Fiery love and torturous breakups, tumultuous ups and downs, stops and starts.
Lonely days and nights filled with nothing but endless heartache and longing. Angry periods filled with rage, hurt, and venom.
These stories resonate with many, me included at one time. I sought out such articles and eagerly absorbed each word. I wrote such articles, my heart bleeding onto the screen with each keystroke, another tear falling from my eye.
Over time, the tears dried up and the acute heartbreak that once consumed me became a dull ache that flared here and there. The severity of my symptoms would depend on the memory, the current state of mind, and how volatile my mood. Many of these times could be analogized with a yo-yo, winding up tight, then slowly releasing.
Those nights when you lie in bed, conducting yet another relationship post-mortem in obsessive detail, determined to figure out when, how, and why things went wrong.
Those days when something you see, hear, or experience brings past loves so close in heart that you can feel how much a part of you they still are—and may, or will—always be.
Those moments when you convince yourself that there is still a way to make it work. If only this, if only that. There is nothing more bittersweet than loving someone so much and realizing that there is nothing left that you can do. When you realize that the “it takes two” may have been only you and you were fighting for a relationship that may never have been quite as you were told it was or as you believed it to be.
The years willingly invested. The number of times you exposed your heart—raw and vulnerable. The words, the promises, and the attempts from one party. The commitment, hope, and desire from the other. Perception is reality, and when it finally ends, no one can remember how it fell apart, or why, when people are sincere in giving all they have to give to a relationship. The variables are countless, and no one can confidently state why a relationship ends.
Unless a person is blatantly scheming, most often, people just stop getting along, and love isn’t enough to combat it. I have come to learn that it is quite as simple as that, no matter how much complexity lies beneath the surface. We can drive ourselves crazy dissecting a relationship, repeatedly, and to what end?
I do believe two souls who are meant to be together will find their way back to each other. I always will. No matter how many stops and starts they have. But it can’t be one-sided.
And I have also grown to believe that moving on will always be hard. When you truly love another, whether that person is in your best interest or not, you will continue to love them even when you know that your quality of life is much better without them. That doesn’t put the brakes on your love or erase them from your memory. Quite the opposite; it makes it more difficult to fully carry on, even if you are living your best life.
I had that moment today. The one when I admitted that I was sad, that I wanted to reach out and ask how he was, what was going on in his world, and follow up on the loose ends of what was going on in his life when we parted. Even if we are not healthy for each other in a romantic relationship, why is friendship off the table? The fact is I could reach out, but I won’t.
My sadness wasn’t a calculated plot to get back together (I’ve matured beyond that) but to check in on a friend. Unless a relationship was abusive or fraught with betrayal, I never understood closing the door and never looking back. Maybe that’s me because many of my dates have turned into solid acquaintances and previous relationships into friends, so to cut ties with someone who was a part of most days for almost five years, I struggle with that. I cannot even begin to step into the shoes of 25-year marriages or like situations. My devastation was overwhelming, even though I was the one to say, “Enough.”
What I found most interesting today was just that; it was a desire to check in on a person whom I miss terribly because I thought we were friends. Don’t get me wrong, I have days where I fantasize that my knight in shining armor (or the arrogant sh*t wrapped in tinfoil) will ride up on his dirty white horse and be waiting at my door when I arrive home, begging for another chance. Then I wake up and let go.
This isn’t a tale of agonizing heartache or bitter rage. It is one of acceptance and melancholy. It is one filled with hope of a different kind (a prayer each night) that he is well and finds his satisfaction in this life. Or do I dare wish for his happiness, I do. Acknowledgement and forgiveness for all of my wrongs, my passion turned fury, my love turned bitter, my confusion brought on by his inconsistency.
May I entice you to admit that it is okay to miss someone, even if everyone tells you that it was wrong and you’re better off without the person. You may feel that ache in your heart eternally, and that’s okay. Carry that person with you. At some point, that ache will dull even more, and you’ll smile, recalling the good times that you shared and wishing nothing but the best for that person you will always love.