My Letter to the Guy Who Took the Liberty of Writing a Pompous, Assumptive, Arrogant Article On Why My Boyfriend Should Leave Me
This was originally posted on MsMorphosis, but after 12 hours, lots of great feedback, and the satisfying feeling that I had made my point and it was time to move on, I decided that just because someone’s a jerk doesn’t mean they get to squat on your blog for the rest of eternity. But, I have no desire to totally delete my badass argument forever, because I spent time on it and hate deleting something with comments. So, it can live here. Just in case I ever need it.
I’ve been astounded, in general, at how kind people have been about my blog and writing.
Without a doubt, I’m incredibly transparent and vulnerable, and that leaves a lot of room for criticism. But, people are actually really nice. Everyone is kind to me about my journey, patient with moments when I’m neurotic or self-focused, and always there to share their own stories, as well (for the record, reading those comments is my favorite part of blogging, so please – never stop!).
But then sometimes you get the jerks. The one’s that can’t just read and roll their eyes and walk away, but instead need to write an essay on why your boyfriend should break up with you.
Yes. That happened.
See, last week I was really honored to have a guest post published on the websitetinybuddha.com (whose founder, Lori, I interviewed a little while back for Blogging Fearlessly). I wrote an incredibly personal essay about an old bad relationship, and how that compares to my new, happy, relationship. The article was titled “How to Love Without Losing Yourself,” and, in general, I got lots of really sweet feedback by people who had had similar experiences, had found love, were looking for love, and had dreamed about love.
All except for one person. See, there’s a guy in NY with a Tumblr, and he wrote what I’m sure he finds to be a very eloquent Tumblr post on why Chase should, and I quote “Run! Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200, by staying in a relationship with Jen you’re headed straight to relationship jail.”
Anyways, at first I got frustrated. Then I got upset. Then I ended up getting sick (from moving in the rain, so the getting sick wasn’t related to him, but definitely didn’t help the whole experience). So anyways I’m sitting here with a fever and way too much time on my hands and I realized that there was no reason to be mad – I would simply address his arguments.
So, here we go. Let’s get all Italian up in this situation.
First, let’s start with his title: Evolve or Evaporate: A Response to @MsMorphosis ‘How to Love without Losing Yourself”
That, my friend, is deep. I like the alliteration. From the very beginning though, we have a problem. Your entire argument is hinged around the idea that I don’t support growth or change, and then you mention my name “MsMorphosis.” Alright, bud. MsMorphosis comes from the word “metamorphosis,” which refers to change or growth in an organism and its parts. My entire blog is based on the concept of constant growth and evolution. Just because my post for Tiny Buddha was on a different topic doesn’t mean I’m incapable of growth. I had to pick my subject, that’s all.
Now, let’s go through your arguments.
Chase – you and Jen’s ‘ex’ have more in common than Jen leads us to believe. Jen opened her heart to both men and that in itself is quite an achievement. Our society is filled with strong, independent women. Chase and Jen’s ‘ex’ each cracked the code. As my friends would say, both men put their construction cap’s on and did some work.
Because I opened my heart to both of them they have “more in common than I’m letting on?” I’m fairly confident Chase is aware that he has that in common with every person I’ve dated before him. Same as I have that in common with every girl he’s dated before me. Also, you don’t need an apostrophe in “caps” – the cap isn’t owning “on.”
Now, I’m not a relationship expert but firmly believe that every relationship is unique. The longer and more devoted it goes, the more mystifying it gets. Your friends, family, and co-workers won’t fully understand the bond that is formed. It’s the magnificence of a shared love between two people.
Funny: our family, friends, and coworkers won’t fully understand our bond, but you – someone who read a guest post of mine on another website and briefly checked out my websites (I think?), is totally the person to determine whether or not Chase – who isn’t even the person who wrote the post – is making good decisions or we’re a good match. Really? Really?
I also believe that blogs such as MsMorphosis do more harm than good. The reader thinks that the grass is greener on the other side. Why work through difficulties with my current partner when there is someone else like Chase out there.
For the thousandth time, you didn’t read MsMorphosis, you read a guest post. It was a concise story with an overall message. MsMorphosis has chronicled my ups and downs for 2 years – including the ups and downs behind Chase and I. It isn’t a “grass is greener” blog, although I have had happy times and small victories (which I share, alongside the bad experiences). I never said that Chase is perfect, or that we don’t work at our relationship, I said I haven’t lost myself with us and we’re still really happy. That’s it. Everything else you say is an assumption.
