Ave Brutus, Vale Julia Caesar.

Obviously your real name isn’t Brutus. But I am not writing this to point the finger at you. I was able to say some of those things to you in person. But I got the feeling you weren’t capable of grasping any of it, at least not much. So this is for me, addressed to you but not necessarily for you.

You were the one who wanted to move fast and commit to a relationship. You seemed very confident and I admired that. That you can’t recall that you did does not mean it didn’t. Wouldn’t that be convenient? In hindsight, I don’t even know if any of it was true. Which is probably unfair but that’s how you make me feel.

All relationships require time and dedication. Especially in the beginning. Nobody expects to change your whole life and centre it around a new relationship. Just acknowledge: there is someone you wanna include in your life. You, however, thought by putting the label “relationship” on it, that was enough commitment and dedication on your part. I wasn’t your girlfriend. I was your occasional plus one. Convenient for social events where you could proudly present me as yours. Because you’re right with one thing – I am fucking awesome. Literally and metaphorically speaking. But to make the tiniest bit of room in your life? Not gonna happen. And if Julia insists, she’s needy. You were a whole lot of empty promises. And annoyed when I claimed them. You said, you didn’t want any of us to have to change for the other. Adjustings is neither changing nor denying your true self. I am the same person when I talk to my boss, to my therapist, to my friends, to my neighbour. Yet each of these conversations would show a completely different Julia. And it’s all me. I would never expect you to change your core being. Your core being is what I fell in love with and what I still appreciate about you.

All relationships are based on mututal respect and trust towards each other. I’m not talking about sharing bank details or Netflix passwords or telling each other everything. I’m talking about that slowly built-up trust. And how do you build it? By being open and honest, and therefore vulnerable to each other. I was. You weren’t. Therefore you got out when you wanted to, and I got hurt. You decided to shoulder everything by yourself and hide it from me. You wanted to solve an equation without including all variables. You thought if you act it like everything is fine, everything IS fine. Surprise, problems don’t magically disappear if you ignore them. Once, you addressed something. You said your piece, I said mine, and within a few calmly exchanged words, we reached an agreement, set our boundaries, and moved on. Problem solved. Wow, I thought, we handle issues like proper adults. We are so comfortable around each other to do his. Until you didn’t anymore. You justified your actions with ex-experiences where addressing things equaled drama. And conveniently overlooked the opposite presenting yourself in front of you. Tell me: How was I supposed to know something was wrong? You made me part of the problem (maybe I was) but you denied me being part of the solution. One incident happened that neither of us handled correctly. A minor nuisance, nothing more. You called it the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. [in German, the drop that made the barrell overflow]. How wouldn’t it? You claimed the camel’s load for yourself and You carried everything we were supposed to carry together. [You rolled in the barrell and filled it and I had no idea there even was a barrell]. And blamed me that it got too heavy. I keep thinking how awful of a partner I must be that you collected so many bad things about me within such a short timespan?? Without showing it. I think you belong in front of the camera, not behind it. You sure have the acting skills. Did I even fall for YOU or simply for the idealized version you pretended to be? I honestly don’t know anymore. I don’t blame you for realizing that our existing differences are not compatible in the long way. That may be the case, or not, who knows? I blame you for keeping me blindsighted about what was going through your heart and mind. I blame you for making that decision all by yourself, of keeping me out of the loop. When I confronted you a second time after our break-up, you changed your story halfway through from “I don’t communicate problems” to “I definitely communicated them through my changed behaviour”. Which is right? I honestly don’t know. Let me say this: if you did, you did a damn bad job and you were subtler than subtle about it. I had no idea what hit me when it did. You said you felt pressured to let me come to your best friend’s wedding. In no way did I pressure you, I even gave you a valid excuse. All you had to do was say “Yes, you’re right, it is quite early in our relationship for bringing the other one to a wedding.” That was a you-problem and you blamed it on me. I have plenty of me-problems. We all do. You know what I did? I told you about them. I told you I am working on them and that I didn’t want to make you responsible for anything that is not your responsibility. And asked you to tell me if that was the case. Our relationship was the victim of your baggage and personal issues, and I was collateral damage. You had a double moral. When I kept nagging you about something, I was disrespecting your boundaries. If you did the same to me, you were just joking around. Hashtag snails, Hashtag bondage. Do you have any idea how it feels when you wanna have sex with your SO and they brush you aside while saying in the same breath (and repeatedly) how nice it would be to take that curly-haired redheaded waitress back home for some fun? Sorry for not taking your reluctance seriously. Sorry I thought you were just teasing me and I was teasing you. Sorry I interpreted it as some sort of cheeky banter. Sorry for not understanding you just didn’t want to have sex with me.

