I’ve always found the concept of breaking up with someone both unsettling and sad. Whenever I hear of a friend or family member’s relationship coming to an end, I feel somewhat disappointed that another love has failed yet again.
Coming from a family where my parents met and fell in love at 15, I grew up believing in the whole “fairy-tale” ending phenomenon. I just didn’t understand how if two people loved each other so much they could even fathom ending things. I think this is part of the reason I struggled so much in ending my first long-term relationship. He was more than just a lover. I grew up with him. I had so many firsts with him. I went through many hard experiences with him. I even started dating him at 15, the same age as my parents. He was my best friend for four years. I couldn’t imagine life without him, or how I was even happy before.
But then everything changed. He made a lot of mistakes that hurt – over and over again. I started to feel myself not just falling out of love with him, but also craving something different and more fulfilling. Yet at the same time, the thought of not having him in my life felt both sad and unfamiliar.
It felt unfair – why did I have to lose him as both my boyfriend and my best friend? I wished it wasn’t that way. I wish the aching hole in my heart would just close up and heal. I don’t like to force people who have walked into my life, for whatever reason, to walk back out with a snap of a finger.
It’s amazing to think how quickly people can go in and out of your life–people who used to mean everything can turn into nothing. When our lives center around someone we love, that doesn’t just stop the minute you break up with them. Passing by his favorite restaurant, or the place in the park where he first told you he loved you; realizing it’s his birthday or hearing his favorite song on the radio – the memories will always linger. The memories you are forced to forget because you know, and everyone else knows, that you deserve better.
I believe that if you truly love someone, you will always love them; maybe in a different way than at first, but something will always be there. Or maybe it’s simply just an ache that creeps across your body upon hearing his name. We will never completely forget about a failed love. However, that does not mean that you won’t be happy again because you will. But, you won’t forget.
Either way, though, this concept is inevitable. It’s the human condition to crave love and relationships. Every now and then we meet someone who may end up becoming a big part of our life – and with this, we run the risk of ending up as strangers. However, I think it will always be a risk worth taking. With every failed relationship comes a new lesson. They help us learn more about what we like, don’t like, and what we are willing to accept. They help us recognize the pain a broken heart can bring, and the growth involved in healing it. They also teach us to appreciate how beautiful and vulnerable love can be, and hopefully–eventually–help you find that person who will make all that past pain and uncertainty worth it.