I mentioned before that when my relationship wasn’t making me miserable, it was wonderful. It was that way for over three years. Something was always coming up between us, some strange emotional dissonance. Looking back, I think that I just didn’t know how to love her, and I didn’t know how to handle my feelings for her. It all felt like I had a firehose of emotion, but had to limit it to filling a little glass, drop by drop.It became too much, and we split up. Kind of. We were technically split, and we both dated other people, but we were still in touch all the time.God, it was weird. I didn’t know what to make of it. Eventually I realized that I wanted to be dating her again. Luckily for me, that was right around the time that I transferred to the same school as her to finish my engineering education. It was rough and rocky, but we got back together.I had one more year to go, and she graduated. By that time, things between us were better than they had ever been, and I was happier than I had ever been with her. That’s when she moved to the east coast for graduate school.
That was the end of it. I saw her as a lover once more a few weeks after she left the west coast, when I went to visit her.
The next time I saw her was the most difficult 24 hours of my life. She came back to visit some people on the West Coast. I saw her, and I could hardly talk. I could hardly stop shaking. I didn’t sleep that night. She was here, and all I knew was that I wanted her with me, and she wasn’t. It was really over, and it hurt more than I knew anything could.
After she left I did what any self-respecting young man would do in that situation, I withdrew into myself and became depressed.
I did this for the next two and a half years. Oh, I was great at functioning; I had a new job, friends, good times, but beneath that I was full of pain and frustration, and I still missed that ex-girlfriend. The few girls that anything happened with in these couple of years were through social circles, and they were mostly by accident. I was so in the thick of it that I missed oppurtunities with great girls that were right in front of me. One in particular, I could have loved so easily, and probably did in my own way. I just didn’t let myself.
After two and a half years, I was ready to be past it. Between Christmas and New Year’s, I asked my ex-girlfriend to see me. We talked, and I brought up the unresolved emotions that I was still tightly holding on to, but so desperately wanted to let go of. It was cathartic, and I finally was able to let go of some of the bad emotions I was holding so tightly to all the time.
It was a relief. I was free. I was free of the things that I had held onto, that I had let hold me down, and hold me back. I was ready to meet new people, date new girls, and move on.
That’s when I realized something. I had no idea how to do that.
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