…Isn’t going to happen this time. The final vestige of a long road has dissipated into the wind. A chapter is closed. It’s unfortunate and jarring but not wholly unexpected. But, this is life and there is no cinematic Hollywood ending.
The blog has focused mostly on my last relationship and my current personal and professional situation. This is partly because those events are fresh in my mind. But, also, because I didn’t feel comfortable writing about either Ex-boyfriend #1 and Ex-boyfriend #2. Ex-boyfriend #1 is happily married with a young child and we broke up nearly 5 years ago. (I’d feel weird blogging about someone with a family). I hadn’t blogged about Ex-boyfriend #2 because up until several weeks ago, for the past four years, we were in contact on a regular basis. Without going into detail, we’re not in frequent contact anymore. There’s a large part of me that feels this is the end of a chapter and that’s very sad.
The relationship was tumultuous. It had multiple starts and stops. But most stops were temporary because I always found it difficult to not have him in my life. He’s been my best friend, (unfairly to him) my therapist, my boyfriend, my sounding board and my partner in crime. But he’s not any of those things to me anymore. We broke up over a year ago and even after a failed relationship with someone else, I thought there was always an underlying bond between us. I had bought into that old wives’ tale about “timing”. I had held on to the excuse that the “timing” just wasn’t right. Under my clouded thinking, we could have been married but the “timing” wasn’t right. When we met, I was practicing law and he was trying to figure out his professional ambitions. I had recently broke up with someone and mentally wasn’t in the best place to embark on a new relationship. There were plenty of factors to point at to support my (iron-clad) reasoning for why “timing” had derailed our relationship. I’m learning that “timing” is one of those excuses people use when they don’t want to admit two people aren’t meant to be together.
I knew logically that we were never getting back together but the words of my friends and family and the ever present delusions of romantic comedies had kept a kernel of hope planted in the back of my brain. Maybe it was possible to get past the pain and problems from before. Maybe there was a way to move forward. One wise friend said, “Trust me. It’s rare to find someone you get along with, are comfortable around and who actually loves you – all of you. Even when you’re at your worst.” My dad (who never weighs in on my personal life) chastised me over my trip home for Christmas. He demanded to know what more I wanted from a partner and told me that I was foolish for letting the relationship go. A chorus of voices kept hope alive that some day down the road we’d reconnect. My close friends continually said “You never know what can happen in the future” and “Time will tell”. (I’m beginning to think those stock phrases are used by people as a way to silence a friend who is droning on and on about a given subject). And while, logically, there was no reason to think we’d ever get back together, I hadn’t necessarily let that possibility leave my brain. I was a mess when we first met (and still am a bit of a mess now) but I am finally dealing with my mess and growing up. There was an idealistic immature part of me that believed that eventually things might just work out.
Additionally, romantic comedies had taught me (worst start to an effective or coherent argument EVER) that no matter what, if two people get along so well and have a connection, that despite all the odds they’ll come back together and live happily ever after. Beyond being a total Marnie (see below), I have a naive and almost adolescent view of love and relationships. While it can be charming and cute, it also lead me to have unrealistic expectations in relationships. Aren’t people supposed to stand outside your bedroom window with a boombox when they love you? If you profess your undying love for someone, they’re supposed to reciprocate, right? ….Right? In these movies every perfect couple ended up together eventually. Even through turmoil and bumps in the road. Jake Ryan thought Sam Baker was amazing. And Blaine realized he loved Andi. That’s how life is supposed to go, right? Personally, I blame Nancy Meyers, Julia Roberts, John Hughes and Meg Ryan. (Maybe we should consider a class action lawsuit?) While we’re at it, I also blame Shonda Rhimes – SHE RUINS LOVE FOR EVERYONE.
I realize now that there is no fairy tale ending here. No one is flying to Washington, D.C. to proclaim their undying love for me. Or, less dramatically, sending me an email to say they miss me and wish things were different. I realize now that I’m the only one who wishes things were different. Lord knows I screwed up enough things with him that I don’t really deserve a Hollywood ending anyway. And that’s okay. It’s just not the way Hollywood taught me it would go.