The novel is no more. If the possible reason that first comes to your mind is that my co-author is no more either, you are correct. I ended my relationship with Ironman a little while back and with it, the collaboration on our novel. When we first starting seeing each other casually last May, I thought we would always be friends and able to collaborate on projects even if we ended our romance. But the bizarre way he admittedly led me on for months, knowing that he no longer felt the way I felt about him, and then the way he instantaneously turned into a callous and cruel person without a single indication that anything was wrong even as we were making future plans together that very morning, now makes that impossible.
Sometimes people are really good at hiding their true nature. They fool you and all your friends and then later attempt to reframe history to pretend they aren’t so incredibly selfish, dishonest, and utterly lacking in human decency, all the while contradicting themselves over and over to the point where you just have to laugh at the ineptitude of their effort to not appear like a total scumbag. I’m not even so much disappointed about the relationship not working out as I am personally, deeply let down by someone who acted like he cared about me very much right up until the end and even beyond that, said that we had a genuine friendship. He is in need of a dictionary. I, on the other hand, am not in need of anything.
I don’t need a romantic relationship but if I’m in one, I expect that person to be a true partner. Someone who intentionally misleads you instead of telling you how he feels so you can make decisions about the relationship that are right for you isn’t that partner. Someone who says that he will only care about your emotions when he feels they are justified isn’t that partner. Someone who says he prefers to be single because women have some vast conspiracy theory about the way men treat them badly isn’t that partner. Someone who can’t set aside minor disagreements to wish someone he claims to care about about good luck on a big day in her life, like her first half marathon, isn’t that partner. Someone who says he speaks crassly with no apologies to all the closest people in his life and says that they just have to deal with it because that’s how he is isn’t that partner. Someone who turns from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde overnight with no subsequent apology or explanation isn’t a partner, a friend, or anyone else you should associate with.
I’m glad to be at a point in my life where I can recognize what a fulfilling relationship looks like for me and act on that recognition, knowing that you can’t expect someone to change. The younger me would have made excuses for him and let this behavior slide, only to find herself in the same unhappy situation six months later, and then two months later, and then on a weekly or daily basis. The adult me has no tolerance for games, oversized egos, and emotional immaturity. It’s better to hurt once than over and over.
So what’s next? In writing, I have a handful of short stories I’ve been toying with for months. I’m excited about them and intend to put some real work into them. I have another handful that require some solid revision work but are near completion, so I plan to finish those up and start submitting them to literary journals. In dating, well, I’m nothing if not resilient, independent, and self-loving. I enjoy dating. I like meeting people and hearing their stories. And the timing couldn’t have been better; I love dressing up and going out in the summer. There’s so much to do and I feel fantastic about life when the sun is shining. So, get ready for the return of the dating recaps!