words I don’t use: break up

I’m 31 years old and I have never been broken up with. One guy has turned me down for sex. Every day I prepare myself mentally to not be as lucky.

My long-term partner and I regularly talk about our futures. The conversation goes something like, “I want to do this, I want to do that, you’re amazing, I love sharing my life with you, I’m so excited I get to witness your journey, I love watching us change, yadda, yadda, yadda.” Very rarely are there future plans that involve us doing something together. And that’s just us. There’s not a lot of interests we share, but we’re interested in each other. We talk about change constantly. It’s an addressed, appreciated, and welcomed conversation. If we were to ever break up, I wouldn’t call it a break up — it doesn’t seem accurate to me. We’d be supporting each other’s visions for the future, not breaking up. I can’t equate support with ending an intimate relationship, it becomes the opposite to me. Our relationship becomes even more intimate when we can give each other room to grow. Every day we confirm that our paths are unique and we chose to share them with one another.

Today, we happen to be doing that very close in proximity. We support each other before we close our eyes at night and as soon as we open them in the morning. We support each other through bad dreams by rubbing each other’s backs and petting each other’s heads, but tomorrow it might not be that way. Tomorrow we might be supporting each other by allowing ourselves physical space or embracing silence and distance.

The day that we are silent and distant and someone asks if we broke up, I’ll answer that we changed together.

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