Wednesday, October 10, 2012

relationship hangovers, geology class, and the concept of waste.

I spent my summer single. I didn't go on dates, I didn't do much of anything except work, read, drink and -- unfortunately -- come home to The Ex every night.

That's right - we broke up in May, but he didn't move out until September 30.

It's a long story why, but I'll save you the head scratching and just say that yes, it was terrible and awkward and basically felt like one really long hangover. You know the hangover I'm talking about - the one where you wake up and think "Jesus, why did I think making out with him/riding that mechanical bull/taking eleventy billion tequila shots was a good idea?" Except it was a person, and I was looking him in the face every day and wondering, "Jesus, how did we ever get along well enough to date? For over a year? To move in together?"

But I suppose those answers are neither here nor there. 

The weird thing about living alone now is not that I suddenly miss him - I don't - it's that I feel this weird sense of confusion, like I've wasted a lot of time, somehow.

The thing about dating someone for a long time is that it's like taking a course in another human being. You learn their likes and dislikes, what makes them tick, what they dream about, where they're going, and what they're afraid of. You learn all these little details, their ins and outs so to speak. When you're together, it's great - you feel like the only person in the world who could know this much about them, who can speak with authority on them - but when it's over, it feels useless, and part of you doesn't want it to be.

Ending a serious relationship with someone feels like getting an A in a geology class when your major is English.

When it's over, you're left wondering: Was it a waste? Wasn't it? You got the experience, you learned a lot, but to what end? Was it worth it? 

What I'm trying to say is: What do you do with all that knowledge about your ex? You can't use it in your next relationship, but you can't just forget it either. No one else wants to hear about it, and I wouldn't share it with anyone anyway. No matter how badly the relationship ended, I just think there are some things that should be left sacred, between the two.

So what do you do?


  1. i don't think it's a waste and i also think that some of it can be applied to future relationships. you didn't just learn things about that other person but also things about yourself. you learn what you like in a person and what you'll tolerate. you learn what you don't like in a person and what you can't handle. and i think it's those things that are worth the experience. they make the relationship worth while. no one needs to know the nitty gritty details, some things should stay private, but i don't think it's a total waste. there is definitely valuable information, you just have to decide what that is.

  2. I remember those days. And yes, I remember asking myself that very question. But it turns out every one of those experiences shapes us. I wholeheartedly believe that.

  3. I just married him, lol. But seriously, I think it's just time. You're a strong lady & I know you'll pull through & come out even better.

    Also, tequila shots.

    (BIG HUG!!!!)

  4. Stumbled across your blog by hitting the 'next blog' button from mine.
    It's a interesting question, what do we do with that knowledge/experience? As a geezer much closer to 70 than 60 I think it's no difference in that respect than any other life experience. It shapes us, for better or worse, we are the sum of our experiences, and what we do with them. There is a value, I think, of getting to know someone else well; we get out of ourselves, and see the world through other eyes, even if we don't agree.
    I have three kids, the youngest probably around your age. It's both fascinating and scary to me to see them work through these issues. Good luck to you.


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