I messaged M anyways.
I poured my heart out. Told him how much I missed him and how I felt so bad telling him. That it was a million times harder than I ever thought it would be to be away from him. I told him everything I felt and I apologized for leaving and for doing this to us. I apologized a million times over. For leaving, for messaging him, for being a mess..
The messages were devastating. I reread them now and I can feel how sad I was then.
He read the messages and responded "It's ok. I'm at work."
And that was it. I didn't hear another word out of him. That only broke my heart more.
I don't know what I was expecting or thinking that he would say. I don't know why I thought it would make me feel better. It really only made me feel worse. And to have him say so little back exacerbated the pain further for me. S was right - it was a REALLY bad idea to message him.
The next day, I messaged him and just apologized for the messages and assured him it wouldn't happen again. He said one slip up in 2 weeks wasn't so bad and that it was ok. He was kinder than he was the night prior. But, really there was nothing either of us could say or do to make everything feel better. According to everyone else, it would just take time.
I tried to stop looking for excuses to message him. I tried to keep myself occupied and not think about him. But a few days later I found an excuse to message him...
According to Facebook - M and I were still in a relationship.
See, I had agonized over this point. Do I ask to Facebook break up? Do I wait for him to do it? Should I just take it down? What if he just took it down? Maybe I should give it another week or so? How does one tactfully initiate the Facebook break up? Why did I ever even put our status on Facebook? What am I, nuts?! It seems like it should be simple, but in reality it is anything but!
More questions abound as I thought about it further. Would he think I wanted to Facebook break up so other people could see I was single? Do I need to explain why I want to Facebook break up (even though it seems self-explanatory)? Will he be offended by the Facebook break up? Maybe he had just forgotten? I swear, even I got bored of my own thoughts. And really, what did a Facebook break up represent that a real life one didn't? How come it seemed more complicated to get M off my computer screen than moving my whole life to London?! What can I say; we live in a digital world.
It had been about 2.5 weeks now, my friends kept telling me to bite the bullet and do it already. I think part of me was procrastinating because it was comforting for me to have the internet still think we were dating - and yes, I am aware the internet can not actually think on its own, but you know what I mean!!! It was comforting to have M still be in my extended world in some way.
Finally, I messaged him; I asked him when he had a moment if we could chat. A little while later he answered and I just went for it and said 'I think we need to Facebook break up.' The sentence in and of itself is entirely ridiculous. But, he agreed and said he had thought about it and was sorry he hadn't brought it up before. I felt silly, but like I also needed to justify why I was asking. I explained it wasn't that I had met someone new, or was even looking for that, but that it was more that I needed to begin to let go of him and since I was going on Facebook quite a bit (when I couldn't sleep especially) it was too hard for me. He said he entirely understood.
We chatted a bit more after that. He told me about his plans to move, and his friends and his family. I told him a bit about my life in London. Part way through he apologized to me. He acknowledged that he had been short but that it was difficult to talk to me. He knew for me that talking made me feel better, but for him it made him feel worse. I was crushed. But, I told him I understood what he was saying - and what he was saying was that he didn't want to talk to me anymore. M tried to take it back and say that wasn't what he really meant. But it was. And I should have seen it coming.
All through our relationship, M had always been the one to give me what I needed: support, love, comfort, pep talks, packing help, more support, respect, an undying amount of belief in me, and amazing friendship. I'd like to think that I gave him what he needed as well, but M always pushed to put me and my needs first. It was my turn now to put M's needs ahead of my own - even though what he wanted was the exact opposite of what I needed. I told him that it was my turn to put him first, he protested for half a second and then agreed.
We haven't spoken since. That was 3 months ago.