To Get to The End of Good Story, You Must Turn A Page…

October 14, 2011

Thanks to for letting me use this image!


Isn’t that the truth?  I saw this quote and it immediately summed up what I’m experiencing now as I attempt to close a chapter of my life and move on.  I feel very fortunate to have people in my life that fit all the above categories- even the sad ones, it’s taught me a lot and I’m grateful.  I’m going to write a rather personal post today.  I feel that I need to get it off my chest, and if telling my story by only using vague references and blurry details in the revealing of what I’m thinking about is the only way to do so- so be it.

I think I’ve just broken up with someone.  Using the phrase “breaking up” with someone you were never actually in a “real” relationship with is kind of a misnomer, but if we are going to use the phrase as a measure of “suckyness” then the phrase is apt.  I’m writing because if there was ever a time to turn the page, it’s now.

I have been smitten with a particular man for over two years now.  We met in undergrad and I was stupid gaga for this person rather quickly (read: really stupid quickly).   When we met, I was a rocking the false bravado of a girl who was scared-terrified about adult life but pretended to know it all, do it all and have the world under my thumb.  Truth was, I was reeling from losing 3 dear loved ones a few months prior- he saw right through me.  Much to my chagrin, he sized me up far too quickly, and his insights were advantageous to the perpetuation of our long entanglement.  We dated without ever getting into a committed relationship so nobody got hurt.  Great theory- didn’t happen.

Eventually the time came for us to graduate and I had made plans to move to Chicago, and he to another midwest town.  The day he got in his car and drove away from California was the day I got the call that one of my dearest friends had passed away in her sleep from a unforseen pulmonary embolism.  If I had chosen to go to graduate school to run away from the memories of my lost loved ones, this additional loss expedited the process.  I wanted so badly that my new life as a grad student in a new city would make it hurt less. I wanted to find a city job, I wanted to find a boyfriend, I wanted to be an esteemed grad student, I desperately wanted my new life to be enough of a distraction that the blinding city lights could cast away the darkness I had felt consumed me.  He was the one thing from my old life I thought I could safely hold on to, and hold on is exactly what I did.

Fast forward to our occasional and sporadic reunions adding up to two years of visits, countless calls and conversations- birthdays, holidays, heartbreaks and accomplishments should have brought us together but it was never enough to solidify us as a couple.  I loved him and he’d laugh.  To him, I was still this silly girl from undergrad who he wanted to keep around because of a friendship but kept at a distance because of love.  He didn’t love me, and it became abundantly clear this week- he never would.

He wanted to see other people because we both knew we weren’t right for each other, yet we saw each other just enough for the stickiness of my affections to take hold and renew themselves.   I have dated quite a bit since moving to Chicago, but have admittedly held back.  It seems I can’t always effectively compartmentalize my feelings, and I was locked in like a tractor beam to this dude every time we reunited.


I could accomplish things in every other area of my life, but holding myself up to the failure of my love was by far, one of the dumbest, most self-destructive things I could have done to myself.  (and yes, I did that to myself, that’s exactly why I had to end it).  Being a friend to him meant supporting him in a quest to love was making me an enemy to myself, and it was eating me up inside.


This small darkness in my world, the lack of his love and acceptance cast shadows on all other areas of my life.   This fact was illuminated for me while at a conference in California when I found out he had flown to a distant city on a whim to visit with a girl he’d met at an airport the month prior.  He’d say it wasn’t about me,  maybe it wasn’t, but I was crushed.  At that conference, surrounded by old friends, I had to hide the pain because I knew no one deserved to have my secret heartbreak ruin our time together.  I couldn’t admit to myself, much less admitting to other people that I was enduring this in the silly hope we’d end up together (you know, after he dated everyone else to be sure).  



In his mind, our psuedo-relationship was smart:  what was so wrong about being friends with someone you could see being with someday while you go through a list of potentials just to be sure?  For some people it works, but it in this context it amplified the distance between us and caused friction.  Needless to say, in his mind our odd little friendship/relationship hybrid was like writing a post-dated check- an investment that we could cash later when the time was right.  To me it was like promising someone the house of their dreams, in their will.  While everyone always appreciates being mentioned in a will, it never replaces the loss you you experience to get it.

My relationship from him made me look foolish, feel foolish and I felt the need to hide it from everyone else.    Nobody understood why I stuck with it, and I became angry with myself for the situation and it brought out the worst in me.  I stuck with it, hoping it would pay off.  I really cared about him, but I realized very quickly this week my failure in this relationship was souring other areas of my life.  Instantly upon hearing of his adventures I was flung into discontent, even after having an excellent day.  I realized that I couldn’t let this relationship run my life anymore, I wasn’t doing anyone any favors and I pray that I made the right decision.

