Thursday, December 11, 2008

Meet Pete, Part 2: The Break Up

So, I'm more than week late in getting this posted, but would you expect any less from me?

Honestly, I think I've been prolonging this post because it's so hard for me to write. Partly because I think I'll come across as the bad guy, but mostly because this gives my relationship with Pete more closure. Writing about a breakup always makes it seem more...finite.

But I haven't written about our breakup yet, so this will be therapeutic.

::Sigh:: Here goes...

Pete and I were together for two years. And, as I said in Meet Pete, part 1, we were long-distance the entire time.

After graduating from college, Pete moved to Philadelphia. Both of us decided that a 3-hour drive wasn't that big of a deal and that we'd see each other most weekends and holidays. I found out the hard way that while this concept sounds reasonable in your head, it's quite the opposite when you're experiencing it first-hand.

Looking back, I seriously don't know how we lasted two years. It's exhausting-both emotionally and physically-to be constantly traveling on the weekends and trying to cram a week's worth of activities into 2 1/2 days.

Of course, we often talked about moving to the same city and being together long-term. Around March 2007, I had a little "I-can't-do-long-distance-anymore" breakdown, but Pete was there to reassure me. "Let's just get through this year, then we can see where we're at and hopefully move closer to each other," he said. With some sort of timeline established, the distance seemed more manageable.

We finally got through the year, but we were still in the exact same place as the previous year. I felt like I was in a dead-end relationship. I resented Pete, because I felt like he didn't care about me enough to move for me. And I resented living in D.C., because he wasn't living here with me.

The thing is, I didn't want to move to Philly, either. The only people I knew there were Pete and his friends. I couldn't imagine leaving my dream job and my friends in D.C. It was terrifying to me. Plus, I couldn't stand being around that many Eagles fans. I'd go insane. (Did you know they are the only NFL team to have a jail in their stadium?? Seriously, Eagles fans don't even like their own players...just ask poor Donovan McNabb. No wonder he has to eat Campbell's Chunky Soup after every game-I'd need some comfort food ASAP, too.)

Anyway, back to the story.

I started distancing myself from Pete. I selfishly thought that it would be easier for him to move to D.C. He had a lot of friends living here, and job opportunities are more plentiful for him than me---he's an engineer. In hindsight, it was unfair of me to expect him to do something I wasn't ready for either.

Around this time, with my resentment toward Pete at its peak, I went to Vegas with a group of my friends from college. Best week EVER. I freakin' heart Vegas.

During my vacation, I regrettably succumbed to the temptations of Sin City and found myself hard-core making out with a guy on the dance floor of The Bank, and then again back at his condo. Now, I'll be the first to admit there is no excuse for cheating. Pete did not deserve that in any way, shape or form. But, it also helped me realize that Pete and I were holding on to a relationship for the sake of comfort and familiarity, not because we were still in love with each other.

Another important piece to the puzzle is that Pete and I
rarely had sex. I'm talking maybe once a month. This was entirely my doing-I was just never in the mood. I figured that initial spark had faded. Umm...WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING??!! I'm 24, not 80! That was not normal or healthy-I realize this now.

But there I was in Vegas, with a guy I knew nothing about, wanting to do the very thing I couldn't even fathom doing with my own boyfriend. I kept asking myself, why I was so attracted to a complete stranger but not to a guy I was supposed to be in love with?

Things got worse when I got back to D.C. I knew that Pete didn't deserve to be in a relationship with someone who wasn't 100% committed, but I wanted to talk to him about everything in person, so I waited until the weekend when he'd be in town.

Meanwhile, Pete was calling me at least ten times a day. This wasn't abnormal-Pete typically called/e-mailed/texted me multiple times throughout the day. But what I once found endearing, I began to find suffocating. It was like having a three-year-old attached to your leg, refusing to let go no matter how hard you try to pull him off. And coming from my week in Vegas, where I talked to Pete maybe once a day, I felt my claustrophobia increase ten-fold. (I'm sure the guilt I felt from cheating didn't help matters.)

