January 12, 2023
And just like that, it’s over. No more boyfriend.
I’m trying to figure out how I feel. I keep comparing it to how I felt about Don when that ended. So not very long ago. This feels a lot different, and I’m trying to figure out why. I wonder if breaking up with someone and then breaking up with someone else in such quick succession has kind of numbed me to the pain of it.
The inner dialogue goes: “Well, ya, so that happened again. Am I going to feel like shit for a long time? Again? How long? Because I’m not up for that. I’m opting out this time.”
This time, I have more of a choice about how I want to grieve this ending. I’m not laid out flat devastated. But that’s clearly a function of the fact I’m in a much stronger place mentally than I was when it ended with Don. Because I truly am.
I’m angrier with David than I was with Don. I was never angry with Don. And that’s where I’ll stop the comparisons because it even still hurts to revisit the Don thing.
I’m angry with David, but it’s lessening. He’s gotten a piece of my mind. I haven’t exactly skewered the man. I could have, but I chose not to. Because I can’t skewer someone for doing what they think is right and best for them. Plus, when you love someone, you want them to be true to themselves. You don’t want them to make compromises in character they will resent. When you compromise on core characteristics for the sake of maintaining a relationship status that simply isn’t meant to be, a virtual tidal wave of resentment builds.
What I’m angry about is how he worked to gain my trust, to convince me that he was indeed in love with me, and that he did indeed want to build something with me. And then he up and changed his mind. That’s a phenomenon I’ve experienced many times, in the men I’ve dated and in myself. Sometimes, the realization I’ve made a mistake smacks me up the side of the head in a day, and I’ve no choice but to end things. That doesn’t fit this situation.
David’s awareness the relationship wasn’t working for him was slow in coming. If you count three months as slow. I do. It doesn’t take me that long to figure out something isn’t working for me! And that’s a lot of the frustration right there. The fact that it takes others so long to really dig into their own hearts and figure out what is happening inside of them really annoys me. Geez. I mean. THINK. And get your ass in therapy so you can learn to really get in touch with your needs and wants. Geez. I did the work, am doing the work. Why can’t everyone else get with the program, too? I really do make myself laugh with my silly expectations of others. We’re all on our own path to growth and healing, and it takes as long as it takes. I know that full well. I didn’t get a hold of some of this stuff until my mid-50s. And I have the gall to be frustrated with others. I’m silly.
I digress. Back to David.
I’m not sure how David came to the realization he doesn’t want the same things I do. I pushed him to get real, I pushed him hard. My intuition was telling me something wasn’t right. It wasn’t that he was lying or pretending. I felt totally connected to him one moment, and I know he felt the same, then the next, I didn’t know who he was. It’s a thing I felt in my very soul. And now I wonder if I imagined the whole thing, that there weren’t really those moments of intense connectedness. Looking back, I absolutely did not imagine those magical, yet fleeting moments. There absolutely were times when we were totally connected, in total and complete lock step. But those times weren’t frequent enough, and they didn’t last long enough. I felt that. I knew that.
There’s an uneasiness that comes from wanting something a bit more than you allow yourself to acknowledge the full bare-naked truth of a situation. It’s my habit to lean into the fear because that’s how I’m made to my core. I know taking risks is what brings me the greatest learning and the greatest joy. And this situation was no different. And just because it didn't work this time doesn't mean my time was wasted, that I didn't learn. Because I did, absolutely I did. And the learning, as always, has been invaluable.
Taking this risk, choosing to believe David, choosing to lean into and surrender to what he was saying brought me great joy. It wasn’t counterfeit; it just didn’t last. Things don’t always last. I’d venture to say nothing lasts. Look at me! Not wanting to say that about love and romance! When I know for a fact, nothing lasts.
Love doesn’t end, it doesn’t have to end, but it changes. The bliss of new love most especially isn’t sustainable. Those feelings of being in synch, of attachment, of true deep intimacy, they come and go. I must always be clear on how much connectedness I want, what depth of intimacy I need to sustain a love relationship.
The key is figuring out how much compatibility already exists without having to begin the arduous process of compromise. Compromise is good, but too much compromise is incredibly dangerous and destructive. You can’t compromise your beliefs, your ethics, how you’ve learned to honor and value who you are at your core. I can’t. When I have, and I have often in the past, it’s cost me greatly. It has eaten away parts of my soul. I’ve worked to heal those places of deep wounding, but I won’t allow those deep wounding’s ever again. I’ve come to love myself too much to ever compromise who I am to that degree ever again.
David is learning that just now. He’s a bit behind me timewise, but he’s figuring shit out. I helped with that. I was a catalyst for his personal growth. For that, I am grateful. I did good on that one.
What I learned from David, the relationship with David specifically, is an apparent lack of compatibility can absolutely be overcome if two people want the same thing and are fully committed to its achievement. I thought David and I had that, and we did, for a time. It was quite lovely and even magical to have found, to have experienced. But it simply didn’t last. And that’s a good thing. Best to know now.
The sooner it’s clear something isn’t going to work long-term, the better the chance of mitigating emotional pain. Is there still emotional pain? Absolutely. But not nearly that which occurs when the relationship dissolves at six months, at a year, or longer. And the pain of having this happen at three months pales in comparison to that which comes with divorce.
Instead of cursing Spirit for yet another love lost, I must once again thank Her for protecting me. She always does. I am grateful to Her for always walking the ugly out with me, for never leaving me alone and bereft. I thank Spirit for gifting me this wonderful life full of such deep suffering yet punctuated with periods of the most incredible joy and even bliss.
Life is hard. Life is good. Life is well worth living.
I Persevere. And life goes on.