popped back into the bar and told her to come out and check out my dorky little doggie. In the dark by the picnic table, I saw that she wanted me to kiss her. I obliged.

And when our lips touched it was as if the greatest lhasang in the world was lit. The sky opened up light blue, and the sunshine touched the flowers and the bees woke up and all this painful, difficult, crazy, sad six months suddenly became a chapter, closed, a tear, mended. And for the first time in six months I not only wished that my ex-gf would be happy and fulfilled in her own life—I forgot about her.

It was 11pm. At midnight, I turned 37.

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