If I’m honest, I knew deep down he wasn’t The One.
I was 21 and desperate to move to London after finishing university. Instead, I was living in a small northern town with the boyfriend I’d met on my course because I’d temporarily managed to convince myself that my relationship was more important than my career (he, categorically, did not want to live in London.)
Cracks began to show. I was working in a job I hated and my only friend was a colleague (who was much older, married and had her own sh*t going on.) The rest of the time, I hung out with my boyfriend and his friends.
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On Sundays he would play footy with his pub team (who literally treated half-time as a cigarette break) and I’d watch freezing from the sidelines thinking, what the hell am I doing with my life?
I wanted to be in London. Forging a career, making new friends, living an exciting life in a vibrant city.
I knew this comfortable, but quite frankly, boring, existence in a small town – where the highlight of the week was the roast dinner that warmed me up after watching a bunch of wheezing men having a kick about – was not what I wanted.
And it seemed my boyfriend had cottoned on to this fact.
One Friday evening, I drove home from work. When I walked into the house, he was standing in the lounge with his coat on, a bag slung over his shoulder.
“You’re not happy, are you?” he said.
Even though the answer was no, I felt my legs turn to jelly, as slumped down on the couch.
In a conversation that lasted no more than 10 minutes, we agreed that was it. It was over.
I would stay in the home we had shared while I worked out my next move. He would be across town at his parents’ place.
“Take your time with everything,” he said. “I want to be as respectful as possible.”
And then he left.
I lay on our bed and cried. Even though I knew we were doing the right thing, I was still heartbroken.
The next few days were tough and it was sad being in the house by myself, sitting on the couch we had saved for, eating at the table where we’d shared countless meals.