My girlfriend and I broke up some time ago, though I’m more inclined to say I was dumped. It happened in true Millennial fashion. We got into an argument. I expressed myself and shared my doubts, suggesting maybe we should break up. From there, she clammed up and stopped taking my calls or answering my texts. Then she deleted me off Snapchat. Today, we no longer speak and I doubt I’ll ever see her again. In her defense, it probably sucks to hear your girlfriend say she maybe wants out. In my defense, I said “maybe,” and expressing a doubt should never end a relationship. A relationship should end because two people converse and decide to end it. Nothing was decided together! She’s just gone! So yes, I was dumped. Pure foolishness.
Alright, pity party over. Let’s be fair here: Execution aside, this break up wasn’t entirely foolishness. The first date I went on after our breakup felt so liberating! It was as if the sun finally came out after a year of cloudy days. I couldn’t wait to call my best friend and talk about how I felt. The date itself was “blah,” but feeling myself come back to life was amazing. I realized throughout the relationship, I’d become increasingly miserable and it’s possible that’s why my ex felt the need to disappear without a trace. The delightful person I was with “blah” had long since disappeared from our relationship. Perhaps, she did what she had to do and protected herself. You see, I rarely think there’s a villain in a relationship story. People respond to what they’re experiencing. Often, you get what you give. Sometimes, what you’re giving (or what you think you’re giving), and how they’re receiving it, doesn’t even match. Deep down, you know whether or not you should be together anyway. And if you’re not on the same page, the answer is always no, regardless of how fantastic someone is. Guess who was never on the same page?
I always said to my ex, “We’re going to make this work.” Lately, I see the problem with that statement. Perhaps, successful relationships are like new cars. You choose the car you want and when you drive off the lot, it’s wonderful and works perfectly. You get a few years where very little maintenance is required, except the basics like oil changes, and every day when you walk outside and see it, you feel accomplished. It’s just what you want. Two years later, the car is not so new, it’s time to start replacing parts and every new car passing by catches your eye, causing you to ponder if there is any way you can trade that sucker in without being upside down on the payment. But then, you look at your car and think of all the money you’ve invested in it. You remember all the experiences you’ve had in it, and suddenly you’re reminded why you love it … So you stick it out and do the work required to keep your car going. And, lord willing, your attention to that vehicle means that it lasts so long you pass it down to your kid.
Maybe we don’t MAKE a relationship work. Maybe it just does work, because it started out working, and your job is to KEEP it going. My ex and I had problems from the start. We were a lemon … and the thing about lemons is that you choose them. You loved them from the start. It’s just that you drive off the lot and before you get home, the damn car is already coughing and smoking. Love is not enough.
Sometimes I wonder if I don’t need to thank my ex. One of the things you learn with age, is that it’s not a bad thing to be let go. I’m pretty nice. Give or take some issues, I’ve got my stuff together. I’m relatively stable. She could have taken advantage of me, but she didn’t. She left. Some folks will use you until they use you up, then have the nerve to come back to see if there’s anything they can salvage from the wreckage. While there’s no arguing she broke up with me like a douche, I think it’s pretty obvious it needed to be done. Every moment of pain I’ve experienced about her exit has been accompanied by a giant twinge of relief. I honestly don’t miss her. If she could just walk away from me like that, clearly I wasn’t for her. If I could feel more alive on a date with someone I didn’t like, then when I was in our relationship, clearly she wasn’t for me. So why in the world were we together?! At least she had the balls to end it.
My friends are outraged and hurting for me though. One friend has already reached out to my ex. Another wanted to, but that’s the friend you don’t let call anyone on your behalf! Overall, I’m infused with love from all of the right places, but as much as I appreciate my friends having my back, I have to say it’s just not necessary. I’m doing just fine. When I was 22, a breakup was slightly traumatic. Now, a breakup means I’m one step closer to the person I’m going to marry. I’m not thinking my ex broke my heart, I’m thinking she’s not the “one.” So where is she? I’m looking for her!
And I really hope my ex finds someone too. I chose that car for a reason. She has so much to offer. Somebody is going to look under the hood and get her running so smoothly. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll run into each other and have a conversation about the foolishness. Or maybe not. Instead, maybe we’ll be so happy with our respective lives that we never feel the need to discuss or speak of “us” again.
Sounds like a plan.