Just over a year ago I wrote about my first experience falling in love. In an instant, the entire solitary lifestyle I imagined for myself completely evaporated to make room for this passion and happiness that could be described as nothing else but “love.”
Just as foreign as that experience was for me is the experience of breaking-up. I’ve been hurt before, let down, what I usually refer to as “shat on,” more times than I’d like to admit, but I never had very strong feelings for those guys. I mean, I felt affected as any human would when being treated horribly by another human. This time is different though, I wasn’t treated horribly and I have very strong feelings for this person. I love him.
After two months and several conversations with him (and myself, if I’m being honest) I have settled on this fact: we aren’t supposed to be together, at least not right now. This is fine, but much harder to handle than I could ever have imagined. And it’s all led me to that conclusion: break-ups are weird.
He’s the person who taught me that I could love anyone at all, that I could be a “girlfriend.” I realize now that he also taught me a lot about loving my body and loving myself. He was constantly correcting any negative thing I had to say about myself, reminding me that I am beautiful, that I “didn’t need that stuff [make-up] on my face,” and that my body was perfectly designed. I honestly worry a lot about the sanity and safety of my brain without these reminders, as these past months alone have allowed me time to say really mean things to myself. I worry all of these insecurities are going to flood back with full force and I’m going to lose any of the confidence in myself I have gained in the past year and a half.
I miss him a lot, I would say I have had the conscious thought I miss him at least once a day since the day after it happened. I miss our jokes, I miss the way he looked at me, I really really miss his arm around me, I miss watching shitty horror movies with him on Friday nights. Just as much as I miss these things, there are some things I don’t miss. The relationship was not in the best condition toward the end. The number of things that were happening in my life at that time are still happening, leaving me remarkably busy. It does feel good to not feel bad about having any priorities outside of my relationship.
Before him, I never thought I would find anyone or be with anyone for any substantial amount of time. The strongest feelings I had ever had for someone prior to meeting him were for the boy I met on my 21st birthday and spent a week’s worth of time with over the course of a year. A fleeting, 100 hour-long love affair. When I found this one, my one, I thought this is it, I found him. I’ll never have to look again. How naïve of me, I know, but I truly thought this. I realize now, that nearly everyone I know has an “ex boyfriend.” It’s a normal thing that people have, just like I learned having a “boyfriend” is normal. Many times, the person someone marries or “ends up with” isn’t the first and only person they’ve ever loved. All of these things are facts that for some reason I need a while to be able to process.
Break-ups are weird and “moving on” is a concept that’s really confusing. I think that what’s scary to me is the idea that loving someone else will somehow make my love for him smaller. That it will be a little blip in my life. It felt so huge and all encompassing before, it felt like one of the most important things that ever happened to me. And now, the only image of him I have in my mind is the one of us both crying by his door and him telling me to leave his apartment because he wasn’t changing his mind and this was too hard. I don’t want to hold on to this relationship in an unhealthy way, but I don’t want that image to be all that’s left of it either. And while I truly feel like I’m on the upswing of the whole situation, I’m afraid that I’ll never really figure that part out.