So, not long after I wrote that thing the other day about staying in shitty relationships (or, rather, advising people not to), two friends of mine broke up after many years together. The two events are unrelated (I don’t think either reads this space regularly). But this is the fourth set of friends to separate after multiple years together (in one case, 11 years and three kids) in the last few months, and the folks I’m closest to of the bunch, so I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. I can barely imagine how they’re feeling.
And I am incredibly selfish right now, because I am so scared to talk to either party in this last situation because I don’t know what to say. It’s so much easier when it’s a shorter term thing. Or one of the former couple if a total shit. Or if you’re younger. All of these things make it easier to move on. Or to commiserate and say “Well, [x] is a total shit, so you’re better off without them.”
In all of these cases, though, the relationships (the romantic bits) all ended with completely good reason, but the couples were always much better off for having been together. There is resentment, yes, but no real animosity. Grown-up break-ups are the new phase in (some) friends’ lives and I’m not adjusting well. Probably because my only significant relationship ended when I was still an undergraduate and I’m part-robot.
Oh, and that selfishness thing.
Going to a cinema tonight for a This American Life event. I’m not even entirely sure what it entails, but we’re going to a strip-mall chain restaurant/bar with stupidly named/blended cocktails (the ‘Old School’ Bellini has strawberry-guava juice and elderflower soda – just like at the Algonquin!) beforehand. Livin’ the dream.