Search for a mate. Find one at a party. Find one on the subway. Find one at a bar. Find one online. Ask them out. Buy them dinner. Buy them drinks. Buy them flowers. Buy them a plant.
Ask them about their life. Find out their biggest fear. Learn why they resent their mother. Discover what makes them laugh. Listen to their stories about middle school and why they hate a bucktoothed kid named Bobby. Start to hate Bobby, too. Share secrets. Tell them things you’ve never told anyone before. Let them know you’ve never told anyone before. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Sleep with them. Drink with them. Shower with them. Travel with them.
Watch them struggle. Watch them succeed. Support them. Send them funny photos of cats. Have inside jokes that no one else finds funny. Do weird accents. Sit in comfortable silence. Enjoy their presence.
Let time pass.
Feel the silence become uncomfortable. Start to feel a shift. Worry you’re growing apart. Get annoyed by their laugh. Argue with them over where to eat dinner. Start to feel lost. Start to pull away. Start to feel them pull away. Start to be unkind. Start to resent them.
Keep secrets from them. Stay out late. Turn your head away when they go to kiss you. Tell them you’re tired. Sleep on distinct sides of the bed. Don’t touch anymore. Pretend you’re okay. Know that you’re not.
Stop being honest with them. Become cold and distant. Stop leaving them notes. Stop trying to think of things to say in those notes. Become emotionally numb. Try to convince yourself it’s just a lull. Ignore your gut.
Wake up one day and feel exhausted. Feel unhappy. Feel drained. Feel angry. Feel sad. Look at them in the eyes and know. Know it’s over. Know you’re done. Know you’ve known for a while but pretended you didn’t.
Say something to them. Anything. Give them their things. Give them their key. Try not to cry. Cry when they leave.
Feel empty. Feel lost. Feel free.
Binge on pizza. Binge on wine. Call your friends. Lean on your friends. Avoid being alone.
Let time pass.
Start to shave again. Start to run again. Start to laugh again. Start to feel good. Start to remember who you are. Start to really like who you are. Start to forget who you had become.
Reflect on things. See things clearly. Feel things sharply.
Start to feel like you’re ready to try again.