Adam and I broke up a long time ago by now…it was February 16th, and I had already been panicking for weeks as to how to tell him. I was struggling with my feelings. I knew I didn’t want to be romantic anymore, but I still had very real feelings of love, admiration, and affection for him. What’s more is that we’d moved in together just 2 months previously, and neither of us had the means to change our living situation right away. He, being the most gracious and understanding man on the planet, agreed that this didn’t need to be a civil war catastrophe, and we have remained roommates ever since. We didn’t have much of a choice, financially, so we agreed to be friends, respect each other, and take it one day at a time.
In the months since our break-up, I’ve learned to love and respect Adam more and more, literally by the day. He makes me happy and content like I never thought possible. Naturally, these sensations, however nice-feeling, have led to great confusion on my part. How could I feel such profound emotion and affection for him, recognize him as the man who makes me feel the happiest and most free, prioritize hanging out with him over anyone else, and STILL not want to be romantic with him??
I criticized myself harshly, and cried very hard, very often. We live harmoniously together, but it can’t go on like this forever.
A few months ago, around the same time I broke the news to him that I’ve discovered I’m bisexual and prefer open relationships, we gave each other permission to see other people. It thrilled me to take this step, not only because I’d found myself feeling nice n’ fuzzy feelings for others, but also because I wanted Adam to find someone fulfilling as well.
That being said, he told me that whoever I wanted to see, he didn’t want to know about it. That agreement, however practical, didn’t thrill me. I’ll explain why:
I embarked on new adventures feeling complete because of our conversation, but as I explored my feelings for others, for men and women alike, I started to feel like I was hiding things. I don’t know how to describe it, but I felt “sneaky.” I was aware that feelings of love were beginning to outweigh any feelings of simple lust for the new objects of my affection, but the fact that I felt like I had to withhold information from Adam in order to honor our agreement didn’t sit well with me. I knew I wasn’t lying, or worse, “cheating”…I wasn’t being deceitful, but as my feelings progressed, I struggled long and hard with the nagging need to tell Adam the whole truth; that I was not only “seeing” someone else…but was in love with someone else.
But how should/could I say that? And why, exactly, did I “need” to tell him?? And how the fuck could I possibly STILL feel so much love and affection for Adam while discovering NEW and DIFFERENT ways to love another man??
I questioned myself endlessly: Am I insane? Am I sick? Am I abnormal? Is this a pathology? Should I seek professional help? And most importantly, should I tell Adam about how I feel or would telling him dishonor our agreement? I would feel better, sure, but would that only serve me and not him? The tango of questions in my head was exhausting.
After a month or so of debating with myself, on Monday, I finally told him I’m seeing someone else. Up until the moment the words popped out of my mouth I thought about changing the course of the conversation and avoiding the topic altogether. I couldn’t…I didn’t want to go on feeling like I had to mislead him.
He took the news quietly, but gracefully, just as I expected.
I cried a flood of tears…they continued to pour down my face long after our conversation was over. I couldn’t stop repeating how much I love him. I needed him to know. I also gave him the choice to tell me not to say “I love you,” anymore, as I can only imagine how confusing hearing “I love you…and also someone else” might be for him.
In the days following that conversation, Adam and I haven’t spoken much…probably less than ever since we met 2 1/2 years ago. We set our move-out date and discussed how we’d divide some of our mutual possessions. That was painful, but necessary. It’s strange… he seems fine with my confession, but I’m still pretty broken up. As expected, telling him didn’t alleviate very much of my pain. It perhaps, in fact, intensified my fears of hurting Adam. I guess the only payoff, however limited, is that I feel slightly better knowing there is nothing left unsaid.