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What I learnt from ending the most beautiful relationship

Happiness & Fulfilment, Making Decisions & Finding Passion, Most Popular Posts, Relationships & Sex

Sheesh, Monday was our 3 year anniversary!

Bloody Good Bloke and I regularly turn to each other and say “Fuck, we’re so lucky…”

I don’t write about our relationship too often on the blog these days.

I feel it’s not a particularly relatable subject to blog about. Our relationship is like something out of an unrealistically wonderful romance novel. It started out that way, and it continues to be the case still, 3 years in.

I also don’t know how to put into words the beauty of our relationship and the depth of love I have for this man.

For those of you who’ve been hanging out with me on the blog or the email list for many years, you’ll know that I used to write many honest blog posts about my relationship with my wonderful ex-boyfriend, Bloody Good Chap.

Side note — a few of you have mentioned you can’t work out which man is which between Bloody Good Bloke and Bloody Good Chap, oops! Should have given BGB a more original code name.

BG Bloke = My current boyfriend.
BG Chap = my ex boyfriend, now friend.

When the Project Self blog was just starting off almost a decade ago, I wrote about BG Chap so often (like this Insta post from back in 2015) that he was recognised a few times on the tram and in cafes around Melbourne.

BGC was a much loved part of the early days of the Project Self blog. He even had a “BGC quote of the week” slot on social media feeds, because he is a master of observational humour.

We met right as I was starting Project Self and he took me out to a mystery in-the-dark dinner in Singapore the week Project Self hit its first 1000 Facebook followers back in 2015.

Those of you who have been here a while will also know that after a beautiful 5 year relationship that was full of love and joy,

there was an unabating whisper that told us that we weren’t right for each other.

We had different values and wanted different things out of life. Ending my relationship with BGC was one of the most heartbreaking and difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make.

More about my decision here: The end of the Bloody Good Chap-ter.

Despite the heartbreak it caused us both, I’m so grateful to the Andrea of four years ago. She was bloody brave to follow her gut even though it was so painful.

Even though Neville was screaming,

“Noooo, you’ll be single forever, you’ll never find someone as wonderful as Bloody Good Chap!!”

But I did.

BG Bloke and BG Chap are different in many ways. But they are both the most beautiful, kind, and loving men I’ve ever met.

The last 3 years with BG Bloke has been like nothing I could ever have imagined possible.

When I was single I wrote a man-list.

It was inspired by my wonderful friend Jo. Jo sent me her “Ideal Man List” and I adapted it and added to it until it was 55 items long! Each item contained multiple other items.

Here are a few of the bullet points from the list I wrote while on a train in Spain, staring out the window at sunflowers. Unedited — even though it’s a bit embarrassing to share!

☀️ A bit different, quirky, not content with the status quo, does his own thing
☀️ Friendly, easygoing and charismatic, my friends and family love him
☀️ Pushes and challenges me, suggests fun things we can do and ways we can grow and explore
☀️ Inspires me with his passion and kindness towards others
☀️ Makes me feel excited and intrigued to keep learning more about him
☀️ Values freedom, honesty, integrity, growth/ self actualisation, humour, connection, kindness
☀️ Sexy confidence (without too much ego)
☀️ Meditates and practises mindfulness
☀️ Deeply sees and loves me for me, and allows me to be vulnerable, faults and all
☀️ Has awesome friends and is really close with really kind, fun, alive, non-judgemental, inspiring people who bring out the best in him
☀️ Makes me feel beautiful even when I’m feeling ugly and insecure, empowers and uplifts me

Even reading back over this list now, it still blows my mind how accurately the whole list describes Bloody Good Bloke.

He is every single thing on the 55 item list.

Except —as he loves to point out— he doesn’t quite meet my most shallow bullet point:

☀️ Tall dark and handsome. 6”2+

He’s tall, dark and handsome. And 6”1 and ¾ inches.

After ending my relationship with BG Chap I was crying to my Mum and Step Dad on the phone one day.

“I’m going to be single forever” I wailed. “I’ll never find anyone as amazing as BGC. I’m going to be a spinster with cats.”

“And I don’t even like cats,” I added sadly.

My step dad smiled calmly into the phone and said “Andrea, don’t be ridiculous. You’ll run a workshop one day, and a lucky bloke will be blown away by you.”

9 months later, that’s exactly what happened.

(The day I met Bloody Good Bloke across a crowded Zoom screen)

My oracle step Dad didn’t predict, however, that the workshop would be the first of many Zoom workshops as the pandemic unfolded around us.

And that BGB wasn’t blown away by me until our second date.

So as the fairytale goes, I met this handsome bloke on Zoom, and promptly stalked him on LinkedIn. Discovered he was a neuroscience researcher. Suggested we go for a socially distanced walk in the park “as friends”.

Fast forward a few months and we were snuggled up on an air mattress outside, asking each other the 36 Questions to Fall in Love under the stars and streetlights of a heavily locked-down Melbourne.

We set up my tent on my 2nd storey balcony, played guitar mediocrely around a fire lit in a birdbath (do not recommend)

and were woken up by birds chirping and a rubbish truck engine-braking.

Alongside the delightful falling-in-love months, there were many occasions where Bloody Good Bloke held me as my body was wracked with sobs, grieving BG Chap.

He knew the deal when we met: I was still heartbroken and grieving, nowhere near ready for a relationship. He was fine with that. BGB was focussed on a major career transition and wasn’t looking for a relationship either.

It was the first time I’d ever been so fully myself when dating someone new — all the grief, all the puppy-like crush energy, and everything in between. BGB made me feel safe to be however I needed to be.

I loved him for that before I even really knew him.

Now here we are 3 years later, even more in love than we were back then.

To celebrate, we took ourselves to a super cute little tiny house in the Yarra Valley with an outdoor bath under the stars.

It was absolutely as beautiful as you might imagine.

See more photos on Instagram here.

Note – that black eye BGB has in the photo… it wasn’t me! He’s obsessed with Jiu Jitsu and comes home with injuries most days.

Despite being a recovering sceptical cynic, I’ve come to believe that when you courageously follow your gut, life moves mountains to help you find your way.

(I wrote about this here: How to know whether to leave when you’re scared shitless there’s nothing better out there.)

As my mate Buddha said, “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

Sometimes the mountains moving will look like things going very, very wrong.

Relationships and friendships will combust or fade, jobs or opportunities will crumble unexpectedly. Sometimes it will feel like hard things are happening left, right and centre. And up and down too.

When you follow your gut, wounds get brought up to heal, insecurities transform.

Don’t resist the mountains that life is moving for you.

When the dust settles you’ll be a changed person. More resilient, more understanding, more compassionate. Broken down and rebuilt to perfectly match the next level of your dream.

Looking back over the rubble you’ll smile to yourself. “Thank God.”

Because this is exactly where I was headed and exactly where I want to be.

To my Bloody Good Bloke:

Fuck, we’re lucky.

Ps — To learn more about regulating your emotions like the kind of legend that doesn’t throw coke at me, head over here to check out Bloody Good Life, an unconventional mind-taming program for overthinkers.

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