This is a radical view. Think about your past relationships. How did they start and how did they end? As I reflected on this basing on my almost 10-year committed, challenging, complicated and twisted past relationship, it somehow gave me chills to realize that maybe some relationships just are not built to last a lifetime no matter how committed its nature could be. Even if a rare number of people are built to be alone and stay happily single, being able to live on their own and go about this life effortlessly even without a partner, I realized early on that even if I can be as independent and carefree as I want to, I am not as happy and fulfilled as when I am in a relationship and get to be sharing my life with another I consider so significant that I would try and leave no stone unturned just so to make my partner happy. But that’s just me.
That long-term relationship bloomed from a beautiful friendship. It was a time in my life where being independent was a long way to go as I was a struggling employee making two payrolls a month meet just so to get on with my own basic needs, and so was my partner. We lived our everyday sharing even the menial of things, talking about every topic under the sun, and conversing about dreams which sounded so far fetched then, growing together. Of course, there were a lot of struggles and squabbles along the way, but then again any healthy relationship has those ingredients, otherwise there is no growth, no change. In the middle of it, there were challenges that seemed insurmountable because even if you both wish to stay in a world where only the two of you exists, hence less complications, that only happens when we are asleep and traveling to Mars was possible. Personal goals, family pressure, and society dictates get in the way, and so the once happy start turns sour and the former miniature conflicts become a giganteum where a magnifying glass aimed at what were wrong seemed to have appeared from nowhere and get the best of both of you. Relationship then ends. Heartbreaking.
So then you’re left with a heart that’s been mashed like a potato, but this is the time when it is vital to have, as they popularly say, at least a six-month solitary time, a hibernation mode, a time of reprieve from the past relationship before moving on to another. Vital basically because a heart that is mashed takes time to be whole again, almost impossible at the start especially when all you could think about is your ex and how you were used to doing things together, all the memory lane torture. Otherwise, you fall into the trap where many have fallen of going into a rebound relationship. Poor being who becomes an outlet of your frustrations and need to fill what your ex left as an empty space. That is precisely why it is healthy to spend time with your precious self after a breakup, to have that empty space gone by rediscovering yourself and making yourself whole again without a new person altering the process. For me, this process took years as while I was still in the relationship that was already in deep waters, I was already thinking about a way out because it was not working anymore. I was feeling lost, troubled and disheartened with all the complications. I felt it was time to move on. Love was never a question; it just transformed to another level, that which does not require us to be in a relationship anymore.
Weird to realize that although healthy romantic relationships (take note I said healthy because abusive and disturbing relationships are out of this context) can and do make you a better, even changed person, helping you realize your dreams along the way and surprising yourself with feats that you thought you were not capable of but was able to because you were inspired, they seem to be elusive and you’ll never get to predict exactly when to say you’ve had enough and it’s not working its magic anymore. Taking also into consideration your values on commitment, loyalty, concept of divine love, and capacity to take risks and challenges, who would be an expert to know when the relationship has reached its tail? If it’s worth keeping for a lifetime? If you have stopped growing or growing apart? If there is a hint of falling out? If feeling of inadequacy sets in? If letting go is indeed a higher form of love where you let go of the person you love dearly if it meant that her life would be way better off without you in it?
Then again, relationships are like a puzzle. They are meant to be bits and pieces that make the story we call life whole.
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