Lara Bradshaw

Recently, Facebook reminded me that it has been a year since my relationship with He Who Shall Not be Named ended.  Between this and hearing about the death of my first boyfriend, I have been thinking about my past relationships in a Carrie Bradshaw sort of way.  Step in because we are about to go down memory lane.

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My first boyfriend died a couple of weeks ago after suffering a heart attack in his sleep. When I heard about his death, I wasn’t surprised at all. He was an alcoholic, and he battled alcoholism for a very long time. When he died, I wasn’t surprised and that made me feel guilty.

Aren’t you supposed to feel shocked when someone dies unexpectedly? I mean, even when a friend of mine who has had stage four breast cancer has taken a turn and died from the disease, I have felt shocked. I guess hearing that a middle-aged man who has had a horrible disease for probably two decades dies of a heart attack isn’t a shocking end to that particular story.

He was the first man I ever had the relationship talk with, and he was my first breakup. Boy, I did not take that breakup well. I pretty much reacted like a textbook jilted ex girlfriend, and the things I said and did are not anything I am proud of. One of the many lessons I learned from my relationship with him and the subsequent breakup was pretty much a list of what not to do the next go around.

I don’t want to paint him as an alcoholic and nothing else, because he was more than his disease. He had a good heart, and he loved his friends and family fiercely.  He had a pitbull for a long time, and she was his constant companion. If funds were low on his end, and he had to choose between him eating and her eating, he’d feed his dog first. I credit him and his precious pittie for why I love that breed.

I hope his family and any of his loved ones find peace during this time of mourning. I also hope if there’s an afterlife, he is there and he’s reunited with his favorite creature – Harpooa.

Then a week or so ago, my Ex told me he bought a house in an affluent neighborhood for himself, his girlfriend and her daughter.  I have no doubt that the man is going to beat me down the aisle, and that’s a-okay. I’m not in a Moving On competition with him.

After telling me his good news, he asked me how I was doing, like this would affect me negatively. I might have said too bluntly, “Why would I care? Our relationship has been over for years.”

Keep in mind, our relationship officially ended a year go.

I meant every word of it, including the emphasis on the years part. Him telling me that he and his new lady love were starting their new life together had absolutely no affect on me.

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.

Elie Wiesel

It’s absolutely true that the opposite of love is truly indifference. When our relationship ended, feelings may have lingered for a couple of weeks, and looking back, I’m not even sure if that was because I missed him or change was just scary.

I did care for my Ex but well before our relationship ended, I stopped loving him the way you’re supposed to love someone you’re supposedly in a relationship with. When one or both parties aren’t committed to being in a relationship with each other, that type of love just fades away. Somewhere along the way, he stopped being my boyfriend and became a safety net, but I just didn’t want to admit that.

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I learned the hard way that he wasn’t who I was looking for, and given his behavior, I certainly was not who he was looking for. He’s going to get the family he’s always wanted, and he just didn’t want that with me. I never came with a guarantee that I’d always be around.

When we were together, I thought I wanted a family, and I resented him terribly for never wanting that with me. I thought I wanted to have a family and be a mother, but months after he and I broke up, I realized that part of my desire to have a family with him was to have some sort of a connection with someone supposed to be in a relationship with me.

While I know I would have been a great mother, I honestly don’t feel like my life is missing anything like I did when I was with him. I realized that the empty feeling I felt with him was just… well, how I felt about him.

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Don’t get me wrong – I wish him well, and I don’t hate him.  Once again, the opposite of love is indifference. Hell, he and I still share custody of Boomer and Mal. I want him to be happy, and he and I took way too long in realizing that involved finding other people. The ex and I have a history and not all of it was great or fantastic, but it certainly wasn’t all bad.

Right now, I am a 37 year old woman with a condition that affects my adrenal glands and one ovary. That pretty much cements the fact that I am not having kids, which is perfectly fine. I love what I do for a living and want to keep exploring different aspects of that and growing.

Again, nothing feels missing from my life. I get to be an aunt and go home to a quiet house. Wait, who am I kidding. With my two dogs, my house is never quiet, haha.

While painful, the mistakes and bad choices I have made allowed me to truly understand what it is I want in a significant other (a nerd for books or pop culture, a partner who wants to go out and be active with me, and someone who wants to go out and have adventures – big or small) and what I did not want in someone (i.e., smoker, drinker, or exhibited any obsessive qualities).

Right now, I couldn’t be happier with the man in my life who I have told everything. I’m not kidding – I have told this man allll my deep, dark secrets. All of them. He even sent a cease and desist email to my stalker (a married man with a kid), who I have asked repeatedly to stop contacting me who felt like ruining my birthday by sending me a  message from a spoofed number. Yeah, asshole. I know it was you.

My boyfriend has my back and I have his. He and I have something really great going on, and I look forward to spending as much time as I possibly can with him whenever possible.

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