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I saw it coming from a mile away. I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, but I just couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that my relationship with Winston was ending. He moved south for school and I noticed that the texts stopped coming. Truly, this was also my fault. After all, the phone works both ways, and the messages weren’t coming from me either. I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, that he was just too busy to be keeping in touch. After all, we had our weekly Skype dates, and we texted sometimes, when we remembered.
I first noticed we were slowly drifting apart when he told me about his new girlfriend. She was local to him, and very nice. I was really glad that he found someone nearby for his time off. In truth, it didn’t bother me much that he had a new girlfriend-even though we weren’t talking as much, because I didn’t really see much of her on his social media, and I didn’t hear about them hanging out a lot. I simply assumed they didn’t get to hang out often.
And then it happened.
The first time, I sent him a Snapchat, when I guessed he would probably be alone. He wasn’t, but I just said hello and opted to sleep instead. The second time, we missed our Skype date, missed our rescheduled Skype date, and then I saw a picture of the two of them on Facebook, smiling, happy, and together. At this point, Winston and I hadn’t spoken at all in over a week.
At that point, I realized that things weren’t okay, and in fact, they were probably over.
See, the issue wasn’t that he had a new girlfriend. The issue was that the maintenance of a new relationship required texting, calling, visiting. I was getting none of those things, but it was clear Winston had time to give them to someone new.
It is incredibly hard to feel compersion when you feel as though something is being taken from you, and given to someone else.
I’ll be honest, both my heart and my ego were hurting. I had given almost two years to this relationship, and I truly wanted it to succeed. I realized that neither of us had been making the other a priority, and that I was feeling less loved for it. In addition, I was incredibly hurt that Winston had made time for someone new, and couldn’t be bothered to show up for our Skype date.
What do you do when you know a relationship is over? Where do you go from that point forward?
Well, that really depends on you. You are the only person who can decide where you want to go from that point. For me, it was natural to discuss a re-evaluation of my relationship with Winston. I told him how I was feeling, but I also told him that I was unhappy feeling as though I was not important to him. I reminded him that I loved him, that I would continue to love him, and that my love, desire, and faith in him did not diminish. I also told him that I was unhappy with the way things currently were. We discussed keeping the physical aspect of our relationship active, but not putting in the emotional attachment. Essentially, Winston and I discussed becoming casual sex partners, and putting our actual romantic relationship on hiatus until we were in a place where we could really give each other the attention we deserved.
Still, even after that, we’re still close. We still recognize that the love is there, and I still felt guilty for being sad.
I felt guilty for being sad that I went through a breakup with a partner I dearly loved. A breakup that ended a relationship of two years, and left my heart aching. I felt guilty because I have other partners who love me. I have other partners who need me, want me, and love me.
But they aren’t Winston.
They won’t write songs about me, or make me laugh the same way. They won’t appreciate my mild obsession with Kanye West, or get into deep philosophical debates in the same way. I love them, and they love me, but they are all my loves in different ways. Breaking up with Winston was heartbreaking, even though we are going to continue our sexual relationship. Stepping back from our emotional relaitonship, and re-evaluating ourselves in the future gave us the freedom to truly miss each other. It gave us the ability to realize that we were taking our love for granted.
It still fucking hurts.
Poly people, when your partner tells you that they’re having a rough time dealing with a break up, support them. Tell them that you love them and care about them. Find out what you can do to ease their pain, and understand that they do love you, but you cannot fill the void for the person who has now left their life.
Mono people, when your friend tells you that they’re having a rough time dealing with a break up, support them. Tell them that you love time and care about them. Find out what you can do to ease their pain, and understand that just because they have other partners, that doesn’t mean that they are not in just as much pain as if they were going through a monogamous break up.
As a final thought, note that nothing is forever, and everything grows and changes. That includes love. When you have someone you love and care about, recognize that the love may always exist, but that it may not always take the same form. Recognize that it doesn’t always have to, and love your partners anyway.
Until Next Time!
-The Frisky Fairy