The interesting thing about breaking up with someone is the number of firsts that come with it. When you first start dating someone, there are all these firsts: first date, first kiss, first time you sleep together, first fight, first “I love you”. And you want to remember them all because they seem so precious and amazing, and like they’re all going to be so important, and that there will be an infinite number of them. And I don’t really think you run out of them so much as I think there comes a point when you don’t notice them as much. Comfort sets in over the adrenaline of the new. And that consistency is just as wonderful as the new because there’s a lot to be said for the expected. Knowing how late someone generally sleeps in on Sundays and what kind of breakfast they like when they get up. Knowing the kinds of jokes that will make them laugh and being able to guess what will be on the TV when you walk into the room just based on what time it is. And all of that begins to feel so permanent even as you know somewhere in your mind that it’s precarious that you just assume that it’s going to keep being there even when you’re wondering if you should be getting out.
And then the split happens, and you’re back to the firsts: first full day of not calling him, then the first week. First time something excellent happens and you can’t tell him about it. First time something shitty happens and you can’t tell him about it. First holidays apart, first trips to a restaurant you both loved (I haven’t been brave enough to do too many of those yet). First time watching movies you watched together. First phone calls to friends that went different ways in the break-up. First time you hear about the dates he’s going on, or you run across his profile on a dating site. And what still surprises me is almost seven months out I’m still running into firsts around every corner, just when I think I’m starting to run out of them and can settle into the comfortable period. And right now I can’t help but wonder, when’s the first day that I don’t still miss him going to be?