I haven’t written much lately because I’ve been busy watching play-off hockey. Big shout out to the NHL Gods for creating a league of men who think facial hair will help them put a puck in a net. I support this. I also actually like hockey, but since my team is out I admit it has left me a bit lost. Who do I yell at the tv about or slosh beer over myself in anticipation of an almost-goal for? I’ve watched other teams thinking one might catch my eye and I’ll get my groove back but nothing is tugging at my heart strings.
Tugging at my heart strings? Oh no. Midway through this thought I realized my hockey superfan self and my love life self sound an awful lot alike. I have been known to end up in one or two bad flings. These are the type I knew were going nowhere but stuck loyally with, thinking no bridge could be burned. This ultimately seemed to ignite the flame further leaving eventual destruction in its path- the type of destruction you switch aisles at the grocery store or duck beneath a display case for during future sightings. I have yet to think of a tactful non-cliched way to break up/ stop seeing someone. Is there such a thing? I mean ultimately you’re telling the person they’re not a compatible match for whatever reason and that can’t mean good things for the old ego.
One situation I found myself in most memorably was while I was studying abroad. Everyone told me stories of someone they knew meeting the love of their life while studying abroad and living happily ever after and all that business, so I figured it would DEFINITELY happen for me. I met a nice guy within weeks of moving there but I played it out cautiously. Things kind of developed over time and he eventually asked me out on a date and from there we decided to give things a try. It was all good (although admittedly I was already unsure of just how into it I really was) when I announced I was leaving for a week’s vacation in England. It was about that time that the floodgates opened, the dramatics and waterworks began, and I nearly missed my plane. From zero to crazy just like that. He was waiting when I returned and after receiving several text messages while away which made me wonder if I should break up with him or commit him for psychiatric evaluation, I had resolved to end it. Resolve quickly evaporated as I rounded the corner to my apartment and there he was with roses. We talked, he apologized, life went on, I began avoiding him. When those roses died he came over with a new bouquet. It could have been a swoon-worthy moment I guess if I wasn’t mentally going over all the escape routes in my head. He followed me to the kitchen to cut the new flowers and I nonchalantly teased that he couldn’t possibly buy me flowers every time they died…when he confirmed that he intended to do just that- I lost it. He spent the entire rest of the semester drunkenly showing up at my door at every and any hour pounding on it until I answered or harassing my friends when they came to visit (did I mention we lived in the same dorm thing together? Yeah not good).
Point is, I have no exit strategy. Loyalty is an admirable trait but not when it ignores expiration dates and launches headlong into disrepair. I have a heck of a time committing because I know how difficult it is to remove myself and I’m so afraid of hurting that I end up being more destructive. Does it always have to be so messy or is there a way to get to know someone and then call a truce and realize it’s just not meant to be and walk away? My tactful “I just don’t think I can give you what you need” wasn’t all that convincing in the face of an irate Mr Roses. Those last roses I set in a vase and they lived for at least two weeks after our blow out. I didn’t even have the heart to toss them. Loyalty? Inability to let go? I wish I had the magical answer to it all, but hey, I can’t even break up with my hockey team. Breaking up IS hard to d0.