Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Decision

Well it's the moment you've all been waiting for. Or rather, for which you've all been waiting. (I can't abide ending sentences in prepositions.)

One of the hardest things about breaking up with someone is that when you're really upset the one person you want most to comfort you is the one person you can't go to for comfort. It's horrible.

I spent most of monday morning and afternoon in tears. I feel like I've kicked a puppy.

Perhaps I should back up a bit.

I went camping with the Hairy Man and a few of his mates this weekend. Down to Croyde, which is crowded and touristy and a great place to be if you're a 19-year-old surfer. I go camping to get away from it all, not to party, hang out in a pub, and stumble home drunk. Shit, I can do that here. But whatever. I was glad that Hairy and I weren't alone; I like his friends and it was good to have other people around to act as a bit of a buffer. All weekend whenever I found myself alone for a few minutes my thoughts would wander to the Pirate and how eager I was to see him on Monday evening. And then I would rejoin the group, and His Hairyness would put his arms around me and ask "Ok, Petal?" I felt like such a monster.

I waited until after we got home on Sunday evening to have a talk with him. (I've heard of the perils of breaking up with someone while on a camping trip. I really really really didn't want to get left in Croyde. Ugh.) We went down to the local for pint, and the conversation basically went:

"I've only ever been with one person (you), and I'm not ready to limit myself yet in that way. I need be free to see other people."

*deflates slightly*

(continues) "I really like you and I really care about you, and I'd like to continue to see you; I'm just not at a point in my life where I want to be in an exclusive relationship."

*looking into bottom of glass* "Well, I don't really do the sharing thing."

So that was that. There was a bit more to it, but that's the gist. And just like that it was over. 4 months together, every single weekend, and in the space of half a pint, it was over. He didn't walk out; he waited for me to finish my Guinness and we walked home together (his home), but rapidly and in silence. He asked me if there was anything I'd left in his flat that I wanted back. I told him no, that anything I'd left he was welcome to keep.

I was in full waterworks by this point. "I hate to think I'll never see you again."

He just shrugged, as if to say "Well, that's the choice you're making, isn't it?" And then he turned and went inside. He never said a word. I think it came as quite a shock to him. Hell, it came as a shock to me and i'd been bracing myself for it all weekend.

But there was really no other way. I couldn't stay with him when I had such strong feelings for someone else. And I did need to be free to explore those feelings and see if that relationship leads anyhere. It wasn't just the Pirate, though, it was the principle. I'd been wondering for some time, well before last week, what would happen if I stayed with Hairy for 6 months, a year. I knew that eventually I would start to wonder what I'd missed, what else was out there. I'm 27 years old, but my relationship with Hairy was my first actual foray into dating as an adult. If for only that reason, it never really had any serious long-term potential. I'd been wondering this for some time, but continued to see Hairy because it was easy and familiar and comfortable. I never was in love with him, though I did love him. I just wish I'd met him at a point in my life when I was ready for the kind of relationship he wanted. The incident with the Pirate was just a kick in the ass, the incentive I needed to face reality and make the hard decision.

When I got home there was an email waiting: "Hope you're not feeling too bad with yourself. You have to live the life you wanna live and I guess some things aren't meant to be. I really enjoyed spending time with you and loved your company which brightened up my recent weekends. I hope you have fun and find what your looking for. H"

He really is a good man. I hope he meets someone wonderful who falls ass over teakettle for him in the space of minutes.

Like I've fallen for the Pirate.

(Now we're getting to the juicy bits.)

I had him 'round last night for dinner; wanted to do something nice to thank him for taking me to the ball.* And we had an absolutely lovely evening. I can now say without a shred of doubt that the feelings I had last week were not a function of the atmosphere. We hit it off incredibly well the first time we met, we had an amazing first date, and it just keeps getting better.

