Breaking up is hard to do.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve broken up but it feels permanent this time.”

I finally managed to get Tony pinned down for a conversation. I suspect at some level he knew what was coming and he wasn’t terribly keen on hearing it. It had been more than a few days of trying.

I chose to do it face-to-face. Not because I hoped for some grand declaration of love from him, and certainly not because I was hoping for some last sexual adventure. I had reminded myself several times this was not the time to play fast and loose with any justifications which would run counter to my agreement with Fox to be exclusive.

He arrived at my house in the early evening, greeting me with a quick kiss on the corner of my mouth.

Just the way he smelled made me want to fuck him.

I didn’t. You can stop wondering. When we parted ways, I gave him a deep lingering kiss goodbye. C’est tout.

We caught up and he vented about work and regaled me with stories. The man knows how to get me laughing.

I drank Cava quickly and nervously. I broke a glass (of course it wasn’t one of the cheap Ikea glasses I use for parties; it was Riedel. Sigh.)

The moment he commented on the late time I knew I had to start to talk or my window would close. I held his hands in mine. His hands alone turn me on. Strong and rough and veined. I touched the tattoo on his forearm. And I knew the chemistry and fun would never outweigh the pain.

He said “Ann, what is it? You look so sad.”

It took me a minute to compose my thoughts. I could feel the tears welling up.

I looked up at him with tears streaming down my face and said “Tony, I can’t see you anymore.”


I cried, a lot. We held hands and he stroked my hair and held me close to him. I explained I loved him but needed to be with someone who could love me back. He said the “l word” scared him.

He said he didn’t want to stand in the way of my happiness. That I deserved to be happy. That some man would be very lucky. I didn’t tell him I was already down this path with Fox; he didn’t need to know.

He said he wasn’t used to a breakup that didn’t include screaming and yelling. I simply said “I’m not angry with you. I love you.”

He cried.

I was surprised to see him so emotional. It’s easy to equate his actions (or lack thereof) with lack of care. While I always knew it wasn’t the case, I saw the proof in front of me.

I was right. Tony was/is simply incapable.

He didn’t fight for me. Didn’t ask me to change my mind. Didn’t try to promise something could be different. He knows it can’t, and I respect him for not trying.

I told him there would always be a part in my heart reserved for him; that I would always love him. He didn’t believe me, so I explained for me love doesn’t fade, it just goes beneath the surface after a while. I truly believe this to be true.

I asked him to please promise if he ever felt he was ready, to not be afraid to knock on my door just because I’ve closed it. He said he knew I needed my space and joked whether tomorrow was too soon to knock.

Multiple times, he asked that I not be a stranger. He told me how important I was to him, how much he’d learned from me, and how much he was going to miss me.


Hugging me tightly, he said if there was anything I needed I just had to call and he would be there for me.

I know he believes this to be true.


34 thoughts on “Breaking up is hard to do.

  1. Damn. I love living vicariously though you, I love how well you describe and analyze relationships and non-relationships and just all kinds of things. It’s a roller coaster reading about your life but I always celebrate when you are happy and have loved the path you are traveling with Fox.

    This is kinda heartbreaking. I know WHY, I totally get it, but it’s painful to see. Tony has no clue how much he is losing here, who he is losing.

    • Brian – I’m sorry for the late replay but I didn’t get a notification!! Thank you so much for the lovely comment. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my writing.

      I’m feeling less roller coaster ish ever since I met Fox. Saying goodbye finally to Tony though was very difficult even though I know it’s right.

      I do think he knows, to a point. But it doesn’t seem to make a difference…

  2. Congratulation Ann! You’ve finally set yourself free! SO did I a week ago…for good. I now feel free, happier and relieved.

  3. Oh Anne 😔 I feel sad when I read this, but I know this was the right thing to do. I’m glad you acknowledge that u deserve so much more than he was willing to give you. It was brave, what you did. I hope this gives you the closure you need ❤️

  4. *hugs* yeah that does suck, it hurts, but it’s like a boil that needs to be lanced, a lot of pain initially, but then the healing can start. At least he was smart enough to not promise what he couldn’t deliver. *hugs*

  5. Kudos, I know this couldn’t have been easy Ann. However, I am curious why you told Tony this:

    “I asked him to please promise if he ever felt he was ready, to not be afraid to knock on my door just because I’ve closed it.”

    Doesn’t this in fact leave the door open for him to come back and create a complication if one day he thinks he is ready for you? What would you do or say to Fox if you’ve been together for several months, and suddenly Tony comes back and says he is ready?

    • Thanks Josh. No, it wasn’t easy, even though I’ve known for weeks it’s the right thing.

      There are a few reasons why I said that to him. First is ego…if he ever decides he actually wanted to fight for me it would give me pleasure to know that. Second is I do somewhat believe that people enter my life for a reason; I’m not sure Tony crossed my path only to have the timing be wrong. I wanted him to know he could always check in with me.

      Now, the reality is I don’t really believe he will ever be ready and able to be what I need in a partner. While some of his shit is situational, the rest is just who he is. So let’s say I would be totally floored if he actually ever called me up and said he was ready.

      End of the day, I figure I will take my chances. If by some miracle he got his shit together, who knows whether I will be with Fox. And Fox is pretty awesome; it’s not like he’s a consolation award and Tony could just come back and sweep me off my feet.

    • Indeed! I thought perhaps I could just fade away but it felt wrong. I also found myself spending more mental energy wondering if / when I’d have to say goodbye. So I figured it was the best thing for me, and although now I’m definitely processing the loss in a different way, there’s no question in my mind it was the right thing for me to do.

  6. I’m glad you found some closure. I’ll be honest that as awesome as Fox seems to be that I’m still rooting for Tony. Not sure why…maybe I’ve always liked the under dog. You did the right thing for you and that is all that matters here.

    • If I’m being brutally honest I have to admit there’s a tiny piece of me rooting for Tony as well. I think it will take a while to fade, even though there will always be a part of my heart which is his.

      • That comes through in your writing for sure. I guess I’m a romantic at heart too, beyond liking the under dog. You have passion for Tony and it would be great to see you have that passion reflected back at you.

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