Slowly your relationship transitions into a job. You feel yourself exerting more energy into the relationship than ever before. Yet you still feel a disconnect as you lie awake that night noticing his arm that is no longer curled around your abdomen. You try to recall the last time you truly laughed together. You try to remember the last time you spent more than 4 hours together without arguing. But you can’t. You can’t remember the last time you felt genuinely happy together. It seems as if every moment spent together is forced and awkward now.
But your mind holds onto the memories. The memories of the first date…the way he grabbed your hand while walking through the park. The day he sent you flowers just because. The moment you realized he truly believed in you. The day he wore the shirt you bought him to his big presentation. All of these moments are so vivid you find it too difficult to remember the more recent memories. Like the time he told you that being with you exhausted him mentally. Like the first night he didn’t stay the night because he had to be at work early. Or like the time he pulled away from your kiss. The night he missed dinner with your parents. All of this is overshadowed.
Suddenly the nights spent together become less and less. Your conversations become shorter and tenser. You find yourself walking on eggshells trying to avoid conflict. You go out of your way to show him that you care. You become overbearing. Showering him with text messages, presents, and home cooked meals. At this point you are giving every attempt to let him know that you haven’t given up. To let him know that the old days can come back.
How do you know when the relationship is over? How do you know when it’s time to admit defeat? To throw in your towel and admit to yourself that it isn’t going to work? Not this time.
I knew it was over when I realized that I loved the memories more than I loved the person standing in front of me.
I had idolized the person that he had been when we first started dating but resented the person that he had become.
That’s how I knew it was time to say goodbye.