I will not obsess. It would be easy to withdraw into the recesses of my mind, detach myself from reality and obsess for weeks like a shaman on a meditation retreat. But I will not obsess. I am not letting myself do it.
I've been dumped, which sounds more brutal than how it happened. But the fact remains: I've been dumped.
It's like the difference between being fired and being let go, different ways of describing the same event. The first suggests harsh words, perhaps raised voices, and slammed doors or phone receivers. The latter has a gentler sound. Being let go is akin to being allowed to go, which makes it sound like one desired to go.
But I did not desire to be let go, back into the wide world, alone again. I desired very much to stay, as one of two.
Luckily, the relationship was too short for a dumping to break my heart. It stung, sure, but I was not reduced to tears or the fetal position or a state of total incapacity. I was all right.
However, the relationship had gone on long enough for me to start liking it, to start growing attached. A certain consistency had developed. We sent brief e-mails to each other daily, phone calls toward the end of the week. Weekend plans were made. We had sleep-overs.
I liked him. I liked him a lot. I could have hurled myself at the whole situation, given myself up to coupledom and commitment within a week. But I had restrained.
He was fresh off the relationship boat, a new immigrant to the land of dating. He had been hurt in the past and needed to "take things slow." So I pressed my heels into the pavement and held back and attempted the impossible task of taking things slow when in fact you want all of them, all at once.
That he was so reticent about relationships forced me to keep my guard up. I might scare him off at any moment, so I held my feelings in tight in an effort to both keep him at bay and protect my heart.
When the fateful phone call came, I was prepared, sort of. I had been thinking that he might be breaking up with me soon. I had been constructing elaborate masochistic daydreams about how and when and why (why??) he might do it. These mean-spirited fantasies were like short films I could turn on and off when a conversation got boring or a TTC ride too long. I had imagined many ways in which I might be severed from his side.
All, of course, were much more dramatic than what actually transpired.
Apparently, things weren't going slow enough. He wasn't ready for anything even remotely relationship-esque. He had liked "hanging out" with me. (Why must guys use that term?! We were dating! We had something! We were not "hanging out" like so many teenaged boys in a rec room!) He hoped we could still be friends.
My responses were a series of affirmative adverbs ("Right," "Yes," "Sure") delivered in a monotone. After we hung up, I went out for beers with a group of friends so as not to obsess.
I could have stayed home and mulled over every word that was said. I might have marinated in the many delicious moments I had spent with him, lamenting their past tense. It was so tempting to go over every interaction we'd ever had, double-check each one and berate myself for being too pushy or too affectionate or too not-hard-to-get.
In the days and weeks that followed, it would have been easy to orchestrate my daily life around seeing or avoiding him, depending on how I felt on that particular day.
What had he told his friends? How was he feeling? Did he think about me, at all, ever? Was it possible that he was regretting it and would eventually come around and see me one night, all smiles and social graces, and pull me aside and tell me he'd made a mistake and could we try it again, for real this time?
A gal could drive herself batty asking such insane questions. If she was obsessing. Which I'm not.
I am really, honestly trying my very best not to get sucked into all that, because there's no point, it isn't healthy, and no good can come of it. I just happen to be open to the possibility that he might be thinking about me and about us, wishing he hadn't let me go, and will be calling soon.