At the beginning? No, let's start at the end.
I am touched by all the kind and thoughtful comments you left on the shortest post ever. Your comments have been a comfort. No one died, this is not a terrible tragedy, but I appreciate the kindness.
As to what happened, well, it can't have come as much of a surprise to anyone. I was not surprised, not really. I wasn't thrilled or happy or relieved. That's too bad. I'm often relieved when a relationship ends. But this relationship did not change my daily habits so much, given that I saw Owen so rarely, and that's where the relief usually comes in--getting back to "normal." It will be good to get back to not worrying about what will happen, if he can pick it up or if I can tolerate something less than what I want. I was only able to tolerate it for so long because we truly enjoyed our time together. Owen had to grant, "We do have a good time together. Always." Always. But that clearly wasn't enough and he clearly didn't appreciate how rare it is to find someone with whom the being together part is so easy, fun and comfortable. Not perfect, but very, very good. I will miss our time together, but I won't miss all the attendant worrying and not quite being myself that was the cost of it.
He did the breaking up. I was still hoping, foolishly, that he would "come round" or otherwise change his behavior. I never for a second thought I was being unreasonable and, refreshingly, neither did he. He said, "Remember that talk we had on Christmas?"
"Yes. You mean when I yelled at you?"
"Well, I've been thinking a lot about what you said."
"What did I say? I can't remember. It was a while ago."
"You said I wasn't treating you right. You were right. I wasn't being a good boyfriend. And I don't want to do that anymore."
"Wait. So that's it?"
"Well. Yes. I was wrong to say you were being crazy and unreasonable. You weren't."
I was silent for a long time. I'd just finished cooking dinner but when I saw where he was heading, I told him he wasn't getting any. He didn't. Neither did I.
Before he left, I threw his pajama pants at him, "Take these." I also gave him his last present. Not because he deserved it, but because I couldn't have it around the house. He started to open it and I said, "Oh no, not here. You can open it later. And it really sucks that you never gave me a present."
"I was going to. I had something all picked out...there is a new edition of The Spirit..."
"No, no, I don't want to hear it. It's really shitty that you didn't get me anything. It doesn't matter that you had something in mind. It doesn't count." It doesn't count, but it would have been a very good present for me, since it's my favorite comic of all time. Oh well.
I'm sad, but not crying. I think I've cried enough over this relationship. I guess I've been getting ready for it to end at least since Christmas. I said, "What, did you think I was going to cry?"
"No. But I thought there might be some yelling."
"Ah. Well, this is how I get when I'm really angry. Quiet. I've never been this angry with you before."
The good news is that Owen is the least screwed up guy I've dated in years and years. I didn't crave drama and I didn't create drama. And I really liked him--more than I can remember liking anyone for a very long time. That must mean something. I certainly hope so.
Where do I go from here? Nowhere. When I last contemplated the possible demise of this relationship I thought, "I don't think I can date again, it's exhausting." And then I realized, I don't have to date. At least, I don't have to make any effort. I can decide to do nothing. It's not that I won't have my eyes open--I always do--and it's not that you shouldn't try and introduce me to your charming single friends, but more than that, I won't do. No internet. No singles events. No pushing, no trying, no worrying. All I want to do is see my friends, entertain myself and relax. I'm not pressuring myself, I'm not worrying about what happens next. I'm just going to be for a while. That sounds good.
Thanks again for the kind words.
Grateful for: time to relax.
Drop me a line.