So I suddenly find myself single again.
Lady Friend® decided it was time for her to try something different, and we parted ways on relatively good terms.
It was unquestionably gut wrenching, but so very much easier for me this time around than my previous relationships that fell by the wayside.
That's not a reflection of Lady Friend®.
And hopefully it doesn't mean that I'm just getting used to being dumped...but I guess that's possible, too.
All my family and friends, in hindsight, have plenty of thoughts and opinions on the matter.
But frankly, the only opinions that mattered regarding our relationship were mine and Lady Friend's®.
I know that for me, personally, I'd never had a relationship go so smoothly. We could talk about anything, made each other laugh and smile every single day, and very rarely fought.
It was far from perfect - what relationship is? But it was damn good.
But unlike previous break-ups when I sheltered myself away in a self imposed prison with thick walls, not allowing myself the pleasure of enjoying day-to-day life, this one is very different.
There is an empty space in my life where Lady Friend® had been for most of the last year, no doubt. But I learned, through trial and error, that true happiness has to come from within. You can't derive your happiness from someone else. And this time I didn't.
Yes, my relationship with her increased my level of happiness, but my life was not built around the life of another person.
I guess that's the benefit of being an old fart. You learn from your past, and you avoid feeling the same pain by not allowing yourself to go down paths you already traveled.
I'm a better person for the time I spent with Lady Friend®, and I'm a better person for the lessons I learned as the relationship ended.
One key difference this time, compared to the last serious relationship I had, is that I made sure to have a proper goodbye. That never happened with the previous woman I dated, and to this day I remain dead in her eyes.
So this time around, I won't be sitting on the sidelines watching life go by for the next year and a half.
I'll be out there in the game of life, seeing what happens next.
Yes, love stinks. But life does go on, brah.