Day 19: Life is Not a Movie

Not a MovieToday feels like a good day to pick up my 30-Day Blogging Challenge where I last left it. I promise I’m going to finish this thing one of these days, you guys!!!

Okay, so here is today’s question…

What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?

I think something about me that people would be surprised to learn is that I don’t think I was ever in love with Mr. E.

For those of you who have no clue who Mr. E is…WHAT?!? I’m clutching my proverbial pearls in shock. And I urge you to get caught up on my blog AND perhaps even snag yourself a copy of my latest book I’ve Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has, which documents our long-suffering, on again-off again relationship (or lack thereof) in detail.

For the rest of you guys, who have been following my blog/books for any amount of time…you’re probably incredibly surprised to learn that I didn’t, in fact, love the guy I’ve proclaimed to love many times across many forums for many years. You probably think I’m full of it or in denial or off my rocker all together. But allow me to explain.

My eight year entanglement with Mr. E finally came to an end back in September…a story I have alluded to in my blog but haven’t gone into detail about as of yet. I’m still debating whether I want to go into detail about it here on the blog or just wait for my next book. It was a very messy, complicated ending…one that stretched across several months. And it wasn’t until I was sitting face to face with him on that final day, looking him in the eye, that it dawned on me that I didn’t feel the sadness one should feel about parting ways with someone they were deeply in love with. And believe me, I thought for a LONG time that I was deeply in love with him, that he was The One, that I would never love anyone the way that I loved him.

But here’s the thing.

It’s impossible to fall in love with a brick wall. It’s impossible to fall in love with someone with the depth of the shallow end of a kiddie pool…someone who you bounce off of instead of falling deeper into them. It’s impossible to fall in love with someone who is devoid of the ability or desire to give that same love in return. And I don’t say these things to slam him or down him or shade him or even be negative at all. It took me a LONG time to open my eyes and see him for who he is…and isn’t…but when the scales were finally removed from my eyes, boy, were they removed! That day in September, sitting across from him on the couch in my lovely little apartment and attempting to share my life with him, I finally took a long look in his eyes and saw that they were as vacant as the promises he had been making me for eight years. I saw his beautiful exterior and realized that much like a cardboard cutout, there was nothing behind it. Like the mock “proposal” he had staged in NYC a few years before, he was like this great big beautifully-wrapped package that you opened in excitement only to discover that it was empty.

You can’t love empty, because there’s nothing there to love. Nothing there for your love to stick to. Nothing there to love you back. Arms holding you and lips kissing you mean nothing if the heart isn’t attached.

And don’t get me wrong – I’m no victim here. I don’t blame Mr. E for his limitations. He is who he is and he never pretended to be anything else. I am to blame for my choice to actively keep him in my life for eight years. I’ve always wanted life and love to be like a movie…and in my quest to make my life and my love life like a movie, I literally cast Mr. E in a role he never auditioned for. I picked the perfect person for the part, too…someone who showed up and read his lines with gusto, but then exited stage left without looking back. Someone who was GREAT at creating big, shiny, Hollywood moments but not so great at the small, simple, ordinary moments. Someone who performed his part to perfection so long as we were on a rooftop in NYC or basking in the bright lights of the Vegas strip but barely phoned in his lines when we struck the set and real life kicked in. That’s who I chose to act out the idea of what I thought “love” should look like for eight years. But here is what I’ve learned: Just because you paint it red and call it love doesn’t mean it is.

I used to want flashy love…shiny love. Now I know that’s the stuff of glitter, not gold. Give me steadfast and wholehearted instead.

No, I don’t think I was ever in love with Mr. E. I wish him the best and I pray for him regularly and I have no hard, angry feelings toward him…but I wasn’t in love with him. You can’t be “in” anything with someone who works so diligently to keep you OUT. And life isn’t meant to be like a movie. I realize that now. Life is life…and it’s quieter and more unassuming and subtle and ordinary than a movie. But in many ways, it’s so much more beautiful than any over-the-top chick flick could ever dare to be. I think when we expect and push and force life to be like a movie, we miss out on the rich, complex, endlessly surprising and completely unscripted wonder of our lives. Our real lives. Where the real joy and real magic happens.

I never thought I’d say I long for ordinary love…but that’s what puts stars in my eyes these days. The idea of someone to keep holding tight to my hand long after the credits roll and the screen fades to black.

I can’t wait for that kind of love.

I want to hear from you, ladies! Have you, like me, ever been guilty of trying to make life — or love — like a movie? What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

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67 Responses to “ Day 19: Life is Not a Movie ”

  1. February 23, 2015

    Yes, I’ve been very guilty of this. I spent a couple years with a guy feeling this way. It took me a whole to analyze why I’d invest so much time with someone who I wasn’t in love with, but some things you learn the hard way.

  2. Julie
    February 23, 2015

    I have been guilty of this, let me rephrase that… I am currently guilty of this. For the past year I have loved a man who has kept me at bay. We haven’t been in the typical boyfriend/girlfriend relationship but we are way past the friend zone. Emotionally speaking there is a depth there that I have yet to feel with anyone else. He claims he feels it to but I’m not quite sure. It feels like the movie. The falling for someone you shouldn’t fall for, the hope that the person you never expected will end up being your forever and Prince Charming in the end. I wish that with this man more than anything but I’m starting to wonder. I am full heartedly 100% his. But it seems like he finds every excuse as to why we can’t be together. He has been through a lot this past year(I’m not making excuses for him) we probably started at the worst time but we have already been through so much in this short amount of time. But I feel like instead of letting me in, he shuts me out. Actually he has told me he knows that he keeps me at bay and pushes me away but it’s to protect me from the mess he’s going through. Im and I’ve convinved myself that it’s okay. One day to the mess will be over and we can be together. But I tecently saw a picture quote from you that said you asked/told Mr.E that he wasn’t going to be the man who chased after you at the end of the movie and that has made me think so much. I don’t know if this man would chaw after me. Actually I’m about 90% sure that he wouldn’t. And that terrifies me. I already can’t imagine my life without him but what kind of life has it been his past year with all of the back and forth and broken promises?

