Keegan was extremely hesitant and cautious while dating me, even though he was the happiest and most compatible with me. But because of the stigma attached to our age difference and the taboo “cradle robbing” labels that he was terrified of, he continued seeing me semi-seriously, while keeping one foot out the door and his dating options open “in case” someone more appropriate came along.
This was all new for both of us, and because we were so happy when we were together, it hadn’t occurred to me that this was exactly what he was doing until just after New Year’s. I could not fathom why someone who was so perfect for me, and I so perfect for him, wouldn’t tell me how he felt, nor even discuss it at all. I was crushed to say the least.
There I was, going way out on a limb to pursue this man who was turning 40 at the end of January, while I would turn 21 a few weeks later. Yet there he was, holding me at arm’s length because he was afraid of getting hurt. He was afraid of how others would view him because of our age difference. He was concerned that he was at the point in life where he should be settling down, but then he was willing to settle for an older, less fertile woman just because of what others thought? It didn’t make sense to me.
That was it for me. I broke up with Keegan. I put all of his stuff that he kept at my apartment in a box and sat it on the front porch, along with a note that simply read, “I love you, and I deserve better than this.” I texted him to come by and pick up his stuff and leave my spare key in the mailbox. Then I left and went to the gym to cancel the membership he’d purchased for me.
Keegan called, and called, and texted several times over the next few days, but he couldn’t get through to me. I sat on my bed, tears just rolling down my face each time I thought about the breakup, because I wanted him so badly, but he didn’t really take me seriously. I was so hurt because I was certain that our relationship was over for good. My old friend Kate called me up during one of those days, and I told her everything. She immediately came over to my apartment and hugged me while I cried.
Kate was a good friend when I needed her most; she truly cared for my well-being and wanted me to feel better. So, she packed a few days’ worth of my clothing and we left. She took me north to her new boyfriend’s cabin resort. It was a beautiful place, just near the lake with picture perfect views out every window. It was not too far from local shopping and salons where we would immerse ourselves for just a little while. It was just what I needed—time away, time to clear my mind.