"You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles." - C. Joy Bell C.
I honestly don’t know why I mind so much. You and I only dated for a couple of months, and we were never officially “in a relationship.” But somehow, it feels like a breakup. Or at least a breakup of sorts. The thing is, this doesn’t hurt as much as the ending of my previous relationship. The “real,” long-term one that left me a weeping mess who couldn’t eat, sleep or engage in any normal human activity such as walking, shopping and going out with friends without feeling like collapsing on the street. No, this doesn’t feel like that. I haven’t lost my appetite. I go out with and enjoy the company of my friends. I laugh, I talk, I make plans for the future. I sleep like a baby at night. But there is something that feels a little off. I’m distracted. I’m quieter at work. I do yoga even more than I used to, feeling the urgent need to constantly recenter, re-balance, reminding myself to live in the moment, to breathe in the moment and to keep my heart open. I pray more. I reflect on my life and on how I can live it better. I think about how I can be a better person.
You didn’t break my heart. You almost did. But you didn’t have it to begin with. Love is a prerequisite for heartbreak and I wasn’t in love with you. I was, almost. What I was however, I have to admit, was in like with you. I was very much in like with you.
Do you think it’s possible to love someone and not really like them and vice versa? Because that’s what I think happened here. I loved my long term ex-boyfriend. Oh, how I loved, loved, loved that man. But looking back, a year and half after our horrendous breakup - one that was so sordid and horrible that it traumatized both his family and mine - I realize that as much as I loved him, I didn’t like him all that much. We were so different, he and I, almost like night and day. That was what drew us to each other in the first place. But after the initial magnetic pull we felt for each other, it just got tiring.
But you, you - I liked you, didn’t I? I liked the stream-lined, classic way you dressed. The way we talked on and on about food and restaurants. How we both moved to New York from different countries. That beautiful untreated wood dining table of yours that, I never told you, I’ve always wanted to own. How you read Kant just for fun. How excited you were about going to the movies. How you love to stay in and cook as much as I do. That I mentioned once that I loved Malbecs and you got me the best bottle you could find. How we would talk about our careers and encourage each other to do better. You were the first man I went out on a limb for after my horrendous break up. I had built an impenetrable fortress around my heart. The short time I dated you, you took the walls down, stone by stone. I was almost completely vulnerable.
Though being disappointed in like isn’t as gut-wrenching as being disappointment in love, what’s still sad is wondering why something that seemed to fit perfectly still didn’t work out. There wasn’t much drama this time, no screaming or crying, no jealousies or third parties. Heck, there aren’t even photo albums or social media to delete. It was just a mutual feeling of I think you’re perfect, but we’re not on the same page right now and the timing isn’t right. You were my almost. Almost in love. Almost there. Almost made it.
But what’s surprising is that this breakup of sorts has made me realize what page I’m on exactly. Flippant as I was about love in general after my horrible breakup, I wasn’t sure what I wanted when I started dating you. But now I do. I want love, commitment, stability - the whole enchilada. When I think of my future self a few years from now, I see myself making banana pancakes in a homey kitchen on Sundays, with little ones rolling about in unmade beds with fluffy, white sheets. The untreated wood dining table is still in the picture - but I liked that before I met you.
So, that’s the book I’ve been reading. And now I realize you’re though you're reading the same book, almost catching up, you're still a few chapters behind. But when all is said and done, that’s okay. Every journey is different. But I can’t stay and wait for you to catch up. I can’t stick around until you make a decision if you have space for me in your life. I can’t dilly dally and hope you stop being afraid.
Breaking up always sucks. But, in a way, thank you. This made me brave enough to acknowledge what I really want, and courageous enough to ask for it. So I might have to do multiple downward facing dogs and chest openers for a while. I might have to sit with occasional feelings of distraction, sadness, and disappointment. I might feel just a little bit off. But somehow I know I am on the right path. I am mending. I am getting better. Stronger. Almost. I am hopeful that one day, the word "almost" will be replaced by the word "completely." Completely in love. Completely loved in return. Completely healed.