Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reflections of a breakup XI: six Months On

It's October...six months since Jay moved out and almost four months since I've written anything on the subject. I think now's a good time to reflect on how life has evolved since April. A couple of weeks ago, October 8th, marked a year since we had decided to split up, but since he moved out in April it really doesn't feel like it's been so long.

Is being single everything I wanted it to be? In some ways it is, and others it is not. I had foreseen the breakup much earlier than it actually happened, so oftentimes I would try and imagine what it would be like to be alone. Sort of daydreams, that are vaguely pleasant, where you don't envision the negative reaches the reality of it entails.

The beginning was hardest. Suddenly I was alone. I found myself dazed and confused. I had to remind myself that I didn't have to plan for dinner for when he'd get home from work. I was suddenly buying too much at the supermarket. I caught myself holding off on watching favorite recorded TV shows to watch together. All of it was hard to grasp. I was really alone for the first time in my life at the age of forty-three!

I lived in a disoriented state for what seemed the longest time, unknowing and not expecting what to do with my newfound freedom. When should I fix dinner? What programs should I watch tonight? Should I be going out, seeing friends, catching up? Nah, I didn't feel much like reconnecting just yet.

I turned to dating sites. Now I don't know what straight online dating sites are like, but gay ones are a world unto their own! I quickly got lost in the endless pages of guys looking for hookups, LTR's (long-term relationships), "chill" guys, or "whatever" as I spent hours with my laptop always within arm's length. I thought I was looking for sex, some excitement with something different, but soon I realized that this had been one of those unforeseen aspects of earlier daydreams come to life. I really didn't want sex. I didn't want a relationship. I didn't know what I wanted. I still don't, really. The blanket of Today, I'm not sure if I need help or just more time.

As the weeks and months passed, things have slowly gotten better. I did some things I never thought I would or could do. I learned there were a lot of things I had taken for granted for a long time. In relationships, each partner takes on their respective role. I was the shopper, the bill payer, and the cook. He was the fixer-upper, the painter, and the decorator. Decorating! It was one of my biggest fears of being on my own. When Jay left the house, he left me with hardly a bauble or piece of wall-art. Faced with my first test, I rose to the challenge and did a respectable job with re-homeifying my house, curtains and all!

The realization that I could tackle the decorating and some of the more fixer-upper, deep cleaning chores jay used to do has helped me immensely. I'm doing things I never thought I'd have the capacity to do. My house is my house, not ours anymore. It's liberated me to where the optimism and confidence has seeped into my life as a whole. I've become a more active person in my singledom, something which I had longed for as I fell into the trappings of relationship stability.

My day to day life has regained some normalcy once again, but I still have my moments. Jay and I are on friendly, yet still uncomfortable terms. I believed that our relationship was such that we could end up even better friends, but I'm not sure if that'll ever happen. There've been good and not so good contacts over the past six months. It seems that every time I see him, I leave the encounter in a sad state. They say the end of any relationship is like a death, and you have to give yourself time to mourn. Contact with Jay has become more infrequent after every encounter. I hate to say it, but I'm thinking that's probably a good thing for both of us.