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Happy Anniversary

Do you remember anniversaries? Are there significant dates from your past that you remember every year, whether you want to or not? This morning I realized that today is the anniversary of my first date with my last girlfriend. We have long since broken up, but it will always be an important relationship to me. It doesn’t take much to get me reminiscing about the relationship, and this anniversary is definitely doing it.

I said in my first post of the new year that this year I am not going to spend so much time dwelling on the past, and I do want to stick to that. Remembering the past does not have to mean dwelling on the past, though. Sometimes looking back at where you’ve been can help help you see where you are now.

My first date with K was probably the best first date I’ve ever had. We had dinner and went to a ceili, a kind of Irish square dance. Ceilis would be our favourite date throughout the relationship. I remember dancing every dance and feeling exhausted by midnight when the ceili ended. I remember holding hands with her between dances, and sharing a nice hug in the parking lot as we said goodnight after planning our next date.

The relationship went very well for some time, and on the first anniversary of that first ceili date, I asked K to marry me. After hesitating for just a second, she said yes. There were definitely some challenges in the relationship (including the fact that she had three kids and we lived an hour apart), but we wanted it to work.

Fast forward another six months, and we have broken up. I remember that anniversary too: September 2. Have you ever broken up with someone you were still in love with? I believe we were still in love, but we just couldn’t be happy together. We wanted different things, and that didn’t look as if it was going to change anytime soon.

I remember feeling relieved for the first week, as the stress of .the relationship ebbed away. But then I realized the enormity of what had happened. In a year and a half I had gone from thinking I would be alone the rest of my life to thinking I had found someone to grow old with, and back to being alone again. I thought the weight of the disappointment and loneliness would crush me into the ground. I missed her so much it felt like a physical pain, an agony I could not escape. My heart was broken, for the second time in my life.

I didn’t know how I would survive the sadness and depression, but it was the fact that I had been through it all once before that allowed me to believe that I would make it again this time. Nothing I was feeling was new; I had felt it all several years before, for a woman I now know was totally wrong for me.

It has taken a long time, but the sadness has lessened to a small fraction of what it was. Perhaps it will never be gone completely. Songs that even six months ago were guaranteed to make me cry no longer have that power over me. I still feel angry with her sometimes, but even that is beginning to lose its energy lately. That’s good, because I need to forgive her for the things I have felt hurt about and let go.

I don’t feel nearly so lonely anymore, and in the last few weeks I’ve begun to really enjoy my single life again. I can do what I want when I want. I’ve seen how good a relationship can be, and I’ll try again some day. For now, I’m still feeling gun shy, and there’s no rush.

I learned a lot from this relationship, especially that I am still able to feel. Years of depression before this relationship had deadened my emotions, and had me wondering if I could fall in love again. I could, and maybe I can again.

But not just yet.

Be good to each other

J

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  1. February 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Hey, sounds like you are doing better. That’s great. Isn’t’ it strange that we both wrote about anniversaries today? Peace. Reg.

    • February 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      Great minds think alike, Reg.

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