First, and this will sound like a horribly assholey thing to admit - this is the first time I've actually been broken up with. What I mean by this is usually I am the breaker. The person who makes the decision that it is now time to end things. It's always been on my terms. The only other time where this has not happened I actually did the terrible thing of deciding to wait until that person had had enough and decided to break up with me - but really I was just making it difficult enough for them to end things because I was tired of being the one to always do it and then feel guilty about whether or not I had made the right decision.
That's the thing you always feel after being the breaker - the guilt about whether or not you made the right decision (well, if you cared anyway...if you didn't then usually you know you made the right decision and you move on pretty quickly...or at least that's what you tell yourself).
Anyway, this is the first time I'd actually been broken up with first before I'd had the time to decide things weren't right. This is the first time I'd actually wanted things to continue and the other person hadn't and it wasn't an even close to genuinely mutual decision. I'd wanted this person. I'd wanted them a little too much, it seemed. In my mind I'd already started making future plans. And by that (don't freak out) I mean things like future dates and fun things we could do together. Sure I imagined the wonderful ideal future where things worked out beautifully and we got married and had kids...but I do that nowadays in general. It had nothing to do with this person specifically, I fantasize about my future regardless of the man - it's just something that happens now that I'm at this stage in life.
Back to the point. These past few days of thinking have led me to realize a few things about people and perhaps the differences in characteristics that I've been mistaking, especially here in London.
Kind versus caring
One of the things I've started to realize is that everyone, generally speaking, is kind. At least anyone I have prolonged interaction with. The difference between anyone that is genuinely good and will stick around and make an impact in your life and who will remain an acquaintance, or in this case, someone who wants to remain just an acquaintance (or just casual, let's just say), is the difference between being kind and being caring.
Someone who is kind will be pleasant and nice and all the things that make things good, but not great. It's the people that care who tip the scale in all things worthy. It's not about whether or not someone is nice to you in the long run, it's about whether or not they care about you. I've been mistaking kindness for care. It's easy to mistaken in a society where politeness is mistaken for flirting. It's been such a long road for me that any sort of kindness is a relief. I'm used to the harshness rather than the soft. I can see now that this is a blind spot and I will be more wary in judging between the two. Kindness is not caring, it's simply nice.
Levels of honesty
Another thing I learned from this particular situation - levels of honesty. I made it very clear to this particular person (as I have with all the people I've dated since I've moved here), that honesty is key to me. I will not keep things from you and I hope you do not keep things from me. I will tell you everything I am thinking and will not shy away from any subject, no matter how uncomfortable. I always hope that people will achieve the same level with me. I understand not everyone is comfortable with this; in fact I know most people aren't. What I want from my future person though, is brutal blunt honesty. I need to know what you're thinking at critical times so I know I can be truly myself.
What the British interpretation of this so far though, has been to be honest all the time, but without depth. You can tell me things all the time which are true, but that doesn't mean you're being honest with me. Telling me nothing but facts is technically true, but you're not telling me what you're thinking. This is the lesson I have now learned. I've asked you to be blunt, but what you're telling me is simply not lying. It's like the definition of truth means anything that cannot be proven to be false. I don't believe in this definition - I want the all-encompassing, full truth. Painful as it will be. I would rather know it now than several months down the line when things are worse.
Your friends speak volumes about you
Literally and figuratively. Naturally they will speak a lot, literally, but also figuratively. The funny thing about this situation was that he was not the first person who, at the end, told me that I was wonderful and that I would eventually find someone wonderful, that I should stay the same. It was like they were politely excusing themselves from the situation because they didn't believe they were good enough. And maybe at the end of the day they weren't, I don't know. All I know is that we didn't work. I'm not going to judge on that. But what I do know is that every time the shit has fallen my friends have been there for me to support me. Even when I don't turn to them, because I don't like showing emotion around people, because I'm awkward like that.
And what I've noticed about these men is that they don't tend to have these friends. Or at least not ones that I've met. Not ones they've talked about. It's like the city has proven itself again and again; it's harsh and no one cares about anyone else. But the funny thing is that I do care about people. I care about people a lot. And I've wanted to care about people, even these people, who've decided not to care about me. And it's strange that this keeps happening. What kind of city is this, that people don't care or don't want to care? It's weird. Thanks, I'll stick to my friends. They're wonderful.
So that's what I've learned from this breakup. Other than to not want something too hard, because you tend to lose sight of other things. Overlook things for the sake of the dream. It's okay to want something, of course, to strive. But don't lose. And as is said in SATC, the best relationship is the one you have with yourself. And I'm happy with myself. And especially with my friends.
So there you have it.
PS - Another thing that has been mentioned to me after this, is that sometimes, you really just can't tell. Some people are manipulative and deceptive. But I'll still believe the good in people until there's a reason not to. I trust my judgment when it comes to people (that they won't hurt me in a permanent, devastating manner, at least not in a way I can't handle over time), so I have chosen not to talk about this in particular.