Baby Breakup

This is a quote from Alain de Botton… well a recent tweet which is the same thing:


An Epidemic of loneliness created

by the misguided idea that the only

cure is a romantic relationship


I think I’ve written about this before, I’ve certainly mentioned my absolute and abject love for her. My best friend. I ache with it. I feel it as keenly as any romantic love and I know this through the worst way. We had a falling out a few years back (no answers on a postcard please, we don’t need to take guesses). So we broke up for a while in which time I had something pretty close to a breakdown, if breakdowns were milk let’s say I had UHT.

And I had this certified by a professional because I needed counselling. (To be fair I probably needed it before then but this was the catalyst)


So did she by the way, this is not unrequited. We broke each other.


But the point is not to shine a spotlight on the past but rather to understand the magnitude of emotion here. It’s visceral and tangible and life changing. And for a very long time I have struggled with the way this love is not championed or acknowledged or coveted. At least not on any comparative scale to how romantic love is. To the point where I can’t talk and will not be allowed grieve when she leaves Dublin.

Ok, I will be allowed talk about it, but I won’t be indulged or afforded the sympathy commensurate with what we would afford the loss of a lover.


She is leaving to start a family with her partner. And I am so delighted for her to embark on this new era – she has wanted it for as long as I know her without it being a driving factor in her life. She’s waited til it was the right time.

But new eras herald change, and this change will see our relationship as we know it – end.


Her life will be on the other side of the country and it will be far less about the banalities of the stuff we used to fill our days with. To say that things won’t be different is naïve and actually insulting. Which is of course what everyone is doing. Looking at me like I am crazy to be this upset, completely negating my pain.


I’m so in love with this woman and soon she will have a greater love, an exclusive one that will side line me just as it should. She will need to embrace her new life and grow her unit – just her, her partner and their child. And while I know this is right it doesn’t stop me from being sad about it. It’s a perfect storm of juxtaposed feelings.


But sad doesn’t even cover it. I’m heartbroken ever so slightly. Not like before, admittedly, but for a while she won’t be available to me, we won’t connect on the same level. She will be hundreds of kilometres away and will have an entirely new focus and direction. A direction I can’t share in as I’m not part of it for one. But also because I feel no driving desire myself to procreate and am unconvinced of the value of it. I won’t ever be able to relate to that particular desire. This in itself is a seismic shift in our experiences, we’ve never been so far on the other side of a fence from each other.


But that’s more about the metaphorical distance than the literal one. But it all adds to my feeling of separation and sense of disconnection. I feel left behind by her and by  …. well by virtue of the fact that I don’t see myself making that journey.





Now I know I’m not the only one who feels this, this is not novel or the preserve of me alone. In all relationships that the addition of another will threaten or upset the incumbent; siblings, colleagues, new partners, additional in laws. All of these upset us and make us feel our place in the pecking order is challenged. We don’t like to be usurped and we don’t like change. We want the feeling that we are still important and necessary and still  – loved. So some of my feelings are just that, but most of them are that I am losing her to something bigger.


And of course I know this and am aware of how god awfully churlish I sound. But I’m not trying to be more important than her child, or even her partner. I don’t want her to make any special effort to assuage my loss. I want to be able to acknowledge that her leaving is a big deal, that things will be fundamentally different and that in itself is valid enough for me to be very fucking sad.

I feel lost and without a partner. She was someone who I was allowed rely on, allowed turn to. I’m sure I still can but I feel like that isn’t appropriate any longer.



And I am likely to punch anyone who wants to tell me ‘It’s not that bad’.



I have relinquished the other half of our two person gang. And it is as big a deal as if I lost a romantic one and it makes me so much more keenly aware that I am by myself. Which is fine, and also not fucking fine at all.


Yes of course it’s ok to be single, but the honest unattractive truth is that I really don’t want to be. I want to rely on someone, I want to share things with someone who is contractually obliged to feign interest in at least some of the shit I like (I will of course return the sentiment, probably).



An Epidemic of loneliness created by the misguided idea that the only cure is a romantic relationship


It’s not the only cure, but when romantic relationships are the ones that people give precedence to then it’s very hard not to want that. It takes a better person than me to be able to shake off that yoke. And what’s more, platonic relationships can leave you lonely too.

Sometimes you can’t win.

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