Shawn (formerly known as LongDistance) was the man I dated before Jonathan. The romantic relationship didn’t work out between Shawn and I. For one, I wasn’t ready to quit my job. sell my house, and move to the city. Then, after about a year of dating, I had a horrible debilitating arthritis flare. The type of flare that lasts for months. The type of flare that feels disabling and unending. I couldn’t travel to see Shawn because of the excruciating back pain. Shawn needed lots of emotional support through his anxiety and depression and I couldn’t offer that to him because I was suffering from pain induced depression myself.
I decided to break up with Shawn because I couldn’t give him what he needed. He was completely heart broken. He began failing out of college, sleeping all day, missing work…Eventually, at my encouragement, he saw a psychiatrist and started taking meds that helped with his anxiety. Things I just couldn’t do for him.
While we were together, the nature of our relationship was never clear. I never knew if it was temporary or permanent. I didn’t know if we would live together or have children. Shawn always said he didn’t want children which worried me. Shawn didn’t want to move back to my city because it was too small for him. There was no clear direction and that was stressful for me. Shawn was, however, a great creative force. He is the type of person you can talk to without fear of judgement. He was always open and honest with me…always caring and understanding. He encouraged me to pursue photography and art.
Since Shawn found out about my elopement, he has hardly spoken to me. He said congrats and that was all. Before that, even while I was dating Jonathan, we spoke regularly about our creative endeavors. I miss my friendship with Shawn. In spite of our awkward romantic relationship, we had a great friendship and it hurts to think our friendship might be over.