I broke up with a serious boyfriend last year. Our relationship was really complicated. Our breakup wasn’t.
When we ended it, we were both of the same opinion that it was over. With initial reluctance, I acknowledged to myself that I was getting less than I wanted or deserved from the relationship. With the honesty that was typical of his character, he agreed. He knew he wasn’t in a position to be what I needed. The breakup was an evolution, and the final decision was mutual and not acrimonious in the slightest.
There were some fundamental cracks that simply couldn’t be papered over. It happens. And it was an unfortunate ending to what had been a mostly good relationship.
When we had “the talk” that ended things, I just wanted to let out some of the feelings that had been brewing for a while. He, on the other hand, was concerned about hurting me and worried that he would lose me from his life altogether. The only thing he couldn’t bear to let go of was my friendship and my presence in his life. He didn’t want that bit to change. He wanted me to stay as big a part in his life as I had been.
He needn’t have bothered with his first concern. I wasn’t shocked or hurt. However, at the time, I wasn’t entirely sure about the second concern. It was naïve to think that things wouldn’t change.
Yet, I replied, “Don’t worry, we’ll still be friends. You’re not going to lose me.” And I meant what I said.
I didn’t want to cut him out of my life completely. And though I wasn’t eager to keep up the same level of closeness we had in our relationship, I was sure we were going to be involved in each other’s lives. At the time, this exact thing wasn’t in doubt in my mind.
On the other hand, I had no intention of investing as much time and effort into our friendship as I had into our relationship. First, I took a breather from him to let the break-up actually take. Then, it was simply a case of putting more effort into other friendships, work, family and every other aspect of my life. I made a conscious choice not to place him in the forefront of my life as one of my more important priorities. He wasn’t my job, one of my best friends, my mother, or my favourite hobby, and his friendship now ranked accordingly.