Tag: break ups

a ceramic edge

The significant detail as revealed by my lover –

Was faced with a mid life dilemma the other day.

Oh? What’s that?

Wondering if I can start all over again and how I’d feel or manage that.

Why would you do that?

We may move to another country, start afresh. Maybe not in six months’ time but thereafter …

What would be the impetus for the move?

My wife’s job.

So there we have it. He’s telling me in not so many words that what we have together is for fun right now, only now. It’s impermanent because the future depends on his wife.

But I already knew that – the fun I want is to pretend that we are in love with each other. Or even simply that we can’t bear to be apart from each other. I want the whole caboodle of being in love, romance, good sex of course, and then the break up. As I told Sebastien the other evening – it’s a kind of self harm I indulge in – dating the unavailable man. Not the deliberately cruel type. But the ones who warn me beforehand that they’re already spoken for, or damaged, or have a history of commitment phobia. I love giving my heart away to these types because I crave that pain that comes when our affair must end.

It’s temporary because the nature of our coupling, when we manage to come together, as it were, does not call to angels up on high. The satisfaction, the velocity that impels a lost generation to languish on my shoulder and then be wiped away with a Kleenex after we’d recovered from our climax is very much entrenched in the here and now. My lover is nothing if not assiduous in his need and I a willing supplicant. Mea culpa I acknowledge when he tells me that his wife thinks I am but an idiot.

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Goodbye Max

This morning we said goodbye – instead of letting the relationship limp to the end we bravely agreed to quash the sexual side of things, settling instead on remaining friends.   Yes, it may be difficult but possible, if we only met in future on neutral ground and didn’t share a bed, perhaps not seeing each other for a bit until some time had passed.  We both set out the terms and smiled unflinchingly at each other.  We were having breakfast together, he must’ve have been feeling quite all right as he managed two helpings of coco pops whilst I had green tea.   We held each other’s hands for a little while, acknowledging the finality.   By then we were both a lot more composed.  When we woke in the morning things had been just a little different.  I was already aware that the end was approaching over the last fortnight.  Still, we’d had a really enjoyable date the day before – going on a foraging walk, taking a turn off the beaten path, crossing a brook a number of times before going home to prepare dinner together and playing some Scrabble where M was sorely beaten (a second time).   We had both been exhausted when we went to bed.  We awoke almost at the same time just before eight o’clock.

It began with tentative kisses but the doubt was at the back of my mind and like an itch that must be scratched or a hangnail asking to be picked I asked a question and the answer was a hint that this might be the beginning of the end.  So, lying in bed companionably the goodbye kisses became more passionate and the surge of emotions caused tears to well up and I had to get out of bed to clear my head.  It wasn’t totally unexpected but all the same I’d had that little cry.  He was quite a sweet man but not suitable for the long haul I’d known.  He said I’d had a near miss and we began the discussion which led inevitably to the end.  It felt mature and considerate – we were two very nice people who didn’t want to hurt each other.

The sun was up and the sky a beautiful blue that morning and I felt the incongruity of this civilised break up.  Please tell me a joke, I pleaded.  When I’d blown my nose in the bathroom and composed myself I went back to bed and we held each other.  I knew that letting M glimpse this vulnerability in me was going to excite feelings of tenderness in him.  Still, my pride would not let me be pitied and I demanded a dignified break-up.   We considered the opposite scenario – if he’d declared undying love I would’ve had the burden of gently letting him down, so however broken-hearted I might have felt, it came as a relief that this relationship had run its course.

The men I’ve picked over the last year have been commitment-phobes, either already in primary relationships themselves or never lived with anyone (like Max) or only been in very short, light liaisons.   The cycle of beginnings and endings continue and I take comfort with each heartbreak that I was right to be wary because there are no fairytale endings in real life.

