Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vanished: A Stereotypical Gay Breakup Story

After our last date seeing Wall-E, Mark didn't respond to calls or texts or get on Facebook for a few days. He disappeared.

It was rough on me. The only thing someone can do in that kind of a situation is blame himself. And that's what I did. I thought of everything I possibly could have said, everything I could have done, and everything I could have neglected to say or do to make him upset.

Finally, he showed up online one day. He said that the power had been out and the internet had stopped working for a few days. Always giving people the benefit of the doubt, I took him for his word and asked how things had been. The conversation soon led to a topic that neither of us were prepared to discuss.

He let me know that it was about time for him to go to the temple and didn't feel comfortable dating me so close to that event in his life because our last night of cuddling was the first time in his life he'd considered not going on a mission. With an aire of understanding, I wished him the best and let him know how much I learned during our time together and how much I would miss him. He left me comfortable with myself.

Being the first breakup I'd ever gone through, it was pretty devastating. We had our episodes like everyone else—the unfriending on Facebook (apparently, I was too much of a temptation), and the panicked "Don't out me" conversation when he found out I'd be working with his best girl friend from high school the next semester.

Despite the drama of this breakup, I didn't immediately learn the lesson that disappearing is a cowardly form of breakup. It took me being on the other side of the breakup to learn that there's a better way.


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