I was telling my friend about my break-up with my evil ex-boyfriend. She listened and seemed interested but…was she really? I did sound like a broken record. I was rehashing another story of what happened to me in my relationship. The same type of story that I had told her over and over again. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I get my act together and figure out the answers on my own?
Maybe I had changed and didn’t know who I was anymore or what made me happy. Maybe I had settled. I wasn’t sure to be honest. But I was going to figure it out. Yes. This would be a research assignment. I cherished my mad research skills and couldn’t wait to get started.
So this was going to be my mission. To find out not only who I had become but why I had changed, and why I had let my old self go. The self that loved the simplicity of life, the introvert that loved doing things alone but never felt lonely, the gal that always wanted to tell a joke and see people smile. A happy and positive person.
But first let me tell you about my break-up.
It was a pretty bad one, for sure. I was “dismissed” after 10 years. Or if you’d rather me state it politely…told to go away. Either way, it doesn’t sound pleasant and that’s because it wasn’t. At all. Especially because I didn’t see it coming.
Yes. That June while still grieving over the death of our dog, finishing my first book, and preparing for my first public speaking gig, my boyfriend had decided that he had had enough.
With no explanation he sought refuge upstate until I had moved out of the house we shared…one that I considered my home for the past 10 years. And with no car, no furniture, no big savings, and no place to go I was bewildered and in a state of shock.
Hmmm…I wonder why I hadn’t seen the signs? I mean I had always known (or thought) that my intuition served me well. Both men and women had always sought me out for answers to their perplexing relationship questions. And I could dole out some pretty great advice about any relationship. I really had pretty much became a human radar detector regarding relationship issues and status.
I collected mundane intel on many types of relationships and tucked them away in my brain for later folly and reflection. I knew from my research if the relationship was working or not, where it was going, if anywhere at all, and if it should end. I was always right and never skirted the truth to those weary men and women who asked.
And yet…my own relationship had failed and I couldn’t read the signs. Was I loosing my gift? Perhaps.
And so I continued to dig deeper. I knew that there was one trait I kept throughout the years and that was persistence. I would persist until the bitter end. I would research this topic just like everything else that captivated me until the answer was found.
I would smash it. Make sense of it. Be victorious. And move on.
That’s really what I believed. That’s all it would take. Only a few reflective weeks or maybe a month of research…because, after all, I was a pro at this, right?
Relationships are complex and very confusing. And mine was no different. But the fact remained, I couldn’t figure it out. Where had I gone wrong? Was it my fault? Was it his fault? Did we just grow apart? Why didn’t I see the signs? And the big question…
Will I ever know what really happened?
If you had asked me that two weeks ago it would have been no. The answer to that one would have been a big fat no.
But alas, good ‘old Steph has regained her researching radar skills and found the truth. I’ll spare you the despicable and hideous details but suffice to say the man is a coward. A shell of a man. A man without concern for anyone but himself.
And I knew that there were people…once my friends…who would be oh, so very happy to let me know of my own short-comings. They would be more than happy to tell me why the relationship had ended. And believe me, those people exist. The one’s that love to see unhappiness in others. The one’s that smile and love to gossip. The people who adore telling you exactly what happened and found happiness in doing so. These were the people who would report back to your ex that you’re not over them and that you still have feelings for them…even if it was because closer is what is needed in such a situation….simply…just closer. Nothing more.
What if it had been as simple as we just grew apart? I was prepared to hear that. After 10 years that is possible. Or maybe we shouldn’t have ever been together in the first place?
Maybe, just maybe, it should have been a Summer fling that ended when the August nights started getting cooler. I couldn’t see it then but in retrospect the relationship was going downhill after only a few months.
But in the end, being alone with my own thoughts and talking to some objective people, that had absolutely nothing to loose (or gain…which one is it?) by being honest with me, I concluded that he was a person that I had learned much from. The good, the bad, and the ugly all rolled up into one.
And now moving forward
In the past year I have discovered myself all over again. I abhor the expression “reinventing myself” but that is kind of what I did. Going back to the beginning to where I was before I met him. Remembering what I truly loved prior to him and trying to rearrange, in my head, the 10 years that were not perfect, while still letting my new wants, dreams, and desires bubble up and get me excited for new adventures. And there are plenty.
If you find yourself in a similar situation. I’m sorry this has happened to you. It’s important that we all see ourselves worthy, loving, and caring individuals who have so much to offer.
So at the very end…let me ask you a few questions:
Is it worth it to evaluate you’re current relationship on a regular basis? Yes.
Is it hard to talk to your partner about it? Yep…sometimes.
Is it necessary? What you just read is proof of that. You know it is. Don’t get blindsided.
And lastly, if it takes time to feel special, unique, and worthy after the end of a relationship that’s okay too. Taking time to discover who you are within yourself serves you in so many ways.
You don’t want to bring that old relationship “nonsense” into a bright future full of possibilities now do you? No? I didn’t think so.