Immediately following my break-up, I wanted to sit down and write about it. I had so many feelings, and I was not interested in girl talk, just writing to process my thoughts. This is my first draft, unedited except for typos. This is not what ended up on my blog where he could read it. This ended up on my personal Tumblr (that I do not want linked) and in Steph's e-mail inbox. I offered it up to Steph because I feel there is a lot of emotion here that might be worth discussing. There is a lot in this e-mail that is knee-jerk, but also a lot that I think girls can relate to (and maybe boys) about what it's like to be in a relationship and how expectations can differ and who knows what else. So I wanted this out there, in a broader audience, sharing my emotions with you.
I broke up with my boyfriend today. Truthfully, boyfriend isn't really the word I want to use. Because to me, boyfriend implies mutual affection and reciprocal feelings, but those things weren't part of our relationship. Our relationship was me giving everything I had and him being emotionally unavailable. And when it came down to it, I was made to feel like I had it all wrong and he was always honest that this is the way things would be. But even that is a lie.
I'll quote his profile from OKCupid: "I've decided to update my profile with hopes of meeting someone new and hopefully starting a serious relationship with someone special. While I would like that relationship to be based on friendship and mutual interests, I am not looking for 'just friends' or something 'casual'." That's the opening paragraph. He states, pretty explicitly that he's not looking for something casual. But last week, when I had my first emotional break down, he told me that we were way too serious and he wanted something much more casual. "While I am a busy guy, I still have down time to share with a special lady who's looking to find a man that will treat her like she's always wanted to be treated." That's a part of his third paragraph, and that's a lie too. Because what I wanted from him was affection that he refused to give. I wanted open and direct communication and instead, anything I brought up just pissed him off...so much so that he would retaliate by withholding what little affection he gave me. What I wanted was to know that he cared for me, that he liked me, and he was never able to show me that in a way I understood...couldn't even actually tell me that when asked directly. Oh, but when he got super drunk, that's when he told me he loved me and proposed to me and talked about having kids with me and fucked me...but only when he was good and drunk enough to express those feelings (which were apparently lies anyway). "I work hard and my only wish is that I could start sharing the time I have off with someone that I can give my heart to." That's from the section about what he's doing with his life...but apparently, it was too much to ask him to give his heart to me. TO be fair, he did spent a lot of time with me. Time spent driving him to and from work and running his errands and helping him move his apartment and sitting on opposite ends of the couch, watching tv and not touching."You enjoy listening to vinyl while goofing off on the internet and/or cuddling like crazy people." That's the last line of his profile, a reason someone should message him. And so I did, and what we never did was cuddle like crazy people. We never even cuddled like reserved people because we never cuddled.
The beginning of our relationship was good. He was funny and exciting and his hands were all over me and we talked for hours and laughed a lot. But shortly thereafter, when I was invited into his place, when I started rearranging my schedule for him, when I agreed to be exclusive to him, that's when things went down hill. Little by little he withdrew more and more. We had sex about once every two weeks because...something about anxiety...I don't know. I gave and I gave, everything I could give to him, and he became more and more distant. Things improved right around three months, after I had gone to Florida for a week. We texted non-stop and when I came back, he was excited to see me and couldn't keep his hands off me. That lasted for a day before our relationship declined yet again. Quickly we were back to the old ways, me carting his ass around and being too afraid to do anything more than agree with him, him withdrawing.
Finally, last week, I had an emotional break down. I sat on his couch and told him how awful it felt, like he didn't care for me at all, and why wouldn't he ever touch me. He told me he couldn't do that. I was asking for too much and he couldn't give it. And so I agreed to alter my expectations. And maybe a week is not long enough, but I couldn't do it any longer. I spent every day driving home from his house, crying. I couldn't exist in this space where I wanted to give him everything and in return I received...you know, time spent together. Time spent together and that's it. Time spent together, on opposite ends of the couch, watching him play video games and talking about super heroes. That's not a relationship. That's barely a friendship.
This past Friday, we had plans for a threesome. But the girl cancelled due to car trouble and so he made plans for a night out with the guys without me. This broke my heart probably more than it should. So I told him it hurt my feelings and he said he'd respond to me later. (80% of our relationship was lived through text.) Today, he finally replied to me. It was a bit of a diatribe about how I had rescheduled the threesome event (the first time had been cancelled due to his illness) and he missed his friends and his decision to hang out with them was not done with malicious intent. And then the talking began...but each text he sent ended with, "I'm done talking about this." Because there was never a day that was good to talk about anything.
So, I went over to his house. And I sat on a chair and I poured my heart out and I fought for us. I gave him every opportunity to tell me he wanted me in his life, he cared about me, whatever. And I guess he did. Because I guess we're going to be friends now. Whatever that means. I'm not really good at going back.
I mean, I'm not perfect. I'm impatient and I like relationships to progress probably faster than most people would like. I need to talk about things, and I don't understand when people are indirect, so I often need clarification. Not very long into our relationship (hell, it hasn't even been four months, so this relationship hasn't been long), I told him I loved him. Because I did. Because my heart overflowed with feelings for him. And I know it is socially unacceptable to express that sort of emotion within relationships in American culture. So I broke societal norms and I told him how I felt...and maybe it ruined everything. Because he told me he felt pressure.
But I'm going to be stubborn and obstinate and refuse to believe that. Instead, I'm going to believe that having emotions and sharing them and giving as much as possible to someone is a good thing. This is my break-up story anyway. I can let it be one-sided.
But what I really want to say is that I never wanted this relationship to end. I wish I could be some sort of perfect human being who never had feelings that were too overwhelming and never had expectations that couldn't be met and never disagreed and thought that hanging out, sitting on a couch, watching tv, and having sex every other week when he was drunk was good enough. But that just wasn't good enough. I wish I had more patience in me, to wait around while he fixed all his brokeness and could be the person he advertised in his profile...the person I went on a first date with and spent those first few weeks getting to know...because that person was amazing. And even the broken person who withdrew from me and withheld affection and was uncommunicative and overwhelmed and defensive and sarcastic...even that person was worthwhile. I believed in him and I had faith in him. But in the end, I couldn't sublimate my feelings for him. I wish I could, but I'm just not that strong.
*This post was written by a dear friend of mine who wanted to remain anonymous. I thought it was important to share because I feel that we've all been through similar situations. How did you get through a tough breakup? Feel free to discuss with me on Facebook or Twitter. Photo credit.