Yesterday, I sent my boyfriend a text message which wasn’t quite clear. He didn’t seek to clarify and we both ended up in different places. Which was where our relationship was going. Two different places. And so it ended.
Today I am feeling sad that it’s over. I don’t regret telling him that I thought we were done but I will miss him just the same. I liked him a lot and I told him I hoped we could remain friends, which I genuinely meant. I would very much like to have him in my life, but I don’t think this will happen. As much as I like him I do not want to be in a relationship with him. Telling him I wanted to be friends was selfish of me I know, but breaking up is hard.
Regular readers will know I’ve been divorced a long time. I’ve dedicated years to the care of my children who were babies when my marriage ended, and I’ve also worked very hard to get a tertiary education and make a good career for myself so that I can provide for my children. Although I have been dating on and off for years, it’s really only in the past 12 months or so I’ve been really ready for a relationship. So I was thrilled to meet this man just before Christmas.
We had lots in common and I was (and still am) extremely attracted to him. But there were things which were wrong. And whilst I tried to address them it seemed that so early on in our relationship, there were so many things to be addressed that I spent more time frustrated and unsure than I did happy and excited.
Driving home from work this past week, my mind drifted. I have a long drive and it’s where I do a lot of my thinking (although I do make sure my eyes stay firmly on the road) and I had that heavy of heart feeling which I recognised as loneliness. I thought to myself “I wish I had someone who loved me” and heaved a big sigh. Then I remembered I had a boyfriend. And I realized that feeling lonely and without love when you’re in a new relationship is a very bad sign.
Still, I discussed my doubts with friends and I decided to wait and see. But the mixed up text messages were the final straw. It was such a little thing. Something which I may have laughed about with him had we been in a better place but we were both pissed off about it and it all just felt too hard.
I know relationships aren’t easy. Especially when you’re dating in your forties, post divorce, kids and work and negotiating with exes and all the rest that comes along with it. But even though I have no desire to marry or even cohabit again, I want to be with someone who I at least have the possibility of falling in love with, who feels that same possibility with me. I want to be with someone who is excited about me and wants to show me off to his friends, someone who makes me feel like he really likes me.
So we said goodbye. I was sad. I hoped he would hug me as he left but he didn’t. He has a lot of good qualities and our second date will remain one of the most romantic dates I’ve ever been on. But I want more or there’s really no point, at least not for me.
I want to text him right now as we’ve texted or spoken every day since we met. But that wouldn’t be fair to him and it’s not fair to me either.
This morning, my friend sent me the picture I’ve used above and it is so pertinent. I really did learn from this relationship and I am not sorry I had this man in my life. I know even more now what I want and I am not prepared to settle for less.