    • September 14, 2015

      My story is so similar to yours, Julie.
      I’ve opened my heart so totally to a man who is way more than ‘friend’, but is not a boyfriend. The depth, more often than not is there, and I really want us to work.
      Our love languages are different, and I feel most times that he shuts me out. There is an explanation to every shutting out, of course, but my heart can’t stand this emotional yo-yo for much longer.
      “If your heart won’t tell you the truth, the pain would”.

  3. Samantha Quintana
    February 23, 2015

    Mandy I can’t tell you how much I relate to exactly what you are saying! For 5 years I tried everything possible to make it work with the father of my 2 girls. I thought I was in love & I gave the relationship 1000%! It’s now been 5 years since I left him for good and I can see how bad that relationship was for me. I confused the desire to give my daughters a traditional family for love. I know now I was never in love with him because I am completely ok not being in a relationship with him & it doesn’t bother me at all when he tells me about girls he dates. All I want is for him to have the best father/daughter relationship with my girls. Does this make sense?

  4. Vanessa
    February 23, 2015

    Totally agree with you! I don’t think you were in love with him .. You just love the idea of you and him
    I don’t know why but i think is in our DNA to hope for a kind of movie love , and this give us so many exceptions that maybe we sometimes miss the chance to find the real one…

  5. Gillian
    February 23, 2015

    Mandy! I love your words and your heart to fight for love and be real in the struggle! It’s powerful girl ( : One thing I can’t shake after reading this though is that I don’t actually think that us loving someone, I mean REALLY loving someone has anything to do with them and their character at all. Them DESERVING our love is another story but real love loves even when it’s not warranted b/c it’s not actually falling in love; it’s choosing to love. And in the case of Mr. E., from what I’ve read from your book, he didn’t deserve your love but you definitely chose to love him. I guess I compare real love to God’s love for us. We DO NOT deserve it, but He chooses to love us anyway; His love is no less real for us just because we don’t deserve it…I get what you’re saying though girl and OF COURSE when you meet your husband your love for him will be SO MUCH DEEPER b/c he’ll be asking for it and letting you in; but there is beauty in loving all the time; you tried girl! You put your heart out there! That should always be celebrated ( :

  6. Shana
    February 23, 2015

    I have been a victim of trying to make my life a movie with a man I have been involved with for 2 years. He was much like Mr. E he was emotionally unavailable. I thought one day he would get his act together and run to me in the field of grass and proclaim how much he loved me and never wants to live without me. It never happen. I had to realize I was trying to force our realationship. Maybe in the end I had an unhealthy attachment and I was never in love with him.

  7. christine
    February 23, 2015

    This post really got to me and I thank you. I am basically going through the same but mine has been 3 years. Where you wrote you can’t love empty is what I have been feeling. I am slowly telling myself to step away, but than again I don’t want him out of my life.

  8. February 23, 2015

    I started this challenge in January and I was stuck on this same question. Reading yours is almost exactly something in my life that has happened last year too. Finally letting go of the person I’ve been hanging onto for years because they were like a brick wall and said all kinds of things. Their actions gave it all away. They never really wanted me, I never really wanted them. I was in a daydream and head over heels for someone that doesn’t even measure up to the men I could be talking to. Love this and thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Rolanda
    February 23, 2015

    Yes, I have been there. I gave myself to someone for over 6 years and I knew in my heart nothing would ever come of it! I wanted to be right and I was so worried about how I would look that I forgot about how I damaged my soul and betrayed myself. I’m on the road to healing and forgiveness! Especially forgiving myself.

    • Shannon
      March 15, 2015

      I am in your same shoes Rolanda and boy and I paying the price for it! I was married for nearly 15 years when my marriage fell apart…my husband left and after doing some major soul searching, I decided I would give it one more try. I remarried a bit later and have been married now for just over 6 years…well, my present husband had never been married and marrying me in his 40’s and having a ready made family has proved too much for him…we are on the verge of divorce and that was it for me. I vow to remain singe…I am not making that mistake again. I am not saying I am innocent in all of this but it’s time to stand on my own two feet. I can do this and you can too!

  10. Robin
    February 23, 2015

    I think a lot of people I know would be surprised to learn that I have never, and I mean NEVER, been in a relationship, serious or otherwise. I am what I like to call a hopeful romantic and I guess a huge part of me is also looking for that love story that can only be scripted for a summer rom-com (or rom-dram, whatever suits you fancy) but the honest to goodness truth is I’ve never even come close to that meet-cute moment. Sure I’ve had guys interested but no real movie quality moments have ever taken place. That’s all I have. Oh, and TONS of people would be surprised to know that I have a tattoo. 😉

  11. Madonna Seraga
    February 23, 2015

    just two days ago the guy I had oh so thought I loved and put on a pedestal turned into a fiction character after two years of having patiently waiting for him to _conform. I created my own movie and expected a happily ever after ending.. it so happened when we finally talked about our feelings that I was actually preparing him for his happily ever after ending and it didn’t include me. I don’t regret having met him. sometimes the people we think “are the one” are just preparation for greater journeys ahead.

  12. Mere
    February 23, 2015

    I worked hard for 5 years trying to make my movie style romance. You know the one were they are best friends, he joins the military and she pines for him. He comes home on leave and realizes how madly in love they are. After many years of long distance calls, texts and too many short stay leaves…it was over. I’m ashamed to have said…this always works out in the movies what am I doing wrong. I thought I was in love with him. And it took me several years to see, I wasn’t so much in love with him as the whole romantic story is built up in my head.

