I would like to propose that the term Czechoslovakian Break-up be entered into the English lexicon as a metaphorical term used to describe any situation in which long-time partners dissolve their relationship with very little acrimony.*
Having now defined this term, I am at liberty to say that today Nominatissima and I underwent a Czechoslovakian break-up. We continue to live together; we continue to be friends and life-partners; hell, we even continue to cuddle regularly. But we are no longer romantically involved with one another, and as such, our futures can no longer be regarded as entwined with one another.
Of course, external observers (particularly those who never approved in the first place) will be tempted to say that this falling-out was a consequence of my transition, but in fact that had very little to do with it. Rather, it was due to internal contradictions within the structure of the relationship itself.
Not to put too fine of a point on it, but the essential fact remains that Nominatissima is a very sexual person; I, by contrast, am not, and this was always a problem for us from day one. She and I were friends before we were lovers, and I always quite enjoyed our interactions. But immediately after we confessed that we were, in fact, in love, she took it as implicit that our interactions should thenceforth have a sexual overtones–overtones with which I was never comfortable. I went along with them because I wanted to make her happy, but when we finally met in person, I found that I was no longer able to deny my essential nature as an asexual person.
Thereafter, she and I sought-out ways to square the circle; first I suggested that we just proceeded as if nothing had changed, but Nominatissima was uncomfortable with doing so, as she was concerned by my definitional inability to give enthusiastic consent. Then we tried experimenting with toys, and for a while that worked, but it lacked the Human contact. So ultimately, I gave her my blessing to seek out satisfaction elsewhere, which she seemed please her, but which, I must confess, provoked in me an irrational sense of jealousy.
Basically, then, we found ourselves in the position of having to maintain a coherent relationship while keeping her levels of sexual frustration within acceptable tolerances and finding ways to prevent my romantic jealousy from building-up to critical levels. I assume that you see the problem with this description: I myself only just noticed it recently. That is to say that I had come to view our relationship not as a beautiful and poetic manifestation of our love, but rather as an engineering problem to be solved. It is, of course, a clichéd truth to say that “maintaining a relationship takes work,” but that work, in my opinion, should not be measurable in Joules, Ergs, or foot-pounds.
So we decided, mutually, as it turns out, to set each other free. We still love each other, yes, and indeed I suspect that we always shall: but we are no longer going to contort ourselves into pretzels to maintain a relationship which fundamentally does not work.
There is no one legitimate manifestation of two people’s love for one another.
*I realize, of course, that this is a massive oversimplification of the actual, historical circumstances leading-up to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, but it can be usefully compared to other, contemporary political separations–Yugoslavia, for one.