I’ve made significant changes to myself and my life, and improved a lot of things in a lot of ways. Unfortunately, bad things can happen.
In July, my boyfriend decided to leave me to focus on his career. He was always career-focused so I accepted that I wouldn’t see him much. I also knew that he would need to call me around his meetings and that he would often be tired. I truly loved him, admired his ambition, and accepted this as part of the package. Positive qualities often accompany negative qualities and more often than not, you can’t have one without the other. To this end, I tried to demand less of his time, accepted that he was often too tired and busy to talk to me, and relaxed with him on the weekend. He often fell asleep with his head on my lap.
Of course, there is always more to the picture. After a failed engagement he was afraid of commitment. He also avoided negative emotions and emotionally difficult situations. This could be because he was born into a family were emotions and affection were rarely expressed. Most of the time these issues were latent and hidden. All of these issues came to a head when his career and our relationship collided.
He wanted to move to Qatar to acquire a particular promotion and reach his potential. I would have followed him and I would have done almost anything to keep our relationship intact. Unfortunately, following him to Qatar would have been difficult. If you are not a native-Qatari, most jobs require years of experience and are poorly paid. Another problem is that only married couples can live together in Qatar and the only other job he would consider fell through. Being successful was a key part of his identity so he didn’t want to settle for a less prestigious or lower paid job. He didn’t know whether he would have time to visit the UK and the prospect of sadness and loss was weighing on his mind. We had no idea if he would be able to visit. The possibility that he might be able to visit was still there, so I didn’t think our relationship was doomed. In contrast, he thought that we were setting ourselves up for disappointment. Ultimately, he decided to end our relationship, both to focus on his career and to avoid potential disappointment.
On the surface, in almost every moment, he was encouraging, generous, humble, positive, reliable, inspiring and ambitious. He was an amazing boyfriend, invested in me and inspired me to no end. I loved him like I had never loved anyone before. I loved everything about him, including the things he didn’t love about himself. His balding head was nice to massage, his growing belly was a comfortable cushion, and his mouth with its yellowing teeth was perfect for kissing. I loved him infinitely and absolutely. Every moment with him was a blessing and looking at him was a gift.
When he left, existing seemed like agony. For the week I did nothing but cry and sleep. I remained alone in bed and barely ate. In the first month, I experienced no joy. Food lost its taste, music was empty and uninspiring and nothing was fun. The desire to avoid further pain was the only thing that motivated me. Despite this, I couldn’t let him go. I occasionally messaged him to express my suffering. My suffering seemed like the only thing I had left of us and I was reluctant to cut him out and let it go. I would imagine dying in my sleep. It seemed easier than being alive. Other times, I would imagine dying and returning to an earlier time in our relationship. Visiting him in Doha was the happiest time in my life and it is hard to imagine that I will ever be happier. It took over two months for me to let go and feel hope. I believe that I can be happy again, but I still think the happiest time in my life is in the past.
Around a month after he left me, one of my pet ferrets died, and my dissertation deadline loomed in the distance. My dissertation didn’t go as well as I hoped and I graduated into one of the worst job markets in the UK. At the moment I am doing a work placement in SEO (search engine optimisation) at a construction plastics company and I have five interviews on the table. I can still live a happy life.