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You’ll Be Okay

You know that feeling? I’ve heard it in your voice, I’ve seen it flit across your face.

You look at them and you can see everything. The ugliness you discovered only when it was too late, bordered by your own shame and guilt. The poison that you created together, that became you, first individually, then collectively and then each burnt, broken half again. The alternate choices you could have made, polka-dotted with what-ifs and coloured with deep regret. And also, in thin strands and lines everywhere, glimmers, mere glimpses but definite visions of who they were and what made you fall in love with them.

And you know you’ll never really be over them.

But that’s fine. Admit it. Allow your shame to crumple you up from within. Crumble. Let grief weigh you down and splinter your insides. It hurts terribly, I know. But it’s actually the easier thing to do in the long run. Accept it. Embrace it. And let it move through you and drain out of you through the very holes it created in your fibre. You will never be the same again but you will not be enchained by the experience either. 

You’ll be okay.

History and chemistry

Rambler asks what we think of this crazy little thing called love…though he calls it attraction. Ah…a rose by any other name would have the same thorns..

Attraction, a thought which keeps baffling me day in and day out. what it about attraction which makes it hard to define?, why is it that we get attracted to few people and not to others, what makes them stand out in crowd to us. Something which might be as subjective as it can get.

I say it isn’t all that baffling after all. Or perhaps I’ve just traded in curiosity for resignation.

Do you ever notice how repetitive we are in our so-called free choices? Like we are creatures of instinct and habit rather than of balanced, objective desicions. Yes, it is true and never more so than in the mating/ dating/ love/ sex game. Those are after all called our basic instincts.

I believe in the interaction of chemicals…hormones, pheromones et al. Chemistry really does make this world go round. Chemistry has bizzarre results but it is perfectly logical.

I also believe in Oedipus and Electra. The world is spinning at far too quick a pace, sensation-a-second for us to be able to make split-second objective desicions every time. More often than not, we’re relying on past data, ancient wisdom, recycled ways of thinking.

I’m not opposing what Rambler says about attraction being in the mind. Indeed it is….even for the most hormonal, unemotional creature. If it weren’t so, then as Rambler rightly points out, we may as well go around grabbing any body that fits the requisite mold. But, I doubt whether it really is a matter of free choice either.

Yes, it is about more than just the body. I sometimes think, that I’m more attracted to a person’s body language than their body appearance. That’s just the same thing, isn’t it? Body language after all contains subtle complicated cues about a person. There are the obvious pointers to energy levels, restlessness, activity/passivity but also confidence, grace, tenderness, firmness etc. And….when you think about it…..really hard…..don’t they also gently remind you of something else, someone else long ago? Memory is too deeply rooted in us to not make its presence felt in something as basic as attraction.

After much pondering and agonizing and cribbing, after endless cyclic conversations, after all this reading and talking, I’m no closer to the answer to the question of

Why do we like the people we do?

Or rather….sometimes I know. But you know something? Just knowing why something happens is not enough to control it happening. And hence we go on being attracted to ‘the wrong kind of people’, stay in bad relationships, drift from one unhealthy obsession to another toxic addiction.

Interestingly enough, someone once told me that I was obsessed with intellectual masturbation. Well, what do I say to that? All these years later, I’m still drumming out the very same words, this time on an open forum and getting an unseen kick out of it.

The bitch about intelligence is that it gives you an illusory sense of power…that you can control your own destiny. I don’t think you can. Don’t hang me for being fatalistic, I did try going the scientific route in this inquiry too and it brought me to the same place. Ah well, all roads lead to the same exquisite hell.

What use is a question without an answer? Well, what use is an answer that doesn’t stop the question from being asked over and over again?

I say, no great mystery, it’s all just history and chemistry.

Codes

Well?

Nope. Dud. And failed attempts lead to system re-boot.

So now?

So now I’m eating chocolates. I’m turning into Bridget Jones.

Hmm, okay.

Later…

So what did Bridget Jones do today?

She turned into Carrie Bradshaw.

Really? What did you buy? Sandals or shoes?

One of each. And an extra pair as well.

Three? Huh, that bad?

Pointy-toed with kitten heels. In case I ever want to jab them into somebody. Besides they were all on sale and I couldn’t resist.

