What a beautiful, candid letter. A mix of emotions rose up; eyes watering and a smile pinching at my cheeks; thank you for your honesty.
I didn’t expect us to get to where we are now so soon. It’s been a rough few months, hasn’t it? Breaking up (unknowingly) just before a global pandemic was never going to be easy. Too many tears and painful phone calls. Only in the past few days have we reached a state of calmness, though – fortunately – not indifference as I expected. To be able to call and text without the worry of giving mixed signals or bringing up old feelings is a welcome relief. We’re learning how to be friends and holding on to this love we have for one another, isn’t that special?
I feel this forced space and time between us has been both a blessing and a curse. Quarantined apart, this isolation has afforded time to acclimatise to life without each other, and I feel this has been good for both of us. As comforting as it was cuddling on the sofa before I left, I felt we could quite easily have continued falling in and out of our half-relationship – and I wonder if we would have ended things feeling bitter and resentful?
There have been moments over the past few months when I’ve thought I’d made the wrong decision; all I wanted to have was a kind man and there you were; pining for me to come back to you. It took a fraught discussion with my counsellor to realise the distance in a global pandemic was bound to bring you and me closer. ‘These are uncertain times,’ as the saying goes and we’re not under the same roof – this means no bickering over how to carve a chicken and no sleepy mornings because the other was restless in the night. We could have decided to give it another go, to return to our coupledom and hide the issues under the bed. And there they would stay for a week, a few months, six? But I’m sure we’d see the same issues poking out from under the bed frame.
A relationship is between two people, so too is a breakup. On one of our many phone calls, I was heartbroken to hear that you’ve been blaming yourself. We both could have done things differently and as I’ve told you before, fertility problems have brought my future plans of building a family into sharp-focus and I stand by this being one of the reasons for the end of our relationship. Your depression has always caused you to belittle yourself, distrust yourself and question your actions. I said it on the phone, and I’ll say it again: you have been the best boyfriend I’ve had. I’m so pleased to hear you’re feeling more positive about yourself and how you want to be perceived. Not that it really matters what others think of you, but you will continue to reap the rewards for working on yourself.
I truly believe we have a very long life of friendship ahead of us. You make me laugh so much and are the first person I want to call when something big happens. Let’s continue to allow this to happen, please.
No matter how our future looks, please know that I love you too and I’ll always be here for you.