On This Day In 2009

Looking Back

On this day in 2009 I’d just announced that Claire and I had broken up after our seven year relationship. I attacked Virgil‘s omnia vincit amor (love conquers all), countering that our love for one another was not sufficient to prevent the difficulties we’d been having. That the breakup was among the most structured, carefully-negotiated, and amicable of I’ve ever heard detracted only a little from the pain of the ending of the romantic part of our relationship.

You’ll note that I’ve always been careful not to say that our relationship ended, because it didn’t. It changed: we transitioned (bumpily, and with difficulty) from a romantic relationship to a friendly relationship. You’ll also notice that I don’t use the term “just” friends unless that clarification is absolutely necessary (after all, why are friends “just” friends: what’s wrong with friends? – I’ve another blog post on this very topic under construction).

Looking Forward

It’s gotten easier, over this last year, to deal with the breakup: but it’s still hard. We had a huge place in one another’s lives, and that doesn’t simply evaporate. From my perspective, at least, I still feel at least a little bit “derailed”: like, if you asked me 18 months ago about where I’d be living now, or what I’d be doing, then I wouldn’t be able to say with any certainty that it would be this life I now have. That’s not to say I’m not happy: I’m enjoying what I’m doing now (although a little more free time wouldn’t go amiss!). It’s merely that I haven’t yet fully got used to the fact that I’m not quite living in accordance with the same plans that I used to have.

There are folks who’ve criticised our breakup, saying that we’d both have recovered from it better had we tried harder not to keep in contact, not to remain friendly, etc. I don’t know whether I agree or not – but I dispute that it would have necessarily been better. One thing that’s actually been really helpful over the last year (for me, at least, and I’d guess for Claire too) is that we’ve been able to get support from one another. That’s a remarkable and unusual thing: but then, we were a remarkable and unusual couple.

And isn’t supporting one another what friends do?

Getting better all the time. Sorry to mope.

This blog post is part of the On This Day series, in which Dan periodically looks back on years gone by.

2 replies to On This Day In 2009

  1. I think you both acted maturely and sensibly.

    It takes just as long, if not longer, to recover from a bad breakup than a negotiated breakup. I’d say two years (or more) for one where the break was not a friendly one.

  2. It’s nice to hear that, Judith. And yes, aside from the odd hiccup along the way I’m actually quite proud of how well we managed to deal with things.

    We couldn’t have managed so well without also having the support of our friends, family and partners though, so a sincere thank you to all those who made it that bit easier for us.

    Dan: I’d say it’s more like someone pulled a lever in the signal box without telling me beforehand, and now I’m on a different set of tracks! And now, before I enter into a metaphor about the Aber/Pwllheli train splitting apart unexpectedly and suddenly having to find the right carriage (or step off the train entirely)… I’ll just say I’m also still feeling it, but definitely doing better, and starting to enjoy making new plans.

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