  13. Kaz
    February 23, 2015

    I had been in an abusive relationship for 3yrs, and then stayed with him for another 4 – it got better and I was hoping my family would accept him.. The sad thing is I couldn’t let go even though I knew it was going to be a hard road with him.. And that’s because I loved him .. He wanted me to move in and I kept hesitating because of I was trying to work through losing my brother and parents in 8 mths and just needed him there, where he needed someone to move in with him and he didn’t want to wait till I was in a better place.. So even though he said that he loved me he went to an onlie dating site and has meant someone.. Which I have been accepting till he keeps txting me and stirring up feelings I want to forget and put to rest.. I don’t know how I handle it and I have asked him to leave me alone.. He won’t so any advise would be appreciated .. Thank you

  14. kristi
    February 23, 2015

    In the midst of this now. I guess I want to be loved so bad that I will take whatever little pieces of love that i can get from him. He acts so into Me, yet isnt. I’ve been doing this for 15 months. How long will it keep going? Who knows… I know that if I continue the one sided love one day I’m going to be so broken It may take years to repair.

  15. February 23, 2015

    So much so, that it has left me bitter and void of the ability to trust at all. Not only do I not trust men anymore but I cant stand the complete idea of a relationship in any capacity. I blame myself…all the signs are there ladies, we choose to down play them or ignore them. Cut it off before it gets to far with the wrong person. Why is that so hard for women?

  16. February 23, 2015

    Most people don’t know that I fell in love with someone who made it clear to me that I was just a convenience!

  17. Kim
    February 23, 2015

    This is going to come off silly but I’ve really connected to this story. I was married to a man that probably was never intended to be my husband. We were married for almost 5 years & dated for 3 1/2. I loved the potential I saw in him & the man I wanted him to be. From the ultimatums, the nudging within myself to have a husband, a family of my own..I realized I forced this. I was afraid of so many things; of being alone, never finding love, never having a family. We’re now divorced almost a year and a half now. He is a decent man and he is who he is. But he was very much a single minded man, lacking the depth & intimacy I needed. I think women make the epic mistake of thinking “if I just love him enough I can change him.” We both made mistakes but I realized I went into this marriage without being whole myself. I’m still figuring that out & trying to just trust God in the midst of it all- even if this is a solo journey. Something people don’t know about me is that I’m a writer at heart & I long to live a full life rich in joy & love beyond measure 🙂

  18. February 23, 2015

    Oh yes I had a Mr. E in my life and I am glad I moved away so that helped me. But what I learn is that they don’t go away for good. When the girl they really wanted disses them or loneliness consumes them they build up enough courage to reach out to you because they know you carry a candle still for them. This is where the rubber meets the road. I had to get serious and block his number. What I learned is that you will always be an option in their mind. You can’t change their mind but you can change your availability to their foolishness.

    • Cristin
      February 24, 2015

      Wow, well put. Thank you for your words of wisdom. Just what I needed to hear.

    • Gillian
      February 24, 2015

      “You can’t change their mind but you can change your availability to their foolishness” THAT IS AN AMAZING STATEMENT!!!! Mind Blown. Well done for changing your availability!!!!

    • Erica
      February 24, 2015

      Hi Candice, Thanks so much for sharing. For me it was “Mr.. A” , and you are right about being available to foolishness. For almost 3 years I was available. He would disappear from my life, and then come back sometimes with a different phone number (shady) or call me on an unknown number. I no longer answer unknown calls, and if he decides to reactivate Facebook I have now become stronger to delete him.

  19. Cristin
    February 24, 2015

    I think we’ve all been guilty of it. Who wouldn’t want to believe the guy who says all the right things could be a modern day version of Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice? But soon his actions give him away and he looks more like Al Bundy from Married with Children than Mr. Darcy!

  20. L.
    February 24, 2015

    I loved this blog and I am glad you are finally over your Mr. E. Sometimes, there are people in your life who shouldn’t get your love and care, who only take it and can’t give it back to you. Now you’ve let him go, I really hope you will meet someone who treats you in the right way, one who doesn’t take you for granted. There is a perfect soulmate, but it can be extremely hard to find him. I believe that masking your previous illusions about love is a perfect thing to begin with. I wish you all the best!

  21. Elaine
    February 24, 2015

    I wasn’t hoping for a fairytale. I dared not. But I did grow weary of his lack of appreciation. My love and devotion weren’t enough. It reached the point where I had nothing further to offer. It felt pointless and degrading trying to carry the torch alone. His heart was clearly off limits. The indifference I sensed left me feeling unimportant and inadequate. Despite the painful ending (he simply stopped communicating) and this constant sense of loneliness, I cherish the good memories and still love (and pray for) my former best friend. I think he gave me everything he was capable of. I just wanted more.

  22. Miss K
    February 24, 2015

    “Arms holding you and lips kissing you mean nothing if the heart isn’t attached.” – I am currently in a 7 month relationship with a guy who I fear is a possible Mr E. He will do everything but say he loves me and I fear that I may waste years of my life committing to him and when he will not commit to me.

    I sent him a very emotional text last night explaining that it should not be hard work to keep a guy in your life when it comes down to love, and that I am right now feeling it is getting harder because he will not say those three words because he doesn’t feel that way about me. I believe it is nothing to do with me, but all to do with him. I have been in a few relationships with very loving men and albeit, they did not work out due to different circumstances, they loved and I loved in return. And it did not take them 6 months to know they were in love with me.

    So I guess what I am saying is be very careful and wary girls when you are with someone who substitutes hand holding and kissing for love. As you say Mandy, it is nothing if there is no heart behind it.

    I pray and hope I soon see the right way, if my guy is good hopefully he will see the error of his ways otherwise I am with Mr E and I will need to break free.

