Stages of a break-up: sadness, denial, anger, T.S. Eliot poems, acceptance.
That’s the text I sent my friend today. Right now, I’m somewhere between anger and T.S. Eliot. I’m angry because I feel like no matter what I do, I just can’t live up to expectations. I’m angry because I feel like I was given up on– not just in the relationship sense, but in other little things I wanted to learn. There was so much I wanted to learn from my significant other, and it just feels like each time we actually did an activity together, that was the one and only time it ever happened. Like because I wasn’t a natural at any of these activities– ballroom dancing, tennis, riding a bicycle, rock climbing, sailing– it wasn’t worth it to teach me.
I’m angry because the only serious relationships I’ve been in have ended right around graduation, a graduation that I had a significant part in. I edited papers and stayed up late proofreading and tried to make sure that my significant other made it through alright.
Made it through so he could leave me feeling as if my only purpose was to make sure the words were spelled correctly on the page, so maybe the cute girls in class would be impressed.
“You deserve someone who loves you as much as you love them.”
What is that supposed to mean? That everything I did was great, but I couldn’t live up to some unmeasured standard you held? Am I doomed to forever fall for men who find me wonderful to begin with, then tire of my humor, ambition, looks, and compassion? Do they see only that I want to be loved in return, and is that too much to ask for?
“For what it’s worth, I never meant to hurt you.”
Then you should have communicated with me. You should have had the courage to say, “I care, and I’m scared of the future, and I want you to know what’s going on in my life.” You don’t pretend to be something for so long, when you’ve already established a good, healthy relationship. What were you thinking?
I called you out jokingly, telling you that you were living like a bachelor. I questioned you whether you wanted a girlfriend or not. The day we broke up, I pretended to start a conversation about your commitment issues. I tested the waters, and when I found them to be inviting, I waded in.
And you brushed my musings off, and we laughed. And you told me you liked me and that we could have a red couch someday.
And then you said I didn’t belong in your future.
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floor of silent seas.
Distance. Lack of communication. Stagnation. Boredom. Insecurity about the future.
We had the type of friendship and relationship that I thought could overcome these problems, if only we laughed enough. If only we adventured enough together. If only we lived in the moment, and stopped worrying about what came next. If only we both had the courage to approach the problems.
I’m not sure how love works. I thought I had an idea, but apparently, it was one-sided. I’m afraid that if I keep my standards high, I’ll still end up being the one who disappoints.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.