I was talking to a friend of mine last week. He and his partner of several years just broke up. He was saying to me, “ Everything was so good between us. My life was really good. And now, its not.”
I replied to him, “You know, babe. As unfortunate and painful as this is, most relationships in this world come with a “shelf life”.
I was kind of shocked to even myself say that. I went home that evening and began thinking about what I’d said to my friend.
Am I jaded? That was so inappropriate! What was I thinking to say that to him?
But, after considering my words I thought to myself: How many people in our lives really do last forever?
If I were to just sit here and tell you that 98% of of your relationships had an “expiration date” on them, you’d probably think I was trying to be a douche, or just a jaded fag with no friends. LOL.
But, when I sit and think of the literally hundreds of men and woman who have made appearances in my life in one facet, or another. Maybe for a week. A month. Several years.
Then, I compare those numbers to the amount of people who I’m still really close with for 20+ years…
That’s a pretty vast ratio!
The point I’m getting at here is this:
It never occurred to me that there is nothing wrong with simply enjoying time with another human being for as long as it’s meant to be. Then letting it go with love when it’s done. I think its a natural part of the human condition to covet something (someone) that makes me feel good.
Sure. There are challenges with every relationship. And many can be overcome. But, that’s not what I’m talking about, here. I’m talking specifically about when a relationship with a friend or lover has simply run its course.
This deluded ideal of “Best Friends Forever” and “Happily Ever After” really fucks up how I handle my parting of ways with other human beings.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a “fixer”. I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights I’ve spent agonizing over thoughts like, “How am I gonna make things better? What words do I use to change his mind?”
And, when my best efforts to “fix” something that is not fixable fail, that’s when the anger and blame comes to a head.
I get burnt up when a friendship has run its course!
“She fucked me over! After everything I did for him, this is what I get in return! He just stopped loving me the way he used to!”
I create dramatic narratives that aren’t true. We all grow as individuals. In one way or another. It’s inevitable. So, of course as we grow as people, we grow apart as well.
And, instead of looking at all the wonderful things that person has brought me. All those moments of laughter, tears, adventures, personal confessions. A literal mental scrapbook of memories gets warped by these insane judgments I make, just because its over.
I have, VERY FEW TIMES in my life walked away from a person ands genuinely said, “Thank you. Thank you for every amazing thing you have taught me. Thank you for the memories that I’ll cherish forever. And thank you most of all for helping me become a better version of the man I was before I met you.”
The pain from the loss of the relationship clouds that. The void. And the fear that I may never feel that way with another person again all makes the truth and my gratitude towards that person turn to pain, resentment, and anger.
People come into our lives for a reason. Maybe its just supposed to be for a season. And if you’re lucky, you get those very few who last a lifetime. There really is no equating time and substance. Looking back on my life, I’ve had some people who were in my life less than a week teach me more than people that I’ve known for years. The point is, they all taught me something. Holding on to that “something” they taught me is so much more valuable than trying to hold on to them. (and besides..I believe thats called a hostage crisis 🙂 )
Having this clarity gives me a much deeper sense of gratitude for every interaction I’ve ever had in my life. They all meant something. I was just to blinded by the fear of losing each person to see why.
Maybe you can relate to some this as well.