  23. Sandra
    February 24, 2015

    I have done that COUNTLESS amounts of times because every time I meet someone I so badly want him to be the “ONE”. I accepted so much rubbish and disrespect in the name of this….hoping that I could “love” the man into somebody I wanted him to be. Its just all insane. But the devastation and the loss I felt at the end of each “relationship” with each of them was always with the same intensity as if my life had no meaning and I could not go without them….but in time I did. I must admit that I find it very hard to differentiate between love and neediness. At the age of 38 I still don’t know what love is. I believe I have really only loved one man in my life and that was my first boyfriend at the age of 20. But then I broke his heart at the worst time (when his father had just passed away) because I met another more sexually desirable and attractive man. So did I really love him?? I cried for many many years after that (probably about 6 or 7 years) as he did not want me back and I live with the guilt and regret of what might have been to this very day. I still have very vivid dreams about him. In the interim I continued a relationship with this other man I had met (out of neediness) and eventually married him and divorced him 6 years later. So ja, I feel like I know NOTHING about men; relationships; love and how this is all supposed to work.
    Now I have met a lovely man (when he is sober) who is a binge drinker and who doesn’t think there is a problem in that. And I have mixed feelings about leaving or staying. Out of love or neediness or fear??? I don’t know. I DO know that since my divorce 5 years ago I have met many many men with major issues who were not relationship material but I pursued them nonetheless….pot heads; unemployed; womanisers; atheists; broke; homeless….you name it.
    Mandy how I would love to meet you and talk to you. Thank you for the blessing of your blog and through it encouraging me to be honest with myself first and foremost. How I have deceived myself in the name of that “romantic movie” pursuit….perhaps they should all be banned :-)……even the fairly tale stories of Cinderella etc.
    The thing I think people might be surprised to learn about me is that I can be very manipulative and play games with men to try get the response I desire, even to the point of playing victim. Or maybe they actually know this about me and see it but don’t say anything?? The only people I have confessed this to is my best friend and my therapist.
    That’s my therapy session for the day. Thank you.
    And all the best to you Mandy and your readers out there. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all meet and develop friendships in person so we could help carry each other through this complicated mess called life!!! xxx

    • lebza
      February 25, 2015

      I do relate with most of the things ur going thru.got married,got divorced.found a man,who binge drinks and im not sure if I wanna take this relationship to the next as he suggests because of fear of another failed marriage.I think I just know how to choose them,hayi!

  24. Miriam
    February 24, 2015

    “Just because you paint it red and call it love doesn’t mean it is.”

    “I think when we expect and push and force life to be like a movie, we miss out on the rich, complex, endlessly surprising and completely unscripted wonder of our lives. Our real lives. Where the real joy and real magic happens.”

    I just couldnt agree more Mandy!

  25. Miriam
    February 24, 2015

    …My dear sister..may the Lord bless you for waking us up from a very heavy and even deadly sleep.Life of pushing ourselves and expecting some “all magical and hollywood” sort of lov to really happen in our lives is just being so unreal and very blind.It is my inner most prayer for all of us to wake up from this heavy sleep and put all our senses back to the very rich,complex and endlessly surprising wonder of our lives…In Jesus name i pray.

    and as i am writing this post..i am so awake …all awake…fully awake so to say…bless you! 🙂

    amen!

  26. Julie
    February 24, 2015

    Crazy as it may sound i was so relieved to read this post and learn that i was not the only person on this earth who came to the realization that they did not love the person they were sure they did. For me it was Mr V and for while i did love him i realized as it all came to a screaming, crying, emotionally destructive, messy end (on his side) that i was actually quite relieved that we had reached a point where i could walk away from him. Moreover we had reached a point where i could look at him and the desire to just forgive and forget and go back to how it always was, was just not there. After 20 years of forgiving and forgetting and going along as if nothing was wrong it was scary beyond belief but at the same time so liberating. So while i realize that i did love him it was not the overpowering, awe inducing, all encompassing love to end all loves that i was certain it was. This has led to an incredible journey of self discovery for me that has not been without it’s share of heart breaking lows in among the the most incredible highs but it is a journey that i am loving being on. I have been single for over a year now, an amazing thing for me, and the fact that i can’t see love on the horizon just yet does not scare me at all. I have the love of my kids, my family and the most amazing friends. I also can honestly say that i love the person i have become during the course of my journey and i love the life i’m living. With all that what more could a woman need.

  27. Sophie
    February 24, 2015

    sometimes when I read your blogs I wonder if you’re talking about NY story or yours. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with many. That takes lots of courage. I finally said goodbye to my Mr.E of 5 years last weekend. I finally realised it was never going to work. when someone closes their heart there’s nothing you can do. Sitting across him in a hotel it struck me I was just a dot in their life. They chose to remember me as a convenience. I had to say enough! I realised I didn’t have tears over him. I had shed enough tears already.

    • Stephanie
      February 25, 2015

      I am right there with you. I feel no more emotion because after 5 years, I’ve felt enough emotion for the both of us. Time to move on!

  28. Jazmine
    February 24, 2015

    I have an ex that I loved to pieces, yet as badly as I wanted the world to know about us, he tried so hard to cover it up. We finally broke up in early 2011 and it took me almost two years later to realize what he was really about. So I finally gave myself closure on our relationship and learned there was life without him in it. I’m nowhere made to be somebody’s secret….if the person I’m with can’t love me publicly and privately, they don’t deserve my love at all.

