First of all, thank you to everyone who emailed, called, or sent text messeges of support. I appreciate every kind word and thought.
I guess this is where I offer an explanation...
It didn't come out of nowhere. There were signs of waning along the way, some little, some significant. He initiated the break-up, but I agreed with everything and then some. I had been experiencing doubt for several weeks; I just didn't vocalize them to him. Let's backtrack.
I guess it began the night that Willow and I went to Bar K a couple of Fridays ago. It was just the two of us, until we started chatting with a couple of guys, one of which I set Willow up with. I got a little dressed up that night and felt sexier and more attractive than I had in a while. Which isn't to say that I didn't feel attractive around Ex David, but things had become a little too comfortable, a little too routine. Our interactions had grown somewhat predictable, which I fully acknowledge was my fault as much as his. However, that night with Willow and the guys felt like being single again. There was that exciting anything-can-happen atmosphere in the air. In fact, I could have hooked up with one of the guys from Bar K--there was definite interest--but I didn't.
I was proud of passing what I felt like was some kind of fidelity test. I thought it would strengthen my relationship with Ex David, but over the course of the next week, something strange started to happen. I started thinking about the men in my past-- not wondering what it would be like to be with them, but just recalling the passion I had with them, wondering if it would ever return to my current relationship. I also started thinking about Film Felix--I mean, I do pass the block he lives on nearly every day. I know Felix is more of a figment, a representation of the fantasy, the "what if," but I also know it wasn't a good sign that I was wondering about him again.
Film Felix wasn't my main focus, though. I thought of the stumbling blocks Ex David and I had. His acting aspirations were a real concern. While he had taken some time off, he was keen to return to the stage and I dreaded that day. He was briefly cast in a play a couple of months ago and I had a preview of the dent it made in his schedule. The way I saw it, in a worst-case scenario he would be a struggling and frustrated artist; in a best-case scenario, his time would be consumed with rehearsing and performing.
This ties into the next concern I had which was, sadly, money. Next year, I will finally have my college debt completely paid off and will be in a better position financially. Even though it will take me many years to accumulate, I have started setting aside money to buy a home. Ex David has a considerable amount of debt, which could take him a decade or more to pay off. In the long term, this could have become an issue. Short of a major windfall, it meant that if we had ever gotten married, his debt would have become my debt. Ex David never traveled much because he couldn't afford it, whereas that is something I love to do and spend money on, even if it means abusing my credit cards. Since he is against going into further debt with credit, we would not have been able to take a vacation together, at least not for a long time, whereas I'm already thinking about what exotic location I'll visit next year.
Speaking of location, Ex David and I live in different parts of city and are fiercely loyal to our respective boroughs. He finds my borough too suburban whereas I find his too chaotic and crowded. This would have been a problem further down the line if we had decided to move in together.
Two other issues were pets and kids. I look at all the dog owners in my neighborhood with extreme envy, and it killed me that Ex David was not only allergic, but refused to even entertain the idea of getting a hypoallergenic dog someday. He also seemed pretty uncertain about having kids, which is something I am becoming more sure of the older I get. I'm not looking to have a giant brood, but the idea of having a home five to ten years from now, one with a dog and a rugrat or two, is pretty appealing. Considering that Ex David is eight years older than me, if we were a good match, it would be part of his extended life plan by now, too.
There was also an overall decline in sparkage. I felt a bit like Ex David was taking me for granted, so I started making more plans with friends, and also found I enjoyed the time I spent on my own. At the same time, when we did see each other, we were bickering more and more, about ridiculous things (never in the history of the world has there been such a hostile discussion on the proper way to clean a wok). It was becoming increasingly apparent that we were on different wavelengths.
I didn't give up on things because, despite my reservations, I know David is a good man. And if it comes to choosing love or money, I will go with the former every time. I also didn't want to give up at the first sign of difficulty; I didn't want to be one of those people that chases that first euphoric buzz and then leaves when things get a little more settled and a little less exciting. However, I did see the end coming. Last week, when my parents said they'd like to have David over for dinner this weekend, I told them I preferred to visit alone. I held off on sending the RSVP card for Fuchsia's wedding next month, because in the back of my mind I wasn't sure if it would be two of us attending. So when we sat down to talk on Thursday and he said he wanted to break up, I wholeheartedly agreed. We just didn't have enough common interests or enough of a spark to sustain the relationship, and it ran its natural course.
Ultimately, Ex David decided that he needed someone who shared his involvement in theater and preferably someone closer to his age. Ultimately, I decided I need someone who is a bit more urbane, is pretty sure he wants to have a family someday (and pets!), and preferably someone more stable in his career. I also want passion that can be sustained longer than a few months. I know that in most cases it does fade over time, but I also know there's more out there for me. A lot more.
Our talk was calm and civilized, friendly and not the least bit heated. Even our hug goodbye was flat, it itself an indication of just how over things were. We are going to try to maintain a friendship after a suitable amount of downtime.
I didn't cry about it and still haven't.
Maybe I am numb, maybe it still hasn't hit me. I mean, I might have a big ol' breakdown tomorrow, but right now I'm not scared of the potential uncertainty and loneliness of being single again. Instead, I'm optimistic and looking forward to what is on the horizon. After all, the show must go on.