Despite the way I come across sometimes, I’m actually quite sensitive (no, really).

I also tend to believe the best about people in my life: I give them too many every benefit of the doubt, I think the best of them unless proven otherwise, and believe people generally want to do the right thing.

Yet when I reflect back on some of the comments I’ve received from people since I became a re-born-again-virgin-Buddhist-monk- who’s-moving-to-a-deserted-island, I’m starting to think people might be well-intentioned but essentially clueless.

To wit, here are some of the cloddish (new word?) things people have said to me since my most recent split:

  • “I know how much you liked him.” And then they merrily go off to the next topic.

    • Note that’s not the same as “Oh, I really liked this guy and you seemed so good together.” I think it’s code for “I’m know you liked him but I didn’t, so I’ll give you your sympathy but whatever…”
  • “At least you didn’t invest a lot of time in him” or its variant, “At least you weren’t together that long.”

    • True, it’s been much (way much) easier to get through this than some of my past—um—transitions.
    • But that’s kind of like saying, “At least you only cut off your finger and not your whole hand.” Great, but it still hurts!
  • And my favorite, from someone who really should have been a bit more nurturing: “I heard about your recent, uh, changes in your uh life, and I’m praying for you.”
    • I could go so many directions with that one: You knew him. You knew we were together, and that’s the best you can come up with?! You couldn’t say “I heard about you and ExMan. I’m sorry things didn’t work out.”??
    • “My changes in my life” sounds like I’m going through menopause. True, I’m close, but no amount of prayer would help that anyway.
    • OTOH, I can laugh about it, so maybe the prayers are helping. I’ll take good thoughts from whoever will give them to me!

    Interestingly the most comforting, empathetic comments have come from my out of town friends. They didn’t even know ExMan. Oh dear—it just occurred to me that that’s why they’re so empathetic, but I won’t stoop to even thinking that, because even though he wasn’t the right one for me he IS a great guy. The only thing I can think of is that they heard enough about him and that they know me well enough to believe (hope?) I was finally with the right one for me.

    But, as you undoubtedly know by now, that wasn’t the case…

    PS: I’ve delayed posting this for over an hour because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. NOT my intent. At ALL. If you need a reminder of the purpose of this, it’s in the title, which has been the same from the start.