I broke up with my boyfriend tonight.

I’ve stayed sober and painfully present with myself all evening long.

My back aches and I’m not sure where my heart is, but I feel—finally—that I’ve taken the step I needed to take.

Even as I’m faced with all of the lost dreams that come with this next phase in my life, I feel like I’m at a point where I am stepping into yet another iteration of myself, a hopeful and more honest reimagination of where I want to go. It took realizing that I was bending myself over backward to the point of breaking in half for no good reason at all, just to try to make something work that was never going to work, that I finally had my moment of painful clarity. There is nothing wrong with him, nothing wrong with me. It just won’t work, no matter how hard I try to force it. It was a clashing of personalities, styles, and approaches to love that was making me feel like I was going crazy.

But I wasn’t. I wasn’t going crazy; I was living a life that didn’t match my needs or values.

I am sad. I don’t know that I’ve felt the true depths of my sadness about this yet, as it’s only been ~5 hours since I sat across from him at the coffee shop and told him I was sorry, I can’t do this anymore. I can feel that hole inside myself slowly, quietly opening up again and I am going to try so hard this time to avoid stuffing it with another relationship, or cigarettes, or self-blame. I know that never works.

It is painful and it’s necessary. Sobering, really. And for the first time in almost two years, I feel like I can endure whatever sorrow I feel with grace, and patience for myself, and intention.

I know I will miss him. For all the painful parts of what we had, there were plenty of pleasurable ones. He was, above all else, a constant in my life that I now have to learn to live without.

So who am I, as a newly single sober person? Where do I go now with who I am, and what I want to do? I haven’t been intentionally single since I was 17, and I’m 28 now. My entire adult life has consisted of being in a relationship or pursuing one. I don’t know myself without someone else next to me. I don’t know how to fill days, or weeks, or months with my own time, rather than “our time.”

There are no more date nights, no Sunday night football viewings, no more trivia Tuesdays or far off plans to travel out West together. No more plans for a house. No more nights watching Bojack Horseman or Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

But, also, there are no more nights spent wondering why he won’t ask me how I’m feeling, or why he hasn’t messaged me yet. No more days spent feeling resentful that he doesn’t notice me or my emotions. No more frustrations with being invited to parties where all anyone is going to do is get drunk and feeling lonely in the middle of a crowd. No more feeling like I have to compete with his friends or video games. No more pressure to accept his unemotional way of relating to the world.

There is no more us; it’s just me now.

I think I’m ready for this, at long long last.

❤ Em


11 thoughts on “Single

  1. Robert Crisp says:

    You’ve done an incredibly hard and brave thing. Reach out to others and continue beind mindful…I know how hard it is to be present with pain. So few people can do it without trying to fill the hole (which, lord knows, I’ve done in the past). Hang in there.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. gwennym says:

    I’ve found that being single (and not looking) to be very freeing, actually. You CAN go out West and explore — you CAN have Sunday night football — you CAN go out to dinner or a movie or an art festival or a concert. You will have the best company ever — yourself.

    I’m so very sorry you are in pain and I truly admire your bravery in ending something that isn’t fulfilling and good. My own motto? It’s better to be alone than feeling alone with someone. ((hugs))

    Liked by 3 people

  3. mikeykjr says:

    You have taken several incredible, brave steps. Be proud of yourself recognizing the turmoil the relationship was causing and your strength in doing something about it. Look at life from another perspective: a new chapter in life. You will always have memories, those will never go away. Now you have a blank page to start with! Where do you want to go and what do you want to do? LIke others have said, you had plans but you can still make them happen – just do it! **hugs**

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Shawn M. Davis says:

    You *can* have all those things if you want them! Find women’s meetings! For me, when I was at a similar place, I immersed myself in the women in the program. I used to think, ‘why would I go to women’s meetings?’ and ‘why in hell would I go to a women’s campout?’ If I wasn’t in a relationship, I was always searching. If there were no men around, what was the point?

    It was with women where I learned who I was. I spent a year basically isolated from men. It was only after that, when I was enjoying time with women friends, that I met the man who has now been my husband for 22 years.

    Every summer I spend about a week camping with fellow women in recovery and absolutely love it. A couple Mondays ago, a woman friend came over and we watched Dallas play Monday Night Football and had an absolute blast (my husband has little to no interest in football). I’m sad for the pain you feel today, and pray that you will find the comfort and strength you need. Namaste.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ainsobriety says:

    Huge hug. You can watch bo jack horseman and football by yourself…in your underwear…eating ice cream.
    Or go to yoga.
    Or travel.
    You will be ok because you are putting your needs first.
    I’m sorry this didn’t work out.

    Liked by 1 person

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