Sunday, March 18, 2012

Breakup narratives

Penelope Trunk has written about how when you lose a job you need to create a narrative to explain what happened -- for potential employers but also, I believe, for yourself. It doesn't really matter what the reason is that you got fired for; it's just important to have a reason that makes sense to you, a way to learn from the experience and move on. Similarly, I feel the need to have a narrative for every breakup, something I can take from the experience that explains why it didn't work out and how I can avoid that in the future. Here are a few of my narratives:

  • l'Artista -- wonderful guy who I truly loved and who truly loved me, but utterly incapable of commitment (and ultimately very self-centered because of his fear of commitment). Had I been older when I first met him I probably would have been a lot smarter about recognizing that.
  • La Moustache -- a snake in the grass, a chameleon with no real personality of his own who transformed himself into the perfect boyfriend for me because that's what he wanted at the time, then transformed himself again when he wanted something else.
  • Dreamy -- a safe choice after my difficult experience with Moustache, but we were never on the same wavelength. Just generally not the right guy for me.
  • Doctor O -- a very interesting man, but ultimately his Asperger's would have made him a difficult partner. I was fascinated by him but never felt that comfortable with him.

Given the suddenness and lack of explanation for how things ended with Monkeyboy, it's been a struggle to come up with a narrative. Two weeks later, the explanation that makes the most sense to me is that he couldn't handle the conflicting emotions of feeling devastated at the loss of his friend and excitement about me. That part of him wanted a relationship with someone he felt intimate and connected to, but part of him didn't, or didn't feel capable of it, or was scared (he had a long relationship that ended a couple of years ago with someone who sounds more like a good friend than a real love). It's sad that he chose to respond by slamming the door on my face so completely that when I asked a few days ago if we could meet up and talk more about it he (kindly but firmly) said no. It's not every day you meet someone who you feel so good with, and it's sad to have it end this way.

Part of me wants to be more careful next time, given how hurt I was by him. But finally, I can't say I have any regrets. I do want a relationship with someone I feel intimate and connected with, and in order to get that you have to put yourself out there.

Who knows, maybe I'll feel just as good about one of the three dates I have lined up as I did about Monkeyboy.

No comments:

Post a Comment