We're Different, I Swear
Or maybe I'm just another generic letter, Papi
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This break up is my third in three years. Oddly, I feel like this cadence has helped me get the heartbreak reps in. I know how to tend to my heart, and time will certainly heal me, if I let it. But, honestly, I’m still hanging on.
We dated for a little over a year, and we made an effort to be honest with ourselves and each other about what we wanted. So it was not surprising, even if it was painful, when this lovely human kindly expressed doubts about her desire to be in any relationship. We started dating at the pivot point of many, many mid-life changes for her. In virtually all areas of life, she was (and remains) in flux. She felt she wasn't showing up the way she wanted to, and I wasn’t willing to be in a lopsided relationship.
There was no betrayal of trust, no withering of love. Just the two of us honestly assessing our needs.
Where I'm stuck is at the crossroads of hope and acceptance. We were both explicitly open to the possibility of getting back together if it serves us both. This is, of course, no guarantee, and I would want to talk deeply (potentially with a counselor present) about how it would be different. And there's no guarantee we'd get back together anyway. I hope for it. Frankly, I'm still in the
“pining for it” stage.
We are still in contact. Either of us can tell the other at any time that we need space, less contact, no contact. I've done that before , and I can certainly do it again if I need. It doesn't feel right, though.
This break up feels like a pile of cliches. She needs to find herself. I love her, so I'm setting her free, and maybe she'll come back, etc. After hearing about how we've navigated this and the reason for the break up, even my closest friends, the ones who I expected to yell at me for not going “no contact,” expressed some hope that we'll sort it out. It feeds my wishful thinking that we really are different from all of those other breakup stories.
I guess my question is this: Am I any different from the other breakup stories that land in your inbox? It seems like the prescription is the same because the hurt is the same. I'm unaccustomed to believing that I'm special, but on some level I do truly believe that this relationship was something extraordinary. Can you let me know?
Hey there, PG!
I’m going to be real with you. Are you the first queer woman to find herself in a gray area with another woman, one beset with yearning and occasional glimmers of hope bookended by stretches of utter despair? Absolutely not. The entire ¡Hola Papi! enterprise has been built on the sturdy foundation of women with complicated emotions for unavailable women.
Really hate to break that to you, but it is what it is. We built this city on mommy issues.
However, it’s true that every relationship is unique, each with their own contours and textures. I don’t mean that in the “we are all very special snowflakes” way. I mean that to a person in a relationship, that relationship holds truths and sentiments that no one on the outside of it would ever be able to fully comprehend, each one a little universe unto itself.
The emo kids in the ninth grade are right! No one understands!