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My last official relationship was in 2011. That sounds a lot scarier when I actually typed it out. Since that breakup, I’ve casually dated guys but haven’t gotten into anything that even resembled a relationship because I was still hurt for a long time.Then I moved to New York and discovered how hard it is to date here and in the “real world” in general. It’s really easy to date someone you go to school with because you see them all the time. In my life now, I barely have time to shower everyday so I definitely don’t have time for a boyfriend.
But in November, an old friend from home popped back into my life. He lives a few hours away and comes into the city every now and then so we started talking and made plans to catch up when he was in town. I didn’t realize that this re-connection would become something that I actually wanted to sustain. I’ve been anti-relationship for so long that I didn’t think I’d want to be with him.
Long story short, we became very close, started seeing each other when we could and were talking all day everyday without labeling what it was. We were basically in a non-relationship-relationship.
Well…last night we had a sort of “define the relationship” talk because I was tired of feeling like I was wasting my time falling for someone if it wasn’t going to become anything. I mean, we’ve been in this limbo stage for nearly five months. That’s a long time!
We came to the conclusion that he definitely does not want a relationship for an indefinite period of time. But he still wants to keep talking and seeing each other, which is where I have a problem. Why put myself in a situation to continue this with someone I really like and care about if it’s not going to turn into an actual relationship?
Last night I agreed that I wanted to keep doing whatever it is we’re doing. But somewhere between waking up with mascara on my pillow case and arriving at work this morning, I realized that it’s too hard to do that.
I essentially just got dumped without being in a relationship in the first place. And friends have told me “You weren’t even dating!” but it doesn’t make this suck any less. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel the same things I felt during a so-called “real” breakup. It doesn’t mean I’m not sad and hurt and disappointed. I’m all of those things.
I want to wallow. I want to curl up and dip Oreos in Ben & Jerry’s and watch sad movies and cry and live in my sweatpants for a week. I want to take the time to be upset because even though I wasn’t in a relationship, I still ended something with someone that I’ve shared a chunk of my life with.
In these situations, you have to take the same steps that you would if you had a “real” breakup. Take the time to be sad, that’s okay. Surround yourself with your friends and stay busy. Do things that you love to do. Try not to have contact unless it’s absolutely necessary. Don’t Facebook stalk.
And don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not allowed to be upset. You are. I think these days, the “kind-of relationship” is really common. The breakups still suck. It doesn’t make it any less legitimate than your friend who broke up with her boyfriend.
And you’re allowed to eat as much Nutella as it takes to feel better.
Have you ever ended a kind-of relationship? How did you deal with it? Did it feel like a “real” breakup? Tell me in the comments!