Breaking up is hard to do | Living with Gleigh

I had to break up with my dentist, because I can no longer continue on the professional journey he is on. That’s all I will disclose; the point is, I had to break up with someone.

I dated quite a few men before I met my husband, but really only broke up with a couple. The others just kind of drifted away after one or two dates because either they weren’t interested or I wasn’t.

My first “big” breakup was via postcard (20th century text message). We had a long distance association for several years and had only met a couple times in person. Sure, I may have had teen-like fantasies that I would marry him, but we were really only friends. The year I turned 21, he chose to end the friendship via postcard while I was a camp counselor.

It was not difficult to let him go considering the method of breakup. There’s not much privacy in a camp, especially mail call, which was conducted in a field with all the other counselors and campers. The director had no problem publicly poking fun at pink, scented envelopes meant for a male counselor and I’m sure he would have gotten a kick out of a breakup postcard. I was just lucky it arrived between sessions.

The only other big breakup I had was with a man I was dating in college. It was my longest, traditional relationship and I can’t really remember exactly what happened, but it was a mutual breakup. It was rather devastating as we were a couple for nine whole months. Although I knew I would not marry him, I thought it would last through college; study buddy if you will. He was a disciplined student, helped edit my papers and was just a good influence.

We tried to remain friends, but you know how that goes; especially because he found a girlfriend right away.

I have broken up with other professional services before; the most notable being my car/homeowner’s insurance company. I was baffled every year when I put our RV back into active status and my checking account would get hit with an extra $300 or so dollars. Every year I’d call and ask why it was so much.

Every year the receptionist would try to explain it to me. Once I had her good and confused, the agent would try and explain it to me. I never understood how they came up with this big number: something about pro-rating, pre-rating, post-rating, the ambiance of the sun when June’s honey moon is waxing gibbous.

One year I finally got tired of feeling ripped off and I switched to an insurance broker who found us a better rate with a smaller, local insurance company. The price on my bill for my RV when I activate it for the summer? $35. That was a good breakup.

I’ve broken up with primary care doctors, eye doctors, church committees and even some friends. But besides those two men, nothing was ever really spoken; the relationships just came to a natural demise. This whole dentist issue is the first breakup letter I’ve ever had to write. Partially because I owed him money, but also because I’ve been seeing him around 20 years, I felt he deserved better than a postcard, plus he’s a really good dentist.

For me, a person who loves to walk into a restaurant and have my regular waitress meet me at my table with a Diet Coke, it is devastating to have to find a new dentist. I crave consistency in my professional relationships.

Breaking up is hard to do no matter who it is.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She hopes her new dentist will fulfill all her hopes and dreams of a long relationship. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Lifestyles section.

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