We were sitting on my floor playing with His Roundness the Schmuggleware. I took the opportunity to say some things I felt needed saying. I was really concerned about the impression I left, what he must think of my (obvious lack of) character/integrity. After all, he knew I was seeing someone else, and then I cheerfully hopped right into the sack with him. I told him that including last week I'd only ever been with 2 men in my life, and that i wouldn't have done what I did if I hadn't felt there was something really special taking place. And he said he felt the same way.

We continued to talk for some time, and I found him very easy to open up to. He was receptive to what I had to say, and didn't put me on the defensive at all. (A refreshing change, I must admit.) And I told him that I had ended my other relationship, a very brief synopsis of why (for personal internal reasons, not to be with him, the Pirate), and that I was free.

He brushed a piece of hair out of my face. "I'm glad."

And then he did something really remarkable: he expressed his own feelings. In words! Him, a man, communicating his feelings! HOLY SHIT! He said, "It's rare to meet such an extraordinary person" (all the while caressing my cheek). "You are the most clear-thinking woman I have ever met."


And now for the hypicrisy: After all my talk about needing to explore other options, to not limit myself too soon, to test drive other models, to shop around, etc., there's small voice in the back of my brain telling me that I may be done looking.

*The menu:
hors d'uvers: brie, crackers, fresh grapes
entree: Grilled, maple-glazed salmon steaks with spring onions
sides: Homemade cornbread, steamed asparagus, orange and avocado salad with zesty white wine dressing
bevy: cranberry juice
pud: Homemade blueberry pie a la mode
I know, I rock.


hendrix said...

I think you did the right thing. Breaking up with someone for no other reason than this nagging feeling that this isn't what you want out of life is horrible. You feel like shit for doing it, they feel like shit because you broke up with them. But if you stay with someone who you love but aren't in love with you feel worse, you start hating them for all the reasons you know you should love them, their kindness becomes cloying, their consideration smothering and trying to escape is like punching your way out of a duvet. In the end, you cause far more hurt than if you'd broken up sooner. But (as you found) its not an easy thing to do. Stepping into the unknown never is but that first step is the most difficult.

I hope the Pirate is the one and that you are done looking. But, even if he isn't and you have to keep looking, never give up and settle - you will one day find what you're searching for. Usually when you least expect it.

PS. The menu sounds gorgeous! post the recipe for the orange and avocado salad with the dressing please - I might just make it for herebes birthday party.

Hannah said...

Sounds like you did the right thing. However much you love the person you're with (which, you're right, is entirely different to IN love with), if you're still wondering then it's best to get out before you end up resenting each other.

Sounds like the Pirate's bloody fantastic. Enjoy!

ZB said...

"I spent most of monday morning and afternoon in tears. I feel like I've kicked a puppy."

Yeah. If you don't catch them right then they can really hurt your foot.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

sicko. sick sick sick. :0)

First Nations said...

i wish my daughter had as much maturity and good taste in men as you have. im not going to say anything else, just sit here and feel happy for you.

ZB said...

"Well it's the moment you've all been waiting for. Or rather, for which you've all been waiting. (I can't abide ending sentences in prepositions.)"

Whereas you're bang alongside sentences that end in propositions?

Chaucer's Bitch said...

HC: done

Hannah: Yes, yes he is. I am a smitten kitten.

FN: thank you, love. xxx

ZB: ?

Everyone else: you boring fucking tossers. All that nagging to tell you about the weekend, I post the thing, and I only get 4 comments!?!? Where the hell did you all go? *mumph*

ps. no one's really surprised by this outcome, are they? didn't think so.

Billy said...

From the previous posts I guessed this would be the result.

I have to commend you for not dragging this out and actually getting it sorted.

Oh and can you post the recipie for the pie?

Babs said...

I think you did the right thing, too, Pirate or not. I can quite understand feeling like you've kicked a puppy though.

And I didn't comment earlier because we had drama!! I swear!!

*runs away*

Anonymous said...

You have my sympathy. I'm not trying to trump you, but if you think leaving after four months is hard, try it after a decade of cohabitation with someone who thought you'd be married and pregnant next year. Then you're not so much kicking a puppy as doing things to it that Josef Mengeles would have balked at.