The Break Up…not the Jen Aniston Movie

A topic NOT about triathlons! We’re getting juicy today, everyone. I rarely talk about relationships on this blog–I actually DO care about people’s privacy and all that, so I try to keep the subject mostly myself. Luckily, after a break up, your first thought is not the other person’s privacy, so I thought it would be OK. I won’t name names (or occupation, which is how I referred to him 100% of the time to friends and family). But I was dating! Someone I met online (a first!)! And it lasted almost 6 months! This is a long relationship in my book. It’s weird how I feel both proud of myself for actually dating someone for 6 months and angry at myself for “wasting” six months of my life. No, I didn’t really waste any time–that is harsh, but you know what I mean.

I actually thought from the beginning that maybe this guy was different. By different, I mean the typical “nice guy.” He buys me dinner! He buys me drinks! He holds my hand in public! He seems interested in my conversation! He follows through on things! And he did all those things, and it was nice. I felt a genuine friendship–not to mention a similar sense of humor. Oh and also, he lived near the beach in a very walkable community. Neighborhood is everything in L.A. Kidding. Sort of.

But it turns out, that isn’t quite enough to make a relationship tick. And in some ways we were so much alike that it was doomed from the beginning. We both avoided things (like talking, like conflict, like emotion), we both prefer email for serious conversation (it’s easier to say things that way…although, turns out–possibly hurts more than person to person and words stay in my head FOREVER), and we both are super sweet. In looking out for each others’ happiness, we both would completely ignore our own. You think that would work perfectly, but it doesn’t. Instead, it creates fun things like resentment and passive aggressive behavior.

I am totally bummed that it ended, but I’m not at all surprised. It was over more than a month ago, and then we made another go at it & now finally I’m realizing how it wasn’t working for me–spending my time trying to make it work for him. I’m about to turn 33, and I certainly spend moments like these wondering why I can’t seem to maintain a relationship. Certainly part of it is that I’ve never made it the central part of my life–carving out a career I love, going on solo adventures–whether it’s a triathlon or a road trip or a move across the country–, and maintaining a closeness with friends and family. Guys always seemed like a hobby. But in the past 6 months, I got to see again what it may be like to actually be in a relationship–a normal one (let’s not talk about the atypical ones that have made up most of the past 8 years). I was probably way too eager to make it work, just so I wouldn’t feel like some kind of failure. Just so I had someone who also loved Curb Your Enthusiasm in my life.

Moving on and all that! Back to those scary online experiences that mostly amount to funny stories over happy hour. But the one thing different about this newly-ended relationship is that I felt like much more of an adult in it (not ALL the time). I could even see where I was going wrong while I was doing it. I could see myself trying to break patterns for the first time in awhile…you know, trying to be an actual decent person while still voicing my feelings. In my dream world, this dude will come back totally ready to be my guy someday, but my dream world is so crazy! The Houston Rockets play b-ball in my backyard & I have a lap pool with only one lane and it’s all for MEEE! So it’s probably not going to be happening that way. And I’m OK with not knowing. I’m OK with going out on the dating scene again, making a fool of myself, all in the name of meeting some amazing guy that I’ll be so lucky to have in my life.

But the break up is no fun. I was reading a book which I think I left on his couch. It’s by my favorite author. I was halfway through. This is definitely the biggest casualty in the relationship. I am in mourning right now. Luckily, it’s paperback, so I can afford a new one. I can’t get totally sentimental, though, because believe me–I can get trapped there quite easily. So instead, I’ll go to bed early. I’ve gotta meet William and Kate tomorrow at a long day of work. Maybe the newlyweds will renew my faith in relationships. Oh, in other news, it’s my parent’s 40th Anniversary!!! Here’s to marriage, Mom and Dad! I’m not sure I’ll ever get there–but you guys have done an awesome job!

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