1. (Loving the idea of love but not actually being in love with your partner) According to Jen, her male friend has realized he may not love his girlfriend but is only consumed with the idea to love. The majority of Men don’t think this way. We value freedom not the need to love. A relationship takes daily effort and by believing this concept, you are setting yourself up for future failed relationships.
I shared an anecdote, not a statistic about how all men feel about love.
Further, I never said men don’t value freedom. I’m very aware men value freedom. I also never said I don’t believe love is work.
How am I setting myself up for future failed relationships? Because I think that sometimes people fall in love with companionship or the idea of love rather than the actual other person? Here’s an idea – why don’t you go through the TinyBuddha comments and write a tumblr about each of the people that commented that they, too, have fallen in love with the idea of love rather than the person themselves. It’s part of growing up – learning to separate finding companionship from finding the right person. If you’re above that, that’s fantastic, but for many that’s a natural part of growing and maturing. That doesn’t mean I’m unfit to be a romantic partner.
2. (I thought I had been in love before…I had built a life out of a dating and relationship blog)This statement attempts to add to Jen’s credibility as a relationship expert. Jen graduated from college fairly recently and will continue to evolve emotionally. Jen will experience heartbreak again in her life because she focuses too much on the past and future while ignoring the present. You’re welcome.
Well, look who predicts the future now. First of all, the first post I wrote for Lori did not mention my past relationships at all, but she asked me to bring in personal anecdotes from the past to compare to now. I’m astounded at your audacity to make inferences. Also, I “graduated from college recently” so will “continue to evolve emotionally”? I hope EVERYONE continues to evolve emotionally, and just because I recently graduated from college doesn’t make me an unfit partner. And quit the “you’re welcome” nonsense, you don’t know a thing about where my mind goes in the past/present/or future – you read a story. If one story determines how people spend their time thinking, then every person that’s ever written an autobiography is “destined for emotional unhappiness because they focus solely on the past.”
3. (Different horizons that would eventually be the pitfall of our short-lived romance) Pastor Rick Warren likes to say, “Opposites Attract but eventually opposites attack”. Chase, I’m sure you have many great qualities but Jen should write down the reasons you aren’t compatible then work on those issues to maintain a healthy relationship. It’s a daily process.
Yes, you’re right. There’s also the quote “opposites attract but similar stays together.” How knowledgeable of you. How do you possibly think that just because I didn’t go through the in-depth pros and cons of me and Chase’s relationship and compatibility that I’ve never once thought about them, written about them, or explored them? How could you possibly infer that I don’t understand that couples need to isolate where they aren’t compatible and then work on those issues to maintain a healthy relationship? I mean, seriously? Maybe I am lacking in these areas, maybe I’m not, but either way, you’re the last person in the world that would know.
4. (I had grown up with a happy home life, parents that met, fell in love, and stayed together) Evolve together… or your relationship will evaporate, is true regardless of your parent’s relationship. Work through difficulties and don’t let your past be a scapegoat for failures.
I was painting a picture of being young and naive. That’s it. You don’t know anything about my parent’s relationship besides the fact that they’re together, and why on Earth would you assume that I don’t know how to “work through difficulties?” For the record, I graduated with high honors in Psychology. So, my entire education was built on learning how to help individuals and couples “work through difficulties.” I never said my past was a scapegoat, I was sharing a story.
5. (I have no other way to describe our time together but fearful. Fear of being alone) Fear is a human emotion that exists even in healthy relationships. I’m worried that Jen hasn’t learned from her experience and will quickly bail on your relationship once fear reappears. Make sure she trusts you enough to be able to talk openly about her fears in your current relationship.
I still experience and write about fear regularly. Fear is a natural part of the attachment bond, and not feeling fear is a sign of sociopathy. Nonetheless, if fear is the dominating emotion in any sort of relationship then there’s a problem. Not only do I talk with Chase about fear, I talk with my readers, family, and friends about fear. So, thanks for your concern, but save it.
6. (He became angry and mean, and a lot of true colors started to show) Reread #3 & #5. Any relationship goes through peaks and valleys. There will be arguments and feelings will get hurt. Jen likes to blame her ‘ex’ for his sudden change in behavior; the signs were there from the start. Open your eyes.
