If you love someone, you run the risk of not loving them one day. You run the risk of seeing them in a grocery store years later and hiding behind the display of bananas so you won’t have to say anything to them and pretend that the love never happened. It’s funny, isn’t it? When you run into someone like your childhood best friend (the one you haven’t seen in years, the one who became a Christian and has a Coach bag), you say hello. You hug, quickly find out what they’re doing with their life, if they’re happy, and then you move on. Sure, it’s awkward, and there might be a temporary ache in your chest afterwards (time can be unkind) but you acknowledge them, you pay tribute with a smile, a hug, a “How are you doing?”
With the people you once loved, the people that once had an all-access pass to the most intimate details of your life, you sometimes can’t pay tribute. You can’t ask them about their work, their travels, or god forbid, their family. Your mind can’t process it. They can only exist in black and white; they can either be everything or nothing. You say hello to the person you played with when you were five, and ignore the person whose cum you swallowed, who once cried to you in a cab because everything was going wrong and oh my god, you wanted to help them, wanted to save them.
Who do we hold on to and who do we force ourselves to forget? The hardest thing about love often seems to be the extremes. How quickly it can go from “hold me through the night” to “get fuck off of me.” One day you’re in a hotel gift shop with the person you love and you look over at them and start to see different things, things you wish you were never able to see. This is the beginning of the end, the beginning of “get the fuck off of me.” You know in that moment that you’ll be ignoring them five years from now in a grocery store.
You always have the ability to hate someone you love. Hate is passion just like love is passion. You must know this when you sign the love contract. “I hereby acknowledge that loving you carries the potential for disaster. I hereby acknowledge the possibility of hating your fucking guts!!!” Will this stop anyone from loving? More importantly, should it? No.
In a way, hate can be the best compliment next to love. Because the second you’re able to come up to your ex in that grocery store or on the street, you’ve healed and moved on. The love exists now in a healthy compartment in your brain or not at all. This is all very well and good, but it also means that it’s truly done. Technically, this is what’s supposed to happen. This is the path you’re supposed to be on. But losing the passion can sometimes be the hardest thing to give up. Holding on to feelings, whether it’s love or hate, reminds you that you’re still alive and that the relationship happened. Or something.