Sunday, January 04, 2009

My Second Breakup

The first time I broke up with someone was in high school. Her name was Rachel, and in proper highschool style I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I hardly had a word for asexuality at that point, let alone words for asexual relationships, so we became pretty heavily emotionally involved using only the shabby language of friendship. Her boyfriend became obsessively jealous of our relationship, which eventually forced both relationships to fall apart. I got the full hollywood experience: crazy phone calls, sitting in my room listening to mopey music and deep emotional scars. When I ran into her years later I still got a chill.

Though my relationships have certainly gotten close since then, there haven't been any more breakups until about two hours ago. It's a conceit, but I like to think of this as a good thing. Since I've gotten my shit together a little more relationship-wise my relationships tend to evolve rather than end suddenly, they have the quiet emotions of ebb and flow rather than the drama of a big explosion. My meticulously balanced community kept everything relatively stable, and that made this breakup remarkably different from the last.

In this blog I've referred a few times to "Primaries," a core of close relationships at the center of my community. Treating someone as a primary is Kind of A Big Deal, and generally involves some acknowledgment that our relationship is getting serious. I created this box because I wanted a special way to think about the people who I mattered most in my life, because I wanted to begin to seriously commit to people and have them commit to me back. When I started using the word I applied it to three relationships, two of which fizzled within a month. The remaining relationships was joined by three others that have been relatively stable and growing for about two years.

Two years is a long time. It's time enough for relationships to grow intimate and it's time enough for people to change. Over the past six months one of these four people became increasingly busy with a combination of a demanding job, extensive volunteer work and a business that she is starting. Our time together remained as emotionally powerful as ever but became less and less frequent, until for weeks at a time I saw her only in events packed with other members of her community that she didn't have time for. We made up ways to spend time together but none of them worked. About two weeks ago I decided to seriously reconsider the relationship's role in my life. I spent the holidays slowly untying all of the emotions and expectations that I had entangled in the relationship, and earlier tonight we finally got a chance to talk about it.

Things still feel shitty, but I'm in a whole different world from last time this happened. I've still got three other core relationships and a strong community to depend on, so while there's certainly a whole in my life I don't feel like I'm alone in the world. I have no ill will towards her- she hasn't done anything wrong, just shifted priorities- and while I've got a lot of emotion flying around about the relationship I'm keenly aware that she is no longer a place where that emotion should be directed. We had a short, melancholy conversation where we acknowledged where we were and agreed to remain friends, and then we went our separate ways.

I can't help but walk away with the eerie feeling that this is all unhealthily mature.


Mary Maxfield said...

It's weird sometimes, being able to handle things you couldn't before, while still having them be appropriately hard. I'm glad you have other support while her role in your life is shifting. <3

Anonymous said...

It'll always feel pretty crappy to part ways with someone who once had a much more prominent role in your life... But it's great that you have a support system to fall back on so you're not alone all of a sudden.

I can't think of that as being unhealthily mature, however. ;) Just a less dramatic way of going about it.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is inspiring for me today, on the cusp of a breakup... that really isn't... or something... Knowing that a long-term primary relationship of mine needs to be reevaluated, and talked about, and is heading for a big change. Thanks for posting this. Yup, unhealthily mature, I can relate to that. There's no "problem", no drama, and yet there is some sadness or maybe nostalgia about the good times together - but we are no longer the people we used to be. Actually reframing my world in asexual terms has been really helpful in getting to the point where my relationships are allowed to exist more just as they are, rather than as they "should be". Disentangling one's emotions and expectations from a particular person is painful, but yeah, it's getting real, and there's a kind of freedom and lightness on the other side. I'm glad you are bringing so much understanding to it. Hang in there.

Rima Bhattacharyay said...

Sorry to hear about you parting ways with someone special in your life, but you know like they say you have to let people free, if they come back you, then they are yours, if not they never belonged to you to begin with...or something along those lines. You know for me I always knew what I wanted which made it kind of hard being around people who were unclear as to what they really wanted from a romantic relationship.
Personally, I just want a partner who wants to see the world with me: go to Egypt and explore the Pyramids, see the Taj Mahal in India, go on a wild safari ride in Africa, try out some exotic Middle Eastern dishes, and just taste every flavor of life. We have on beautiful life and whole world ahead of us. If only you could go this ride and see, hear, feel, taste and explore the rainbow of life with that someone special. A partnership that is based on trust, friendship, emotional attachment, and unconditional care for the other. True love for me is family and that significant other has to become my family. I wouldn't question him. I wouldn't change him for the world. He is family and like I have my mom and dad as permanent people in my life, so will be his position.
You don't give up on your family even when they do stupid things or change over time, and so you wouldn't give up on your partner either. I think if I can find someone who wants to become family and shares those same interests as me, that would just be perfect.
It's interesting but I feel the universe is a magical place. If your really want to be with that special someone, the forces of nature will bring you to that special someone who will fit you like the other half of the jigsaw puzzle-;)
So, keep doing the wonderful things you are doing and being the wonderful person that you are. Believe me the universe will definitely find your twin soul, and then together you will find all the happiness, peace, joy, harmony in the whole wide world.
All things are possible if you believe...and they always all good things come to those who wait-:)

Take care,
lots of love,

Rima Bhattacharyay said...

hahah..I realize that I am always plagued by typos. why o why! any case, so don't mind my spelling errors-:) sometimes when I am typing really fast, as fast as I am thinking...then my punctuation typically goes