Two nights ago, Claudia and I decided to end our relationship in 8 days. We were originally going to break up that night, but decided to wait until she left for the summer. True to statistics, our relationship was exactly 2.5 years long.
Off and on, this has been a long time coming (although this was more an off time (things were going well)), but nothing specific precipitated it. Claudia is going to spend the summer in Florida with her prior-secondary, working out a grant she got with another friend. We had a long talk about what was going to happen over the summer and beyond. There's always been some stress in our relationship stemming from each other's behavior, and Claudia said that she wanted a family some day, but not with me because of the stresses and our different paths; I said that I didn't want to continue the relationship with that kind of known ceiling. We spoke truthfully, and shed tears, and did the breakup-thing as best we each knew how. Still, there's something stupid in the sense we're following, when we both still love each other so much.
Naturally, I've been thinking about it a lot. And there are some interesting points to note.
1. I first decided to pursue a beloved in part from what I learned in Lee Perlman's Philosophy of Love class. Three years later, I'm participating in the class again (this time as a TA), nicely framing the experience.
2. My emotions are doing a neat dialectic between hope and fear of the future, and of sorrow at my loss and curiosity at my sorrow. The breakup fits beautifully into the skid-turn that I'm doing now in life in general.
3. I started this as an experiment, and said I'd evaluate it when it was done. Here I am, so I have some things to evaluate. First, it was a very successful experiment. I molted some ego and learned some painful things about myself. And I learned more about people, in groups and through my case study, than I knew was available to know. Plus, I know something more about love, life, loss, and lust. Unfortunately, I never got sex (it's not just supposed to be masturbation with another person, right?), but I probably just need more partners. And I'll probably go get them: the relationship-experience was good, even with its stresses and inconveniences.
4. But before I get involved again, I want to do more reflection, and decide on my side of the set and setting for my next experiment.