Sigh. I’ve never broken up with anyone before. Usually, I have the talk that communicates the issues relevant to the impending break up. And then 5 minutes later, they say, Lynne, You’re right. I can’t make you happy…We should break up. Two weeks ago, I had the talk with the new guy. He actually apologized, said he would do better, and gave me the “please don’t leave me” look. He has been doing better, but I think its beyond his control. There just aren’t enough minutes in the day to work, go to school, and be with Lynne. There weren’t enough minutes before he met me. I don’t blame him, I’m not angry. I’m disappointed to not spend time with him, because he’s a really great guy. The kind of guy that I’d want to start a family with in the future. But in the present, I don’t think I can deal with it anymore. I’m not a very patient person to start with, but Iwanted to wait and see if things got better. They are, but its still not enough to make me happy. And happiness is what matters most.
Every December, I have a catch-up conversation with an old high school buddy. Today’s conversation was much like last year’s. We’re both dating good people, but are at a point of deciding whether there’s someone better out there. He said he was 80% happy. I told him 80% wasn’t good enough. Hearing my own words aloud made it sound so simple. Why can’t it be that simple?
Tonight, I went dancing with some friends while the New Guy is in Hawaii. I ended up dancing with a stranger for most of the night, as I often do. When he asked if I had a boyfriend, I told him I was “thinking of breaking up with the guy I’m dating.” He asked for some details, and I explained that the New Guy was always too busy to hang out. The stranger said the N.G. would be crazy not to be spending a Saturday night with me. I thanked him for the compliment, and told him no hard feelings if he wanted to dance with someone else. But he said he liked a challenge. He was very sweet the rest of the night. Of course, he threw in a few lines:
“Does your man tell you how beautiful you are?” No. Does he tell you how gorgeous you are? No. Does he tell you how sexy you look? No.
Of course they’re just lines, but 3 “no’s” hit me hard in a way that made my brain start ticking. And so here we are now. 5:34Am Sunday, Eastern Standard Time. 11:34 pm Saturday Hawaii time. His night is just starting. I wonder if his night will be similar, if he’ll meet a hot chick and dance with her and make him realize something. Or maybe the long plane ride home will make him realize that there’s nothing he can change about his hectic life schedule to have enough time for Lynne.
I wish he’d just break up with me. I’m no good at breaking up because I’m no good at giving up. I don’t give up when things get hard. Its not what I do. I don’t give up on people. I like him so much, but I know that his non-existent free time isn’t going to change until he finishes his MBA. Maybe the next term, starting in January will be different. He’ll start fresh, and he won’t have to play catch up anymore, and he’ll find some way to time manage me into the picture?
I don’t think I can wait till January. I can only take so much “no, I can’t hang out, I’m busy studying,” before I start taking it personally. After you start taking things personally, you start getting angry, and resenting someone. I don’t want it to get to that. There’s no need for it. Everyday of December will be increasingly more stressful and demanding of him until the exam at the end of the month. I feel like telling him that we should take a break till January. Its easier for me to completely separate myself from him temporarily. In my mind, cutting ties is better than being strung along on the scraps of scraps of free time he may have to spend with me. I can’t respect a girlfriend like that who is waiting for scraps, continually disappointed by the scraps, and leaving herself closed off to any other man on the planet that tries to offer her happiness. That equates to settling. I hate settling. Just by opening the door to other potential bearers of happiness makes it not settling, keeping options open, even if in the end I never actually stray from his loyalty.
I don’t want to break things off with him. I want to continue to explore the connection we have, and see where it can take us. I think the both of us realize that we have the potential to make each other happy in the long term. How do we make it through the present mess? While I want to stay and be supportive, those resources are running out and the resentment will take its place shortly. If only there were a viable incentive to stay in this messy situation. A girl needs more than scraps. Even if he just told me how much I mean to him, and why he doesn’t want me to leave, maybe that could be enough to sustain my support for him till after his exams in January.