  29. Kimberly
    February 24, 2015

    I think every one would be shocked to know how messed up my relationship and marriage really was for 7 years. I would always post pictures with cute comments making it seem like my marriage was amazing, when in reality we were hanging on a thread, day by day trying to push to somehow make things work. Well at least I was trying to make things work.. But I was blind for so many years and covered up all the bad things I was going through because I didn’t want to accept it. I didn’t want to accept that something I’ve given my heart and soul for, for 7 years was finally coming to an end. I think about my relationship w him often and I can honestly say I truly did love him regardless of his faults and everything he put me through. But I really don’t believe he ever showed his love in return. I can’t think back to a time where I felt truly loved by him. I’m not sure what I was holding onto for so long when there was nothing there to hold onto. But I got my happily ever after leaving that marriage 🙂

  30. Janet
    February 24, 2015

    I said goodbye to my 7 year Mr. E 2 years ago and it was like you Mandy, I never felt the sorrow I should have. I was disappointed that I had waited so long to do it but so relieved I finally had. I am 63 yrs old and in great shape and healthy. I actually like being single more than being in a relationship…which says I have not yet found The One.

  31. Tee
    February 24, 2015

    I have been following your blog since you came to our church in So Cal last year. Like you, I have my Mr E, however, it’s been challenging to release him even after 25+ years. I guess I needed to read the “Life is not a movie………..” still waiting for the hopelessly romantic ending, but you hit the nail on the head when you said it’s impossible to fall in love with a brick wall, or has the depth of a kiddie pool. In my case, someone who proclaims they suck in relationships…….WOW, that’s right, he does suck because that’s what he believes and I am MORE than just an OPTION for someone.
    Funny, how I just received a random text last night from Mr E, however, in the last 6 months, I KNOW I deserve much much more. Thanks for the timely word!

  32. February 24, 2015

    Letting go of what you imagine and have a sudden realization hit your head that the fantasy feelings and thoughts are not reality, is difficult to cope with. I was told by someone about 4 months ago, “life is not like those chick movies.”

  33. Fran
    February 24, 2015

    “I cast him in a role he did not audition for”…..that says it all, I am guilty of the same

  34. February 24, 2015

    Hi there lady Mandy!
    I enjoy your journey and writing so much, I think every woman has had her Mr. E (the E must stand for empty)
    I had mine many years ago before I was married…and oh the drama! it gives me a stomach ache just thinking about it.
    Here is the thing, I have NO doubt in my mind you will find that special man, trust me you will.
    When this man shows up in your life he WILL write you love letters. it will not matter if the relationship starts with you being over 3000 miles apart, he will make his intentions crystal clear, you will booth be on the same page, he will declare his love for you privately and publicly, it will feel “easy” and calming.
    Blessings to you! I believe your voice and message is so needed right now, and one day when my daughter is going through her own journey, I will give her your book.
    Cheers to you all!

  35. Chanty
    February 24, 2015

    Reading all these comments gives me hope for tomorrow, the strength to wake up everyday reminding myself am special, fearless, beautiful and strong. I finally said good bye to the man I adored and loved so much last week. Love is a two way traffic, his heart didn’t connect to mine. I refused to accept the reality that it can never work out. For one and a half years, I have lived a lie, hoping he will come back but the long wait beared no fruit. I finally realized that am blocking my blessings if I don’t let go. Thank you Mandy for sharing your story, and everybody else. Re-discovering and learning to love my self.

  36. Julie
    February 24, 2015

    I too am guilty of thinking that I was in love with a brick wall…
    I saw a quote that perfectly summed it up for me:
    “You were an entire story to me, and I was nothing but a sentence to you.”

  37. Nikita
    February 24, 2015

    I recently just ended as I like to call a “situationship” with a man that I just knew was the one for me. But you know that nagging feeling you get when you cant quite put your finger on it but you know something isnt adding up about a person yeah…..that was him. For almost a year I involved myself with this man because he feed me false hopes and dreams. Numerous times I would try to walk away from him only to be lured back in by his charisma and false promises. I knew I should have left him where he was when I met him but I didnt and it in the end caused me unnecessary heartache. What people would be surprised to know about me is that I love like my love will fix whatever is broken in the person. I’ve grown to learn that the only one who can fix broken people is God. Mandy your blogs and books have been a blessing to my life. Your instagram page speaks to my soul daily thank you for being a blessing to other single women who are in the advent.

  38. leslie
    February 24, 2015

    Yes. And still until now….

  39. carla
    February 25, 2015

    It’s good to know there is realization to what we go thru with our Mr’s…my Mr R was exactly my leading man in my movie and I can say I’m thankful it was never picked up by any broadcast station. I was told I lived in a fantasy world by nature but I truly believe everyone is placed in my life for a reason and season. I moved passed the season and thankful for the reason because it made me look forward to the right Mr when he arrives.

  40. lisa
    February 25, 2015

    that one thing that would surprise everyone including me, is that I didn’t love either one of the guys I married and didn’t want to marry them.
    the one thing that would surprise three last four guys I dated was that they each said the EXACT SAME THING when I broke up with them—-that he loves me more than anyone else has, im just scared because ive never been loved this deeply before, and im making a terrible mistake because I may never get another chance at a relationship as great as this ever again.
    they were all great guys on paper……smart, educated, outgoing, funny, and personable. within a month of dating, I had somehow managed to turn them into needy, smothering whiny boys who gladly abandoned their confidence and social lives to make me the sun around which they orbit.
    as such, ive not been able to sustain a lasting attraction with any man for more than a few months.
    the only exception is one on again off again relationship over the period of two years. we broke up four times. or five, I dont remember.
    these stories of six plus year long relationships with someone without some measurable passion just blows my mind.

  41. February 26, 2015

    Mandy Hale, you are so amazing! This blog was pure poetry.

