My 8.5 year relationship ended recently. This chunk of time was 30% of my entire life. We met each other at age 20 and quickly became best friends, lovers, and partners. Over the past year and a half, our relationship drifted away from romance. What kept us together was our close friendship. It was only recently that we both realized what was missing. We became roommates with benefits, or something like that.
We had many long discussions about this, trying to figure out what the problem was. I hadn’t cried in many years, but this time the floodgates were thrown wide open. We didn’t argue or fight, we just talked. The more we talked, the more we both realized we had different priorities. After one lengthy discussion, one of us finally said the b-word. Neither of us flinched. That’s when we both realized we were going to break up.
Am I sad? Yes. I’m obviously grieving the loss of a significant relationship and a major part of myself. On the other hand, nothing bad happened. We don’t hate each other, there was no screaming or shouting, and we’re still on wonderfully good terms. It’s quite a bizarre breakup in the grand scheme of things.
I feel great both physically and mentally, and my self-esteem is intact. But somehow feeling good feels bad. I secretly wish I could blame someone, I wish I could use some part of this to fuel a personal transformation. But I can’t. Nobody did anything wrong. Nobody cheated or lied. Neither of us said anything hurtful, mean, or spiteful. We just decided, as mature adults, to go our separate ways.
There are still moments where I feel “unworthy of love”, but I also know logically that’s not true. I’m in great physical shape, have a good job that I love, have many close friends that I see regularly, and feel a strong sense of self-confidence. Hell, I have enough TikTok followers to fill Wembley Stadium. If that many can follow me on the Gen Z music dancing app, surely at least one person on Earth will love me.
Moreover, I never lost myself in that relationship. She never tried to prevent me from doing anything I loved doing, nor did she try to change me ever. I have steadfast certainty in who and what I am. There is no need to “find myself”, I already know who I am, and I’m extremely happy with that.
Yet I’m hesitant to say that I feel “good.”
I think what I’m feeling is a very specific void in my life. The constant warmth that only companionship can offer. It’s like a Jenga tower with only one piece removed. The tower is at no risk of collapsing, but clearly there’s a hole. The rest of me is fine, it’s just this one specific piece missing.
And I’m aware how large this void is. But I’m also aware that someone else on Earth is destined to help repair my tower, as I help to repair theirs. No matter how good I feel about myself, or how much I giggle to myself about TikTok followers, or how I fearlessly continue to do exactly what I want to do in life, the thing that helps me feel better is my absolute certainty about the future. I am certain I will love again and be loved. And I’m excited to meet that person, even if it takes a little while.