|My housemate and I ended up sleeping together a few weeks ago, and it morphed into a complicated but wonderful romance. Now she's suddenly moving out to go travelling, and ultimately back to her home country. How should I act, and how do I move on?
Housemate and I were always friendly but I'd never really thought of her that way before. But one night, she wants to show me some photos, and leans in close to me on the sofa, our legs touching; I put my arm around her and she puts her head on my shoulder. Try as we might to convince ourselves that "this is a terrible idea, isn't it?" we end up sleeping together - that night, and many more times over the coming weeks. Apparently she'd harbored feelings for me for months.
And it wasn't just sex - we'd spend whole days cuddling on the couch, watching TV, having meals together. She would say how brilliant I was, how good in bed, how attractive; how I'm a real catch. It was wonderful just spending time with her, understanding her better, hearing her tell her story.
I'm quite smitten in a way that hasn't happened in a long time and took me off guard. I was prepared to move out of the houseshare so I could pursue something with her, but she suddenly announced that she was quitting her job and going travelling for five months, after which she would be moving back to her home country (a long way away).
Her moving home wasn't a huge surprise - she took a year-long secondment abroad - but she's a dual national and could stay if she wanted. But her suddenly moving out five months early was a bit of a shock.
I suggested flying out and joining her for some of her travels, maybe even visiting her in faraway home country], but she said no, that she "wants to be independent". Not that I want to tie her down with a relationship either; I've been in several non-monogamous arrangements in the past but she's said that's not something she can tolerate. Her travels will take her through my city, but she said she's not planning on visiting. Seems like, without a concrete future for us together, she doesn't want to draw things out.
Part of me is crazy about her, wants to write her a goodbye letter, get her a gift for her travels, eke the most out of these last few days together. But I'm hurt that she's breaking things off so abruptly, even if it is for something as exciting as international travel, and doing it so absolutely, seemingly with no chance of us ever seeing each other again.
How should I behave towards her in the last few days we have together to minimize hurt and regret? When she's gone, do I try and keep in touch or just try to forget? And how do I pick up the pieces when this is all over?