It all happened during the summer break between my second and third year at university. We had been in a relationship for about four months and were more than comfortable saying we were in love. Then the holidays happened.
Unlike Gwen (not her real name), I didn’t live close to campus so when my rental was up I moved 150 miles away to my home town. It was then that the cracks in the relationship started to show – not helped by the long-distance between us.
Enter Paula (also not her real name). Gwen had met Paula over Tumblr and they became fast friends over their shared love of the BBC adaptation of Sherlock. They’d talk most days and sometimes it was hard not feel like a third wheel to Gwen and her phone as Paula would never stop. Still, I knew that complaining or saying anything was doomed to go badly. So, I said nothing.
After a month of the holidays, plans were made for Gwen to come to visit me for a few days for my birthday and meet my parents for the first time. I was very excited of course, but so too was Paula. As chance would have it, Paula lived about 20 minutes away from my house. Paula was over the moon that her best friend was finally going to be around and she began planning what they’d do together. Every day.
I knew it was time I said something. I wanted to spend some time with my girlfriend. Paula took this badly. Gwen got angry and before I knew it, Gwen was going to stay with Paula, and not me. I was devastated. What had happened to my relationship? When Gwen finally arrived, I was given only a few hours to see my girlfriend. We didn’t argue or shout – we just knew we were done.
Long distance had revealed the cracks, and there was no way back.
As breakups go, it was devastating, but looking back I can see it was best for both of us. The distance had exposed, to each of us, aspects of the relationships we didn’t like.
We were both able to move on and find what we’re really looking for.