I witnessed, firsthand, all of the love, sorrow, compassion, and heartache that comes with a doomed relationship.
Only now, after taking the time to sit, remember, and ponder, has it all started to make sense. I’ve learned that in times of pain and anguish, it can be helpful to take a step back and remove ourselves from the equation to fully understand all sides of a situation. To become a third party.
This is where I observed the fateful story of two lovers caught up in the reality of life, decisions, and this world.
Looking back, it almost seems obvious they were never going to make it. Ill-fated from the beginning, they were crashing and it was only a matter of time until it blew up in their faces. The hardest part now to realize is that they were doomed from the jump.
Their loving partnership ended two weeks shy of their first anniversary. I know what you’re thinking: the ending of a one-year relationship is not that devastating, but from a pair of twin flames, it was soul-crushing.
The night it ended, they admitted to each other that they knew they were each other’s perfect partner. Unfortunately, for these two, that wasn’t going to be enough.
A little back story. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was finalizing her divorce, ending the cycle of generational trauma. Being a child of divorce, she had to resolve her family’s pain, finish writing a book, celebrate her 30th birthday, leave the life she had built over the last half-decade, and move halfway across the country back home to live with her dad. He was living alone in a studio apartment and working 70 hours a week. Though out of shape, he was slowly stepping out of the shadows of depression, working on a year-long art project, and starting to realize what his life was.
The setting is three months into Covid. Toilet paper was scarce, restaurants were operating on take-out only, “Tiger King” reigned supreme, and in a couple of weeks, the world would be forever changed by the murder of George Floyd.
Our couple meets…she was offering virtual yoga classes and teaming up with different local businesses to promote herself. He worked for a local brewery and ran their social media. After FaceTiming to discuss the event, there was an instant and mutual attraction. They hit it off almost immediately. Emails planning the event quickly turned into text messages about poetry and the dream cabin in the woods they both, separately, longed for. During a five hours FaceTime hangout, they decided that an in-person date was a reasonable decision. They agreed on a day hike at a nearby state park.
He arrived at her dad’s house to pick her up, and she is waiting outside for the predetermined hug. That hug was the first human contact he had since before the lockdown, almost three months ago, went into effect. It was also the first time she hugged someone outside of her family since moving back. It was a simple and innocuous gesture of hello that would be the catalyst to one of the most loving relationships either of them had ever been in.
The planned few-hour hike in the woods turned into an all-day event. She knew every trail they were on, but it didn’t stop them from getting lost in each other. They talked for hours on the riverbank while day hikers streamed by. They didn’t leave until the realization that the sun was setting and they’d be caught in the woods after dark if they didn’t leave now.
Fast forward to, “Yes, let’s make this official; we’re dating,” and meeting parents, siblings, and friends. They confessed the deep and complete love they had for one another and spent countless nights talking, sharing meals, and being completely at ease while in each other’s presence. Each of them had realized that a love like this can actually exist—the understanding of what true love is and feels like.
While they were wrapped up in their bliss, these two were about to learn an important lesson. That even a Vincent van Gogh painting can be destroyed in a fire and beautiful things can have a tragic ending. I can’t help but be reminded of “La La Land” (spoiler alert), where there is a confession of deep love, yet a separation to follow one’s own dreams. Our story might be easier to swallow if she was following her dreams to be an actress and he was getting ready to open his own Jazz club. But the story of the doomed is not that theatrical or cinematic.
Never truly resolving her own feelings after her divorce, she moved on from her ex-husband but not from the life she had spent years building. The house she had spent countless hours renovating, two careers she poured her heart into to make happen, the pet she rescued and loved with all her heart, and the friends who supported her in the darkest of times.
These things were still with her and wouldn’t allow her to dive into this new relationship the way she wished she could. She spent days and nights pleading with herself to give her fullest heart to her new partner. She desperately willed herself to feel good and to go headfirst into the relationship she was forming with the man she had grown to love, but it was no use. The thoughts, pain, and worry would not subside.
The hardest realization was blunt and painful. For her to fully heal, their relationship had to end.
He was left tearful and heartbroken. He understood why, but understanding doesn’t heal the pain. On the night it ended, she told him, “You were the perfect partner and had done everything right in the relationship.” Unsure of the next right move, he kept whispering to himself, “You can do everything right and still lose.”
That night, they laid in bed and took turns crying while holding each other tightly. The bed was soaked with love, sorrow, compassion, and disillusionment.
When he told his friends what had happened, they said they were sorry to hear it ended but were all quick to wish the best for her. They hoped their friend was okay, but they sent their love to her so that she might be able to find the peace she needed to move forward.
Both hearts were broken wide-open, wounded, and destroyed…
A relationship that ends is always painful. Whether it’s a love interest or a platonic friendship, it’s sad. Typically, it is because the two grow apart in some way, sometimes even ending messy—really messy. Those are tough ones, but they have a clear reason for separation. They get to be mad at each other and say things like, “Well, they’re a cock-sucking ass hole and I never want to see them again.” Other times, they just slowly drift apart and fall out of touch. Those are sad, but both individuals know they are growing in their own ways in their own lives.
But with a breakup like the “doomed,” there was an abundance of love radiating between them—just love— with thoughts of what could or should be. But the wondering and questioning of the decision are as painful as the loss itself.
The cliché saying, “If you love them, let them go; if it’s meant to be, they’ll come back,” is an excuse to hold on to a slight bit of hope for something. But is it reasonable to hold on to something and move forward with all of your heart? If you asked him, he would say, “No, she taught me that.”
To the same question, I would say, “It’s important to build upon each experience in your life, whether good or bad, but not to hold on to anything.” Holding on to something that isn’t there will only drag you down. Stand on top of it, remember it, stomp on it, learn from it—if needed—forgive it, but most of all, allow it to let you grow.
Stand on top of everything that has made you “you.” If you do that, you’ll be standing right where you’re supposed to be.
Things could have ended in a hundred different ways for the “doomed,” but it ended with love. It’s true. They were doomed from the jump, but it’s safe to say neither regrets jumping.