Daily Archives: April 19, 2007

Finite relationships

My friend met her ex-boyfriend last week. The one she broke up with a year back. And she said,

Six years I spent with the man. And now, I suddenly don’t feel anything at all. In fact I wonder what I ever saw in him. Has that ever happened to you?

I gave her my usual line of not ever recycling boyfriends. She then asked me,

If one of them ever came back to you, would you be willing to give them another chance?

That’s a hard question to answer. Mainly because I wonder about this giving chances to people. You can give a stranger a chance to show his or her real self to you. The two of you can take a chance together that something might happen that could change both your lives for the better. You can take a chance on friendship, on love, on a job, in business. But you don’t give people chances. You’re not sitting on a golden throne handing out improbable chances like charity to people.

Let me elaborate. Every relationship has its dynamics, its own unique power equation. One person is invariably holds the reins of power, subtly, slightly or in a big way. That person may be the ‘voice’ in the relationship, originating each milestone conversation and event. However, a relationship still is between two people and no matter how mild-mannered, indifferent, subtle or gentle a person is, they bring their own brand of that something to the relationship. If not, the other person could very well be in a relationship with a wall. Or someone else, for that matter.

People part ways for a multitude of reasons, not all bad, unpleasant ones. Sometimes people just grow apart and sometimes….well, we’ve all heard “It wasn’t meant to be” at some point of time. How about the fact that maybe the relationship, short-lived and finite, was the way it was meant to be? And hence prolonging it or trying to turn it into something else is a needless endeavor that is only going to sour an at least nice memory.

When I part ways with a person, either by breaking up a romantic relationship or falling out with a friend or just moving away to other places, other people and other lives….it takes me awhile to adjust to the person not being a part of my life. I’ve come to think of this as the time I’m getting over the habit of the other person. After that, somewhere subtly I realize that I’ve been living and nearly just as complete a life without the person. It is the point where I don’t need the person anymore. If I’m still missing them, then it is the period where I have to start getting over the emotions felt for and shared with them. And sometimes beyond that, there’s still something empty….that’s really the toughest bit….getting over the concept of the other person….which I suppose never does happen since it involves erasing a never-to-be-forgotten memory. After all if the person’s impact on you has lasted this far, it has to be an unforgettable memory. It is fortunate and also probably unfortunate that such memories are far and few in a person’s life.

Once I’ve gotten over needing a person, I find I’m inertiatic about making or even maintaining contact with them. It isn’t so much bitterness…it’s probably a mix of laziness and complacent arrogance. I mean….I don’t need him/her to be happy so why should I call/mail/talk? With me, it really is over when its over.

In most cases, I don’t have an active problem with a person I don’t need but well….it just seems like a waste, especially if I’ve found that I also don’t have much in common with them or anything interesting to talk about. In my mind, it just keeps my life clean. People and relationships take time and effort. I have enough of people in my over-cluttered life without having to think of the luxury of maintaining relationships that have outlived their purpose.

I’ve been accused of being ruthless, of getting over people ‘too quickly’. And alternately of also being too bitter. I don’t know. All I can see is, time and life move forward. And I have to as well. I have no more choice in the matter than I have of granting people chances. Life is after all, an experience to be shared with some, not a prized possession to be handed over to the winner.

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