Even when you’re the one initiating it, a breakup leaves you wondering how you’ll move forward without your significant other. That was never truer for me than it was back in the fall of ‘99, when I ended my relationship with noble, dashing Brit David.
My first serious boyfriend, David carried me through the painful aftermath of losing my mother to breast cancer. For a year and a half, he was my rock. As I slowly emerged from grieving, though, our personality and lifestyle differences became too difficult to overcome. I now Open The Vault and take you back to October of 1999…
October 21st, 1999
New York, NY
I broke up with David last night. And it was every bit as painful as I feared it would be.
He cried and pleaded with me to fight for our relationship. He was willing to try anything — and a part of me wanted to say yes. But I feel like we’ve past the point of being able to grow together, like all we would be doing is holding each other back.
But this is so hard! When I got home last night, David had already left a tearful message on my machine. Then, this morning, a good friend told me he had called her trying to find out if there was more to our breaking up than what I had told him. She said he was devastated — the same word other people have used to describe how David would feel if I ended things between us.
I feel so guilty. I don’t regret one second of being with him, but I feel terrible about hurting him.
There is some solace in knowing I made the right decision, the honorable decision about a man who has only treated me honorably and with unconditional love. But I can’t deny that I feel like a part of me is missing now.
I shared my whole life with David, without exception. It will take time to adjust to the fact that he is no longer the one I can share everything with. No more cuddling in the movies or kissing on street corners. No more sharing every big and small thing that happens each day.
I’m saying goodbye to a lot by letting go of David, to a way of life I never had until him. David showed me what I’ve been missing all of these years, which makes it harder to live without now.
Still, no matter how wonderful he is, I can no longer sacrifice my happiness for his. I will miss him terribly, though, and a part of me will always love him.
* * *
It would take a very long time for me to move on from my relationship with David. A year would pass before love returned to my life.
An editorial note — this will be the last Opening The Vault entry for awhile, as I shift gears to concentrate on The Great Dating Blitz. One week until the excitement officially begins!