Has it really been three years now since my last post lamenting the awkward first steps of my budding relationship? It's been officially over for a few months now, but I have no regrets. Shall I go into the reasons for the failure of my relationship?
Let me just say first that it had nothing to do with my inability to say "I Love You." Hardly; not long after I wrote that post (which in retrospect seems more than a little silly now), I somehow "discovered" what love was and so felt I could say the four-letter word without a guilty conscience. Isn't it amazing how easy it is for the ends to justify the means?
I can't say for sure what caused the demise of my relationship any more than I can declare the reasons for the fall of the Western Roman Empire (barbarians at the gates, economic woes, subcontracting military work to said barbarians, an unstable political system; damn it, shut up subconscious-self). One of the main causes for tension in the relationship was my decision two years ago to move to Washington, D.C. I wanted my girlfriend to come here with me. I loved her, I enjoyed being with her, I wouldn't know anyone else out here, and most importantly, I sure as hell needed help paying the rent in this expensive ass area. But I knew if she ended up hating it here, she would blame me forever. Which is exactly what happened. (This is why clairvoyance is pointless. Even if everyone of us knew the future, we would still make the same damn mistakes. That's what makes humans humans, and cute. Cute, foolish humans.)
Taking into account the high probability of the girlfriend-hating-me-for-making-her-move-to-D.C.- factor, I made a point of not asking her to come with me. That way if she decided to come with me, she would have only herself to blame for her unhappiness. No guilty conscience; my hands were clean. In my mind, it would be as if we both decided simultaneously, and without consulting each other, to move to D.C. Of course, much like Bill Clinton's opinion of Barack Obama's stance on the war in Iraq, this was very much a fairy-tale. I was the only one who wanted to move to D.C. I had the interest in politics; I wanted to make a career of it; I was the one who felt he couldn't be happy if he didn't pursue his career aspirations.
And of course like the great girlfriend she was, she came with me. If the situation was reversed, I don't think I would have made the same decision. I'm not sure if that makes me a bad person or not. The reason I say that is because my ex-girlfriend made the impossibly difficult decision to leave her friends and family (who she loves greatly) and the only place she has ever called home (Seattle) to move away to a strange city with an ungrateful bastard who didn't share any of the same hangups (me).
Needless to say, the first year in D.C. was pretty interesting. We lived on Capitol Hill, only a few blocks from the Library of Congress, Supreme Court and the U.S. Capitol. I was pretty much enthralled with the place. So much to see and do, so many neighborhoods and watering holes to explore, and so damn easy to get around without a car (thank you Metro). Even better, my good friend from college was already out here, so it was fairly simple to tap into his social network. All systems were GO. Or not.
Predictably, my girlfriend hated it. She struggled to find a job at first, so she spent the first two months at home doing nothing, just waiting for me to get home from work so she would have someone she knew to talk to. She missed her family incessantly. She didn't like the city, she didn't feel safe. She was not interested in meeting new people or making friends (people out here were just different, she felt). Things, were, rough. Let me tell you. A relationship does not have room for a man, a woman and unhappiness. Much as Yoda would say, unhappiness leads to sadness, sadness leads to anger, and anger leads to...suffering (I really hope the voice of Yoda just said that sentence in your head).
Now let me tell you, things weren't exactly a piece of cake for me. I transferred from the company I worked at in Seattle to one of their branches in D.C. I hated it. My boss was utterly incompetent, my hours sucked, and it just wasn't what I wanted to do. I sacrificed a few things to come to D.C. too, and I sure as hell didn't come out here to do something that wasn't in the political realm. I rarely got to see my girlfriend, I never had enough money (damn you D.C. cost of living!) and I missed my beloved Seattle (oh, and I missed my friends and family too ;).
Needless to say, the situation didn't exactly play out according to plan. I don't think I had ever truly known what it was like to have someone hate me, but that's how it seemed my girlfriend felt about me. I don't even need to tell you, feeling like someone that you love hates you can be a crushing blow to your sense of worth. Our relationship was effectively over less than a year after we moved out here. Now, we still lived together and that shit got ugly. If I wasn't one of the real-life players, it probably would have been funny. But it wasn't, so stop laughing.
It's been about two years since we both moved out here. She eventually got a decent job, gets compensated very decently for her work and is living in her own place (don't even ask me why she didn't move back to Seattle, lord knows she threatened to do it many times). It took me a year before I finally got an internship, but that eventually led to an interesting job doing fundraising for non-profits. It's not exactly what I'd like to be doing, but it makes me content for the moment.
We still talk occasionally (and weirdly enough, live a few blocks from each other in Virginia), but as far as the cool-ass love that we shared, well, let's just say that train has sailed. I guess love, that four-lettered word of my hypocrisy, isn't always such a big deal.
For the last time,