How I Maturely Ended a Relationship… For the First Time

May 7, 2021 by No Comments

Guy I’ve Been Seeing and I hadn’t seen each other in probably two weeks. With the website taking off at the same time as my IT consultancy, I had become insanely busy. GIBS was almost equally busy with his career. When we were seeing each other, it was pretty much for, er, one thing.

During this particularly long stretch between sightings, I’d got to thinking about our relationship. Hold on a second. I just said relationship. That’s not what’s supposed to happen. GIBS is thus named for a reason. I had such a mortal fear of saying BF, GIBS was the shortest description I could come up with to describe our association to friends and family members. But here it was four or five months into it, and how long could you possibly just be “dating” someone?

With my career taking off in so many different directions, I knew time was going to be limited. I got to thinking about GIBS though. All of this really great stuff pretty much started because of him and that question he asked on our second date. He was always there for me – supporting me, holding me accountable, pushing me through the tough parts when I wanted to give up. He could pump me up when I needed it, and he could celebrate my successes. And he genuinely felt them. I could pretty much tell him anything. I respected his opinion and sought his advice on most things.

Holy crap, I thought. He’s one of my best friends.

I certainly didn’t want to ruin things with my best friend. At the same time, I knew that it wasn’t going to work as a couple. Neither one of us were cut off for coupledom, at least for the time being. We’d talked repeatedly about our relationship fears, our happiness in being single, etc. Every time I ended something with someone though, we never really stayed friends. We might talk, but it eventually tapered off or imploded when I realized they were holding onto the friend card thinking I would change my mind.

I talked it over with one of my mentors (people, if you haven’t already, find an older person you respect, admire and talk openly with on all matters). I decided honesty was the best policy. I sort of had this feeling that he might be feeling the same way I was anyhow.

So our schedules finally synced up and we went for sushi. We talked about the great and busy things in our lives – my new apartment, his new house, my IT consultancy taking off, his big trips coming up.

“Well, it sounds like we’ve both got really full lives right now,” I commented, looking down at the table. I raised my eyes and gave him a knowing look. He met my eyes and I could tell he was thinking the same thing.

“Look, with all this stuff going on, it just seems like maybe we don’t have time for a relationship,” I pushed through.

“Yeah, I’ve been thinking that lately, too,” GIBS agreed, looking relieved.

“Here’s the thing though,” I continued. “You’ve actually become really important to me.” I told him everything I’d realized about he and I as friends. I told him that he’d become one of my best friends and that friendship is a rung higher than a relationship in my book.

“So you don’t want me to just go away?” he asked.

“No!” I reassured. “Look, I need you as a friend.”

We continued talking and walked to our cars. I wondered, and hoped, that we would really stay friends. And we have. I think we’re actually closer than we were when we were dating. We talk on the phone regularly, text our triumphs and ‘how you doing’s to each other often. We hang out, and true friend that he is, he helped me move this past weekend. We’ve had dinner and great, interesting conversations. I feel like I’m more myself around him than ever, because just like any other friend, I figure he’ll figure my faults and flaws. I don’t fear judgment. I can roll over to his place sans make-up and not give a crap since we’re just friends anyways.

And while the FB card is definitely on the table, I’ve filed it away for a rainy day. Today I’m totally cool being good friends.

Note: Hereto forward, GIBS will be known as GIWS (Guy I Was Seeing).

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