I have a Plan of Approach for discussing the Nightmare with Darkside. Said Plan depends on actually having time to speak with him, preferably in person, though this is one thing that the curious detached intimacy of the telephone is perfect for. (That's why in-person is better.)
Love/affection is an emotional immunosupressant. I was thinking about this while I was doing laundry.
It baffles reason that I should fall for so many people who proceed to irritate the living snot out of me after the breakup, to the point where I wonder what I ever did see in them. The problem is that despite being a textual exhibitionist, I am an introvert. I suffer much companionship through convincing my undermind that the people around me and close to me are not alien beings, but detached parts of selfness.
Affection allows me to deal with the fact that this or that habit may be immensely grating. I can handle it; I can work around it; I can ignore it to some degree, because they are not just some random stranger: they are One of Mine. Sometimes this leads to me being able to tolerate the offending behavior. Sometimes it leads to me accepting it in them, because they're them, and being doubly wary of it, almost allergic to it, in a stranger.
Of course, if the affection fades and the immunosupression disappears, things can get bad. It's not just like having an allergy to it -- it's like having an allergic reaction after having become enormously sensitive to it, just with the reaction suppressed due to the immunosuppressant action of the affection.
I was thinking about the Figment, how the little things he did never used to irk me so badly. He got too close and activated my immune system. When things happened as they did, the affection chilled, and the immunosuppressive effect faded. Little dumb things bother me now, when they started out as human and moved into cute. It's not even like he's a person who's left me walking wounded. It's not like he supplanted me as co-parent. It's not like he betrayed my trust. No. He's just human and obnoxious. If I hadn't let him get so close, I never would have noticed it. But he was a bondmate. He also could have been an alternate universe version of me, except me, male. We bonded hard and fast, and I saw that he was too much like me. So now my internal critic chimes up for him as loudly as it does me...
As Darkside values our friendship, he had better hope that I maintain warm and immediate affection for him. As I value our friendship, I'm maintaining affection day by day, with a conscious effort. He is too close to me to remain without regular immunosupression.
I think this one is mostly an introvert problem.