Yes, the signs were there from the beginning – but that doesn’t mean that people in relationships don’t change. I’m not blaming him, I’m explaining the relationship. I didn’t say he conned me into a relationship, or that I was hypnotized and duped. I said as circumstances changed our relationship changed. Ask any divorcee on the planet – that happens. People get into relationships, people change in them, and people decide that they no longer want to be together. This doesn’t make me an unlovable or naive partner in the present.
7. (After too long of sitting in that toxic mess we’d built, I ended it) Great, Jen took control of her situation and decided to end her failed relationship. I don’t buy it. It takes two people to make decisions in a relationship and I’m sure he’d reached a similar conclusion. Unless deceit enters your relationship, be honest with each other and try to work through it.
People end relationships every day. It doesn’t take two people, often it does take only one. Yes, I believe he was pulling away as well, I just pulled the plug quicker (hence why I said he was becoming claustrophobic - he was rebelling as well). Just because there isn’t “deceit” doesn’t mean you should work through it – people are allowed to break up and move on. If this was a post about divorce and there were two small children in the picture, then yes, I agree that “unless deceit enters your relationship be honest and try to work through it.” But two young 20-year olds that aren’t working? People break up all the time. It’s natural, it’s ok, and it doesn’t make me an unfit partner in the present.
8. (Then I…met Chase) Jen has put you on a pedestal and there’s only one way to go…down. Be careful, as soon as you move-in issues will arise and you won’t be prince charming anymore.
Yes, to me he’s on a pedestal. This doesn’t mean I think he’s perfect, or we’ve never had “issues.” We have issues just like any other two people. But I adore him and meeting him was a game-changer for me. I’d love to see you go to a wedding and break down the vows – every person that’s in love and really committed to another person elevates them in their mind. That’s falling in love, buddy. I never said he was perfect or I would never forgive him for being a human. You have no idea the things that we’ve gone through, worked through, and grown from – so please, save it.
9. (I had spent years processing how I had lost myself before, and I was determined to never go through that again) Great mindset Jen, I love this conclusion. Only problem is you failed to write about the ‘processing’ that occurred. That is why people read your blog in the first place. Everyone’s ‘processing’ is unique. One day, you’ll look into someone else’s eyes and get lost in love again. Don’t hold back – go with it.
I don’t need to write about the processing- it’s my article. And, for the record, I havewritten about it on my blog. But, that doesn’t matter, I can write about my experiences however feels comfortable and succinct to me. This wasn’t a novel on my life story, this was a short essay. And don’t tell me I don’t get lost in love and try and sound like a romantic – I absolutely get lost in happiness, life, and love – but that doesn’t mean I lose who I am in the process. Grow and evolve, sure. Immerse myself? Definitely. Care about another person? Make them my family? Give them my heart? Absolutely. But lose myself? Not a bit. And neither has he.
How to Love without Losing Yourself? You can’t. In a dedicated relationship, you will lose part of yourself but if you continue to evolve with your partner on a daily basis, you’ll gain something irreplaceable – a lifetime of joyful memories.
Well, you should work for Hallmark. You have clearly never read my blog and have no idea about my memories, my personal growth, or my “joyful memories,” so keep your ideas to yourself, please. I write about my own life, I don’t take the liberty of tearing down other people’s lives – and I suggest you do the same.
Chase, I know you won’t heed my advice. Just remember these two things:
1. Avoid Ikea
2. Make sure Jen understands that you must continue to evolve together or your relationship will evaporate. When things fall apart and it’s time to break-up with Jen, check out this website. Let me know the next time you’re near NYC, first round is on me.
Yeah, dude, I’m sure Chase will want to visit NY and have a drink with the guy that treated him like too much of a moron to discern for himself whether or not he was in a healthy relationship. Brilliant.
So, I’m not asking for another response, or for this to turn into a debate. I will not respond to you again, so if you even try your attempt will be futile. But your article was so bizarrely uninformed, cruel, and innappropriate that ignoring it was only making my fever intensify.
And, to my readers, I love each and every one of you for seeing my stories for what they are and having the courage to share your own- even though there are jerks like this out there that will make you afraid to be vulnerable, that doesn’t mean we need to stop talking and growing together.
From the original post: