It’s been two months since the Big Breakup Heartbreak and less than twenty-four hours since the Little Heartbreak.
This isn’t some sort of “my one true love has been stolen from me forever” heartbreak, because I think you have several true loves in your lifetime: people who teach you things like how to steal diamonds, or how to change a flat tire, or how to have constructive conversations around the patriarchy.
This is the heartbreak that happens when you’re an idiot. Like me. I’m an idiot, is what I’m saying.
You know how you read Romeo & Juliet in high school when you’re super hormonal and you think their relationship is all sweet but melodramatic? And then when you’re older you either reread it or think about it enough that you realize Romeo & Juliet were a pair of raging idiots?
It was one of those whirlwind, head-over-heels-I’m-not-thinking-properly connections that, if not approached carefully, end with two married, dead teenagers who didn’t even really get to bang at all.
It was a really intense crush, basically, for which neither of us was ready. Kind of like puberty; or, in other words, exactly like Romeo and Juliet.
After the Big Breakup Heartbreak, I started meeting lots of new people. Mostly because I felt like I lost half my friend group in the BBH, and also because I was coming out of a depression and knew that if I isolated myself then I would just fall back into that hole of ambivalence and despair.
And then I met this one person. I felt an instant connection. I felt a need to be around him at all times, to watch how his hands move when he speaks, to listen to him extrapolate on a theory he has; basically, I found someone who is one of My People. One of those people you meet and you know is going to be important to you and you want to keep close to you at all times so you can see what happens. One of those people you feel you’ve known for lifetimes.
I love this person. It hit me swift and hard. Not a romantic love, but the love you feel when you’ve found someone you didn’t know you had missed. Like a best friend. A kindred spirit.
We had four weeks of never-ending conversations and late, late nights and art and hope and laughter and a dizzying amount of closeness. It was exhilarating.
And then, just like that, it ended, or as a certain reader in the comments pointed out, I stood on the brakes. Familiar patterns were emerging, ones that weren’t good or healthy. My patterned behavior of accommodation and justification. Trying to prove myself. Not feeling good enough. It got to the point where all the love I felt for this person was shadowed by my fear of misstepping and when that happens, well, you’re just a hair away from waking up in a tomb and thinking your husband is dead and killing yourself a minute before he wakes up.
So now, I’m taking my space again. I’m putting up walls to experiences so that I don’t ruin anything else by rushing headlong into something for which I’m not ready.
Slow down, Whitney. There’s no rush. You have plenty of time.
And if I ever marry someone right away and then have to fake at least one death to live happily ever after, maybe instead I’ll think about getting an annulment.