Two months ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. Last month, we got back together. Two weeks ago, we broke up again.

When we broke up the first time, I let a rose he’d given me a week earlier wither on my desk before I threw it out. Recently, I found a used condom behind my bed. I flushed it.

I’d like to think there’s a lesson in this. (I’d also like to think that I wouldn’t have kept the condom as a memento had I found it the first time around.) But I can’t decide on what lesson to read into it. So here is a brief list of insights I’ve had over the past two months:

-Breakups are more violent when they happen early on. The whole notion of “short and sweet” is bullshit. Ideally the sex ends before the relationship does.

-Good sex really is borne of interpersonal tension, and although I’d like to think this is a manageable reality, that is an insight for the future.

-Getting a new kind of toothbrush in the aftermath of a breakup helps. I guess the toothbrush is such an integral part of daily life that changing its format makes you feel like you’ve changed phases.

-With every breakup you get a better idea of what you need from someone (glass half full). With every breakup, the pool of eligible folks gets smaller (glass half empty).

-There are many layers to the onion of compatibility.


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