We need to talk

Katherine Laidlaw
Katherine Laidlaw

Lately I’ve been thinking about breakups. One aspect of a breakup that can make or break how either party feels about the relationship ending is the way you deliver the news.

These days, after any unsuccessful foray into the dating world, you have endless ways to dump your significant other.

There’s the “I’m-13-and-obsessed-with-abbreviations-ITS-OVR” text-messaging method. There’s the “I’m-a-14-year-old-jerk-who’s-afraid-to-tell-you-in-person” MSN method. In that vein, there’s the slightly more classy “I’m-still-afraid-to-tell-you-in-person-but-am-now-an-18-year-old” phone conversation breakup. There’s the braver “I-wanted-to-tell-you-in-person-but-am-desperately-looking-around-this-room-trying-to-avoid-your-eyes-I-once-thought-were-so-deep-and-blue/brown/green” in-person breakup. And, as of Monday, if you’re Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, there’s the “I’m-going-to-use-my-millions-of-hits-a-day-website-to-announce-to-my-girlfriend-we’re-through” method. (Moral of that story? Never date an Internet mogul.)

It’s time for me to own up and tell the truth in my own signed-editorial way. For the past five years, I’ve been in a relationship. It was serious from the start—one of those partnerships that draws you in even if it wasn’t exactly what you were looking for, growing endearing as time passes. But I’ve realized I need to be honest with myself and my partner—it’s over.

Kingston, we need to talk.

I know those aren’t words you want to hear. We’ve been through a lot together the past five years.

You saw me through my formative years, and for that I have to thank you. You took me to the Cocamo as a poor, misguided frosh. You showed me the scummy Ale House and the classier Alfie’s as I grew older still.

You always knew what to say or do to make me feel better. You’ve given me Shirley Temples at The Grad Club on Monday nights and slices of poppy-seed cake at the Sleepless Goat as comfort food. I always had fun with you at those movies, art exhibits, concerts and even late-night grocery store runs.

It sounds cliché, but you taught me about who I am. Relationships are great that way, aren’t they? It’s just too intense for me lately, you know? The summer days we spent together were always so fun and carefree. These days it’s all, ‘Where is this relationship going?’ and ‘What do you mean, you’re not sure we have a future together?’ I just need some space. I’m not saying that I’m leaving you for something better, but Toronto was always my first love and I don’t think you ever quite get over your first, do you? I’m beginning to think maybe Toronto was right for me all along.

I’d like us to still be friends eventually, even if it takes some time. Maybe we could meet up for a Pan Chancho breakfast sometime? I understand if you’re not ready—I’m not sure I’m ready, either. And there’s always the chance we’ll get back together… It’s too early to rule it out completely.

But keep in touch, Kingston. And whatever happens to us in the future, we’ll always have those times on the ferry.

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