This is a post about a breakup, my breakup. A breakup I’ve rarely discussed save a few long discussions with key people in my life. A breakup which started with love, and ended with love.
“A” and I met during transitional periods in our lives. I had some serious emotional issues I was dealing with, and he was beginning his journey of self-discovery. I was growing healthy while he was growing up. We were (and still are) different in many ways, but we were able to use those differences to help one another during a time when we really needed another we could call home.
A is a wonderful man. He is intelligent, loyal, trustworthy, compassionate, a great listener, understanding, forgiving, funny, attractive, fun, supportive, romantic, and a laundry list of other things you’d want a mate to be. I would look at other people’s partners and think, “What an idiot. I’m lucky to have A.”
We did all the things couple should do if they want to stay together. We communicated our thoughts and feelings. We resolved all of our issues instead of sweeping them under the rug. We hugged and kissed often. We practiced random acts of romance for the other. We always had fun, and believed in living a life of adventure. We never let “being right” become more important than being in love. We’d admit when we were wrong, and apologized when necessary.
As everyone knows, relationships are complicated. There are times when a breakup is the obvious choice, and people hang on by the skin of their teeth as they destroy each other. There are times when a relationship is copacetic, and the people in it find themselves having the “I think it’s over” discussion. There are reasons and seasons for everything, and I’m beginning to understand this more and more as I mature.
There wasn’t one thing that ended our relationship. No big fight, no act of betrayal, no dramatic event. It was a simple conversation we had sitting on the living room floor of our apartment. One of us spoke first, and the other agreed. Our relationship was over.
I went home to California this past Christmas. I spent one of my evenings there drinking wine and talking with my aunt. During our conversation, we discussed the breakup of A and I. I think, like many others, she was curious as to what went wrong. Despite it’s truth, it’s odd to respond, “Nothing, really.” At best it appears glib, at worst it makes it seem like I’m not being truthful.
I told her A and I talked at lengths about the end of our relationship, and how it wasn’t any one thing which broke us up. We just didn’t feel the spark people should feel when they’re with their significant other. Our romantic love had faded, and despite deeply caring about each other, we knew we could ask for more out of life.
She said she had been reading a book (I later learned it was this one) and in it, the author asserted that “good is the enemy is great.” Essentially, we get so comfortable in “good” situations or routines that we fail to ever strive for greatness. The writer believed in this notion so much that it’s the first sentence in his book. A and I believed in it so much we ended our relationship over it.
I see good all around me. A good wife with her good husband in their good house in a good neighborhood. Good employees working for good employers in a good job. Good children getting good grades so they can get into good colleges.
Why is everyone so content with living a good life? I sure as hell want greatness.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad about the breakup at first, and that I didn’t question our decision at certain times. It’s so easy to get sucked back into a good situation because it’s a sure bet. But, as any gambler will tell you, you’ve got to risk big to win big. We loved ourselves (and each other) so much that we wanted to win big in the love department.
Several months have passed since we broke up, and I’m happy to report that we are still incredibly close. He is one of my best friends. He still lets me say completely inappropriate and sexually explicit jokes around him. His mom sends me cards. We live together as roommates. We’re a regular Jerry Springer episode, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We are moving on in our lives. He has been actively dating, and I am truly opening my heart up for the first time in my life. He has been spending more time with friends, and I have been spending time pursuing writing as a career. He is excited about his future, and so am I.
We’re both doing great.