Ramble: Tissue Paper Heart

Red and white paper hearts on wooden background. White text on black banner reads "Ramble: Tissue Paper Heart"

When love hurts this much, there’s only ever one thing left to do.

Eight days. Eight days was all that it took for us to go from making reparations to my insistence that he never contacted me again.

Eight days of concern, confusion, stress and eventually, heartache. Somewhat self-inflicted heartache, but heartache nonetheless.

Again, I don’t really want to go into the what’s and why’s of why we didn’t work except to say that when it comes to consensual non-monogamy, honesty and communication really is everything. Boundaries were crossed, feelings got hurt, people were treated as less than a friend. “Friends first” was a boundary of mine. Regardless of anything else, we’d at least be friends. He agreed.

Except, I later found out, we sort of weren’t always friends. In a way and at times, I simply ceased to exist.

At that point, I realised that our relationship was pretty FUBAR. In spite of the laughs that we had and the help that Will gave me, grievances from days gone by kept coming back up and now this little revelation had created a new, additional wound. Eventually the bad outweighed the happy moments and now, it was time for me to leave for good.

I checked out before I checked out, preventing any communications on all of the platforms that Will had used to reach me last time. It felt like a bad and shitty thing to be so sneaky but I knew that it would spare the added pain in the long run. By the time he’d read and I was gone, it would already be too late.

Next, I emailed him, laying out my reasons and my terms. A four-month relationship is still long enough to owe somebody the decency of an explanation, regardless of whether your relationship is long-distance or in-person. I explained how hurt I was to be kept a secret and for him to act the next day almost as though nothing was the matter. I also made it clear in my email that I don’t want him to contact me or send anything to my address. I may be a woman with a delightfully depraved mind but I am also a woman with a delicate heart and right now, my shattered heart needed protecting. Right now, I too needed to be able to grieve.

Finally, I blocked him. I took a deep inhale and released it slowly, releasing him along with it. With that, I realised, I was monogamous again.

Well, kind of – kinky play partners and friends were never to be taken off of the agenda!

Grief, unfortunately, is nothing new for me and so in a way, I already knew what I had to do: Keep yourself busy, talk to people about what’s been going on and be kind to yourself for a few days. It’s fine to be sad and it’s fine to wallow in a pint of ice cream, just don’t make it a regular habit. In the hours that passed, I also learned the hard way that dumping someone isn’t always the airy-fairy affair that it’s sometimes cracked up to be and it can even come with a whole host of yucky feelings like sadness, loss and more. Even if I’d objected to the way that Will had treated me, there was no denying that I still really missed my friend.

Last night, I ticked a bunch of stuff off of my to-do list that I’ve been meaning to do, that I’d normally perhaps do much slower, because I’d be too busy texting him. The hard floors were steam mopped for a second time this week, the frustrating extension socket in the hallway was replaced with a better one (which was also fixed to the wall!) and with courtesy of my husband, we dined from “currently the best ranking Chinese takeaway on Deliveroo”. More than anything, I also took some time to brush my hair, poured myself some Baileys and caught up with my old Slowly friends because if there was one thing that Will had taught me in our time, it was that I needed to make more time for me, too.

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