And as much as I’d love to be writing a post about that being because I was glad to have the house to myself, that I got a week off picking pants and socks off the floor, and that I spent the entire time listening to Magic FM, watching Coronation Street and surviving on a diet of crunchy peanut butter, hot chocolate and marshmallows, I’m afraid that’s not what’s on the cards (although, for the record, I did enjoy all of that very much).
No, it’s because I hate saying goodbye. In fact, it makes me feel sick.
I’ve always been the same and not just with him. When I’m with my family at Christmas and we all eventually have to go our separate ways, when my best friend comes to stay and then she has to leave to go back to a whole different city, and when sport takes over ITV and makes me miss out on my favourite soap. I really don’t like separation.
Absence does make the heart grow fonder, which doesn’t do anybody any harm, but it also makes us vulnerable. It makes us admit that we miss people, that we wish we could be with them more, and that we have to be able to fend for ourselves without them (which, after having assessed my food choices, you’re probably questioning whether I’m capable of doing).
You think you’re done with being vulnerable when the early stages of a relationship are out of the way. You’ve been through the awkward parts, the nervous parts, the parts where you tell an anecdote about your brother finding you so annoying that he pushed a warm poached egg into your face and wonder whether they’re ever going to call again. And then you settle into it and though you obviously have to keep making an effort, you’re not afraid any more, you know where you stand (which, in my case, is absolutely nowhere near a cooked breakfast).
But then when one of you goes away, all your vulnerabilities come to pay you a visit. You stop caring so much about how terrible they are at turning the lights off in rooms they’re no longer in (like, SO terrible), and how much better life would be if they could please remember to take one of your Bags for Life with them to Tesco instead of relentlessly bringing extra plastic ones home (AM I RIGHT, LADIES) and you just hope very much that they will come home safely and carry on their life with you. It gives you a little perspective.
I have written a lot before about how important it is to have time apart and I stand by that – it’s very good for your collective health – but the bit when one of you actually has to leave is still hard. It suddenly makes you realise that the two of you are a little unit and that when one of you goes away, that unit becomes a little lop-sided. Of course you’ll be fine – as discussed last week, you’ve got to have enough confidence to survive as a stand-alone human – but you’re still allowed to acknowledge that farewells are not your favourite thing.
Sometimes you forget what a risk you take by investing everything in another person. You don’t think about the power you have to shatter each other. But it’s always there and goodbyes, even short term ones, can’t help but remind you.
All you can do is crack on with your life and look forward to the next time you’ll be together. The next family gathering, the next spa weekend with a chum, and the next opportunity to ask your other half whether he really thinks the bathroom floor is a suitable resting place for his undergarments.
Because, in your heart of hearts, you know you’d never want to say goodbye to that.