don’t read this post

if you’re tired of reading about my breakup.

I’m only writing this here because I figure this *IS* supposed to be a personal blog, right?

I know I’m tough and I’m going to get past this feeling. Maybe too tough, and maybe too soon. Who can say? I can’t, definitely.

But in the meantime, the weirdest thing is not sharing the stupid stuff with anyone. You know, the stuff that doesn’t warrant any time out of your friend’s day, but which your partner has to tolerate and listen to and respond with an “aw, honey” or a “haha really?” Or whatever.

At this moment, there is no one in the world for whom reading a text from me that says “If my mother asks me one more time what the status of my packing is, I’m totally going to plotz” is worth their time. Two months ago, there was. But two months ago, I didn’t have any packing to do.

Which brings us to, who do you go to to confess all the niggling little frustrations and emotional reactions about your breakup? There comes a point that you just can’t (or don’t want to) ask any more of your friends. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flipped open my phone to call him and complain about something, then had to realize he wasn’t the person to share my apartment search woes, my allergy to my friend’s cat (newly discovered from sleeping on her sofa), my great aunt’s rather over-the-top response to the news, my mother’s rather egregious behavior (e.g. having two glasses of wine and crying about how great he was–extremely helpful). All things I can’t complain to him about anymore.

It’s a pity, because he would have been the perfect person to share them with.

I’m learning (late in life, I know) that it’s ok not to share everything. When I feel wistful, I remind myself to relish that, that new power of keeping things to myself.

It’s funny how quickly I feel myself becoming a slightly different person without him.

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12 Responses to don’t read this post

  1. Ello says:

    Oh honey, big hugs for you. And you can call or text me anytime if it helps. I’m here for you too. This is a hard time for you. But you do have lots and lots of people who care about you. Don’t forget that.

  2. Simon Hay says:

    I’ll listen. You can email me all the stupid stuff šŸ™‚ I’m a good listener. If you want a distant-healing, for love, just ask. The healing’s are pretty cool, and will make you feel loved.

  3. Mary says:

    I went through a tough break up about a year ago, and I very much relate to the sense that you had someone in the boat with you, and it’s a different feeling to be in the boat on your own. My life got a lot better when I stopped subconsciously expecting every e-mail or phone call to be him, and he stopped being the one I wanted to tell things to— all that keeps the wounds pretty fresh. But it took awhile for that to happen. My mom also mourned his loss in ways I didn’t find entirely supportive. I had to call her on it eventually.
    I wish you the very best, and am glad you’re blogging again!

  4. Karissa says:

    First of all, I heart you and you can totally text me.

    Second of all…

    I remember after I broke up with James, and it was really weird, because I’d been a serial monogamist my whole life and frankly, I didn’t know how to be single. Then my grandfather died, then my grandmother, and I remember being like, Wow, this is something I really have to go through on my own. I mean, my friends cared and even James was there, but at the end of the day, I came home to nobody, which meant when I was feeling like crying, I did it alone. For me, the big things were tougher than the small things, although the small things made me wistful. You can only be emotional for so long about the same thing to your friends before they seemingly get sick of your prattle, no matter how big of a deal something is.

    But I get it. I’d spent my from 16-23 the kind of girlfriend who shared every tiny detail of my day to my boyfriend, down to what I ate, and then suddenly that person was gone, and nobody else cared that I had to have turkey because they ran out of ham, or that I saw a funny man on the subway. (As an aside, one might argue my boyfriend didn’t care either but he was being nice.)

    The crazy thing is that now I’ve been single so long that I’m not entirely sure I’ll be that kind of girlfriend again. The kind that shares every single detail to a boyfriend. I have the stories that I tell to various friends, if I so feel like it. But a lot of things I’ve learned to internalize. In the beginning that felt hard; now it isn’t so much. Maybe being forced to live my own life has made me a more private person all around (which isn’t saying much, given how not private I am. But think back to my Xanga!). And you know, I’m okay with that.

    I think when you’re in a serious relationship, you share those things because it’s a way of forming a really tight intimacy. It’s just “stuff”, the stuff that helps to cram in the spaces between your person and his, like sand in cracks. When you get so used to expelling that stuff, you begin to feel like it’s something you need to do. You reach for the phone out of habit, not because of the content of what you want to say, but because of the habit. But habits go away. When you really have something you really want to say, you’ll find you CAN think of friends who you can share it with — you just never thought they could be people you could share it with because you always had someone to fill that role. But also, being single makes you learn to filter between the things that you actually want to share to the people in your life because it’s somehow meaningful for you to communicate (in however small a way) and things that maybe you didn’t always notice were just ways to keep in touch, like linguistic hand holding to remind him you were thinking of him.

    Maybe that’s not comforting at all. But I think the important thing to remember is 1) Your friends are more willing to listen to your small stuff than you think because we all get it — we all have small stuff but also 2) Over time you’re going to find that you’ll need to share that small stuff less.

    But again, I reiterate. I ā¤ you. And cat-allergies are NO JOKE!

  5. Oh! You can always text me too. I’m a sharer, but a selective one. I too share all the stupid minutia with my husband as well as with my twin sister. But for me, I don’t share it with anyone else. So if there’s something I can’t tell one or the other–or, help me, both!–I feel very alone.

    This post has reminded me that I used to keep a journal. I wrote in it just about every day in high school and college. I stopped when I got engaged, which was a dramatic move on my part but was also a result of me spending my free time working on a novel. Still, I miss it. Blogging is not the same as keeping a journal. Do you know how many times you can whine to your journal about the squishy spots on your body that you don’t like?? Me neither, because I haven’t hit the limit yet. You can be as petty as you like and no one will judge. Have you ever tried it?

    I’m thinking maybe I should go back. I mean, your romantic partner does NOT need to know everything you’re thinking whether it’s about dinner, babies, or your body image. Plus you get to revel in the little victories too, the things that normally slip through the cracks of your day.

  6. thanks, guys. i appreciate all your support and all your stories.

  7. WendycinNYC says:

    You can share with me, too. My life is boring — I’m up for hearing stupid stuff. Honestly, it would jazz up my day.

    How sad it THAT?

  8. Wisteria789 says:

    You can always text/email/call/smoke signal me as well. It is absolutely those little chats through the day that hit home the most. My mom always got more phone calls when I was single. I never wanted to subject friends, and I figured she was biologically required to listen.

  9. cindy says:

    *hugs* i freak out on you all the time
    and you’re always there for me. i’m here
    for you too, tho i totally understand what you
    mean.

  10. Briony says:

    I second everyone else. Lots of hugs to you.

  11. karen says:

    I came here today specifically to see how you are doing with the break-up, so no worries about over-sharing. I think you have already discovered that you have plenty of people who want to be there for you. I have never managed to keep a significant other for longer than a few months, but I do try to not treat my friends as boyfriends; I try not to make them listen to everything that runs through my head, while still sharing lots of things that happen. I try to tailor my comments to the topics each individual would be interested in. Sometimes I think the trouble is not in being a monogamist with your romantic partner, but rather in being a monogamist in friendships. Spread the love!

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