The Fresh Start

Like a long-awaited addition to our most beloved rom com sagas (I’m looking at you, Bridget Jones’s Baby), I am returning to writing about rom coms and romance with a fresh perspective and new direction.

When I parted ways with the Canadian, I made a conscious decision to abstain from dating and invest in a life by myself. So I began a journey exploring how I could build a life free of romantic relationships. I explored the world of feminist literature, devouring Kate Bolick’s Spinster, Jessica Valenti’s Sex Object, and Rebecca Traister’s All the Single Ladies. I contemplated a life spent by myself and what it means to be in a relationship. I listened to stories from and about women who postponed marriage into their 30s and beyond in favor of establishing a life they were happy with. I relied on my friends for support and began investigating the next steps in my career. I settled into my new life; I embraced living in my studio with my cat, Cranberry and spent the winter creating a space of pure hygge. And not to be left out, I began this website and booked a trip to London.

Six months to the day after my break up with the Canadian, I found myself sitting in a live jazz club in London, surrounded by a table of friends with a Cosmopolitan in my hand. As I walked the streets of a new city, I realized how far I had come from the girl who was broken by the rejection of a man. But I kept returning to the same question. Why did his rejection hurt so much? If dating and relationships are only one component of my life, why was this failure so devastating.

In March, I decided to pursue a future in graphic design. I pulled together a portfolio and applied to a professional program at MassArt. Earlier this month, I officially enrolled and begin classes this fall.

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Seven months after our break-up. the Canadian and I crossed paths once again. I attended a going away party for a mutual co-worker when a familiar face appeared in the crowd of guests. As we waded past respective pleasantries, we decided to finish our conversation in my apartment and finally talk about how abruptly we cut ties earlier that year. On the drive over, the Canadian spoke over the pounding rain, apologizing for the bitterness of our final exchanges and telling me how much he cared about me. He said everything I wanted to hear months earlier, the words I dreamed he said so many nights over my months alone.

The last time he walked through my door, I was still unpacking from my move. Now, with trinkets on my shelves and blankets on my couch, my apartment was warm and lived in. I wanted him to comment on the home I had created and ask about the pictures I had framed and the memories I had made since we parted ways. I wanted him to show me how much he cared, instead of echoing the empty words again.

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As the night grew late and the Canadian rose to drive back to his hotel room, we embraced and promised to stay in touch. When he left, I wiped tears from my cheeks, feeling confused and empty. I didn’t understand how I could walk away from the closure I craved for months feeling so unfulfilled. And then it hit me. I realized no matter how many times the Canadian told me he cared about me, he could never truly express those feelings when we were together. We always relied on our chemistry and connection, but we never formed a team where we could support each other and we never engaged as equals. I realized we were never destined to be together and there was no possibility for us to have a future because we were fundamentally incompatible.

When I finally came to this realization, I felt free. I finally felt like my life was my own and I was on a path forward that I was truly happy about. I still feel that way and I have never felt so happy and loved and supported in my life. I am surrounded by friends and family who care about me and I am on my way to a fulfilling career.

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In April, I decided to dip my toes back into the dating pool. Feeling fulfilled both personally and professionally, the eternal optimist and romantic in me felt it was time to once again test the dating waters. So, my best friend made me Bumble profile and began swiping for possible matches. A couple weeks later, I met a man who I am not going to assign a name because he is different from all the men I have dated in the past. And it is because of this fact that I am unsure about the future direction my website will take.

I’d like to keep exploring what love looks like for couples today, dispense my sometimes-witty commentary on everyone’s favorite rom coms, and share my photos from around Boston. Since I may be drawing less from my own personal experiences, I’d like to hear from you all about your experiences- heartwarming, traumatic, and perplexing-  so we can sort through our shared romantic endeavors.

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I’m sincerely excited for what the future holds, both in my own life and in this blog. And I look forward to our fresh start.

Love,

Amanda

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