You should never have to convince someone to like you. But when you do – in hindsight, the ending seems rather obvious.

However, to tell the ending, we have to start at the beginning.

NiceGuy and I were friends first, for about a year and a half. I never really went there with him, thought I always thought he was cute – mostly because he was so Nice. I don’t really do nice. I like the heartbreak and the angst and the passion. And then the group got smaller – and he and I consistently seemed thrown together, and then came the night where he suggested I crash in his bed instead of on the couch.

Oh, huh, that seems fairly obvious. Guy invites Girl to sleep In his bed. And from there? We slept. For three months.  And nothing else. Ever. Good conversations (and by conversations I mean I would ask questions and pry answers out, occasionally actually getting one), and late evening, intimacy was there, and I began to fall. Hard. He was so Nice and everything was always so comfortable with him. I would wake up, hungover, hair like poof, makeup smeared and the conversations would continue – over brunch or on the couch together.

But then we kept adding alcohol. Eventually the right combination of alcohol and sleep deprivation and sexual tension made us snap. I snapped first – in the hallway to the bathroom at a dive bar. We didn’t speak of it. Then he snapped, while wasted on his birthday. And after that we fell into a … something. Every weekend we were at his place or my place, during the week, general texts back and forth. Until – I realized he wasn’t in it. Just going through the motions. So I cut it off.

Then in December he started coming around again – all actions were on him. He was actually making plans and reaching out to see me. I figured it would be different, despite him telling me on NYE he wasn’t interested in a relationship. All his actions were saying different. We were inseparable for 4 days over the holidays, even after his admission.

So we kept doing what we do – every weekend, many weeknights, and gradually just fell into a routine. It was still comfortable, nice, better than the first time around. I started to let myself fall. We had been ‘together’ for a year and half – his response when asked at a wedding by my friends. I wasn’t even aware that we were considering us together. I would catch him referencing him and I as an ‘us’, ‘our’ plans, etc. And it gave me a warm glow, I liked how NiceGuy and I were becoming linked – NiceGuy and Disarming. Even our names sounded good together. There was starting to be some pressure from friends – having seen how happy we were together – wanting to know plans. I don’t really do commitment, so I danced around them – and NiceGuy always deferred to me on those questions. He excels at the non-answer answer.

And then, with the advent of this summer, I felt NiceGuy start to pull away. Not so much it was obvious – but he was less engaged, more willing to break plans and not hanging out as much.  I have admitted to myself I’ll always love the guy – he is a nice guy at the heart of it. But I couldn’t be in love with someone who wouldn’t let me. And the move into my new apt was something that made me reevaluate … well everything.

And so, one Friday evening, after his poker game – we had The Talk. Sprinkled with “I never meant to hurt you”s and “we’ll still be friends”, we called it quits. A quiet breakup. One that left my heart more bruised than broken.

I didn’t cry that weekend. Actually until this past Saturday I hadn’t cried about it at all. I’m not sure if that was because I didn’t care enough to cry or I just thought it wasn’t the end. I’m trying, oh so very hard, to stick to the break up this time around. Probably part of the reason I’m writing this all down. Written word always seems to reverberate harder with me.

No more reaching over to smooth down the cowlick, no flirtatious glances across the table, and no handholding as we drive to the bars. No more cuddling on the loveseat and watching bad 80s movies I should have seen the first time around but missed because “I wasn’t born yet”. No more texts when I am just thinking about him, or giving him crap for playing too much xbox and being antisocial.

I’ve had both kinds of breakups. TheEx and I’s breakup was so shattering he actually had to call the landlord to get me to leave his apt (in my defense there were pictures I wanted off his laptop before I left…), that one took me a solid month to think of him without an actual pain in my heart. And then at least a year to actually get over him. And I can freely say there are still parts of my heart locked away from others. TheEx was the only one to get that close.

NiceGuy – we had a quiet break up. Not unlike our relationship. Quiet and controlled, no hysterics, just general sadness at the ending of … not quite a something, but a possibility of something great. The breakup, like our relationship, was rather bloodless.

Two kinds of love – two kinds of heartbreak. Having now had both, I’m not quite sure which was more devastating.

I do hope in this aftermath that NiceGuy and I can remain friends – its important to our entire group dynamic. But I also know that when we’re out at the bar, sometimes our eyes catch – lately I’m always the one looking away first.

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