We broke up. I’d say it was fairly mutual, though he brought  it up (and I don’t think I would have). I get upset whenever I have to tell people (and so I’ve not told that many). Each time, I harp on it being “better, and worse.” Of the now 3 breakups I’ve had, it was the best. And it was also more painful. We’re both very fond of each other, we both think the other is a great, capable person. We like spending time together. And we were both very sorry it couldn’t work out. We are, for now, incompatible. I could argue it was long distance, I could argue it was shit timing: I’m leaving for the Appalachian Trail soon (and I’m likely to change), he’s in that post-college what’s-next phase. But really, for now, we just don’t work.

I’ve also never dated anyone I was friends with before, and still hoped to be friends with after. He brightens a room by being in it, and I really was happy most of the time. So it was better, and worse. It was better when I got sick – as I do after breakups – and he held my hair and brought me a cup of water, and worse because it was a bit humiliating. When I told him that, he looked surprised. I’ve been through more breakups, and they were much worse. “We’re friends,” he said. “Why wouldn’t I?” I guess there’s not actually a good response to that. It was better when he made breakfast, like he usually does, like things were…and it was worse because it was another reminder. Both of us not being together, and of him being so sweet. God, he was so sweet. With what felt like very little regard for his own feelings, he was all about making sure I was comfortable. He offered to drive the 10 hours home that night, though it was nearing midnight. Before this happened, we’d actually had a very fun weekend. Outdoors film festival, getting him into a TV show I like, a roller derby, a sideshow with all kinds of freakish acts, an improv show.

After breakfast, we talked, barely, haltingly. Reminiscent of the night before – those awkward long pauses when no one knows what to say but sometimes saying something is better than not, because what other chance do you have? And when the things that come out aren’t “you should have” and “well why didn’t you,” but “You’re a really good, capable person” and “I’m so sorry we couldn’t work,” you know it’s a special one. This makes it better, and worse.

This post is becoming hard to write, so I’ll close here. With time, I hope we can be friends. It’s just a big heartache right now, knowing how great he is, how highly we regard each other, and knowing we just aren’t working.


Look. I’ve been getting a lot of people telling me I shouldn’t see him again, asking why I even want to. What will it change, what will it matter. And to be honest I’m fed up with it. All I’ve gotten is discouragement, minus 1-2 wonderful friends. And, look, I know you all mean well. Seeing someone hurting and not being able to do anything about it – it hurts, too. I know. I’ve been there, too. But I’ve had my mind made up for awhile now, and to have so many people respond so negatively, to see a sudden lack of support – that also hurts.

I need some more answers. I need reasons, not excuses. And I think some of the “reasons” I got for the breakup are excuses. And maybe the only thing I get from this is a confirmation of that. I’m not an idiot – I’m well aware how much it will hurt. That I’ll probably cry just like I did when he broke up with me. I know. But I also might get some closure out of it. And I’m doing it. End of story. Will it change the outcome? No, and I don’t want it to. I don’t want him back. But it will matter. It matters to me. So please, just let it. Let it matter to me. I’ve had enough of you breathing down my back about it to rethink it and rethink it and rethink it. The decision is still yes. And you know what, he’s kind enough to do it. I was kind enough to do it for my last ex. And after this, I will be done. If I get real answers, I do. If not, I don’t. But then I know, and then I’m done. Yes, this has hit me really hard. But I know I’m strong. I wouldn’t still be here if I wasn’t. I wouldn’t be going to work everyday, making plans to see friends, joining Meetup groups, going to writers’ clubs. But I need this, just as much as I need time to get through the healing process. This is part of my healing process, for this relationship, for him.

Please trust me.