A Personal Story About Going through a COVID-19 Breakup
Last week’s blog post was one of my favorites to date! Not only was it the first guest post I’ve published, it was written by John. It was really fun to work with him on it, too, and I’ll probably write an article on that whole process in the future.
For today, though, I’m sharing another one of my personal stories. And, yep, you guessed it – it’s not a good one (because, as I’ve mentioned before, those are always more fun to read about 😉).
This one is all about a breakup, and – more specifically, a covid breakup.
*Note: Names have been changed, as always.
If you follow me on social media or read my other blog about Tarot, you’re probably slightly familiar with Max* already. I wrote about him a few times there (see this post), though I always referred to him simply as “X.”
Max and I met the way most millennials do nowadays – online. I’d been back on the dating scene for a few months by that point, but I was still reeling from my devastating breakup from Brad.
Max, too, was recently getting out of something serious – a marriage. 🚩
Now, there’s obviously nothing wrong with dating a divorcee (after all, I’m divorced 😏), but, for reasons you’ll soon understand, I’d caution you to be careful if it’s a recent split.
Max and his ex-wife, Anna, had been together for 15 years and had decided to split up less than six months before we met. Initially, I was somewhat wary of this, too.
I asked him quite bluntly if he felt ready to be dating again. He assured me that he was saying, like so many who’ve been through a divorce do, that the relationship had been over for a long time. Having gotten divorced, myself, I knew that feeling well – I was actually ready to date again just a few months after splitting from my ex-husband.
So, I didn’t think too much about it and agreed to meet up with him.
On our first date, there was an immediate spark – in fact, I actually told a close friend of mine that I felt like he was “the one.” I wouldn’t exactly call it love-at-first-sight, but it was the closest I’ve come to that kind of thing.
After that first date, our “relationship” progressed quickly.
He’d told me upfront that he didn’t want to “jump into anything” serious right away, but he ALSO said that he’d be open to being in a more committed relationship if it felt “right” (which… you know, was another red flag.)
I ignored his cryptic reasoning, though. And, actually, I was perfectly fine with having something more casual at the start – I think most people want to date for at least a few weeks before deciding to be exclusive – but then… we slept together.
Now, I know there are a lot of people (probably even some of you, dear readers) who jump into bed freely, and if that’s your style, more power to ya! For me, personally, though, I don’t normally do that unless I feel a certain way about someone.
With Max, we’d only been dating about 2-weeks when we had sex for the first time.
I won’t go in to all the details of that night, but at some point, he’d told me VERY CLEARLY that he thought we would end up being in a serious relationship (and, in case you were wondering, yes, he said this BEFORE we actually did the deed.)
Fast forward a few months and he tells me that, actually, he doesn’t think he’ll be ready for anything more serious for a really LONG time 🤨.
One night, he actually sent me this YouTube video of Tripp Kramer and Jonathon Aslay talking about dating after a divorce to help explain why he felt he wasn’t going to be ready for quite some time. (Funnily enough, I got a chance to do a podcast episode with Tripp Kramer a few months back.)
It’s a fairly long video, but if you get a chance later on, I highly suggest you check it out. You can find it here.
(Honestly, I can’t recommend Tripp enough anyway – he was so much fun to do a podcast with. And Jonathon is one of my favorite relationship experts, too.)
At the time, though, listening to it made me cry. I realized that we were in two different places – I was ready for something more and he wasn’t able to meet me there.
That night, I was at Max’s house and we talked about the video. He asked me what I thought of it, and I said I found it interesting, but left out the part about how much it bothered me.
I also chose not to ask him directly about one particular thing that Jonathon mentions in the clip, which is that it tends to take men up to TWO YEARS after a divorce to really be ready to commit to another woman. Fearing that this extended period of “dating” would turn out to be true, I didn’t ask him about this timeline.
Instead, I told him to be careful. I told him that he might end up hurting a lot of people (like me, for example) in his effort to figure out what he wanted.
As for the two of us – I stuck it out, hoping that if I could just show him how amazing I was, he’d change his mind.
Looking back, I can see that I SHOULD have ended things right then and there. Not only was he giving me clear signals that he wasn’t going to commit to me, he was completely dismissive of my feelings.
He knew that I wasn’t going to be seeing (let alone sleeping with) anyone else. He also knew that I was hurt by the fact that he was going on other dates, and yet, he didn’t care. He was fine with hurting me if it meant he could continue with his “self-discovery.” 🙄
Then came COVID.
The entire world basically shut down. I, like so many others, ended up losing my job due to the pandemic. But Max and I were still dating. In fact, he was the only person outside of my child that I was regularly in contact with. And, silly me, I assumed the same was true for him.
Having no job really put me in a negative place. I got my first job when I was 15-years old and, since then, I’ve always either worked or gone to school full-time. Without that, I was completely lost. I was left with these long stretches of days and nothing to do but think – and worry – about the future.
I started to lean on Max for support more and more – confiding in him about my fears and uncertainties, both about “us” and about myself.
I’m in a field where working from home is not an option, and as a single mother, I wasn’t able to try and seek out anything new while carrying out the hell-on-earth that is virtual learning (parents out there – you know what I’m talking about 🤦)
About a month into the pandemic, I learned that my place of work was not going to be re-opening, so I’d be left without a job for the foreseeable future.
A few weeks after this, Max broke up with me citing my depression as the reason. His exact words to me were “I’m not in a place right now where I can be with someone who’s depressed. I know there’s extenuating circumstances, that there’s a pandemic and all, but I’m really looking for something fun and carefree.”
I was devastated. I even wondered why the hell he would end something in the midst of a lock-down – it’s not like he could go meet someone else! (ahem, wrong. He did, in fact, already have someone else – but I’ll leave that story for another day 😒)
If someone tells you that they’re NOT looking for anything serious, BELIEVE THEM.
Secondary lesson: you learn a lot about a person based on how they handle difficult circumstances. If they’re still going out and meeting new people during a global fucking pandemic, they aren’t interested in ANYONE but themselves.
Likewise, if they view your depression as a burden on them – they aren’t going to be a good partner down the line.
Anyway, loves, thanks for reading!
Have any of you experienced a covid breakup? I want to hear how the pandemic has impacted your relationship. Let me know in the comments below.