THE NARRATIVE ARC

The Time I Realized My Growth

After years of dating, I learned my lesson

Edward Anderson
The Narrative Arc
Published in
5 min readMay 30, 2024

--

Gay men walking in the sunset.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

On paper, Mark and I were a couple made for one another. Intellectually, we were evenly matched. Because of that, we could have conversations that were rooted in experience and education.

When it came to being in an equal relationship, we both seemed to be in agreement. We took turns paying for food and drinks when we went out on dates.

There was one area that seemed to cause a rift with us.

What would happen if we broke up. He believed that it was fine to stay friends with an ex, that it was a natural progression. I thought he was not only wrong, but being cavalier about the feelings involved in such a scenario.

The topic came up one night while we were watching a Friends marathon. One of the episodes was when Ross and Rachel broke up, but were trying to continue to be pals for the rest of the group.

“You know that’s not realistic. If we break up, that’s it,” I said to him. The confusion on his face was noted.

“We could be friends, if we weren’t together,” he said.

It was the beginning of the end of the relationship. That’s much easier said with hindsight than it was then.

--

--

Edward Anderson
The Narrative Arc

Edward has written hundreds of acclaimed true crime articles and has won numerous awards for his short stories. His most recent book is Barbenheimer.