Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Surviving the end of a long term relationship

Well, that's a loaded title and a half. If you hadn't guessed from that title, I recently left a long term relationship. I won't give you all the juicy details, but we were together 4 and a half years, lived together and he initiated the ending. Yeah....

As you can imagine, it's thrown me for a loop. The setup of my life has suddenly changed. The plans and future I was aiming for suddenly stopped existing.
I never really realised how intertwined our lives were until they weren't. 

Self identity:
To me, being with someone was a crucial part of my self identity. It gave me confidence and security that I've never had on my own. I haven't been single in nearly 5 years, thats a long fecking time.

Location:
I loved where we were living. It was a wee part of the country in drivable distance of cities.  The key word being drivable. Public transport did exist but poorly. So for work, instead I cycled. I would often have a lift from the ex or family for social things but I'd also avoid doing things after work because it was such a faff. It made me incredibly isolated and lonely at times.We were living there based on requirements for his uni course. 
But now? Now I'm back with my parents, 5 years after first moving out and it's a heck of an adjustment.

Friends: 
Leading on from that, you would expect a division in friends. For me, this didn't happen. We didn't have many(well none) mutual friends any more. I probably should have taken that as a sign.

Hobbies:
This is something Im really struggling with at the moment. Quite a few of the things I enjoyed were introduced to me by my ex. Part of me wants to avoid them at all costs but the truth is that would make me more miserable not less. It's a choice you have to make on an individual basis.

Intimacy:
This is a big one. I'm sorry if it grosses you out but it's just as important as everything else I've talked about. Essentially I have been with the same person so so so long. It's hard for me to sit here and imagine kissing any one else. It feels weird. 
Even stranger is my sexuality. It's not something that comes up a lot but I identify as bisexual. I always have. Yet it's often over looked because I was in cisgender long term monogamous Herero relationship. It's strange for me to recognise those feelings again after so long. At the end of the day, when I do start dating again it's not going to be simple. 

I debated writing this post, because of how personal I knew it would get. In the end, writing it helped me think things through and I hope it helps others.