As the rest of the country celebrated Independence Day, I literally celebrated my independence. While sad to report, I must admit that the Unicorn and I broke it off last week in the most mature, calm, classiest break-up I’ve ever had. There were no punches thrown, verbally or otherwise, and we both knew it was over before we walked in there. Which I think made it more honest than either of us planned on.
While I was determined to not give up on him, determined to show him a woman who could care about him, make him laugh and not cheat on him, determined to not be the rebound chick… I realized about a week ago that the initial feelings I had of him making me feel so amazing were kind of, well, gone.
The moment I knew they were gone was the last morning of our weekend away, when I woke up to him asking me the question no woman wants to hear. Ever.
“Did we have sex last night?” I could have killed him.
“Um, yes. We did. We also had a pretty extensive conversation…”
DONE. Defenses up. White flag. Can’t do it. The humiliation started to wash over me. I got up out of bed, got in the shower and attempted not to punch the glass walls surrounding me.
When I emerged from the bathroom, he wanted to re-hash the conversation.
“It was hard enough for me to have that conversation the first time,” I said, “I’m not ready to have it again less than 12 hours later”. He retreated.
But later that day, as we were in the first third of a pretty long car ride home, he asked again. I had to have that very difficult, very vulnerable conversation for the second time in 24 hours. He was far less responsive without the Fireball. And I knew it was over.
For a few months, he made me feel very beautiful, very funny, very smart, very wanted. But then he didn’t. He started to make me feel like a weight around his neck, someone he had to let down easy. And I deserve better, I’ve come that far at least.
10 days later, we sat down at a bar that meant nothing to either of us and like two adults, had a very open conversation about the mistakes we had made, made admissions we both suspected were true and decided to take a break from one another for a while.
Here’s the highlight reel: I never should have agreed to pump the brakes and he never should have slept with me. He’s in no position to be in a relationship (with anyone) and has decided its best to go it alone for a while. And I decided I’m worth more than being someone’s half-girlfriend. He told me I was one of the greatest girls he’d ever met and I told him he broke my heart a little.
During this conversation, he used the words “as a friend” so many times it started to feel like all the passion was being erased. Because there was so much of it, to be honest. I have never felt it like that before, ever. And even now, as we were ending it, I felt like he was trying to act like it was never there.
I finished my drink, told him that once his beer was gone that we were done with the tough stuff, and that we’d have one more drink together before we went our separate ways. He wasn’t a big fan of the “separate ways” idea, he thought we could just be friends. His favorite word: friends. I told him I needed some time.
We had more than one more drink. We talked about life, work, money, friendship and a few times went back to our fleeting relationship. We met a guy who was on a first date, awaiting a woman he met on the latest app and chatted with him until she arrived. We talked about our families, our plans for the holiday, how the summer seemed to be passing too quickly.
And as we were paying the bill, he put his hand on the small of my back and curved his arm around my waist. And I thought “you f*cking liar”. I must have noticeably winced because he withdrew said arm pretty quickly. But the moment was there and I knew it. He was slipping back into the comfort of what he claimed never existed.
As we departed, I called a cab and he waited for it to arrive. And as it pulled up, he hugged me for too long. Way too long. And as I walked away from him, he yelled across the street “You let me know when you’re ready”. And I agreed to.
I got into the cab, looked at my phone. Multiple text messages from girlfriends who knew this conversation was happening and knew it should have been over hours ago. I started answering. And cried a little. Just a little. Not the ugly, sobby kind. Just the “that was hard” kind.
And then, ten minutes later a text from the Unicorn, seemingly not getting the “space” concept just yet.
“Good talk tonight… I’m sorry about everything, I really am”.
And then, “Well I should say I’m only sorry for hurting your feelings”.
You’re still doing it, dude. I cut you off and you’re still breaking my heart.
I didn’t respond.