your (break up) mileage will vary

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Thinking about the (FAINT) possibility of new romance today got me thinking about my dead one. It has been just over a year now since my one and only break up / major life upheaval. I’m at peace now with it, but it was a process.

It wasn’t fun and it makes me wonder about people I know who have been through this more than once. Like…holy shit, human beings are tough to keep chasing love and offering up their hearts up for breaking. Of course, who doesn’t want to be in love?

Strange, maybe, but it’s kind of a faraway memory for me, the specifics anyway. I know that it felt pretty awesome, I can imagine how it would be with someone else, but I don’t remember how it felt to love Rob specifically, though I did. I don’t remember how that relationship felt while I was in it. Intellectually, I know how it was, but without the emotion attached, it’s just not real to me. That’s a blessing. (Not because he sucked, or the relationship sucked, just because I’m living a life that is so far removed from him and there’s no benefit to dwelling.)

I would say it took a good six months for me for the wound to be really closed. Six months for me to genuinely not care about what he was or was not doing, and for me to grieve and stop being sad. Six months for me to find some footing and feel secure, emotionally and practically.

Between three-six months for me to stop feeling the need to fuck as many people as possible. (This is an area where Dan Savage gives good advice. A return to slutiness distracted me, occupied my time, helped my confidence, and helped me put very necessary distance between me and the ex.)

Nine months for me to get over the anger. (Or whenever the wedding dress communication was, heh… maybe that was more recent.) Truthfully, if he is mentioned or if I happen to think of any of it, I’m not angry anymore. It was probably soon after that or a result of that feelings explosion but one day the anger just seemed to have disappeared. It’s done and I’m ok and I don’t want to live my life resenting someone who is not even a part of it.

After one year, I feel very ok. Somehow that realization is surprising. If you had asked me last June, I would say six, nine, twelve months is just too long. Too much sad or too much baggage or too much suffering. But like many other things, when you come out the other side, it just is.

I don’t know what I’d be like without those four years. I can’t say I’m grateful for all of it but I can appreciate that I loved someone and I learned some stuff. It is not a given that I’ll love another person that much, but because I am infected with the same sick human impulse that most everybody else seems to have, I will be open to the possibility. I might get lucky.

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