Since I studied English and German literature and you’re a movie buff, here are some similes:

If our relationship was a meal we prepared together, you would have let me salted it more and more, encouraging me even. And then throw it all out because of course it became inedible. If our relationship was a contract, you would have given me nothing but positive feedback for my work, just to hand me my resignation the same day for breach of contract. And since you are so in love with your business: If our relationship was a camera lense, it would have had a crack but you would use it anyway and hope that by using it anyway the crack would magically disappear. And whose fault is it that it didn’t? Mine. How dare I not have seen the crack even though you put the blind on it. One of the major issues you had with me was that I was too energetic. Me, the one who usually went to bed2 hours earlier than you. The conversation went something like this: “You’re so energetic.” – “Did it affect you in a negative way?” – “No.” – “Sooo?” – “You know, Bernhard, for example. He doesn’t talk much in the morning.” – “Was I talking too much in the morning? Did it bother you?” – “No, not at all.” – “So what exactly is the problem?” – “Look, there are different kinds of people. Bernhard for example. Bernhard is …” – “This is about us, not about Bernhard.” – “Yes, but I’m trying to say people are different.” – “Yes they are, what does it have to do with us? How exactly does one of my defining character traits that you vocally admired before have to do with your roommate? Do you want me to be less energetic and more like Bernhard?” – “No, I love your energy.” – “So, what exactly is the problem?” You can see where this is going, dear non-addressee reader.

The breakup

One of the shabbiest, shadiest things anyone has ever done to me. You lured me into your home, you made me feel welcome. “Fancy a glass of wine at my place?” is how you invited me over. We spent the first 20 minutes of the evening hugging and kissing and chatting about our day as ever. “I didn’t initiate any kissing!” you tried to defend yourself afterwards when I asked, how you could do that. You didn’t mind the kissing at all, though. You also didn’t have a problem having sex with me or inviting me to your mum’s and granny’s for lunch while already thinking about breaking up. I had no idea there was any other reason you wanted to see me besides that you wanted to see me until you put your hands on your table and said: “I wanted to have a conversation with you”. Even then I had no idea what the result of that conversation would be. A conversation that in fact wasn’t one. It was a monologue with a set ending and all there was for me to do was comment on it. No editing wanted. What hurts the most though is that you knew what would hurt me the most and yet you went straight for it. You said you handled the breakup as you thought was best. And I believe you. You are not an evil person. Sadistic for sure, probably subconscious. You are simply stuck in your own world, perspective, headspace and weird pseudo-rational logic and you reject anything that could change even the slightest bit about that. You had the best intentions. However, you weren’t willing to look beyond your mindset and consider anything I had told you about me. Anything would have been enough because everything was about this: don’t stab me in the back. Et tu, Brute? There was no empathy, there was only What Would David Do. And why the actual fuck did you mention that your business partner for many years, the one YOU USED TO DATE (which was news to me, too), was the only person you ever wanted to marry and she said no? (well done, girl, well done. Bet you saw through the emptiness of his words.) Are you still into her and is that the reason you’re so in love with your business?? Would explain a lot, actually.

You painted a wonderful picture of us, full of happy little trees, and you chopped them down. Healthy, beautiful trees just starting to blossom. Rotten inside, unbeknownst to me. I don’t mourn the real us. The real you is most likely a bullet I dodged. I mourn the fantasy, the “us” you created. And robbed from me, in an instant. I would have rather been grazed by that bullet, at least I would have seen it coming, than stabbed in the back by someone I thought I could trust. Et tu, Brute, indeed.

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