I was on Facebook one night; idling and mulling over strangers’ trivial status updates wondering how any of this was adding value to my life. Somewhere between that and declaring that I ‘like’ Susan’s post regarding what not to do on a first date, a long lost acquaintance began to chat with me. Of course my first instinct was to log off and pretend I hadn’t read the chat message but then I realised it was only ten o’clock and I had nothing better to do.
“Hey, wsup” he asked casually.
Let’s see…should I actually answer the question or keep things politically correct?
“Not much, same old; work and ish”
I replied hoping to channel the conversation towards a brief session of clichés. He went on to tell me about his latest business ventures, all of which I feigned interest in by responding with simple words like “Wow” and “Good stuff”. That was until he delved into a topic that actually interested me; he began to talk about me!
“So I heard you and *Ex-boyfriend* broke up?”
Now how in the hell does HE know? I thought to myself… it’s only been two weeks! All I could manage to come up with:
“Well, yeah, I mean, I guess…Im not sure…it’s kind of a long story”
The truth was, my ex and I never formally broke up. We went on a much needed, yet indefinite break. But judging by his two-week silence and the fact that my spies had reported seeing him out with other women several times over the course of that period, I was now making peace with the fact that a break merely precedes a break up.
The words ‘I think we need a break’ are synonymous with a lot of things; all of which we’d rather not hear too often. Its like when we approach a guy in a fit of repressed emotion and blurt out that ‘We need to talk’. Usually not well received. In fact either of these messages are worse received when submitted electronically; either via email, Facebook message, or even via SMS. Now this all kind of sounds like common sense until you find yourself in a relationship so volatile that face to face conversations often bear the same side effects as a suspicious new drug unauthorized by the FDA: These conversations may result in: irritability, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and brief fainting spells.
I know that may sound extreme, but about a month ago I was in a relationship in which the arguments outweighed the moments of general agreement. And contrary to what R&B songs have to say about fighting then making up, the make-up sex didn’t make it all worthwhile in the end. My nerves would often be too frayed to enjoy the physical consolation, and as a woman, its just unnatural for me to forget an offence that quickly. The constant emotional strain of frequent conflict will send a relationship into Time-Out quicker than a repeat foul in a sporting event.
Even with my limited knowledge of psychology I could almost always trace the root of our fights to the same issue; there was no trust in the relationship. Yet for the sake of being in one, I found myself apologising for the all-too common altercations (even if I hadn’t started the fight) just to abate the amount of conflict I would have to endure. Though they often started out heated and extremely intense, I would do my best to shorten the length of each argument leaving pent-up anger bubbling in the depths of my psyche.
So you see why I needed a break. I needed to get my thoughts in order, examine the root of all the strife and figure out whether what I was enduring was really worth it. We were only one month into the relationship, and I figured if this was something worth pursuing long term then re-evaluating things early on was the right thing to do. So I sent that dreaded text message asking for a break.. and followed it up with several more, requesting a face-to-face conversation after realizing what I had just done. I say several because, after the spiteful reply I had gotten from the first text, I knew I had just landed myself in a royal mess.
Needless to say, I was never granted the conversation to clear things up. As I came to learn, a big ego is easily bruised, and there is little one can do to rectify it. So I sat back and watched as my exe’s status updates on facebook became bitter and vindictive. I also took heed to word on the street, as the grapevine continued to provide me with the verdict on my relationship: it was over.
“You still there?”
A tiny red square lights up at the bottom of my screen as I remember the chat conversation that had sent my mind on this journey to tracing what went wrong in my relationship.
“Yeah, still here. Didn’t think this thing with *Ex boyfriend* would be over so soon but I think its for the best. Gtg*. Have a gnite”
I reply and promptly log off. I stare at the screen for a few minutes satisfied by the fact that, earlier that night, I had had enough courage to remove my ex from my Facebook friends.
In one seemingly unproductive evening, I had managed to plunge into enough self-examination to accept the reality of my break slash break up. I had stopped at the flashing red lights, paid the toll and was now entering the free-ranging domain of the single life once more. This wasn’t a break headed to a make up. It was a break up; straight up.
*Got to go
Mutinda is a 24 year old sexy single lady trying to survive in the city. A self-proclaimed independent hustler, her newly adopted philosophy on men is to wait till the right breed of manhood finds her. Not to sweep her off her feet, but to walk beside her while trying to keep up with the pace set by her stilettos.
“But through life and learning
Strife and yearning
I remain only one
Aiming straight ahead like the barrel of a gun”