“Would you like to renew your subscription?”

I recently ended my first relationship that lasted less than a year. I didn’t mean for it to happen that night, but I know it was the right thing to do. I’m way too young to settle, and I’m way too young to waste time with someone who doesn’t think I’m the greatest person on the planet. Why do I need to stress over whether you’ll text back? Why do I need to worry about whether we’ll have plans? Why do I always need to come to your apartment? Why am I trying so hard when my feelings aren’t reciprocated? I know you’ll miss me, and I’m not saying that to be conceited. I hope that you find the right person, I really do. I know it isn’t me, not even if you were more emotionally open.

I know by the way you made me feel less intelligent because I read Thought Catalog in the mornings instead of The Economist. The way you’d correct my grammar when we both knew I knew the correct usage. The way you’d never look me in the eye while we were talking. When we’d spend Sunday mornings together and I’d feel like you were rushing me out. How I would always need to plan our dates because you don’t figure out what you’re doing until ten minutes prior. Maybe you were waiting for better plans? When I’d ask you about your day and you wouldn’t ask me about mine. When you’d get moody and I’d have to comfort you. How you got to be little spoon more than I did. When you’d get jealous if I talked about my past relationships but you could talk freely about yours. When you’d refuse to be serious even though we were having a serious conversation. When you would text in bed. When you ignore my texts and I know you’re on Reddit and Facebook. The only time you were consistent is when we were sexting. How you would compare me to your exes in terms of depression/anxiety. How you would forget to ask me about my interviews. How you never wanted to do anything on the weekends. How you would jokingly call me racist even though we both know that’s not true. How your job made you grumpy and you would take it out on me. How you acted like you devoted so much time to me when I really asked for very little. How you’re gonna miss me now that I’m gone.

You won’t come back…there’s no point, and you’re way too proud to do that anyway. It’s better for both of us if you don’t. I know you’re hurting, or maybe you’re not. Maybe you’ll be just fine. I guess this changes things, though. Now you can move to San Francisco. You can live with girls. You can be 5th wheel with your friends and their soon-to-be fiancées. You can join your roommate in his Tinder escapades. It’s funny how something that seems so important can become so insignificant so quickly. I’m glad I realized this early. I wonder if you’ll ever know what it feels like to love someone. I wonder if I’ll ever find that again. I know I’m better off even though I’m hurting. I can’t date again for a while, I just need some time to focus on friendships and healing and moving forward. I need to find a job. I need to get my anxiety in check. I need to build my self confidence. I need to stop thinking about you all the time, which I’ve done for the past four months. I need to realize that there will be others; I need to know that you’re not the only one for me, and that you never were anyway. I couldn’t be myself around you, you never really knew the true me. At the end of January when we had plans to have dinner with your friends, I wasn’t feeling well and you were totally gonna go without me. You were probably happy because you wouldn’t have to pay for me. I took a ton of Vitamin C and lied and said I felt fine, and then you got moody for no reason while we were there. Your friends apologized for you while you were in the bathroom. I always hid it when I felt sick after that. And you thought we were spending too much time together when we had been together for less than a month. Isn’t that supposed to be the honeymoon?

It wasn’t a good relationship. There were good parts, and there are aspects that I’m going to miss. But I was always on edge, and that shouldn’t be the case. I shouldn’t have to worry that you’re gonna ask me to leave because you want to play video games. You shouldn’t snap at me because I called while you were driving. I shouldn’t rely on you for the emotional support you’re incapable of giving. I shouldn’t be unable to focus on being with my friends because I’m worried about you. I shouldn’t be looking to a breakup as a release from the anxiety you create. I shouldn’t have to wonder whether you still like me. And I shouldn’t have to convince you that you should love me someday. After four months, if you can’t see a future, then it’s time to make you my past.

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Do you have an unemployment discount?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been eligible for some type of discount at stores. I guess that’s the benefit of going straight from being a student to a teacher, and then back to being a student again. It’s starting to occur to me that in a mere 13 days, I will no longer be able to enjoy this luxury. For the first time in my life, I will always have to pay full price. And, for the first time in my life, I will be unemployed and not in school.

