My partner and I broke up two weekends ago, and although we both feel the release and pseudo-freedom of a typical breakup, neither of us feels particularly sad. Our mutual friends are more upset about this than we are. I can honestly say that our breakup was entirely mutual. It was simply time to let “us” go.
Liberally throughout our relationship, we had progress evaluations, similar to those which people experience at their places of business. We would talk about the way things had been going, what we liked, what could use improving, and what direction we wanted to be heading.
Sometimes, we would have these talks because one of us had an improvement to suggest. Other times, it was simply because we hadn’t had one in a while. With both circumstances, we each appreciated that the other cared enough to listen and actively participate. It always felt collaborative and made our relationship stronger.
In the end, the main reason we broke up is because we felt that we were growing apart from each other, and part of that growth was due to the realization of our contrasting sexual needs.
Amusingly, neither of us was sexually submissive enough for the other. He needs a partner with whom he can express more of his dominant side, particularly through intercourse, and I need a partner who only wants to play a submissive role (rather than switching between dominant and submissive) and who has my humiliation fetish.
We are taking this break-up at our own pace because that’s what relationships are all about — doing whatever works best for both (or all) partners. As I told my ex this past week, there is no wrong decision for how each of us chooses to cope. We have the responsibility of letting each other know what we need in the moment, and we both will respect each other’s needs and limits. We can only move at whatever speeds work comfortably for both of us.
Neither of us wants this break-up to feel like the typical rip-off-the-bandage kind. We want a slow, smooth, comfortable transition. Perfect example: last weekend after we formally broke up, I was not yet comfortable giving up our hand-holding, so we continued to hold hands in public. Kissing, on the other hand, we have reserved exclusively for the bedroom.
Currently, we’re also both open to the idea of a friends-with-benefitsship, though I suspect my ex will become less comfortable with the arrangement before I do. He feels that it may make him appear sexually promiscuous to new partners before he becomes involved with them, whereas I do not care. I’m no stranger to being friends with exes or continuing to have sexual relationships with them, as they have always ended well for me. In my experience, the “benefits” organically fade, as my partners and I become less interested in having sexual relations without the romance we once shared. That’s what I expect to happen with this ex.
No matter what happens, I look forward to where my ex-partner and I end up relationship-wise. I trust that he and I will remain close friends, and I would feel extremely sad to lose his presence from my life.