  42. Laura Di
    February 26, 2015

    I’m a bit cynical when it comes to the idea of loving another. Its been pointed out to in my experiences that you can’t give away what you don’t feel I have the love for myself yet enough to fully n wholeheartedly love someone in that same way. Sure I’ve gotten hurt, yes I’ve hurt others n maybe its thru these particular “mishaps” that I now know what I don’t want. I don’t want to a victim or just stuck in some deadend marriage, I want the freedom n happiness of being who I am in a committed relationship. I want to share myself freely with one person of the like mind, I think he’s out there. I’ve decided to wait for him to come to me. God granted he won’t give up on me, coz im still here.

  43. KBH
    February 26, 2015

    Thank you for posting this! I am right where you were – coming out of what I had convinced myself was love, on my part. It took a trip 3,000 mile trip to Los Angeles to visit a friend for me to see that who I have allowed myself to be for the last 9 months is not me at all but is some weak, pathetic, worn down person who is trying to constantly change myself to fit into a mold that this guy would like. But the truth is, his heart is made of concrete and he doesn’t want to find someone to love so no matter how hard I try he will always find something wrong with me. Why is it that a guy can flat out say “I don’t want to commit” and yet we somehow convince ourselves “oh if I just stick around a little longer he will change his mind”…I mean have we not all seen “He’s Just Not That Into You”? I have seen it enough to quote the majority of it, yet here I am looking back on 9 months of deceiving myself thinking I would be the exception and that he would change. The reality is, I’m just one of the many he was juggling and taking from in order to feed his ego and get what he wanted. It will be a hard thing but it ends now. I will move on and move forward with my life because as bad as it will hurt, I know I will survive and thrive on my own. I’m worth more and so are all of you! Thank you Mandy!

  44. Diane Steigel
    February 26, 2015

    Thank you so much for your honesty. What could’ve turned into a Mr E bashing, became a beautiful admission of humanness. I am grateful that you have chosen not to hide this beauty under a basket, but let Christ shine through it. I’ve been trying to reconnect with my faith for a while & find any easy excuse to to be lazy. You’re giving me not only a nudge, but permission to give it a go.

  45. Gretchen
    February 26, 2015

    I sometimes feel like we create this image of the perfect person because we crave the attention and affection that they give us. And I’m most definitely guilty of doing this. I thought that I was in love and that I would have gone to the ends of the earth to be with for lack of a better title Mr. H. He gave me the pretty flowers and gifts and as the affection that I si desperately craved. However, the tragedy of the story is that I knew I was setting the stage for failure. We progressed way to quickly and claimed to be in love with each other, but the sings and my nagging conscious were ignored. I tried so desperately to be the everything he wanted but I lost my true self along the way and I think because of that I created all the amazing ideals of us.
    When he ended things I was distraught. I all of these dreams and ideals of what are life would have been like ripped away from me. I felt like I was unworthy of anybody and especially unworthy of love. Theoughtout the months of grief that plagued me I turned from a hopeless romantic into a cynic believing that there’s bo such thing as true love and happily ever after. I’d tried placing blame on Mr. H, on God, on family but the truth was I’d built it all up. To way more than it ever was. I’d finally realized that the signs were there, my conscious was right, and that I didn’t have that fireworks moment. I’d realized that there was no one person to blame because we each played our parts. I’d asked God to give me sign if Mr. H and I were suppose to get married and he did, not the sign I’d been wanting but God does work in mysterious ways.
    It’s taken me some time but I’ve finaly realized that no matter what I am worthy of love. I’ve realizd that I’m not alone in this crazy journey of life and emotions. I’ve realized that God has this great plan for me and that until it’s time for The One to come along that I have to just enjoy life’s crazy, blessed journey.
    So I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you for this post and all of your posts. They come along and remind me it’s ok and to continue the journey and not to give up hope.

  46. Sue
    February 26, 2015

    This post came at an interesting time for me. I had just come to the realization in the past little while that, I have never been in love. I married in my early 20s and was not experienced. Reflecting, I am sure I was in love with the idea of being in love, married and all that is supposed to go along with that. What I ended up with was so much different, and not at all what I had imagined in my dreams. Now in my 40s, I am learning what I deserve and that my needs come first.
    Thanks for your insightful, thought provoking posts.

  47. Kuda
    February 26, 2015

    Thanx Mandy,it just made me realise that the most guys i have loved were Mr E,i just cldnt let them go,i’d try every trick in the book to keep them but they never did care,all they wanted was use me.but now i know loving some1 is never a gurantee they will love u in return.

  48. Recovering Girl
    February 27, 2015

    Dear Mandy,

    I just came to this site because I have seen some great quotes from you on life and relationships. I’ve found your quotes really profound during my recovery from a shorter-term version of your Mr. E. relationship. What saved me has been finally looking up Narcissistic Personality Disorder (check out the other cluster-B personality disorders as well). And as another commenter said, they always come back. Look into “no contact.” Might also wanna check out what kinds of things pop up when you do a search for “psychopathy.” You are out, congratulations! This won’t be a normal breakup. Hugs and light to you.

  49. Nandi
    February 27, 2015

    i’ve dated a MR E! It was a three year relationship in which I spent every single day wondering if he really wanted to be with me. In that whole time I can only remember 5 messages and no more than 10 calls. And yet I thought if I loved him enough he could love me back. I wanted his approval so much. I thought I needed to be prettier, smarter, funnier. And yet he asked for none of that…in fact he asked for absolutely nothing. I think he secretly hoped I would disappear. Then one day I did. After a long chat with my girls, I realized there was nothing there. It was first a week that I went through without contacting him, which grew into a month, which grew into a year. I still know his number off by heart and miss him (or rather the image that I created of him in my fantasy). I don’t believe he knew we dated, so we didn’t break up. I’m more aware of my needs now, and realize Mr E could never have them. He needed to grow emotionally, and I needed to face my own insecurities and grow into myself as a woman.

    I pray constantly for love. I believe that one day it will be the real deal-two normal people, getting married, and having kids. Normal issues, normal love.

