Sunday, February 21, 2010


So yesterday I saw my ex for the first time since well before xmas. It was nice to see her and the whole thing was suitably awkward and uncomfortable.

When you end a relationship with someone that you've been with for so long it's very difficult to know how to interact as a 'not-couple'. I guess it's something you figure out in time but at the moment not having any contact is the better route. We didn't break up for any terrible heart-breaking reason beyond realising that, while our relationship was comfortable and loving, it just wasn't right. And, to tell the truth, I just couldn't imagine being with her for the rest of my life any more. I certainly couldn't conceive (heh) of having children with her.

So, although there were aspects of our break-up that sucked big hairy arses and were pretty painful, the hurt and bad feeling has gone entirely. As has any sexual desire, thankfully. But when she said she'd be moving away from Sydney soon it was a bit of a wrench. I don't have any wish to spend time with her now - and probably not for a long time - but it was weird to think of being in this city when she's not.

Plus she'll be taking the cat and dog - which sucks. It was so lovely to be around them again: I really miss animal companionship. Yes, I have goldfish - but have you ever tried to hug one? Don't. Just.. don't. And they very rarely fetch.

I can't have pets at my current place and I'm loath to move again when my lease is up in three months - but I think I'm going to have to think about finding a pet friendly place at some stage in the future. Cats have been pretty much a constant in my life for as long as I can remember and now I've had a dog I'm pretty keen to do that again. Anyway. Need to sort out many other aspects of my life before that one.

This evening I had dinner with a couple who were/are good friends of mine and my ex. A couple who I haven't seen since October - before the break-up. They, on the other hand, have kept up regular contact with the ex - which was frankly a bit hurtful since I've had nothing from them for months. And they were supposedly my friends first (as adolescent as that sounds).

But beyond being a bit hurt I don't really hold anything against them - you can't make people like you and if they feel like they have to take sides then there's really no arguing against that. It was nice to see them, and their kids - their boy drew me a couple of pictures to put on my fridge which was very sweet.

It was awkward though.

Which is probably down to me: I appear to be going through a bit of an awkward phase this lifetime. I can't seem to do small-talk or chitchat much. And, much as it's most often banal and pointless, phatic communication is an essential element to conversation. People use it to set others at ease before moving to more meaningful discussion. I, on the other hand, tend to dive straight to the deep and intense a lot too quickly - or just remain silent.

I need to learn to prattle. Get my blather on.

Must pick up a copy of "Small-Talk For Dummies"...


y said...

I feel oh so sympathetic about the 'I can't do chichat, must go into the deep stuff right away' feeling. And about the lack of cat company. That's terrible.

eroica said...

hey love.
there is something so beautiful about someone who just can't DO smalltalk. i talk far too much shit, and skim over too much, i love that you don't suffer from that affliction! the flip side eh.
love love love

Anonymous said...

You made fun of title "Small Talk for Dummies" but seriously, you might benefit from the book "The Fine Art of Small Talk."

You know why your ex has seen so much of this couple and you haven't? Because women make the social arrangements. Really. So get on the stick and keep your friendships.

You Don't Know Me

helena said...

Anonymous has a good point there. Women do tend to do the social arrangement thing much more easily than men. Apart from me that brother Herebe and I must have had our genes swapped at some point because he's brilliant at making (and keeping/keeping in touch with) people/friends he knows and I'm completely crap at it (and small talk)

I wouldn't worry about it though. Ive found that those people who make the effort to keep in touch with you will be the ones you'd want to keep in touch with anyway (and who don't care about the lack of small talk).

fishboy said...

y: I feel the loss of pets more strongly than I do the loss of friends in some ways..

eroica: You don't talk shit babe - at least not with me. But then we've never really had problems with conversation!

Anonymous: I'm very aware of the reasons why the friendship lapsed and why the ex has seen them more than I - and I haven't listed them all here. The fact that women are so often the 'social secretaries' in relationships also isn't news to me. I knew when I spit from my ex that I was going to have to make more of an effort to run my own social life and have been doing just that.

Thanks for the book suggestion though - I might check that out.

helena: I think the small-talk thing is largely a matter of practice, and it's not really something I need to worry about with my established friends - more of a problem with new acquaintances or friends of friends.

Mostly I'm not concerned about chitchat or increasing the amount of contact with people who know me - like you say, if they're friends they accept you as you are and the friendship persists even when you don't see each other often.