I’m not sure which breakups I hate more: the end of a long relationship or the end of a short one. The end of long relationships can seem so tedious and monotonous. A short relationship makes the process more clear cut and less messy that a longer one, but are so unexpectedly intense.
A few years ago, by the time my boyfriend and I broke up, we had dated for over a year. When things finally went south, we very vocally and very heatedly decided to call it quits. Then, we both proceeded to deny this fact for another full year. How could we possibly deny it so long? Because we were still hooking up. Often. Like, a few times a week.
Finally, the anger came. Anger that he wouldn’t get his stuff out of my apartment. Anger that he wouldn’t move on with his life. Anger, naturally, was followed by bargaining, but not bargaining to get him back. No, ours was more functional: Who gets the rug? Do we keep the end tables as a set, or split them? Who takes the cat?
After he finally left the picture, the depression and acceptance came and went day to day. One day I’m on a great date with a great new guy, the next I’m explaining to him “I just need to focus on me…” Of course, as annoying as it was for me, I think it made the people around me a little seasick.
Then, a couple months ago, having finally accepted the end of my last relationship, I met this awesome guy. He was smart, sexy, and successful. We dated for a few weeks and really seemed to hit it off. Of course, what we didn’t talk about was how depressed he was over his ex. So, after just 5 weeks (the day before Valentine’s Day, no less!) he sits me down and says “I’m sorry, I just need to focus on me…”
Now, you’d think after such a short time I wouldn’t be so broken up about it, and really, I’m not. The problem for me is that the stages of grief seem to be happening in fast forward! Denial? 10 minutes, tops. I deleted him from my digital life from my Blackberry standing outside his door. Anger? I was venting with a friend within the hour. Bargaining happened the next day. Maybe he’ll reconsider? Maybe I was too hasty? No, he was resolute.
So now I’ve once again settled back into my depression and acceptance cycle. But now, even that seems on overdrive! For the 20 minutes I’m on the treadmill, I’m pumped and motivated; the moment I sit down at the leg press I can’t stop thinking about him. By the time I finally get my Ben and Jerry’s Triple Extra Super Duper Chocolate Chunk home, I’ve already convinced myself that there was never a reason to feel depressed about him in the first place. My freezer is filling up way too fast.
Patrick is a SGM in Church Hill. Read about his dating life on GayRVA.