dating

'It only took a short text message from him. Sterile.' The brief romance that left me broken.

“Love is dead.” I stood in the shower and let the water wash over me, and from the top corner of the bathroom wall, a Daddy Long Legs watched me as I cried. The misery of being let down again.

Do you know the feeling? Heartbreak can be all-consuming.

I’d been single for most of my life – and moments of passion between me and a partner were few and far between.

When I met him, my expectations were low. I wasn’t looking for a relationship.

What dating is like according to your star sign. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

He was a white collar professional, recently single and an excellent listener. But the way he spoke… he managed to weave a future with his words and I soon found myself riding the waves of infatuation.

We went on drives, strolled around town, tried to memorise the names of each other’s siblings – and the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into an awkward position.

It was not a romance built to last.

The first red flag? He left me off his social media. It wasn’t his thing – so I was kept at a digital arm’s length, wondering what was happening in his life beyond our meetings.

The second? Well, it was a small moment. We went shopping and he powered ahead, leaving me behind in a trail of romantic dust. He wasn’t moving in step with me – physically or metaphorically.

Simply: I was kept outside of his heart.

Despite this, I was wearing the rose-tinted glasses so many of us do in romantic relationships. I didn’t put the little hints together – or didn’t want to.

I hung on, hoping he would realise our potential – somehow something would click, and he’d look at me differently.

ADVERTISEMENT

It only took a brief text message from him – a sterile best of luck – before we went our separate ways. He was kind, I was accepting – and that was that.

It’s a romance many women have experienced before. There were no big moments, no guarantees and its lifespan was counted in the weeks. But despite its casual nature, the end was deeply upsetting.

Some of our biggest heartbreaks are formed from mundane moments: conversations on the couch, lingering looks across the room and touches on the knee. Seemingly simple, short-term relationships can be hugely significant to the heart.

I’ve always enjoyed the single life – the freedom, the opportunity it holds and the independence. But I have to admit – in the days after he left, I felt lonely.

Listen to Overshare, the podcast you really shouldn’t be listening to. Just like the best group chat with your mates, Overshare is a bit smart, a bit dumb and a bit taboo. Post continues below.

The cloud of sadness that swept over me felt strange: my friends didn’t know his name, my family weren’t familiar with his face – and somehow, it made the grief feel… invalidated.

Despite the cracks in my heart, I stood up, readied myself and began the process of moving on. I felt it’s what I was meant to do. From working long hours, to attending my weekly trivia nights, the routine of a well lived life kept my mind off what had happened.

In time, the wounds healed. But… I wish I had been kinder to myself. Softer. I should have acknowledged a simple fact: even the shallowest cuts can leave a scar.

These days, I’m back in the dating game and driven by hope. I no longer measure the importance of my relationships by days and weeks – and my heart is healthier for it. I’m open to love – but also understanding that with vulnerability, comes the possibility of sadness.

Even if your relationship is more flicker than flame: it’s only human to grieve.

Feature Image: Supplied.

Alita Brydon is a comedy writer and creator of the Facebook Page, Bad Dates of Melbourne. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Have you grieved a short-term relationship? How did you get over the heartbreak? Let us know in the comments.

00:00 / ???