A funny thing happened on the dating site

It was time to reply to those messages from the boys who have got in touch with Amy over the week.   One of these was Henry, a freelance journalist who had been one of Amy’s favourites towards the end of last year but then dropped out of the picture completely.  At the time, she was still smarting a little over the break up with R and was determined not to appear too keen. Henry had then thought that she was not that in to him and decided not to be a nuisance.  They had stopped seeing each other, believing the other would make the next move.

So, late that Wednesday evening Amy sent a short and light hearted text to Henry asking how he was and if he fancied meeting up to catch up after such a long time, etc…  At 9am the following day, whilst Amy was having breakfast, she heard the ping of a message and sure enough it was Henry being apologetic for not keeping in touch but also enthusiastic about seeing her again.

When they met up he told her that he had taken a break from dating since their last encounter, being inundated at work with deadlines and new projects which saw him travelling as often as twice a month on week-long trips.  He anticipated a lull over the next few months and during that time they began seeing each other again, sometimes as often as twice a week, and occasionally for breakfast when work picked up and he was unable to see her in the evening.  Henry did not seem fazed when Amy told him about the new dating site she’d joined and how she’d created two profiles of women who were opposites of each other – one was a free spirit and into non-monogamy whilst the other wanted a soulmate within a conventionally exclusive relationship.  The former insisted that the men who wanted to meet her should not be jealous types whereas her alter ego practically confessed to being a potentially bunny boiling obsessive.  Of course the free spirit received more messages than the soulmate seeker despite the latter having a more attractive profile photo.

One evening, the monogamous mademoiselle, Ellie, received some messages from Henry which she had initially assumed was just light-hearted banter, believing that he knew Ellie was really Amy:

Henry: How hot is your bunnyboiler pot tonight?

Ellie: Hell hath no fury hot

Henry: Wow! That’s good, I prefer a quick end to a lingering simmer. Any herbs or flavourings for me?

Ellie: You have no bunnies as I recall … will legal owl taste good in my pot?

Henry: I’ve been a vegetarian for 37 years so prefer if that could be respected in my final moments? Glad (if a tad surprised) you are thinking about legalities at this point.  Does your bb warning put men off or excite us for a challenge do you find?

Ellie: Excited a few sufficiently to make enquiries. One chided me for making dating me sound problematic. teehee

Henry: And is it problematic? Have you met many? We are a 97% match and 0% enemy so scarily similar in our replies but what we write is pretty different!!

Ellie: Hmm MsEllie appears to be a contradiction. An enigma I’ve created. Who is the real me … It is problematic for the faint hearted. I met a Spaniard with aquamarine eyes but alas he was large and had smokers’ breath so I kissed him chastely and dropped him off at a tube station

Henry: Poor Spaniard with aquamarine eyes, or lucky to have escaped your pot and find another. You’re appealing to my adventurous side – want a drink this evening?

Ellie: Chez Ellie is child free this evening. Might you find your way there if you dare risk the bb pot?

Henry: Where do you live, madamoiselle?

Ellie: north London

Henry: c’est assez grande nord londres et c’est beaucoup de femmes a chercher pour te trouver

Ellie: ah well

Henry: quelle postcode ou quelle village? Je suis a Dalston.

Ellie: Finchley 

Henry: What’s your real name?

Ellie: Ms Ellie

Henry: Where would you like to meet?

Ellie: Chez Ellie

Henry: Where is that? You seem similar to someone nice I met! Are you!?

Ellie: you knew that, you numpty!

It wasn’t until two weeks later that Henry confessed to Amy that he had really been hoping to meet up with “Ellie”, not realising initially she was the same woman as Amy and felt foolish that he had been caught flirting with her.   Amy in turn felt foolish that she hadn’t guessed that Henry was sincere in his overtures towards Ellie.  Whilst they both dined out on this story, nevertheless Amy had felt a twinge of jealousy that Henry might want to meet (and shag) other women besides her.  You, reader might quite rightly think this was rich coming from someone who had herself been sleeping with upwards of ten different men in the past fortnight but the fact was that during their entire dating relationship Amy had been the only woman Henry had slept with (or so he had told her) and she was wary of how introducing another woman or two into the dynamic might affect his feelings for her.

