This is not why we broke up

Image by the awesome Stuart F Taylor

It wasn’t that my body was wrong, for a start. Over the course of our relationship I changed a lot – sometimes I looked fucking spectacular and other times I looked crap. Same with him. I fancied the fuck out of him, always, regardless of what shape or size his body was or how he’d chosen to dress it today. We lived, we grew, we changed: our bodies could never have been the reason why we broke up.

It wasn’t that I used to make him get the takeaway from the front door because I was nervous of having to do a human interaction when it was late into the evening and I am an anxious and fragile creature.

It wasn’t that time I had a really intense panic attack in front of him, which led to me curled in a ball on the sofa unable to breathe and sobbing ‘don’t touch me don’t look at me’ in between the breaths I finally managed to haul in.

It wasn’t that embarrassing bodily thing that he wouldn’t let me see or help with. He got a doctor to deal with it, and to this day I still don’t know what the problem actually was, because he was too ashamed to tell me in detail.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t come for months because of SSRIs, and our sex turned into this weird half-dream where I was trying to fuck myself into remembering what it was I enjoyed about fucking.

Was it that he once built a Twitter bot that auto tweeted content he hadn’t even created himself which nevertheless had more followers than I, a proper content creator? That I was (still am) jealous of his irritating little bot because it is more popular than Girl on the Net? You’d think so, given how competitive I am, but it wasn’t that either.

It wasn’t those times when one of us accidentally broke something the other one cared about, or told a silly lie because we wanted to look cool or cover up something embarrassing.

It wasn’t because he came too quickly, or took too long to come, or lost his erection at a few key moments. It wasn’t because one or other of us got the angle wrong and his dick slipped out and one or both of us yelped in agony. It wasn’t that time I got a butt plug stuck inside me and nearly died of shame getting it out.

It wasn’t any of the times he cried in front of me, or asked me to hold him and help him feel better.

It wasn’t because we were vulnerable in front of each other. Or insecure. Or irrational. Or just plain weird.

Over the last six months various people have asked me why my ex and I broke up, and I’m not going to tell you in detail – telling you stuff that we both disagree on in a channel where he has no space to say his piece isn’t fair on him, and it isn’t a good look on me. But I can definitely tell you what it wasn’t. It wasn’t any of those things.

While some of them felt huge in the moment, they weren’t the be-all and end-all. When I think back to the person I was in my late teens and early twenties, and how desperately worried I was that a boy I fancied might see me at my most vulnerable – panicking or ugly-drunk or sick or sitting in my pants on the floor with my stomach rolling and my tits drooping and face red from sobbing – I realise just how much of my life I spent trying to hide those versions of me.

But in a relationship with someone you care about, who cares about you, being vulnerable together is important and powerful. Some of the best moments I have shared with friends and lovers aren’t the times when we were buzzing on joy, but the times when one of us struggled and had the courage to say ‘please help me.’

Loving someone during their lowest moments is powerful and important. Showing someone yourself at your most vulnerable – that’s powerful and important too. And the way they react to that tells you a huge amount about them.

So I’m writing this post partly as a reminder to myself. Not a single one of those things, or any in combination, should be enough to torpedo any relationship that matters.

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