As I assessed my luggage and determined that I had, in fact, packed everything I’d need for four nights in Vegas (and then some), I looked at Benjamin and said, “I feel like the heroine of some cheesey romantic comedy.”
Here I was, the first day of Operation: Move On, slinging my adorable leather carry-on over my shoulder and heading off for relaxation, escape, and adventure. How very Julia Roberts of me.
Outside of the relationship that I am currently trying to get overrepairsort out understand, I haven’t really had serious relationships. That is, I’ve never dated anyone long enough for the relationships to coalesce into anything resembling depth. But looking back, I have several people with whom I had long-term, ongoing… arrangements… and I have grouped them in my mind as my retroactive exes.
My retroactive exes are a group of five or so guys from various parts of my life that I didn’t “date” for a variety of reasons — we were too young and in the closet, or I was too hung up on one thing or another, or… well, you get the idea. But each was someone I cared about and who helped create the person I’ve become. So I consider them retroactive exes, which means I get all the benefits of having exes — great memories, a history to reflect on — with none of the downside — namely, we never really had to break up.
Tonight I met with my ex for our first post-breakup conversation. You’ll note I’m actually calling him my ex now. This is what we call progress. At the very least, I think after tonight I won’t need to process that relationship in the pages of this blog, at least for the near future.
But in an attempt to put some closure on this, I want to reflect on how I’ve grown in the eight months we were together (and the nearly one month we’ve been apart). This was my first “real” relationship, the first one that had length and depth and mutual acknowledgement of its status as a relationship while it was ongoing.
And breaking up is hard. It’s particularly hard when, from my perspective, things were going great, although after our talk tonight I can begin to understand the way he feels means that breaking up is the right thing to do. I don’t think I’m very good at breaking up (although I don’t think I’m doing a terrible job at it, all things considered). However, this year I learned that I am surprisingly good at being in a relationship.