Moreover, as one of her friends pointed out – perhaps Henry was merely dallying with her whilst being on the lookout for “the One” – the thought had crossed Amy’s mind before but it had been a tad too upsetting for a number of reasons – she doubted she was capable of sustaining a long term relationship in the light of her past failures and getting too attached to just one man could add a lot of unnecessary stress to that relationship leading to an eventual break up.  Her formula of polyamory seems to be working at the moment and she was just a little reluctant to change it.  Now, though, now that it would appear that Henry might want to meet other women besides her, this has caused Amy to pause and reflect on her dating strategy.

walking away … looking back

you asked me just the other day

were you a different person then?

yes:

all that time we were together

me living under your shadow

i’d put you on that plinth

so of course

you fell.

til,

in the end ’twas an easy choice

when all we had left

was bitterness

and bile;

i left

though some part

of me was quietly hoping

you felt the same – would ask me back

so that together we might start all over again.

only,

i waited and waited

and you never did.

now i see at last

I’m not that girl any longer

ten years have since passed

today i’m a little stronger.

This foolish old heart that loves and breaks again and again!

One by one, my friends all counsel me

Why do you give him the time of day?

I don’t, really – I protest weakly.

does my heart, my thoughts, my face betray?

We see you waiting, hoping he’ll ring

you sit with us but your mind’s astray

ears strained for that SMS ping!

a text from him to take you away.

you wait and wait forever it seems

though you come out for tea and dances

you have that look of passion’s sweet dreams

of love and fairy tale romances …

But no message, no call, nothing from my lover

and soon I come to my senses – it’s all over.

Dear John – the 2nd irishman

She was already sitting at the back of the pub when he got out of the taxi. From where she was, she had a direct view of the entrance and beyond that the Seven Dials. It was still light at half past seven. He was tall with a full silver head of wavy hair. It was already beginning to thin a little at the top but that was not surprising given his 55 years.

He scanned the pub but did not see her in the dark corner. He approached the bar and ordered. He was wearing a stripy T-shirt and soft brown loafers. She watched him reach into the top of his jeans pocket for his mobile phone. She had left him a message to say where she was. He looked around again, then his eyes rested on her and his face lit up straightaway.

Hello darling, so good to see you again. He had a medium to bass tone of voice with a trace of an Irish lilt. Her ears tingled every time she heard him speak. It infected the rest of her which remained taut with anticipation.

They kissed continental fashion and at the last kiss on her left cheek, he drew her into his embrace, ducked his head down and breathed in the scent of her soap and body lotion which lingered on her neck and shoulders. It was a mild September evening and she could smell the musk like male scent on his upper torso, she being considerably shorter than him despite her high heels.

She smiled her hello and looked up full into his eyes. They were a pale blue, almost grey with a sombre depth to them. And at that searching stare, his lips broke into a smile, revealing crooked upper teeth. The intensity of his emotion was too much for her and she turned away, quickly sinking into her club chair. He drew the one next to it close to her and without taking his eyes off her sat down and took hold of both her hands at the same time. She felt the couple at the next table staring at them and burned with embarrassment.

He was oblivious to everyone else, it was clear, as he continued to gaze at her. Her head was now bent low and releasing one of her hands, clasping it in his other, he lifted her chin up. Hers was an expression of sobriety and she continued to avert her eyes. Picking up her drink she attempted to bring a measure of normality to the tense situation and asked him how he found the journey into the West End. He had to release his hold on her. He leaned back into his chair and there was a long pause.

He did not answer her question and instead returned it with his own – What’s the matter? I sense something has changed.

Yes, I’m sorry.  It was going to be a long evening as she thought of how she was going to end this short liaison which had only begun the previous week with a few titillating emails and messages. The thing that sealed the end of the relationship as far as she was concerned had been his last words to her one morning after the night before – See you again babe.  Did he even remember her name or could she have merely been any one?  She took a deep breath and began:

I think … this has been a huge mistake.