I’m less sad today

I woke up at 11am to my mother poking me and telling me she was going out shopping. I picked up my phone and I looked at rubbish and thought about my new reality as a single person, and just how strange and new that feels. I thought about the new freedom I have and how heady and terrifying that is. Then I had a wee and ate two apples (but not at the same time).

I’m not quite so sad today. I’ve watched my second Adam Sandler movie in two days and realised that his movies make me think about my dead father, which is a nice thing because it’s lovely to have little reminders of my dad every so often. Thinking of a parent’s death also puts a relationship break down into context, because neither of us have died and that’s pretty nice. I don’t even feel like someone has died today, so that’s also pretty nice.

Not quite so nice that my best friend has decided to leave me, but I think that’s okay.

Last night I downloaded Tinder and Match promptly freaked out. Over the last five years, I’m aware that the dating game has changed. I know that I’ve changed too, but it’s very different when you have the smiling pictures in dating profiles looking up at you at 1am.

I mentioned the headiness. It’s exhilarating to think of kissing somebody new, a faceless amorphous somebody who will hopefully not mind my chubbiness or my lack of willing to wax every piece of body hair I have.

He didn’t mind that, and it makes me sad (again) that he’s gone.

But, he was shorter than me, which is easy enough when you’re 5’9. And he didn’t earn much money, which worried a small and secret part of my mind that only comes out at night. He was white, and I am brown, which sometimes concerned me that he would never quite understand some parts of my history.

He was also kind to me, and he was talented. He showed me the delights of live music, and he introduced me to some friends who I hope I’ll be able to keep.

I deleted the dating apps. I’m not ready for somebody new, and I do want to grasp the freedom I have. I might well download them again in the future, but for now, I’ll try and enjoy the boundless possibilities in front of me.

The relationship by the numbers

We’d been together for five years and three months.

He is (was) my first boyfriend, which I know is strange when you’re 21 – to not have had a boyfriend before. Or a shag. Or a kiss. So yes, he was my first everything. I suppose he always will be my first everything, although that’s a weird and hard thing to think.

We were together for five years and three months. We met online, we have four dates. We kissed in front of a hen party, and I remember having to go to the loo and tell myself that it was okay to have my first ever kiss in front of seven drunk women. We kissed and we stayed in that pub for an hour and then I went home (alone) and we saw each other twelve hours later.

So fast forward five years. And holy shit, FIVE YEARS is such a long amount of time. In that time, I’ve started to advance in my career. I’ve passed my driving test. I’ve bought a house. I’ve adopted my two beautiful fur babies. I’ve done those things off my own back, and largely alone – but more on that later.

I come from a friend group of very settled down twenty-somethings. Everyone has been with their partners for several years since they met either at college or uni. Some are married or engaged. Some are happy, some aren’t. And when you’re also somewhere within that demographic, that’s a smugly wonderful place to be. When you’re not, that’s a shittily sad place to be.

So, to the dumping itself. Four months ago we had an argument in a public place and he decided he saw me differently. Three months ago, we had a blissful holiday to celebrate our five years together. Two weeks ago, we had an argument that changed everything. One week ago, we had a discussion and agreed to try again. Today he dumped me.

I’m not a particularly emotional person. I feel quite numb sometimes, and I only tend to cry in confrontational situations, or at films. This was neither of those, and holy fuck did I cry. I cried so much, and it was like the depth of that sadness just kept going. And like I couldn’t allow myself to breathe, because whenever I did the sobbing would start again.

It’s painful to cry, both physically and emotionally. I don’t know how to handle the lack of control I had, and the lack of ability to move from my position on the floor while he moved a picture of us away from my eye line.

It was a picture from a distractingly happy time.

He was kind. He hugged me, and kissed my forehead. Once of his own volition, and once because I leaned up to his lips, because that’s what I would always do when he was leaving. Normally when he would leave a restaurant table to go to the loo, this time because he was leaving my house for potentially the last time.

We don’t live together, and we never have. Is that a blessing? Is that a sign that maybe we weren’t a real couple within the framework our friends provide, because we haven’t taken so many of the steps they have?

I asked him to leave his keys. As he attempted to remove the two keys from his key chain, it became too unbearable. That finality, that gesture that he would no longer be able to independently access my home which is filled with little pieces of him and our relationship.

He left.

I texted seven friends. I waited seven minutes and called my mother who came within two hours.

But he’d still left.

I intend to write this blog daily. I want to chart what I do from here, and how I feel and what my next steps are. I want a record of who I am day to day, and where I am. I want to look back at this one day, either when I’ve found my someone perfect, or when I’m next dumped, and know that I could and did succeed.

Well fuck, now I just need to do that.