I recorded an audio journal entry a couple of years ago, not long after pulling back from a sort of messy, very brief semi-dating relationship with a guy. Longish story I'd rather not go into here. Wait...I actually already wrote about it: it's "Story 3" in this post. It's interesting to look back with wonder at how everything felt so poignant at the time, even if that doesn't come across in most of the audio clip.
It's interesting to hear the questions I ask and the hesitation in my wording and questioning myself even as I'm speaking. It's also interesting to hear how gay I sound. *wink* And as for the questions about how things might have happened had he not been a BYU student, I think it would have been about the same, honestly, knowing what I know now.
But the feeling of "breaking up" with someone (deliberately ending a friendship, at least as it had existed) was new to me, as was the degree of passion I'd felt and that feeling of intimacy without any history together, as indicated by my question, "Why did it feel so good [if it was just an infatuation with someone I'd only known for a month]?" Despite knowing, intellectually, I had family members and dear friends who were there for me and who loved me, and I them, I fought strong feelings of loneliness and being unlovable. My emotions would not listen to my brain, which was a strange experience for me. I have more perspective on it now, and though I still care about the guy and consider him a friend even though we're not always in touch, it's hard to imagine feeling so strongly about the whole thing and being so bent out of shape over how it panned out.
I'm very glad I didn't just go pick up a rebound relationship or some hot action to fill the void or distract myself. That would have felt cheap, and it would only have masked the wound. Some insisted I should just move on to someone else to help forget about the pain of losing someone, but I think people who say that just don't know better or regard relationships very differently from how I do. For me to do so, I would've been just a love-starved guy greedily seeking connection or trying uselessly to fill a void by using someone for my own gratification. Not cool, even if the other party wanted to be used. I don't believe in that kind of "relationship".
No matter where I end up going from here, I look back now and tell my two-years-ago-self, "Oh man, this is tough stuff, and it hurts, but even though you're not going to have the answers to all of your questions a year or two from now, the questions themselves will become less trying and painful, and you're going to be feeling much better and stronger. The sharp longing for that kind of connection will soften into a nice hope but will not seem so crucial to your sense of happiness and personal wholeness. And though you're not going to have a romantic companion in life yet in one or two years, that sting of losing someone you've fallen for does go away. The pain of seeing others share the kind of intimacy you wished you could share certainly wains. Your more constant, abiding, and constructive relationships will become more meaningful and fulfilling as you choose to invest in them. And even though you'll still have some hard nights when you wish you had someone to hold or fall asleep with, you will definitely not be feeling lonely the way you do right now." And of course, I'd give me a hug and hold my quietly teary-eyed self while perfectly empathizing.