The minute I did it I knew I was in trouble. This is not how it was supposed to go down.  I had ordered a vintage postcard that said: “A lobster I am and always will be, But won’t you have pity and please marry me?” I was going to wait until our one year anniversary or second Christmas or some landmark relationship milepost and with some ceremony present it to him.  We had talked about getting married and having kids.  We had even talked about some names.  But recently, he had started to show some reservations about the relationship, concerns that we were “too different,” were at “different” places in our life journey.  He started to drop hints that it wasn’t going to work out like Hansel and Gretel dropped bread crumbs.  But I was oblivious–I thought he was kidding or that I could fix it.  And it wouldn’t be until weeks later, after he broke up with me, that he would tell me he had started seeing someone else.  This happens everyday, but it was a grotesque revelation that it could happen to me.  One day, your partner wakes up, runs into a woman he knew in high school and decides that she would be better, or easier, or whatever he decides that makes him start plotting his exit strategy.  I could feel that I was losing traction in the relationship and in a moment of desperation, I riffled through my closet and brought out the postcard to show him.  With my Midwestern naïveté, I showed him the vintage postcard and looked up into his eyes hopefully.  That postcard symbolized my commitment–he would see it and remember the best of the relationship and stay.  Instead he looked uncertain, uneasy, uncomfortable.  In retrospect, in that moment, he knew for sure he was going to leave.  He mumbled something about “I don’t think I’m ready for that,” changed the subject, and we somehow made love and fell asleep.  One of our last nights together.  If I hadn’t shown him the postcard, might it have extended our last days?  Probably not.  But the minute I did it I knew I was in trouble.