It didn't feel good to be told in a text message that "I'm enjoying being alone at the moment" after returning from a week long trip to Paris. The fact that it came from a man whom I've loved more than any other and was in a relationship with for seven months made it sting all the more. It took my breath away when I realized that I was being... dumped. Making him the bad guy would be easy but it would also be dishonest. The truth is I had as much to do with it as he did. I kept myself very protected and guarded for a very long time and we both came into the relationship with some fear - he even more than I. By his own admission he 'doesn't know how to be in a relationship'. That should have been my shining, flashing, red light but I ignored it and chose to believe that loving him unconditionally would be enough. The irony, of course, is that all my loving only made it worse. Somewhere in my core I knew this, I just forgot to remember.
As I wander through these days before Christmas I am dazed. Ending a relationship is a really tough thing to do. It is hard to know when to step away. I could feel things shifting in the relationship but even as I watched it happen there was nothing I could do to either slow it or stop it. When it is over, it is done.
My heart is sorely bruised, but my ego is devastated. One will definitely heal faster than the other.
I know I will be okay.
Coming out of this experience, I will be kinder and more understanding when someone tells me about their relationship troubles. We tell kids that they are too dramatic. We act like their heartache isn't real when it is just as hard for them as it is for us to rebound from rejection and failure. I won't be so quick to call it "puppy love" or to not acknowledge that pain is pain - regardless of how young or old you are - no matter how long or short the relationship. A lifetime of falling down and getting back up assures me that I will come through it.
For now I'm both humbled and reflective. I won't give up on love ... just on him.