He Told Me I Was an Option, Just Not *the* Option

The breakup that deprogrammed my toxic romantic pattern

Sasha Duncan
Human Parts
Published in
9 min readFeb 27, 2020

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Photo: milan2099/Getty Images

It’s a few days into the New Year and I am nauseated and pale, vibrating with a soon-to-be sated expectancy.

I am breaking up with someone.

“You are an option; you’re just not the option.”

Or, someone is breaking up with me.

I’m sitting in an emotionally claustrophobic apartment I was buzzed into without a greeting (a first) after fleetingly forgetting which floor to summon (a one-hundredth). I am trying to make the right amount of eye contact, and to keep away the right amount of tears, and not to snap or snip at this excuse or that one as we muddle through The Breakup Conversation.

This is the second year in a row that is beginning with an ending. This is the second ending, too, between this particular someone and I. But it’s the first time I’m hearing this particular goodbye:

“You are an option; you’re just not the option.”

I really liked this one.

I mean, I always do, but I thought this one might be The One.

My person. You know, the one whose half fills up my whole, whose path seems to entwine with mine.

If you believe in that sort of thing.

I think that maybe I do.

I’m not supposed to.

No. I make my bread and butter it with lectures on self-worth and love and actualization and sufficiency. I am above the stories we are told and the perpetuated myths of a perfect person to complete you. I do not need to seek my missing piece because I am whole. I am enough; I am more. I am brimming with conviction in these beliefs and rooted, firmly, in their inherent truth.

But he has this smirk that crosses only half his face, and a laugh that must be earned, and these two things combined with all the others make suppressing all those stories really, really hard.

When we are together, we create a vortex out of time; afternoons slip into evenings, and those slide into nights, which then come crashing into mornings. There is always more to say, more to do, more to see, more to drink…

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Sasha Duncan
Human Parts

Offering wisdom and ramblings from my own stumbles, bumbles, fumbles and grumbles