So, my boy and I broke up about two-and-a-half weeks ago. It was pretty simple; I moved, and while he was considering moving with me, he ultimately decided that the career opportunity he had back in Scotland was more important. On the surface, I can’t assign much blame to this decision – I moved to London for a career opportunity, so it would be a little hypocritical to get all hell-hath-no-fury on this point.
There are a few mitigating factors that piss me off, however. For one, this career opportunity is nothing like a golden career opportunity in that it’s not the absolute fulfillment of his lifetime hopes and dreams – it’s just a year-long course that his company has offered to pay for, in a profession for which he doesn’t have particular passion. Whereas, in London, he would have the chance to pursue something he truly is interested in, not to mention that I offered to foot the bills for a couple of months while he sorted himself out. Honestly, if a guy I was mad about (as he’s professed to be about me on multiple occasions, sans prompting) offered me the chance to move to one of the most exciting cities in the world and support me while I pursued my dream job, well, I wouldn’t be too damn upset about it.
Another thing that pisses me off is that we agreed that I would move and we’d go long-distance until Christmas before making a final decision. This is something that we were going to do together, with discussion, but what actually happened is he made the decision he wasn’t moving and broke it to me the weekend of my birthday. Yeah, I asked him about it on the Friday (and being fair, there is really no good time to break this kind of news), but it was still my goddamn birthday weekend in a brand-new city and, yeah, it was crushing. Then we got to spend two more passive-aggressive days together during which I cried profusely and he looked pained. But in between the crying jags and the desperate mutual declarations of love and the home repair I forced him to do (had to take advantage of the drill he brought with him to hang my curtains), we still managed to have a good time. Because we always have a good time, and this is why I miss him.
He’s been my partner, my companion, and my go-to support system in a strange land for the last nine months. It took about seven months for him to even convince me to be his girlfriend (I am terribly commit-o-phobic) but once I got there, I was there.
Here’s what hurts the worst. I’ve never lived with anyone before, aside from my freshman year roommate at college (they paired me up with a non-smoking virgin from Nepal, and lovely as she was, we were voted house “Odd Couple” for a reason). With him, this was a big step for me, but something I felt prepared for, for the first time in my life. I was willing to share a bathroom with this man. Why?
Because I love reading in bed with him at night, snug under the sheets and engrossed in our respective books. I love making omelettes on a Saturday while he checks the football scores, and how every omelette I make him is declared the “best ever.” I love the fact that he submits to my Friday Night Horror FilmFests with good humor, even though it’s not his cup of tea. I love that he’s a sci-fi/fantasy geek, and not too bad at football himself. He can also cook and knows how to tile a bathroom.
I love this funny thing he does, where he makes a point with every meal he eats to save the best bite for last; in comparison, I eat all my favorite bits first and then make do with the rest. I love his sugarbowl ears that I want to tug on, his smile, and the way he looks in the striped pants I forced him to buy, which he now admits were an excellent purchase. I love that he can keep up with my mood swings and calm me when I’m anxious or upset or being a nutball. I love that I told him we were having a Living Room Dance Party when it was too cold to go out, taught him how to boxstep, and then he would dorkily practice it in the street. I love that he drives me to the grocery store and gets grumpy on the way home because we took almost three hours, but that I can get him to laugh about it.
I love that I can be myself around him, good, bad, and ugly, and he is always attracted to me, and he makes me feel beautiful. I love that we have an amazing sex life, and cannot be in a bed together without reaching for each other. Most of all, I love that I am unremmittingly happy to see him. I was always too lazy and cold to trek over to his apartment during the week and he would always, always, shove on a hat and coat and come over to see me, no matter how late I called him. I loved it the first time he said “I love you,” and although it took me a couple of weeks to respond, when I did, it was in truth.
For the first time in a long time, I saw a future there. Maybe not forever, but I thought we would be a good team, and if our ground was solid enough, it could develop. I was open to the possibility. I have gripes about him, of course. He’s not the man I thought I would be with, but sometimes love wallops you upside the head and you forget that you were supposed to be with someone taller, older, more accomplished, with a better job. That can fall by the wayside.
So, how I dealt with the breakup was my own personal way. I didn’t talk to my friends or family for over two weeks, because I needed to grieve it. I couldn’t talk about it and I couldn’t blog, because it was all I could speak or write about and I needed the initial pain to pass. To speak or to write was/is to open the dams, and I was/am tired of crying. There is nothing original or insightful to say about mourning a breakup; it is all caterwauling in the darkness and feeling grateful to your friends for putting up with you. And I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to speak to anyone until I could do so without weeping at small kindnesses, and I wanted to hold myself together at work.
So what I did was watch seasons two through four of The Office. Every night, I opened a bottle of wine and watched American comedy shows, and failed to speak with the people who were worried about me. It’s my own selfish and self-protective way of handling things. I owe an apology to the people who really care about me and with whom I could not bear to communicate, but this is how I get through shit. It works for me.
Tell me in the comments how you’ve dealt with breakups in the past, because I’m open to further suggestions.