  50. MJ
    February 28, 2015

    Oh I definitely have a Mr. E in my life. I actually married him last year. But he cheated…five months into the mariage. And I just found out on Valentine’s Day. Yes, a couple of weeks ago. Needless to say, he’s out of what use to be “our home” now. But he keeps calling, texting, begging me to give him another chance. I do love him… oh so much… with all my heart and soul. But how do you forgive someone who cheated? How do you trust them now? How do you get away from someone you love, and who says “I love you. I’m sorry. I made a mistake. Everyone deserves a second chance…”? Just how???

  51. Suzanne
    February 28, 2015

    I loved the line, “I literally cast Mr E in a role he never auditioned for.” That was a major slap in the face wake up call for me. I’ve done the same thing… Kind of still trying to walk away from that situation right now… I never realized I’d done exactly what you described…. Now that I see that, I think the walking away will be much easier!

  52. Bel
    February 28, 2015

    I married at the age of 17 to a guy that I thought was in love with after the passing of my mom. He was a mess but it took years and three kids later for me to realize that. He was an abusive man with alcohol and drug addictions, needless to say I wanted to make things pretty and movie material but in the end it was hurtful to me and the kids. I stood strong for my kids and after the divorce. After the divorce I met a man that was a great friend but would disappear when things got a little intense. I guess he couldn’t handle it and would run but would always come back after a few weeks or months to pick up as if nothing had changed. I finally ended that friendship last year and I have grown. It’s scary to me at times to be alone and I struggle with not looking for someone. I feel I have never known love. I’m afraid that I will never know love but I keep hoping that God will send someone into my life that will love me. In the mean time I have been working on myself to better my life physically and emotionally, hoping that I will be ready for the man that comes into my life. Thanks Mandy for your blog and encouraging words. It is helpful and I appreciate it.

  53. J
    March 3, 2015

    I want to hear from you, ladies! Have you, like me, ever been guilty of trying to make life — or love — like a movie? What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

    It’s amazing how much I and many women can relate to your story. I think most women are guilty of staying in a relationship they shouldn’t have and didn’t deserve to be in for a very similar reason. We live in a society where men & women are taught from a very young age to strive for fortune & fame. Media & magazines teach you your whole lives that in order to be loved you must look beautiful, perfect hair, teeth, makeup, & expensive name brand clothes. You grow up watching Disney movies & it becomes every girls dream to one day, find “true everlasting love” and live “happily ever after.” And subconsciously we believe deep down in order to do this, in order to find “true love” you must do all you can to be beautiful not only on the inside but most importantly on the OUTSIDE. It is human nature in this society to judge by the way someone looks & we are prone to focusing on outer appearances, forcing the vast majority of people to be prisoners of their own shallowness. What we don’t realize is that no matter how “gorgeous” a person is on the outside, it makes them no different on the inside, from you and me & everyone else. Every human being experiences emotions and insecurities. In reality, we all look the same beneath the outer image. I am definitely guilty of staying in a relationship for the mere fact of hoping and trying to manipulate it into a fairytale movie-like ending. As most women do, I showered him with unconditional love. I settled for 7 years. No matter how many promises he broke or disappointments he showered me with, daily. I continued to tell myself, just continue forgiving, all you need is love, eventually, it will all pay off. I thought he would change. I thought over the years he would see what I was worth, how much I did for him & finally one day be able to be the man I knew he could be & the man I deserved. So I continued to let him use and unappreciate me. After all, it wasn’t ALL bad. He wasn’t cheating on me or abusing me or doing any HARD drugs. Sure he tended to lie from time to time but not about anything that truly mattered. He was the best with his words. A poet & a real charmer. He always had a card saying the sweetest things for every occasion. Things like: “My Queen, I would be lost without you. You are my everything. Now, & forever. Love Always, Your Prince Charming.” It didn’t help that we had initially met in Disney World & realized we lived 15 minutes apart back in CT. Every person we told our story to helped burn the thought in my mind. “It was Fate for us to meet.” Of course I wanted this to be the man I could tell my kids about the way we met. How grand we could chalk it up to be. Despite how truly unglamorous the real details were. The fact of WHERE we met was what seemed so unbelievably amazing. I even dreamt of ACTUALLY making our story into a movie. So silly. I thought one day after we got married and had kids & live a wonderful life and change the world for the better we can write it all down & sell it to Disney so they can make it a movie about how Dreams really DO come True. How foolish I was. Like him , the relationship was only beautiful on the outside. He was not happy with himself. I tried to help him find happiness and change for the better but he was not accepting and denied my help and pleads to change. He thought he was fine living in this false fairy tale world, where image was all that mattered. Eventually it ate him up inside and we were both so miserably unhappy no matter what we tried. So he finally left. & it was the most relieving feeling in the world.

  54. Stephanie
    March 4, 2015

    Reading this blog I cant help but wipe the tears from my eyes. My best friend read your book and told me about how it eerily reminded her of my present situation and that of the past 10 years. I want to thank you for writing this and helping to inspire me that no matter what there will always be hope and this pain wont last forever. Thank you.

  55. March 4, 2015

    Hey Mandy, I just want to say a huge thank you for everything you’ve done through this website and your books. You are an amazing and inspirational woman of God and I am so thankful for the impact you’ve had on my life the past few months. I recently went through a huge, devastating breakup of my own. All your friendly insight and advice has helped me exponentially throughout my healing process. You made me want to share my story with other women who might be going through something similar which is why I decided to take the leap and start my own blog. I started http://www.therealfairytale.com and have taken up your blogging challenge as sort of a “Lent Resolution”. It’s been great being able to connect with the fellow women in my life through this challenge and my blog. I don’t think I can ever thank you enough for what you’ve done. I pray God keeps doing amazing things through your life in whatever form that may be next! God bless you, your relationships, and your writing!

