Today is one year since the start of my wildly passionate, bizarre and brief romantic relationship with my business partner BP.

In many ways, BP was the perfect first post-A relationship.  He spoiled me, protected me, and wooed me.  He is a cosmopolitan, erudite, successful semi-retired business man.  Tall and handsome, he is a commanding presence in any room and in my life.  Attracting and holding his attention during the months he wooed me . . . it was amazing.  I denied and denied and denied his feelings until we sat at a divey restaurant and he confessed how he felt.  He touched my arm and I melted.  Our first kisses . . . remarkable.

We traveled internationally.  We traveled to a resort.  We made out in public in bars, though not in town.  We had a blast.

We never consummated the relationship for a variety of reasons (mostly involving his inability to be monogamous — at the time, I only knew he was getting divorced [no, really] and that was enough to keep me from sleeping with him) and we always slept in separate rooms, but we were very passionate about each other.

Our break-up was rough.  It did not negatively affect our business, but my relationship with BFD did.  It truly affected how BP views me and it has cost me money and certainty.  He often tells me that he can no longer trust me, that I am outside the family, that I am disloyal.  Which, is not inaccurate, since I took him at his word when he broke up with me and I met someone else, who has become the most important man in my life.

Were I to be faced with the same scenario, I would make exactly the same choices.  I would still fall for BP, as much as I can fall for anyone.  I would still take him seriously when he broke up with me 6 weeks later (although I have come to understand that this was a test and not an actual breakup).  I would still date BFD.  I would still neglect to tell BP about BFD until I was certain that I was with BFD.  (A note: I did not go out with BP again after he broke up with me, but he was still actively wooing me when I was dating BFD.)

We are still friends, still partners, and he is still wooing me from time to time, although he always tells me he’s not (and then tells me he thinks of me as he fucks other women).  He delights in telling me about his conquests, his new women, etc.  I tell him intimate details of my relationship with BFD.  We hurt each other regularly.

Overall, I can say with no more certainty today than I could one year ago what the future holds for us.  I know he’s bad for me.  I know he could give me none of what I want in life except money and a ridiculous lifestyle.  All I would have to say is yes, but I cannot.  I would never want to be just one of his women, no matter how gilded the cage, and that’s why we cannot be together (even if I could overlook the pain and hurt he’s caused).  Since the breakup, he’s been more honest with me about all of the other women.  It’s appalling, really, but I understand how and why it works for him.  Sadly, he’s in love with all of them in his own way.

He’s still in love with me in his own way.  I love him, but that’s as far as it goes.  He has hurt me more than any man other than my father and there are more than a few similarities between them.  He inflicts regular emotional pain, but there is a wonderful joy in pleasing him.  Though I cannot imagine reconciling with him, I do enjoy making him jealous, making him want me, making him regret breaking up with me over and over and over again.  He enjoys the same, although it now hurts me less than it hurts him.

The ultimate end, which happened months into my relationship with BFD, affected everything in my life.  I moved on without BP and, for the most part, have not looked back.

Today, I looked back.  I am happy with my choices.  I miss being spoiled by him, miss being cared for by him, miss the life he was building for me (and the house and car he picked out for me).  But, the fact is, it would have never been whole.

With BFD, it’s uncertain what will happen, but I believe that I am the only woman in his life, that if I settle down with him I will be the only woman with whom he is settling down, and I love being with him in what is, frankly, a more solid, more balanced, more equal relationship. Despite our current difficulties, I would still pick BFD 100% of the time over BP.  I also acknowledge that I would be incapable of being with BFD had I not dated BP first.

BFD pushes me hard to be my best, but I feel like he’s doing it for my own good, rather than as BP does . . . a further reflection of BP’s success.

So, happy anniversary, darling.  It has been a wonderful and horrible year since you told me how you felt and that you’d felt that way for months.  You helped me find myself — and lose myself — and find myself again.  I am stronger and harder and sexier and more open and more calculating as a result of having been with you.  You helped show me what I really wanted, what I deserved to have, and how I was worthy of any future I desired.

In short, thanks to you, I am more me . . . in ways good and bad.