So I had left, and I was on this sweet half-cross-country road trip with my puppy. And nothing had felt any different. It took me a couple weeks before I landed in Chicago, but once I did, I almost immediately booked a ticket.
The first weekend in October, The Owl’s birthday, I was flying in to see him. It was a month after I left, and 1 or 2 weeks after I got to Chicago, but I could not have been more excited to see him.
He seemed to be just as excited as I was.
He offered to give me some free time to hang out with my friends, but all I wanted to do was spend time with him and celebrate his birthday. We did make plans to see a couple of my friends and go on a double date, and go out to celebrate his birthday with his friends, but otherwise we spent a lot of the weekend together.
And it was wonderful.
I cried a little bit the morning I had to leave. I came up with every excuse to stay in bed, but eventually I made it to the airport and made it back to Chicago. I texted him when I landed to let him know I was safe and that I was looking forward to the next time I’d see him.
Then he went on a trip out of the country.
Then he went on a work trip.
Then it was November.
So I started asking when he thought he might be able to take a day or two and come up to visit. We discussed possible weekends, but never made any final plans.
My anxiety grew with each passing no-plans-made day. I started to keep myself busy with as many people and events as I could. My anxiety grew bigger with each shorter and shorter phone call. My anxiety grew even larger with each day that I received fewer and fewer texts.
Until I hit a breaking point. And then my anxiety went away. Entirely.
I had superficially accepted than something was going on. I hoped that it was something that didn’t have to do with me. But I had a feeling it did. A gut instinct, if you will.
I had been keeping myself busy, avoiding thinking about how long it had been since I had heard from The Owl, or at least heard from him in a good morning text, or something like that. I was at a football game with a friend when I got a text:
Let me know when you’re free. I want to talk to you.
A text that, in itself, is harmless.
A text that, in combination with slowed communication and lack of concrete visitation plans, is pretty fucking transparent.
I spent about 20 minutes justifying why this text meant nothing more than he missed me and wanted to explain why he had been so distant and tell me what was happening in his life. And then I called him as I was walking to my car from the game. I was cheerful. I was happy to talk to him. We said hi and how are you and then…
I don’t really know how to say this.
So I helped him out by saying that he probably didn’t need to say anything. And though I’m confident all he wanted to do was get off the phone, I started asking questions. I needed clarification. I needed to process what was happening.
I was being broken up with.
By the best boyfriend I had dated thus far.
Without something happening.
So I asked why. It turns out that the distance did not make his heart grow fonder. It was just too hard. He didn’t want to keep being in a long distance relationship. It had never worked for him in the past and it wasn’t working for him now. And the moving to Arizona idea? Every time he had thought about it he kept coming back to the same point: he just didn’t want to leave Florida. And if I hadn’t moved? We’d probably still be together.
I kept him on the phone way too long. Saying how I don’t like this and I don’t think it’s fair. I told him that I don’t want to lose him in my life. I asked him if we could follow up in a couple weeks, just to see if being friends/in each other’s life was going to be something we could do. I told him I appreciated his honesty. I told him I assume it wasn’t easy for him. I also told him that I felt like I tried harder to make it work than he had – acknowledging that it may not be true, but that it is how it felt to me. And then we hung up. I think I lost one single tear in the entire 30 minute conversation.
Then I called my mom and I lost it.
After a lot of crying we decided that I had two options:
(1) accept this and move on
(2) go back to Florida and try to make it work
I strongly considered option 2. For a while. And then I got angry at myself. Why was I willing to change my life plans (that had been set in stone for at least 8 months at this point) when someone wasn’t seemingly even considering changing theirs for me. Why did I have to bend? Why did I have to change?
It’d have been one thing if he had called to tell me that the distance was too hard and he wasn’t sold on Arizona and wanted to TALK about it. Then, maybe, we could come up with a plan that would include us being together. But he didn’t. He called to break up with me. He had thought about it. He had considered it. All by himself, without me.
All moving back would do is prolong what was going to end up happening anyway. Maybe it’d work for another 6 months to a year. Then what? Then I’d want to move to Arizona and he may still not want to. And if anything had happened with my family and I wasn’t there? I’d never forgive myself… and I might never forgive him. I was always going to want to be in Arizona. And he likely, never would.
After a few days of completely grieving by crying to friends, going out and getting shitty at bars, meeting strangers online to occupy my time… and I stopped.
I am entirely too logical for my own good you guys…
I was sad, CLEARLY. I was upset, for sure. But I realized I wasn’t mad at him. I realized I couldn’t be. He liked me, just not enough to move for me. And I liked him, just not enough to stay for him. We were in the exact same place mentally and totally different places physically, and that is no more his fault than it is mine. I wished like HELL it were different, but it wasn’t different.
Two weeks later, the day came and went when we were going to call and follow up and see if we could be friends and stay in each others’ lives.
And months later, I still haven’t spoken to or texted him.
And there are things about it that still mess with me and my anxiety, but I’ve moved on. And in a weird way, he did me a favor. Coming to Arizona single gave me the chance to spend time with my family on the weekends, and to drive down to Phoenix and play kickball without taking weeks off to go to Florida to visit, and to make new friends, and to meet someone awesome :).