Tag Archives: break-ups

The New Post-Relationship World

There’s a couple that have been long prominent in Vancouver’s web community, and last night came the heart-breaking news that they’re ending their marriage.

How did the news reach us all?

They both changed their Facebook relationship status to “…from married to single” within moments of each other, and with one simple “Yes, it means what you think it means”, the cat was out of the bag and their entire friend/peer community knew.

Gone is the era in which they’d have to have uncomfortable dinners or stilted conversations with one friend after another after another, gently breaking the news that their friends are gonna take hard, making them feel even shittier for having a marriage fall apart.

Now, boom, everyone knows. Just like that.

It’s terrible, in a way, the idea we can all receive so quickly and casually such perspective-shifting news affecting people who have genuinely touched most of our lives.

There’s something disjointed about reading one small system-generated line of “X has changed their relationship status from married to single” among a newstream filled with political news and shared videos of a cat dancing.

These “small” tidbits about our changing lives float in “newsfeeds” now, as if they’re just another piece of fascinating trivia we’re supposed to digest while we absently surf the web in sneaky moments on the job, or distractedly click through those social sites where we just vicariously absorb the coolness of others’ lives.

Facebook isn’t just a revolving door of meaningless status changes. It really is a way to keep us all connected.

In all the nauseous sadness that came with the suspicion that, yes, those two relationship status updates really did mean what they looked to mean, I thought “Thank god they can tell everyone so easily now.”

Dissolving a marriage? Oh, my god. I can’t imagine the shattered illusions and sadness that comes from having to admit it’s over, the horror and fear that comes from making the first step to end the possibility of all those dreams you once made together, the feeling of perverse betrayal and anxiousness at telling friends and families the union is over.

It’s unquestionably going to be one of the worst weeks in the lives of both of those people. And here, bang, pow, all of a sudden they have everyone in the know, offering support, and just saying, “We’re so sorry, we understand, we’re here.”

As if any message could mean more to either of them today.

Say what you will about the flash coolness of the internet and how detached it makes us from each other — always plugged in via vicarious tidbits, thus able to stay comfortably at arms’ length while we busily carry on with our modern mad lives — but there are times like these the internet is like a lifeline thrown to troubled souls.

Never has it been easier to rally the support of those who love you, or to just put a desperate plea for understanding, help, or time out to those best able to deliver.

As a society, we need to learn to share more with each other, to use each other as crutches through hard times, and we have to learn how to react when our friends express themselves.

I’m sad for my peers today, for what they’ve lost, and for what I know they face in the coming year as they try to re-find their place in their newly-single worlds, but I’m very glad their choice of being plugged into an online community (that has really strong roots in real life, locally, too) will get them through this time with support and love.

That’s the power of the internet — it holds the ability to unite us, inform us, and keep us tuned into every passing minute… not just globally, but interpersonally.

It’s a good power. A life-changing, life-saving power.

Yes, I’m sad for my friends today, but I’m proud of them for having the courage to know when it’s time to change things. What a difficult, but important step. I’m happy to know they have friends who swear they’ll be there, I’m glad to know they have a place to ask for help.

It’s a strange new world, friends.

And then there was None

Well, I’m single now. We pulled the Band-aid off and decided things just weren’t working.

As far as break-ups go, this was the best I’ve probably ever had.

It’ll be hard for me to be friends, I suspect, since I’m not really the one who quit the relationship. He was trying really hard to keep his shit together after he shattered his leg in March, but losing all your mobility and being introduced into a life where you have near-constant pain and chronic exhaustion tends to take a lot out of you emotionally.

Having been injured far too often last decade, I know this. I relate all too well. That, in many ways, made the past two months even harder. I wanted to be angry at him for pulling back, I wanted to resent him. I just couldn’t. I understand. It’s why I was so broken-hearted when I learned that morning that he’d broken his leg so severely. I knew the guy I was falling for was probably going to disappear for a long time. I’m just surprised it took a couple months to happen.

The relationship started wonderfully. It was so promising, full of future. Then, literally a bad break. Why fate intervenes as it does, I’ll never know. It just does. I can’t sit around in sadness and loss about this, because it is what it is: Dumb fuckin’ luck.

I don’t typically stay friends with exes. I’m making an exception. I also don’t tend to get back involved with exes, but in this case, I’m keeping a very open mind. On paper, we were obvious. Meant to be together. Even after we decided to break up, we were on the phone for an hour, just chatting.

Bad injuries can break a bit of your soul. Life becomes struggle. Too many people have never experienced the hardness brought on by a lack of freedom, lack of mobility, and constant pain. It really robs you of something, and it can really fuck with your psyche, too. This time, it did.

But, hey. He knows I care. I know he cares. We just can’t be what we want to be, and I can’t wait any longer. He doesn’t want to hurt me any more than this already has. It’s a respect thing.

Sometimes, moving on’s the best thing you can do. But I’m glad we’re keeping an open mind. Finding a real, passionate connection’s a rare thing in this shallow fucking world, and writing something like this off because fate played a hand, well, I’m too much of a romantic to just do that. Deciding to move on has been a long time coming.

Part of why I haven’t been writing as well as I’d like to have been doing is because I’ve been biting my tongue. So much of this has troubled me so deeply for so long that I’ve just felt unable to share it, because I knew he was having such a hard time already, and I didn’t want to bring any more negativity to the plate, or make it harder for him. In so doing, I took more bruising than I maybe should’ve done.

But now it’s done. Now the future’s decided, a path of action has been declared.

I was at a thingie last night and had a couple of those “moments” where you can tell the guy’s really digging you, you know? It was strange, because I felt like I was cheating on The Guy even though I’d sort of decided to end it today already. Maybe there’ll be a re-learning curve on this. He says he won’t be looking for relationships in the hiatus, but that I’m entitled to do anything I want, given that I wasn’t the one who pulled up anchor a couple months back. It’s nice to have that understanding expressed.

Having this resolved comes at a good time. There’s a potential that I’m going to spend some money I shouldn’t spend, and get the fuck out of dodge for a weekend. I’ve found out that there’s a scooter rally in Wine Country this coming weekend, and for a hundred or so bucks, I can have a great three days of fun with people who are positive, zany, intelligent, daring, and adventurous. Exactly the qualities I’m looking for in new people.

Am I going to sit around and be celibate as I hope that maybe I’ll get back together with this guy I really like? Absolutely not. I’m not going to sleep around, but I’ll see if some connection can be found somewhere. I have to presume things may never re-ignite, tragically, but I’m also hoping that being back on the market will remind me of what I might’ve had, and keep that desire awake a little.

Man, got to tell you, some days I really miss being six years old. It was all so simple, wasn’t it? Is it any wonder everyone gets felled with an early-20s depression as they realize everything’s just gotten infinitely more challenging?

Pity I have nothing to drink, but that’s probably a good thing. I do, however, have a roach I can smoke. I feel a little toying with dope coming on in my new future. A little bender can’t really hurt.