Jul 04 2009
On a more somber note, this is the post I’ve been dragging my feet onwriting. I’ve been using my crazy workload as an excuse to put it off, but the reality is it’s just not the easiest thing for me to put out into a public forum. But considering I put other parts of our relationship on the blog, I probably need to put this, too… Awhile back, Charlie and I agreed it was time to stop dating.
While we’re both sad, it was very much a joint decision. We’d reached a point where we simply could not longer ignore the fact that we want some very different things for our relationship and futures. And the differences were significant enough that there was no way to resolve them without one or both of us compromising in ways that would leave one or both of us profoundly unhappy in the long term no matter how much we cared for one another.
The biggest deal-breaker was children. I very much would like to have a family, whether that would be finding a partner who already had children or, preferably, having some of my own. (And, considering my age, the later option is growing less and less likely at a pretty quick clip.)
Due to the Huntington’s gene being in his immediate family, Charlie has spent most of his life thinking that children probably weren’t an option for him. It’s only in the last year he’s been tested and discovered he’s not a carrier. And, as much as he’s tried to get behind the idea of children for my sake, he’s simply not there, and there’s no indications that that might ever change. (As things stand currently, Charlie has an enormously difficult time even being in the room with a child under about the age of eight.)
Charlie also is not a believer in marriage. He simply does not aspire to have that be a part of his life. While he would like to find some form of long-term, “committed” relationship, in his mind that means still having the ability to wake up one more, pack one’s bags, and leave in under two hours flat if things are no longer working. (To be fair, Charlie could probably much better explain his position on this than I. As many times as we’ve spoken about it, I’m still not certain I fully understand.)
I, myself, am not in a huge hurry to be remarried based on my experience last time. If Charlie had proposed to me about now, I would probably have run screaming in the opposite direction. But I do, someday, really want to be married again. I want that commitment with another human being that you’re in it together for the long haul. And while I have no sort of mental timeframe about expecting a ring in some certain amount of timeframe, it’s important to me that the person I’m in a relationship be working toward the same long-term goal.
I also wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t say that my buying a house in Portland and my whole fascination with the small home movement had put a significant strain on our relationship. Charlie dislikes small spaces about just as much as he does screaming infants. And he was more than a little hurt that I chose to buy a place in a state other than where he lived. I will probably write some more on that at some point, but not now. I think there’s some valuable lessons in my experience, though, for others who have partners who disagree strongly about what’s important to them in a home.
There were also some interpersonal issues at play between Charlie and I, but nothing I want to go into gory detail about here. My close friends have been hearing about those for awhile. Suffice it to say, he’s still terribly British and I need a partner who’s more “out there” in terms of his thoughts and feeling, particularly in regards to how he might feel about me.
I still care for Charlie deeply and really, truly want him to be happy. We’ve been through a break-up once before and we able to maintain our friendship. It is my hope that once we’ve given it some time and space, we’ll once again be able to be part of one another’s lives as friends.
As it was, we had the most peaceful, loving break-up conversation(s) I’ve ever experienced. We ended things well enough that we actually were able to go out to dinner and movie together before I left town during my stop to pick up belongings. And I think highly enough of Charlie that I’d be happy to offer a character reference to his next girlfriend.
So consider yourself informed that at this point my personal story is me, my crazy cat, and a half-finished floating house. And, for now, that’s okay.