I’ve mentioned this before, I think, but it’s funny how undramatic break-ups can get as we get older. That’s not true in all cases, I’ve definitely seen some heads spin completely around and eyes glow red, but for the most part we just get more aware of what works and what doesn’t and call it quits earlier.
I started dating someone earlier this year. On paper, they checked all the boxes that I claim I don’t have. Done lots of therapy, seems to be drama free, good career, got along well with my son and my friends loved her, etc… But it felt like something was missing.
The relationship had a long distance aspect to it, which I wasn’t originally thrilled about, but I decided to give it a chance. Because of that, it took a little longer for things to surface. We’d see one another on the weekends, text and call during the week. But there still wasn’t a feel for the size and shape of each other’s daily lives.
I’ve been in and out of relationships over the last couple of years, and have started to question my decision making paradigm a little. Am I just in love with the chase and do I sabotage things once that thrill has worn off? Am I scared of something and purposely pushing great people away? So when I started thinking it was time to get at least one foot out the door, I started slowing myself down.
I’m a huge fan of traveling with a partner, and doing it early on. I think the stresses that pop up in the bubble of a relationship during a vacation are a great way to find out about someone quickly. I had an excuse to do a 3 day road trip with her that consisted of 22hrs in the car and decided to wait until after the trip to make my decision. There were other, external factors in play, but because this person was so perfect on paper, I really wanted to feel like I wasn’t rushing/being rushed into a decision, I wanted to know that I’d made the decision based solely on the merits of the relationship itself.
Funnily enough, she kind of made the decision for me. 2 hours from home she brought up something that was bugging her and we spent a week trying to work through it. She’s an incredible person, but our communication, conflict resolution and belief systems are so mismatched that it’s just not there. And while she was willing to try to work through it, it just solidified the nagging feeling I’d had for the several weeks before that maybe we just weren’t quite right. But it’s funny. There was no knock down, drag out fighting. No tears were shed. No name calling or 9-11 calls. Just the quiet acknowledgement that while things had been great, there was an incompatibility there for the future, and it didn’t make sense to waste time.
Really makes for craptastic story telling.