How To Say Goodbye To Someone You Love
Throw them a party. Hire circus people to juggle things and invite all your close friends and family. Don’t let appearances fool you though because this is no ordinary celebration. No sir, it’s more of a tribute to the love that was once had and now lost. Order a cake from the local bakery and have them write in sugary icing: “R.I.P. Our love (2006-2012).” Smash the cake in your lover’s face and then quickly hide all the sharp kitchen knives.
Text them frantically, saying you need to talk. Get no response. Think about all the closure YOU need to finally say goodbye, think about all the loose ends that are driving you insane. You want to put the heartbreak in a nice pretty package and perhaps sell it at Tiffany’s. “I don’t love you anymore” bracelet. ZERO KARATS, ZERO DOLLARS. You don’t want this to get ugly. You pray they don’t hate you but guess what? They definitely do. They’re looking at your texts and being like, “No thanks. You don’t break my heart and then get the gift of closure. I have the power now and I’m not willing to give you the satisfaction of a clean ending.” Oh well. Say your goodbyes to the mirror, I guess.
Don’t say goodbye at all. Keep the relationship going and going and going, until there’s nothing left and you’re in two completely different places. You’re sitting next to each other on the couch but you might as well be in Somalia and them in Delaware. The emotional distance is actually terrifying. Now you know that you can understand someone so completely and then not at all. Just like that. And even though it’s terrible, none of you have the guts to cut it off so you just act out the love; you dig deep inside of yourself to access a time when it felt real and you try to bring it to the surface. It’s really quite dreadful and pathetic. Sometimes, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that never get said.
Say goodbye by turning your cheek in bed. Say goodbye when you accidentally tell someone you’re single. Say goodbye when you start to think of your grocery list during sex. Say goodbye when you start to wince when they rub your shoulders. Say goodbye when you find yourself behaving with an edge of ugliness. Say goodbye when you sleep with someone else. Say goodbye when you start to actually hate them for not doing the dishes. Say goodbye when your mind is made up. Say goodbye when there’s no longer a reason to say hello.
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the story I can tell to my next lover, about my ex-lover, about how beautiful things were, how intense, how storybook, what a couple we were, and how you gradually, inexplicably, painfully, bit by bit, disappeared.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.