Heh. Another Seinfeld reference. I couldn't resist.
I should clarify that nobody has turned any keys. Yet. Nothing has been decided. Yet.
I feel...OK. More OK than I thought I would feel. Which feels wrong, somehow. But I like it. I feel, for lack of a better word, empowered. I hate that word - it's so overused - everybody is empowered, you can't turn around without somebody announcing how empowered they are. Switching to UltraTide Cold Water is supposed to make you feel empowered these days.
Past breakups have been sheer hell. Except for the first one. But it wasn't much of a relationship anyway. That would be the relationship with the guy who's still thinking about me seven or eight years later, as he sits in his mother's basement smoking, blogging about his video game scores and plotting functionally-illiterate world domination. Poor wee soul.
The other two were bad though. Crying and obsessing - ohmygawd how I obsessed, I could have obsessed for Canada in the Olympics. The first one, I gained about 40 lbs from comfort eating. We kept in touch and he kept me on a string, giving me false hope and then denying it was hope of any kind and it was all very dramatic and fucked up and finally I said, "Look, I need to move on with my life and I can't if you keep contacting me." I felt very empowered that day. And also fat.
I dated a series of unsuitable men in an effort to not be alone and to not feel like a loser, painfully unaware of the inherent irony of the situation. I went out with: a thirty-five year old guy who had a .wav from The Lion King on his answering machine instead of a normal outgoing message, you know, like a grown-up would have; a recovering alcoholic who was in fact still a full-blown alcoholic; an alcoholic who hadn't yet acknowledged his alcoholism; a guy a really skinny and stunningly beautiful friend thought was "just perfect for me": he weighed about 300 lbs, and was divorced with a teenage son (I was barely five years out of my teens at the time and I weighed considerably less).
Then I had a brief, two-month relationship with a guy who boasted not one but two failed marriages (I found out about the second one completely by accident: "What's that a picture of?" "That's the registry office in Luton where I was married" "I thought you got married in a medieval church in Germany!" "Err, um...that was my first marriage"). He dumped me because he met somebody else. That hurt a lot, even if he was a jerk. I believe he lives in Chatham now - he's probably on wife number 4 or 5 by this time.
The other boyfriend became a Buddhist monk.
Anyway, in these two breakups, I blamed myself. I was not Good Enough. I was a failure. I wasn't thin enough or pretty enough for the second guy, and I wanted the Wrong Things from the first guy, i.e. exclusivity (he was a bit of a lad, you know - "leave no undergraduate unturned" - but I guess becoming a monk has put a stop to that) .
But I'm not blaming myself now. And the truth is, I would rather be alone than to settle for less than what I want. Sure, being in this relationship has been good for me and let's be honest here, for my ego, for the last four years. In addition to the friendship and the companionship and the comfortableness of being in a long-term relationship, I've always had a date for dinner parties, party-parties, weddings. Do you know how agonizing it is for a single woman to be dateless at an event populated by Smug Marrieds (or Smug Cohabitators) and have to smile sweetly at their o-so-smug and self-righteous concern and say things like, "Oh, well, I guess I just haven't met the right guy yet!" or "I've decided to focus on my career" or "Is this open bar?"
We've had a lot of good times and done a lot of fun things. But there comes a time when good times and fun things just aren't enough, and I'm not going to stick around just to avoid being - gasp! shock! horror! - single.