I stand in the shower, naked. Hot water running down my face, wiping away the grime from the last 24 hours. I need to cleanse myself. I feel so dirty, so confused. And oh so sad. So sad by what the last 24 hours revealed.
He just wasn’t that into you.
Minutes before my bath, Paco had walked out of my life for good. But not before we sat across from each other at my dining table and made small talk. Small talk. After he had admitted eight hours before that he “tried” to make it work. His version of “try” consisted of emotional detachment and little affection. Don’t get me wrong. He treated me well and with respect. He called me like a good boyfriend should and listened to my woes. He was supportive of my career. But there was no tenderness and rarely any sex.
While breaking up, he told me he was “almost” asexual.
I stand in the shower reflecting on those words. The water hitting harder now. The words hitting harder now. He was never as interested in sex as I was. I love sex, especially when I am in a relationship. No wonder he never attempted morning sex. What man doesn’t attempt morning sex?
I think back to every sexual experience we ever had and wonder if he was faking it. Did he ever want me? Yes, I feel that he did. At some point that desire existed. Where did it go? Why didn’t I see it dissipate?
More water running down my face. Now a mixture of salty cold and hot. I am crying. A tear or two slide down my cheeks. But I’m not sobbing like I have after past breakups. These tears feel different, taste different. They feel like relief. They taste like freedom.
I am crying because I am happy.
Happy to no longer pretend that my relationship was what it needed to be. Excited to be myself because being with Paco was stifling. I walked on eggshells, never sure if I could hug him or kiss him or reach out and hold his hand.
The lack of connection was intolerable.
Paco’s words, not mine. That’s the last meaningful thing he said to me before he walked out the door for good.
I step out of the shower, feeling cleansed and ready to start again. There’s still some grime. It sits underneath the surface. It bubbles when I am alone and reflect on Paco and I, when I admit my part in it, when I realize I knew it wasn’t right either and yet I stuck with it, with us, fearing singlehood again. But I wouldn’t clear away the dirt. It is a reminder of the abyss that I climbed out of. Because he just wasn’t that into me. I just wasn’t that into him. And now I am free to climb again.
Photo Credit: Claysnails Photography.