The first thing I have to say about this is…WTF. I thought I did everything right. I got my Master’s from an Ivy League school, and not in some archaic field like Classics or unemployable field like Fine Arts. I actually chose something that is directly related to a JOB! And quite a broad range of jobs, for that matter. And I’ve applied to 35 of them to date. Got an interview for one, made it to the final round, and got beat out by an alumna who couldn’t find a job in her field so she decided to encroach on mine. So in approximately 4 weeks, I will be moving back in with my parents for the first time in 6 years. And I repeat, this is after I got a Master’s degree from an Ivy League school.

I am completely aware that I sound like an entitled bitch right now. Yes, I realize that it’s still a rough economy. And no, I don’t expect employment to just come to me without having to expend any effort. But most of the jobs I’m applying to don’t require a Master’s degree. In fact, some of them don’t even require a college degree! This is incredibly frustrating, considering that I spent upwards of $50K on something that is completely and utterly useless, and whichever job I take will have a salary that is less than I made when I was teaching. I should have just found a job after I quit teaching, or just stayed in teaching. I hated my life, but things had started looking up. Maybe I should have just stuck it out and completed TFA. Maybe. Would I have been better off?

For someone who has always had a plan (and whose friends and family know that I’ve always had a plan), being unemployed is incredibly scary. I’ll probably avoid people until I find some sort of gainful employment. My friends who work in different fields are shocked that I haven’t found anything yet, but only two people out of my graduating class of 50 have! Not sure if that makes me feel better or worse. Some days I just get so angry that I want to sell my soul to one of the two-bit marketing firms that keep calling me after I posted my resume on Indeed. At least I wouldn’t have to live at home, although I don’t think living in the Philly ghetto would be any better since that’s all I’d be able to afford. I look at my friends who have had steady jobs for the past two years and wonder where the hell I went wrong. Not to mention that I’m getting old and have zero relationship prospects, but we won’t even get into that. I should really delete Facebook for a little while, as it’s making me very depressed.

This sucks.

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Relationship Red Flags (RRFs)

I’d like to think of this post as a living document, not unlike the Constitution, depending upon your political views. It is a collection of what I’ll now refer to as RRFs, and I will add to it as I see fit. When you notice an RRF, it means that you should GTFO, ASAP.  I write these with the gift of hindsight, in the hopes that you will learn from my mistakes, or at least that I won’t repeat them more than a few additional times.

RRF #1: they won’t go to brunch. Before I explain, I’d like to note that these are “relationship red flags” and not “hook-up red flags.” If we’re just hooking up, then no, please do not take me to brunch.  I do not want to see you in that amount of sunlight and in last night’s clothes. And even if we’re in a relationship and brunch is acceptable, I understand that it cannot be a weekly occurrence. It’s expensive and a huge caloric commitment. But if your boyfriend never takes you to brunch because they’re cheap or counting calories or just can’t get out of bed before 2PM on a weekend, then we have a problem. And for the gentlemen:  regarding the calories, it’s called an egg-white omelet. There’s no mandate from the Brunch Gods saying that you have to get the red velvet pancakes and bottomless mimosas.  You can resist.

RRF #2: they use economic phrases and/or models to explain any aspect of your relationship. Yes, this has happened to me. Twice. With two different people. If this doesn’t show you that a man is an emotionless rock, then you simply cannot be reached.

RRF #3: they take you to a brewery and proceed to ask for samples of five different beers. When you inquire as to why they are doing this, they say that it’s a way to save money. This is after they “casually” reveal that they make$70K. That’s the type of behavior I’ve only seen on TLC’s “Extreme Cheapskates,” and to that I say good night.

RRF #4: you’ve established that you’re in a relationship, but they won’t make it Facebook official.  First of all, I know that we’re not 14.  Actually, if we were 14, we’d probably be posting about our relationship through Instagram since Facebook has become a medium through which middle-aged women share inspirational quotes and videos of animals. However, if we both have Facebook (even if you “never use it”), it’s an RRF if you won’t add the relationship. Why? Because…why not?  The number of “likes” is not even a thought here…we can even hide the update.  But if you won’t post it, I’m going to think there are some deeper insecurities, or maybe an expiring restraining order against an unstable ex.

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