My confession for Camper: I had kissed another guy shortly before our first breakup talk.
New Guy and I had stayed in touch (as friends), but hadn't seen each other in some time. As I wrote here, he had wanted to take me out for a belated birthday drink some time ago, and I canceled because I felt like it was too soon for us to be "just friends" -- and I didn't feel that it was fair to Camper for me to have a drink with a recent ex (especially one for whom I still had lingering feelings).
Once I began to feel that things with Camper were truly on the outs, I suggested to New Guy that we reschedule that drink. I didn't (consciously) go into it with the intention of being intimate -- but after a few hours of great conversation and laughter over dinner, we gradually started sitting closer and closer and got a bit flirtier, until we were kissing.
We were in touch the next day: while we'd both had a lovely time, we valued our growing friendship, and didn't want this lapse in judgment to impede upon that. He stressed that he's still not ready for a relationship at this time, but wants our friendship to continue to flourish. There's something about this guy -- he's a truly special person, and having him in my life, even just on a platonic basis, means a lot to me.
I felt terrible about having cheated on Camper, but also realized that was a sign of my growing dissatisfaction in the relationship -- and was probably the catalyst for the first breakup talk later that week. (incidentally, New Guy was not aware that I was in a supposedly exclusive relationship the night we kissed. I confessed to him the next day, and he felt terrible).
So -- I told Camper that I had kissed someone else (without going into any of the details as outlined above). I simply said it was someone I used to date, but may still have lingering feelings for. I think I was hoping that he'd get mad at me, and he'd want to break up for good -- instead, he thanked me for my honesty, and felt that he finally had an explanation of "so THAT'S when things started to go wrong".
Sigh. Somehow, I still didn't have it in me to rip off the Band-Aid for good. When someone is THAT crazy about you, it's hard to walk away.
Finally, a few days later, I had a very eye-opening session with my shrink. Much like writing it out here, when all the evidence is laid out in front of you, it seems so simple: the bad outweighs the good. You're not happy in this relationship, and it's not going to get any better. It was as simple as my shrink asking, "do you see a future here?". When the answer was no, I felt like the most fair and kind thing I could do was break up with Camper.
We had a long talk that night -- anger at first, then sadness, then tears on both sides. Finally ripped off the Band-Aid. This time, when Camper asked if we could still keep our weekend plans, I had the hindsight to realize that it wasn't a good idea. If we have a chance of being friends down the road, we need some REAL time and distance apart this time.
I'm still a bit sad -- it never feels good to hurt someone. At the same time, I've had this feeling of optimism and lightness and clarity -- it's (still) a New Year, and a new beginning.
Absolutely not in a hurry to find a new boyfriend just yet. Looking forward to some single / casual dating time. On that note... info to follow on High School Guy...