when you break up with someone you love.

Sometimes things simply end. That’s all there is to it – no fault, no blame, no harrowing experiences, just an ending. You try to go back through it all, trying to pinpoint the moment where your trajectory changed, the sentence or action that caused everything to come crashing down around you, but you can’t. You look for it, seek it out for some sort of closure or understanding, but it’s not there. There are times when, no matter what you did, no matter how hard you tried, it was never going to go the way you thought it would.

Over the last month and a half I have run the gamut of emotions from anger to denial to blame to emptiness. As I have watched a relationship I thought was going to be forever slowly end, I have done my share of thinking. I’ve done my share of yelling. I’ve done my share of blaming. I’ve done my share of everything I could think of to avoid feeling what I actually feel: sad. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for me to admit sadness, I have a tendency to lash out in anger instead, but right now that’s what I am. Pure and simple.

I suppose that’s the natural state when your breakup is the result of two people growing with each other very solidly for awhile and then all of a sudden not. And that’s all there is to it.

I’ve never had a breakup where I still loved the other person. I’ve never had a breakup without a dramatic catalyst – lies, deceit, betrayal. I’ve never had a breakup like this. And I think that’s what makes it the hardest.

It feels like around every corner is another reminder of the life we once had and the one we used to work towards. The other day we went grocery shopping and as I watched Sam walk down an aisle I thought about how, before we moved in together, we used to talk about how excited we were to grocery shop together for the rest of our lives. I started crying in the middle of the store thinking of those two people, the ones who were so sure and so full of hope. I was happy for them but sad for us and I felt so much older than I ever have. In a lot of ways I am.

As I pack up my life in preparation for moving this weekend I’m finding things that remind me of how happy we were. Those red cups, remnants from parties we had with friends. That metro card from New York City, that trip Sam took me on for my twenty-fifth birthday. That silver ring, the one he found in a drawer and gave to me as a promise ring. The notes and pictures and little gifts that only meant anything to us. And they used to mean everything.

I’m grateful that, for the most part, my time as Sam’s girlfriend was one of the happiest times of my life. To be able to love so fully, so honestly, is something I am grateful to have been given. But now, as things start to wind down and I’m realizing that this is really ending, it’s becoming very hard. Every day I come home from work and realize I’m one day closer to not seeing his face on the other side of the door. I go to bed at night and look at his side, realizing that soon there will no longer be a need for sides at all. I wonder who I’m supposed to turn to when my best friend is also the boyfriend I’m no longer with.

And so I’m very sad.

I know this decision is for the best. Our relationship became, as Sam called it, untenable. Our emotional differences became too difficult to manage. And I know that life will still be okay without him.

But it hasn’t made me love him any less. Naively I thought the amicable nature and mutual understanding between us would make this the easiest breakup I’ve ever had but it’s quickly proving to be the hardest. We laugh and talk and hug like the old days, rapidly moving towards new, uncharted days.

I don’t know what my life is going to look like six months from now. I have faith it will work out and things will make sense, but I’m not sure when that will happen. For now I have to carry on, and poor Sam has spent more time sitting beside a weeping woman than he would probably care to, but that’s just where we’re at now. We’re making this work as simply, and lovingly, as we can.

And that is simply the nature of things that end with as much love as possible.



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