After hanging up with Pete for the eighth time on the day he was due to arrive to D.C., my co-worker, Lawrence, immediately imed me :

Lawrence: Aren't girls normally excited when their boyfriends call? Particularly when they are coming to visit?
Me: Yeah, I guess so. It's just I'm at work, and I feel like everyone can hear my conversation. Plus, this is the eighth time he's called today.
Lawrence: Still, I'm more excited to get a root canal than you just sounded.
Me: Shit. I was that obvious?

So, that night, Pete arrived, and I spilled everything. I told him how suffocated I was beginning to feel, how I felt like our relationship was on a dead-end road and how, instead of talking to him in the first place about my feelings, I went and cheated on him.

Pete was upset, don't get my wrong. And he had every right to be. But, deep down, I think he knew our relationship was over, too. He agreed with everything I was saying. He saw himself acting clingy, and knew it was pushing me away, but he still did it anyway. Probably because he didn't know how else to handle the rift I was creating between us.

He left the next afternoon, both of us concluding that if we were meant to be, things would work themselves out. Not a smart conclusion to come to. It's sort of a glass half-full mentality, and although I'm an optimist, I think people say things like that that because they don't want to believe that someone they considered their best friend-a person they confided in, trusted and loved-would be so abruptly cut out of their life. It's dangerous territory, my friends.

And this was totally the case with me and Pete. But instead of admitting to it, we used non-refundable plane tickets to Denver (to visit his parents, no less!) as an excuse to continue talking almost every day. So we did the most toxic thing you can do after a breakup-we didn't change a thing. Sure, I didn't see him until we left for Denver (which was about a month after I returned from Vegas), but we were still maintaining the same emotional connection we had when we were a couple, never allowing ourselves to heal from the break up.

To complicate things even more, we started dating other people. Obviously, we didn't talk to each other about our dates and hook-ups, but we both knew what the other person was doing. Also not a wise decision...someone always ends up getting hurt.

This dysfunctional "breakup"/pseudo-relationship continued for about three months. The whole time, I think Pete was more emotionally invested than I was-something I selfishly never stopped to consider. It all came to a screeching halt once The Hoff entered the picture (more on that in a future post).

I felt even more conflicted that people kept questioning my decision to break up with Pete. I hate using this phrase to describe him, because it sounds so cliche, but Pete's just a genuinely good guy. Everyone loved him. My family, my friends. And a lot of them couldn't, and still don't, understand how I could let him go.

Having them question my actions made me start to question myself. Had I just gotten scared of what the next step might be for me and Pete? Was I so used to dating assholes, that I pushed away the first nice guy to come around?

In typical girl fashion, I overanalyzed our relationship and my decision. But, I ultimately determined that this was my life and my decision to make. While I value my friends' and family's opinions, I had to do what was right for me.

And, I began to realize, much to my amazement, I was happier. For the first time, I actually began to enjoy living in D.C. Since my weekends were no longer devoted to spending time with Pete, I was going out and experiencing the city. It probably helped I was no longer in Philly every other weekend, too.

I realized that I had used Pete as a crutch for adapting to post-college life. Instead of finding my own happiness, Pete was my source of happiness. Another not-so-smart thing to do when undergoing major life changes.

And even through all this, Pete and I are still friends. (I told you he's a good guy...I don't know if I'd be friends with me after all that.) We talk once every few weeks, and things are different...but they're healthy now. We're finally on the same page.
Sure, Pete and I created unnecessary hurdles in our road to recovery, but I wouldn't change a thing. We live and we learn.

I'm thankful that I can look back on our relationship and smile, remembering the good memories I shared with an amazing person. I just hope that he feels the same way.

**Phew! Okay, I'm done rambling. I worked on this post for a good week. No, I'm not kidding. It's hard to breakdown two years of a relationship into one blog post and do it justice, so I hope I don't come across as cold-hearted and/or cruel.

I also wanted to give a backstory to some future entries of the post-Pete and pre-The Hoff era. It was my first time dating in the post-college world and I met some winners, let me tell you. Ladies, there are definitely men out there who are
never worthy of an early arrival. ***

0 comments on "Meet Pete, Part 2: The Break Up"


Running Fashionably Late Copyright 2010 Shoppaholic Designed by Ipietoon.

Customized by LivitLuvit.