Like most people, I’ve been through a fair few relationship breakups. It’s never pretty, but some were worse than others.
It’s Not You, It’s Me…
My last relationship ended seven months ago. We were together five years and it was me who decided it was over. I had a lot of reasons for doing this. If you asked my friends, they would say I should have done it 4.5 years sooner. But we all get there in our own time. I wasn’t heartbroken telling him it was over. Just guilty for causing him emotional pain. I knew it would take him a while to move on, so I blocked him on social media and let time do its thing. Anyway, I discovered this morning he has moved on and is in a new relationship. With a woman a lot younger than me. I should be happy for him, but instead, I’m conflicted. I don’t want him back, but it niggles me knowing he’s out doing all the stuff we never did with someone else (he expected me to pay for everything, so I stopped suggesting nights and days out).
This brings to mind other breakups, far more painful ones, where men seem to have no difficulties moving on with someone new, almost immediately.
In my 30s, I had a long, on-off relationship with a very unsuitable man. He was the archetypal emotionally unavailable bastard. I fell madly in love and ended up crying a lot of tears over that man. The damage he inflicted on me was immense, but when the relationship finally ended, it was a relief to walk away. Then I discovered that he was seeing someone else. I had suspected he was, but he had the audacity to tell me his happy news when I bumped into him at the gym.
We sat in the hot tub adjacent to the pool, making oh-so-polite conversation. After the obligatory chat about our respective kids, he casually announced he was in a relationship with a woman he’d met on a business trip. This was barely three months after we’d split and at that point, I was still hurting; a lot.
I couldn’t believe he was sitting there bragging about his new girlfriend, oblivious to my feelings. The man was about as emotionally intelligent as an amoeba. Hearing his happy news cut me like a knife. I totally lost it and told him what a bastard he was. The guy sitting across from us looked rather uncomfortable, but he didn’t make any effort to leave. After informing my ex exactly why I hated him, using very colourful language, I left the hot tub and jumped in the pool for an angry swim. Thankfully my ex decided it was probably a good idea to leave the area and I saw him scurrying out like the cockroach he was.
No Second Chances
It was a while before I bumped into him again, and many years before we had another conversation. The second time we spoke – at the gym, again – he was flirty and eager to chat. He admitted he was still with *Sally but only when pressed. I got the distinct impression he was trying to kickstart something again, but this time, I was having none of his shit. I cut short the conversation and left. When I got in my car 30 mins later and started to drive away, I saw him waving frantically at me from the gym entrance. Naturally, I ignored him.
He’s still loved up with *Sally. Facebook tells me they are very happy but knowing him and his complete inability to keep his trousers on in the company of an attractive woman, I doubt she’s happy. Commitment phobic immoral bastards don’t change.
There is never a good breakup. If you pull the plug, you feel guilty for hurting the other party. If they end it, you’re devastated, even if you know in your heart of hearts the other person is toxic.
All the Single Ladies
This is why I fully intend to remain single for the foreseeable. My dog loves me unconditionally. My cats love me when it suits them. My kids love me when I give them money and put food in the freezer. To be frank, that’s all the love I need right now.
*not her real name.