So I am really in the mood to write today, lol. (I started this post right after the last, though I temporarily abandoned it. I kind of hoped the feelings would be a momentary dip in collective energy or something, but guess not!)
Before I went off about authenticity, the post brewing in my head was from a separate post from Nedra Tawwab on gentle endings of relationships. An excerpt:
“There are ways to gently walk away from a relationship that is neither abrupt nor aggressive. Maybe an event happens, nothing catastrophic, but something that shifts the way we interact, like a move, and there is an understanding between us and the other person that our relationship is forever changed. In these instances, we can leave the relationship without having to explain ourselves or get to the bottom of it...When we go through these transitions, some of the relationships that were attached to our previous circumstances end, but it’s not anything dramatic. There’s no need for confrontation. It just happens. We may find ourselves forcing conversations for the sake of closure but it’s not necessary.“
As I mentioned, I have recently broken up with my now ex. Ours could be considered a gentle ending… but then again… not. I think I have been trying to tell myself it was a gentle ending, or hoping it was. In truth, I wonder if I (and the Pisces in me, through and through) would ever be capable of a gentle ending. I overthink and analyze… and romanticize way too much.
We dated for about 8 months, and in looking back at some of my journal entries, I realized I started questioning the possibility of a real future with him pretty early on – which I would blow off, to gaslight myself (lol). We had a lot of fun, there was no drama, and I was extremely attracted to him. Honestly, he was a kind of Tom Ellis/Ben Affleck hybrid, and I just found that really hard to turn away (not that I tried, to be clear). I actually felt like it was a nod from above, because I was pretty obsessed with Tom Ellis in Lucifer (ironic, I know). So when I started noticing little things that didn’t exactly sit on my Pros list, I ignored them.
The thing is, I have spent a lot of time working on me, healing myself, and getting really clear on what I want; I have a list of what I want out of a relationship and potential life partner. I ended up realizing 3 months in (maybe sooner) that while there wasn’t anything specifically bad, the qualities I needed for a real relationship weren’t there. But, nothing was an overwhelming con, and I told myself I deserved to have fun (which I so did/do) and I wasn’t ready to cut the connection. I also truly cared about this person, so it wasn’t an easy move. The catalyst came months later, when I decided to ask for something I needed in the relationship (not a big ask, btw); I was testing him but honestly myself as well. We were dating for over half a year and I felt the pressure surrounding the way we felt (from society? Myself? I don’t know. I think the lack was getting to me). I’m not happy to say that I had discussed my feelings with my friends but not him, but I wasn’t sure how he felt and was worried I would hurt him. Even so, I went out of my way to avoid the discussion around the ‘L-word milestone’ since I didn’t feel that way about him. My ask ended up forcing the conversation anyway, and we were actually on the same page. I remember finishing that conversation, though, and having a good cry. It had taken awhile to feel something for someone again, and the potential for what I hoped it could be or become was gone, and that was a sad death. I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
Ironically, we didn’t end then, though in hindsight we should have (or, I should have ended it). I learned a few things about myself and my patterns that day (reinforced by the actual end). First, though I have grown, I still have a lot more work to do. Ignoring red flags? Not speaking my mind? Going with the flow… too much? I was disappointed that he was able to freely speak what he felt – not because of the message or that he shouldn’t; but because I realized I hadn’t only because I was more worried about hurting him than what my own feelings were. I seemed to have forgotten that ‘clear is kind.’ Admittedly, I knew that voicing my feelings would put an end to my fun, so there was that too. Finally, I was most disappointed (in myself) because I knew deep down that if he had told me he did love me, I likely would have gone along with it…I did care about him, and we had a very comfortable routine, and lots of fun together… and that’s when I realized how I ended up married to my ex-husband. It was a sobering realization.
That day, he was emphatic that he didn’t want to stop seeing me, and I agreed, because I meant it. But, all I did afterward was think about how we could continue on the way we had, knowing the elephant in the room had been uncovered. I kept wondering, am I telling the Universe that I don’t want real love if I continue to do this? I actually asked the Universe to decide for me if it shouldn’t be happening, which is both funny and ridiculous. However – they did as I asked. He got a different job, and I was heads down and inundated with my own job around this time, making it hard to find as much time to be together. About a month later, he broke it off and said as much as he cared about me, he wanted real love and felt we both deserved that. I can only guess he was having the same doubts after that initial conversation, though we weren’t communicating the same at the end so who knows. But all in all, one of the less dramatic, ‘gentle endings.’
I didn’t feel great about it per se, but I wasn’t really sad either; I kind of felt like it happened as it was supposed to. I felt kind of icky for a day or two (I mean, the person is a part of your entire routine – it’s a shift) and was honestly surprised I could feel that way even knowing that I hadn’t been in love. Well, a month later, hello to the Aries full moon. What is it about this last week that has me feeling so melancholy and nostalgic? And confused, frustrated… because I know (no matter how I try to romanticize it) that he wasn’t my person. I logically can’t explain why I have felt so sad, but he’s in a bunch of dreams, I keep seeing things that remind me of him – it’s crazy.
I don’t have any major insights to share here at the end of this post. I guess as always, healing isn’t a linear thing. I didn’t even realize that I needed to heal… but I did realize that I do want real love, too, after being afraid for so long.
Oh, and you should go read Nedra’s post.
This is another one of those random posts that appeared in my feed. I get a lot of those since I follow few, but this line “I knew that voicing my feelings would put an end to my fun” should be etched in stone when pretending is all that’s holding it together. Strange that once logic rears its head it’s much the same as any other ending, minus the often inflammatory and regrettable language. Nice piece. More analysis than pity party.
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Thanks, Phil. Sometimes I need to just write it all out to process. Appreciate the feedback!
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I get mine out through fiction. The same way my daughter did years ago with Barbies.