I think we broke up. After 7 ½ months of making our relationship work, it’s over. Or at least that’s the impression I got based on our phone conversation last night.
The past couple of weeks have been tough for my boyfriend and I. He has been overly stressed at work given the volatility of the stock market in recent weeks. He has been stressing over his CFA exam which he takes on December 2 and which he hasn’t studied nearly enough for. He hates Philadelphia. He hates his apartment. All-in-all, he is miserable.
We spoke last Thursday night and it wasn’t good. He had returned from a 3-day business trip to Pittsburgh the day before and he was absolutely exhausted. We were chatting for a while and I asked if I was seeing him that following weekend. He flipped out. “Why do you always ask me things when I’m comatose?” I answered with, “you are always tired lately so when would you like me to ask?” He then went on a rant about being busy at work and busy with the exam and hating his surroundings. I suggested that he get a job that allows him to be someplace he actually likes and also gives him the time and flexibility he needs for other things in his life. He then got so angry that he said he couldn’t continue the conversation. He said goodnight and hung up the phone.
We spoke briefly on Friday evening. I told him about that night’s dinner with my friend Nicole and how she has met the love of her life and is considering a move to Los Angeles. I told him about my day at work. It was a fairly calm conversation. He told me he was unhappy that I suggested he change jobs and he went into the “I’m miserable” rant again.
The next day he called around 6:00PM, I suppose when his day was over. We then really talked about things. He said that when he took the job he is currently at 2 years ago, he took a pay cut because he knew that the earnings potential were far greater here than where he was (he was making a quarter of a million dollars a year fixed salary and switched to a commission based position). He had expected to be far past where he was when he left his hold company by now but he isn’t and that right now he is, at the very least, trying to get back to the lifestyle he was at before. After that, he said, he wants to focus on making up for all of the lost earnings from the pay cut, which will amount to about $700,000 by the time he reaches the minimum goal of $250,000. He went into how he is also working this much so he’s able to take me to nice places and do nice things with me. Apparently in his industry, it is tough to switch jobs if you have been someplace for less than 3 years. He has only been with the current company for 2 so that causes yet another issue. He doesn’t like the job either. It is monotonous. He is either making phone calls to potential clients, responding to questions that current clients have, or drives all over his region to meet with people who are interested in investing with his company. A lot of his job is pretty much sales and maintenance of client relationships, as well as making their financial decisions for them. Both driving and the phone calls take a lot out of his and also take up a lot of his time. After going over the job issue, he went into the exam rant. He registered for it in March and should have started studying immediately, but didn’t because of the demands of his job. He is now cramming about 1000 hours of studying in by December 2, or more realistically, by Thanksgiving. I had suggested several weeks ago that he postpone the first level of the exam from December until June. He says he was apparently very, very bothered by that suggestion. He is also unhappy in his apartment. He doesn’t feel comfortable being 36 and renting a studio apartment in a city he finds revolting (sorry if you live there). He cramped in the apartment and although he could afford bigger and better, he feels that buying symbolizes permanence. As far as our relationship, he began dating me under the assumption he was supposed to have moved to New York by May. That never happened though due to the demands of his job. He is the number one guy in his company and the company, in turn, wants him to stay in the region and won’t even allow him to move to a suburban area of New Jersey. I suggested taking one day a month to do something he really enjoys doing: go to a museum, get more into his photography. “Are you kidding me? I just finished telling you that I am so busy with work and I’m trying to reach goals and you are telling me to take a day off so spend with you?” Meanwhile, he wasn’t listening clearly because I never said I had to join him. I just thought it would be good for him, whether with me or not, to take a day to himself and just do something he likes doing. He said he knows he is being unfair to me but he just can’t give me the time I deserve. “You deserve so much better than this.” He said that if he lived in New York but were just as busy, it would be different because he’d be able to just meet me for dinner and go home. Or I could at least be there when he goes to bed and wakes up in the morning. It would be a totally different situation. Basically, we ended the conversation not knowing what to do.
Sunday we spoke briefly about our days and what the plans for the week were. Monday we didn’t speak at all.
Last night we spoke for a long time. We had a great conversation and then somehow the fact that we hadn’t seen one another in almost 3 weeks came up. “This is ridiculous. This isn’t a relationship.” I said, “What do you propose we do?” His answer: Break up. I fell silent. He started saying how I deserve so much more than he can give right now and that he hates being so unfair to me and hates dragging me around like he is. We spoke for a while about it and then he said he had to do paperwork for some clients before bed and had to go. “Don’t worry about this,” were his last words before saying goodnight.
I cried myself into an extremely restless sleep.
Based on the conversation and how it ended, I’m not even sure if we are broken up. I know I feel sad. I can’t even get out a smile. If I even glance at the picture of him on my office desk, I shed a couple of tears before biting the inside of my mouth to remind myself I’m at work and can’t have a break down here. I have begun the healing process that I’ve gone through so many times before, even though I am not even sure if there is anything to heal from. I put breakup songs on my I-Pod play list for my commute to work this morning: Nick Lachey’s CD, “What’s Left of Me.”
More than any other feeling, though, my heart aches. I have the continuous lump in my throat meaning that at any given moment, I could burst into tears. I just want my heart to feel better. I want the hurt to go away.