Monday, August 17, 2009

Heartbreak

It is a known fact that if one has a friendship with an ex-boyfriend, it is bound to be strange. My relationship with Rob is no exception. It's been well over a year since we broke up and nearly a year since he told me that he was gay. I have certainly experienced a wide range of in relation to him. However, yesterday brought to light a strength that I didn't know I had - the ability to be a good friend to him once again.

I was on the phone with my aunt, who was telling me about her hangover, when I got a message from Rob. It said, "Matt broke up with me." They have been dating for eight months and I know their relationship meant(means) a lot to Rob. I was pretty stunned, and for a lot of reasons. First, it is never not shocking to hear of friends' relationships ending. It becomes a piece of their identity, who you know them as, and then suddenly that piece is cut out. Second, Rob and I didn't talk a whole lot about that new part of his life. But suddenly he felt compelled to initiate a conversation. I asked him if he wanted to hang out and he said yes, so we met up and walked down to the beach. Normally I feel like I have to walk on egg shells when a friend is in such a fragile state, but this was a whole new dimension of apprehension on my end. Not only is Rob a friend but he is an ex-boyfriend, who I was supposed to console. It was difficult and I really didn't know what to say. He told me what had happened and how he felt, and I listened, which is what I think he needed.

At some point, he randomly apologized for our break up and how he had handled things. But I told him that that wasn't necessary. He did what he needed to do, and even though it broke me, I now understand that it was what he needed to do. I firmly believe that in emotional moments like these, we can't ever make sense of what we are going through. In fact it took me many months and tissues to 'get it,' and in my case, I don't think it was a matter of getting over him but understand why. When I did it was like my mind and my heart were suddenly set free, released from all that they were subjected to. Now it feels like a distant memory. The important thing is that time has given me the ability to rationalize all that I experienced. This was all the advice that I felt like I could offer. Of course, in that moment of sorrow, it's not all too comforting.

What I found particularly liberating for myself, was that fact that I was able to act as a friend in the most genuine fashion. Had the circumstances been different, it's possible that I would have revelled in the karma of it all. But I can't bring myself to do that. I do truly care about his happiness, and felt the same way for him as I did the last time a close friend of mine got her heartbroken. I feel like this situation was test for my heart, which I have passed with flying colors. I also feel that everything about my relationship with Rob will forever change how I conduct myself post-break up. I have changed immensely in that respect and for that I am forever indebted to him.

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