I believe that God doesn’t always give you what you want, but you get what you need. This man taught me a lot, we shared some amazing times, and I appreciate the fact that sometimes the friction of our relationship was a catalyst for me to do better, work harder and grow, though it was painful -pain makes you into the person you’re meant to become, but stick around with that pain too long and watch it eat you from the inside out.

In this case, pain taught me that you have to learn to fight for your own happiness.  Whatever makes you blissful and whatever hurts the most others might never understand.  You know yourself better than anybody else, and no matter how well a person knows you and claims to care, they will never fight for your happiness like you will.  No matter how many promises they make, no matter how sweet they are when they ask you back, no matter how well they know you- they aren’t in charge of YOUR happiness.

Truth be told, I miss him like hell.  I will for awhile- but I know that love is possible. I still believe in it.  I’d rather at this point take a chance on love now, fully knowing that this new person could really hurt me later, than take a chance on this friendship, allowing him to hurt me as we go along, in the hope he’ll love me later.   Life is too short.

Love can be sweet but it’s like an empty calorie if it’s an empty promise…you eat it up, it tastes wonderful and fills you up for a time.  If it’s not really nourishing you, you find you’re hungry again later and you’re ashamed you went for it in the first place!

When there is a chance for love, deep friendship and joy- GO FOR IT, you never know when God could choose to pluck that person from you.  Whenever love is present, snatch it up.  Savor every minute- cultivate love, thrive on it, nourish yourself on it today, don’t wait.  Nobody can make a promise on love, you’re fighting against fate so don’t take a rain check.  Don’t try to nourish yourself on the “empty calories” of relationships, they won’t fill you up and they aren’t healthy.

Promises can’t always be kept, so don’t put off with family, happy memories, or waste today pining for someone who doesn’t love you back.  “Tomorrow”  is the kind of promise only foolish people make, since  death doesn’t honor our hopes and dreams.  

Love and loss makes you who you are.  Be brave, you’ll survive.

At this point, I really hope he finds someone to love- someone to really love, it’s never going to be me and I’d like to think I did both of us a favor by addressing that.  In the last few months, having realized how wonderful life truly is, my life became full of love and I began to more easily recognize where love is absent in my life-  the contrast is stark and hard to ignore.  I quit a job I didn’t enjoy, distanced myself from a few negative people, and now I’ve had to encourage myself to move on from the empty spot in my heart I’d saved for him before it made me bitter, cynical and cold.


It was really hard to write this post.  I’m making this public record because knowing it’s out there will remind me to press forward and move on.  I can’t be a hypocrite any longer, I can’t lie about the feelings in my heart and have realized that holding onto the past is only holding back.  I hope it gets easier as time goes on  and have faith it was the best decision for both of us and wish him the best since I know he’ll find it- so will I.


Thanks for reading.



13 comments so far.

13 responses to “To Get to The End of Good Story, You Must Turn A Page…”

  1. Paula says:

    I have been you–and been there…for probably at lot longer than you were…and your words are perfect, you get it, you know that you deserve better–and you should be so PROUD of yourself! My guy got married a few weeks ago…and while the last few years I havent been hung up over him…I so remember the days when he could turn me inside out. You will get through this, and you will find love. I did.

  2. Amber says:

    Ya know, I dated someone like this before my husband. I think the world needs guys like that. When the guy you're going to marry comes along, you'll thank your lucky stars that the other guy treated you that way because it leaves you open to find some a million, gazillion times better. Keep on keepin on!

  3. janinenicolee says:

    Proud that you had the courage to end it for good. It's definitely hard to see what you are in when you are in it so props to you! I love the quote you posted and people are definitely in your life to teach you something, whether it's learning what you need or what you don't want in a relationship, you are still learning bout yourself, and that's important!

  4. Lindsey says:

    Keep being fearless! xoxo

  5. @applecsmith says:

    It takes a lot of courage to do what you did. In admitting you were in a harmful relationship, getting out of it and in being able to open up to the world here on your blog about the whole situation. Relationships are my failed topic of choice and the one thing I can't always find the answer to, but being able to journal it (blogging about it) really helps to understand yourself better. It's almost like a process of closure.

    I hope you continue being fearless in future commitments and in life. You are an inspiration for me, as I wouldn't have your endless hope of something better down the road. It takes someone strong and positive to come to the realizations you have. Stay encouraged!

  6. Whitney says:

    Love you, Shannyn.

  7. […] make it known that I recently officially ended it with a man I was really smitten with.  UGH.  For over two years we were on-again-off […]

  8. kjOkken says:

    Hey, very nice web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I am happy to find numerous useful info here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  9. Iva Breault says:

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your weblog. You have some really good posts and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Thank you!

  10. It is really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Bigyan ray says:

    U r really great!

  12. kris says:

    thanks for your honesty and genuine story! you have touch millions of heart by this post, including mine! i’m learning to be the number one love of myself and this truly helps. 🙂


Get Updates Via Email

Join The Frugal Beautiful Update List!
Get Posts Sent To Your Inbox...subscribe below!