Thursday, December 16, 2004

Suddenly Single

since when: been almost a week, i guess. things fell apart last weekend during a saturday night birthday dinner at a nice restaurant. it was just the two of us at dinner thankfully, but i'm sure the waiter and some nearby patrons heard our bickering.

why: same reason that any couple breaks up, i suppose -- just not the right people for each other. it's that simple. there was no big drama. no cheating or anything inappropriate. we just found ourselves in too many petty arguments that seemed to spotlight our differences. and when we entered yet another one that night at dinner, i took it as an opportunity to do what i had been contemplating doing for weeks. luckily for both of us, he had moved into a new apartment just days earlier (another indication that our couplehood was nearing its end), so we retracted into our respective corners without much more fanfare.

him: i'm not going to badmouth him here. he doesn't deserve it, because he's truly a magnificent person. he's full of quality and goodness, and i value the past nine months with him. i think we both entered each others' lives at an important transitional time, giving each other just what we needed right when we needed it. but it wasn't something built to last, and i knew that from the get-go. he's still someone i cherish and want to always know. we're gonna do the friends thing, and i'm confident we can. we've since called a truce, unentangled all the belongings, and have exchanged many friendly emails.

how i am doing: just fine. i saw it coming this time. it was up to me this time. and given that i had anticipated this ending from the very beginning, i made sure to stay detached throughout. i was never really deeply, dumbly in love, though i was certainly smitten. there were good times, genuine laughs and smiles indeed. but it wasn't love the way i know it to be, the way i want it to be -- where you throw yourself entirely into the relationship and dissolve into the other person (at least in the beginning). it never approached that ardor, partially because of timing, but mostly because i knew in my bones that something else was up ahead for me. (and i think he'd agree that i was upfront about that from the beginning.) so considering all this, i'm not totally crushed. and it certainly doesn't resemble my last breakup, which felt like a nuclear bomb went off in my chest. it's still sad, of course. i feel like the Breakup Queen. this state is all too familiar to me. it's quiet now. the bed is cold. i get lonesome.

what i've learned: the gut doesn't lie. i can't accept a watered-down version of what i want. i won't supplant my needs just to soothe my loneliness. and despite my newfound relationship baggage, i'm still fairly secure in who i am as a person. i'm not all that dysfunctional or co-dependent. i still feel empowered and independent, certainly wiser, definitely stronger. up on the dry-erase board now: the only constant is change.

what's next: i'm going to do something completely radical, something i've never really done before -- be comfortable being alone. this will be a test for me, but i feel like i'm finally ready to embrace it. ever since i began dating some 12 years ago, i've been a serial monogamist, with episodes of sluttiness dispersed in between. there's never been too long a stretch where it was just me. well, now's the time to take the energy that (i've let) boys consume and focus it inward, channel it outward into achieving my goals. i can't allow myself to get off track. my time is now. so no new harems anytime soon. instead, get thee to a nunnery. i know it will be tough, this celibacy. i'm like a guy that way. i schwing. i'm a sucker for a pretty face, a nice smile, broad shoulders, soccer thighs. i always do a double-take when i see a tall, dark-haired man with olive skin walk by. i get distracted by soft hands and full lips. i start to crave the electricity that only touching brings. hmmmm, soccer thighs. i mean, celibacy, yeah. i'm gonna try that. try. coy is the new cool.

so, in a nutshell, i'm ok, really. this is the best thing for me. it's the start of a new year, new season, new chapter. it's growth. it's constructive. and it's welcome.

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