Sunday, 20 October 2013

How We Almost Broke Up

Nothing grows without love.
In the past I've touched on how stressful travelling together long term can be on a relationship. What I didn't realise then was how much suckier it can get when you take that already strained relationship and remove the fun holiday parts from it. Things just go from bad to worse.

No distractions, no swimming with seals or lying all day on the beach. It's just you and him sleeping in his sister's living room with no windows on an air mattress annoying the hell out of each other because you don't have jobs or that many friends. All day, everyday.  Little things turned monstrous and by week four I made the executive decision to move alone to my own sister's place a suburb away to give us some space. This only served to make things worse unfortunately as I guess we weren't actually actively acknowledging the problem. 

So after a massive pow wow that left us both exhausted at 3am in the morning I left for Berlin with friends for the week.  Just before I left that morning I carelessly asked Kevin to look after a small pot plant someone had given to me as a welcoming present. Then I left, not knowing what would be left of our relationship by the time I came back.

We agreed not to contact each other that week but that didn't stop me from mentally and emotionally obsessing over it all week. This was a critical decision and though I did my best to not burden my poor friend with all these complicated relationship issues I couldn't help but shed some tears in her presence. After thinking that we were going to break up and crying all night about it whilst listening to Taylor Swift, I realised that something that made me that unhappy can't be right. With some wise words from other friends who have been in the same boat, I decided it best to wait til the dusts setttles on our London life before doing anything drastic. We were under a lot of external stress which would hopefully be temporary.

Once I got back to London, Kevin had made the arduous trip to Stanstead airport and was there when I stepped off the plane. My heart swelled. But it was awkward, no one not knowing how to approach the situation. But upon arriving home, Kevin showed me my little pot plant I had forgotten about, telling me about how he googled how much to water it and how he was rotating it in the sun throughout the day to keep it in good shape. And that's all it took I guess. That dying little pot plant became symbolic of our life together and the fact that he had tried so hard to keep it alive gave me hope that things would work out if we both made some effort.

Two days later Kevin found us a place to live and a week later we moved in. I started work 3 days afterwards and things are truly amazing now. I guess in the darkness of the first 5 weeks it was hard to tell if things were inherently wrong with our relationship or if external stresses were making things bad. Now that we've got all creature comforts of life back like natural light and personal space, I know that we do have something great here and I'm so excited about the next 18 months in Europe.

How can you be unahppy with a view like this to wake up to?

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