The title for this post comes from the Mumford and Sons song, though considering my recent YouTube music consumption, a song from Hudson Taylor would also be appropriate, and arguably more so considering my ex-girlfriend introduced me to Hudson Taylor a few months ago.
I’m not sure how to begin. As I wrote in my last post, I’ve thought about writing about my relationship that ended just over a month ago, but after explaining the title I chose for this post I realized that I wasn’t sure what to say. It’s tempting to relate the title to the weather, which has been quite variable lately (bitterly cold, snowed and near 0°F early last week, warmed up to near 60°F this weekend, rained yesterday, around 35°F and windy today and some snow this evening), but I’ll try to resist the urge to digress too much. In hindsight, listening to the first episode of Not A Podcast, this podcast about A Song of Ice and Fire, seems like it might have been a mistake. Again, though, I could relate it to winter winds – or the long-awaited next book in the series, The Winds of Winter. Yet again, I digress.
I do remember that in late 2016 or very early 2017, during one of our frequent phone conversations over winter break, my ex asked a question. I don’t remember the exact wording, but she asked me something about getting married. I do remember that I said I had never really thought about it, which upset her and was not the right answer (presuming I wanted to not upset her). It was true that I had never given marriage much thought in the year and a bit we had been dating, but she was disappointed. I know at some point we made up before the start of the spring semester, and I’m not sure I remember the topic coming up again until the summer, maybe 7 months later. I feel like it probably did come up again, but maybe it didn’t.
Again, listening to the podcast while writing this has almost certainly distracted me. I want to sit and listen, but I also want to write, but I also don’t know what to write.
I know there were a couple days last week where I was really missing my ex. The start of the semester, in addition to reminding me of the beginning of previous semesters (particularly the spring semester of my freshman year of university), reminded me of the usual routine that my ex and I had, particularly last semester, but to a lesser extent I think most of our relationship. Fortunately, after a bad couple of days, I think the sadness passed a couple days ago. I can still be sad remembering the happy times, but I can also remember the times that I was less happy.
My now-ex had given me the ultimatum of proposing to her or breaking up. I said we could break up, since I never wanted to propose. I thought it was a relief that the argument was over, though we continued talking for a few days after we broke up. At one point I said that I was almost having second thoughts, and after the end of our phone conversation that night and giving it more thought, I decided that I had not changed my mind. I believe it was a few days later before (paraphrase) she said I was a jerk for making her think I had changed my mind, and not to talk to her unless I changed my mind or it was about getting her stuff (a few books and puzzles left at my apartment) back. At one point she told me about a coworker’s ex-husband that had apparently asked for her number, and I decided she was trying to make me jealous. My first thought when she mentioned that it was a coworker’s ex-husband was that he would be like 40, but since she said the coworker was 25, I revised my estimate to his being 25 plus or minus a few years.
We hadn’t talked for almost two weeks when she texted me a few days before her return from winter break that I could return her stuff the first day of class or whenever it was convenient, and that the sooner I returned her stuff the sooner we could completely cut ties. I thought the mention of completely severing ties seemed unnecessarily harsh. I think she called once or twice before returning from winter break. One time she called and asked if I was with someone. I said that I was sitting alone in my apartment, and she said she was asking if I was in another relationship. I told her I wasn’t, and I don’t remember the rest of that particular phone call. She might have just been telling me when I could return her stuff.
The night she returned from winter break, she called and said that she wanted to see me. Just like I used to, I picked her up from her dorm and we returned to my apartment. She said something and I started talking about how I had missed her. Her response was I should have asked what was wrong with her (which I think is quite valid) and my being selfish was why we weren’t going to be together. She then informed me that she had a new boyfriend, and that they had been together for a week. Over the course of the night, when she was telling me about him, I kept thinking that I was glad it was no longer my problem. That night, for example, she was upset because he was supposed to have seen her before she left that morning and he hadn’t talked to her all day, and I could only think that I was glad it wasn’t my problem.
When my ex had said she wanted to be together, I thought of a best case scenario and a worst case scenario. I didn’t think either was particularly likely. Considering I had refused to propose to her, I doubted she would decide to give in and be content with returning to our relationship as it had been. What actually happened was not what I had expected, since I hadn’t expected her to have another boyfriend already. Based on what she’s told me about her new boyfriend, I can’t say I’m too impressed. I know at one point last week I was feeling jealous, but I don’t think I am now. I’m just glad that it’s not my problem anymore, and from what she’s said she’s happy. She had mentioned being worried (before he finally did contact her that night) that he didn’t want to be with her anymore or something.
One night this past weekend she unexpectedly texted me that she was feeling lonely. While I was driving to pick her up, once again I thought of the highly unlikely “best case” scenario, as well as the most likely scenario. I’m certain the most likely scenario is what happened- I rubbed her feet and back, just like I used to when we were together, and we watched a documentary on Netflix. She said her boyfriend hadn’t talked to her all day despite her trying to call him that morning and she had seen (on the app they’ve been using to communicate) that he had been online after she tried calling him and again later in the day. Despite her asking if I had any plans for the next day (which I didn’t) and mentioning watching something on Netflix, she asked me later if I could take her back to campus before she called her boyfriend. I seem to remember thinking she might not have been expecting to go back to campus so soon.
The weather yesterday evening, as I wrote above, was cool and windy, and it started snowing while I was driving back to my apartment after my night classes. The rain early yesterday morning, like the rain and snow yesterday evening, reminded me of when we were together and would talk about good cuddling weather. Thinking about that makes me miss her, but I don’t know that I would want to be in a relationship with her again. There has been a void in my life that she used to occupy, but at the moment I’m quite content to recover and be single. Maybe in six months or a year I’ll consider dating and try to find another relationship.
I know I thought it seemed odd talking when she wanted to see me last week, and I was reminded of the ideas of “the friend zone” and “the gay best friend”, both of which probably have their problematic aspects. They’re not the most politically correct ideas, but I know that’s what I thought of. I wonder if some of the things she’s said were supposed to make me jealous, or if she was testing my reaction, or if she just needed someone to talk to. I’m not sure- and maybe it was a mix of all three.
I’ve written more than enough now (1517 words?!), and I imagine I’ll have more to write on this subject later.