  56. March 6, 2015

    I think my friends and family are now realizing I no longer will waste time waiting around for some man to make a decision to commit to me after dating for a year. I almost think that’s too long at my age. Time is precious and we know what we want…down deep every woman knows what she wants and needs in a man. If after a few dates he doesn’t look like the one we need to say , “Next”. Move on and make room for the one that is the “right” one.
    I was married to what turned out to be the “wrong” man for 21 years and lost some of the best years of my life hoping for the future that was supposed to be my “ever after”.
    Choose wisely. Cheers to all the Single Ladies who can stay content in their wait!

  57. Reece Ann
    March 7, 2015

    I have just found you! And all I can say is wow! It was like I was reading my own life. My six year relationship ship ended in Sept 2015 after I discovered he’d Been cheating for 5 years. I also thought I was in love with him, I mean it felt that we completed each other we had the same likes and dislikes, same dreams, same outlook. But little did I know till recently through therapy that he is a sociopath. If your not familiar with them they have many traits a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.
    I can say that when I confronted him on the cheating I had no sadness, I don’t think I was ever in love with him truly. But what really hurt was the lying to me, accusing me of cheating all along, and yes I was very naive in the accuser is the guilty one. Funny to say that it took a gas attendant last summer to to tell me that when u are being accused of cheating the one doing the accusing is the one cheating. I really thought he would never lie or hurt me, I mean he’s military and loves me and is my missing piece. Boy was I wrong! There was also 5 years of abuse but I put it off as he was just an “asshole”.
    So now I feel misplaced, I sold my home to move in with him and make a life, so now I’m Living With oldest son, Lost My Job Because He Was A Patient There And We Have Restraining Order On Each Other, So now unemployed and In therapy. I know it will take time to heal and move on, and I’m learning to do that. But what I hate most about this whole experience was the fact when we met I was a strong, independent, fearless, capable woman. And I want her back! I don’t want him to control who i am anymore. I started a blog on the abuse to help me deal with all that’s happen to me and getting those painful things out is making me aware of what happened to me is not okay. It’s not okay for anyone to be abused!
    so any advice on how I can find who i am and what to do with my life? We live in a small town and I want to move to Texas but I am terrified to make that leap. I do have family there but also in Oregon. I just don’t know how to find me and do what makes me happy. I worry about others before me while people tell me it’s time to make yourself happy and go live your life.
    Thank you so much for telling your side.

  58. March 17, 2015

    I was so inspired by the beautifully talented Mandy Hale that I started my on blog which I am so excited about!
    http://confessionsofasinglejesusgirl.blog.com/

  59. E. Williams
    September 10, 2015

    Dear Mandy,
    I don’t know whether you loved Mr. E or not, that is not for me to say. However, just because someone does not love you back or love you the way that you want to be loved does not mean that you never loved them. You can love a variety of people. People that are right for you & people that are wrong for you. I recently read an article by Mark Manson titled, Love is Not Enough, which is an excellent read. Loving the ‘wrong’ people does not take away love on your part or diminish it. You spent 8 years of your life thinking about this person. He is the inspiration for this blog. Without him, without those horrible experiences you would not be the person you are today. Your life would be altered, you would be altered. Everyone is on a journey and each experience, good or bad, is a lesson. If you have learned that lesson, which honestly you may not have yet, that does not mean you never loved him to begin with. You basically eluded to him being a shell of person, however, that shell of a person is still loved and lovable. I am in no way saying you should continue that relationship. & I realize that you are devastated, but that shell of a person is still a person. A person you spent 8 years of your life going after. You also mentioned somewhere that he could not stick to a city or career or much of anything. People like that, do not love themselves. People who do not love themselves can not love others. They don’t know how. I think it’s important to take away all the lessons you’ve learned and the person you’ve become because of his existence in your life and be grateful for everything it has taught you. You now know how to treat and inspire others, lessons that you may not have learned had you not met him. Again, I am in no way saying continue to pine after him or that anyone stay stuck in a relationship that is not good for them. However, without that experience and heartache and awfulness of that relationship you would not be you. Chuck Palaniuk said, “Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.”

  60. Jay
    September 21, 2015

    I too have been in a situation where you try and try to make this guy–who is unavailable for whatever reason–the proverbial “one.” And I, too, have learned it the hard way over and over again. No matter what, if it is not ordained and orchestrated by God, and a part of His lifelong plan for you, it just won’t be. Just went through a horrific breakup in which my boyfriend told me: 1) he hasn’t been honest with me 2) he’s not the guy who deserves to be in a relationship with me 3) he’s not really ready for a relationship 4) he was still seeing other people. All after a few days of ignoring any form of communication I attempted with him. To boot, this was done via text bc there was no other way of getting him to respond. He told me, Friday night, that he couldn’t call me because he was having drinks. are you kidding me? He aid he ignored my previous communicative attempts because “he was thinking about me and how he was feeling and he just didn’t want to talk to me.” Double He then went on to dish how he slept with x amount of women while we were dating–but claims none once we became official. I’m glad he was honest FINALLY, but it hurt. It hurt to know the person that I thought I knew over these 5 months was someone different. The guy that I was talking to that brushed me off for drinks (likely with one of the women that was constantly texting him while we were together) was the same man I was spending all of my time with. Laughing with. Getting to know. Falling for all over again everyday. It wasn’t him. The guy that I knew was a cover up, a facade. It is extremely hurtful to know that someone is comfortable lying to your face. And that he didn’t even have the common courtesy to respond or follow up or anything. Why? Because he doesn’t/didn’t care. This is the part I’m trying to process. Although more so of just venting and not really on the topic, I just thought I would share a little about me. I guess that is kind of my one thing you wouldn’t know about me–I’m fresh off of a heartbreak.

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