Moving On Doesn’t Always Mean Finding Someone Else
I remember vividly the last fight we had in person. We’ve had some intense blow-out fights before — yelling, storming out the door, sleeping back to back or one of us falling asleep on the couch. This one felt paltry in comparison. It was about where we would live when I moved out of California to be with him. He lived in Vancouver, Washington. For me, it felt like moving two states over and leaving behind my friends and family was already a huge sacrifice, and it made more sense for me career wise if we were to live 20 minutes away from Vancouver, in Portland, where I would have to work, so I wouldn’t have to battle the rough morning commute. Moreover, for specific reasons, the social support that I was looking for was much more readily available in Portland. This was something that we had agreed on two months earlier. As we were sitting in our hotel room on Valentine’s Day, my (now-ex) partner brought up that he had changed his mind, and no longer wanted to live in Portland. One of the reasons was that he wanted to get some debt down before moving to a city. Living in Vancouver would be inconvenient to me for so so many reasons, but the trade off was me applying to a PhD program a year earlier than we had planned. We fought with no real gusto for about ten minutes before I gave in. It wasn’t worth it.
At the time, maybe I should have assessed this as a warning sign instead of a sign of maturity and growth. What seemed on that day like us having a grown-up and reasonable conversation was really just us giving up. I look back on that moment and I know that the reason I agreed to something so wildly disadvantageous and uncomfortable for myself was because I knew I would never have to follow through on it. Likewise, Ryan promised me that we could live in one of the downtown riverfront apartments as a trade for not living in Portland, most likely knowing that he would never have to follow through either. But instead of calling each other out or continuing the argument, we chose peace, and made coffees with whipped cream while we watched yet another horror movie.
Just the day before, we had held hands walking down the rocky and overcast beach in Crescent City, talking about the more far-off future and the distance…