Three on sale. RIIIGHTT.

At least I am not going Ally McBeal!

That was a nightmare, not a vision.

A dancing baby is not a nightmare.

It wasn’t dancing. It was sleeping. And so was I.

Still not a nightmare. Sleeping babies are the stuff dreams are made of.

Unless their father, the ex- is standing next to you.

Don’t worry about it. It’s just PMS.

Except in my case the P stands for ‘post’ and not ‘pre’.

A P is a P and a PAIN in every case.

🙂 Venom, good to have you back.

Poison, I missed you. 😉

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.

How to break up

I so much wish I was writing a post on how to sustain relationships. But that’s just not something I can claim to be an authority on, can I? So instead, I write on how to break-up.

I read a post on a friend’s blog today which touched a raw nerve. From what I’ve seen, the person in question probably doesn’t actually believe it but simply found it amusing. So I’m not linking back to that reference.

The post had tips on how to break-up while avoiding the discomfort of the whole process. Now, having gone through this so very many times, I can attest to the fact that practice does not make perfect. There is no easy way to dump someone or get dumped for that matter. In either case you look bad, it is uncomfortable for both parties.

That should perhaps be one’s solace, that no one is the ‘winner’ in this. Its a relationship that needs termination, not a race or a war – at least I hope it hasn’t reached that stage. Even in the worst, most unpleasant situations, try and remember that there must have been some nice moments with the person. That’s probably preachy and I can’t live up to that always, myself, so I’ll try another tack.

Speaking out of pure practical intent, if its over, the person and the relationship does not deserve any more time and attention invested in them. Make a clean break, it is really the simplest thing to do. Elaborate farces, heavy emotional drama all of them take their toll…or at very least require you to do SOMETHING…anything.

And finally I think anybody who has been close to you, even briefly deserves the dignity of the truth, at least. Leaving a person with empty questions is consigning a shitload of emotional baggage to their lot. Maybe that’s what you want after how they’ve made you feel…but really, how much do you gain over making a person think of you everyday, badly? I’d rather they don’t think of me at all than think of me maliciously.

Don’t bother with the blame-game (how does it matter who is responsible anyway? Believe me you’re going to feel just as shitty about it, whether you acknowledge it or not). And honestly, honestly it does not matter who actually verbalises it, partings are generally painful anyway.

As for how they are going to react, if you’re breaking up with them, why should it matter anymore? I tell myself that…and yes, I’m a person who can’t handle other people’s emotional scenes and tears. They are responsible for their behaviour but you are responsible for yours.

I’m all for a clean break, the simple truth, served up direct without frills.

Being at peace with yourself is often a function of how cleanly you’ve lived your choices. Think of all that, the next time you need to call a halt to a relationship.

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* A later version of this post is here. One version also appears on Yahoo! Real Beauty.

What would your ex- say about you?

Maybe I’ve just been watching too many episodes of Sex and the City but then, I’ve also been pondering on committment-phobias a lot recently.

The last episode I watched ended with Mr.Big (Carrie Bradshaw’s grand love) getting engaged to someone else and Carrie musing:

Maybe I hadn’t broken him in at all. Maybe he hadn’t broken me in.

Maybe some women are meant to run wild until they meet someone equally wild to run with them.

Could that be true I wondered? Also Mishi‘s comment on my last post makes me think,

What would the people we’ve dated say about us?

I’ve asked myself this a hundred times over. Of course. We bother about the opinions of practically EVERYONE on the planet. How about the opinions of those we’ve loved (or thought we did), those we’ve leaned on and held, those who have lived through moments of love and hatred and deep emotion and passion with us?

I really wish I knew the answer to that. I know this is probably a trick question so it is highly doubtful that one would get the ‘right answer’ from an ex- but it bears thinking about anyway. I always thought the men I’ve dated would say that I was funny, intelligent, hyperactive and overemotional.

But what if they feared losing me just as I’ve feared losing them? What if my individuality, my stubborness and temper threatened them as their flightiness and flirtatiousness has threatened me? What if, when we broke up and I thought I was letting them go, in essence, they were the ones letting me go off flying since they sensed I couldn’t be tied down?

The big love of my life (also best friend and longest running relationship ever) once said that he knew I loved him but also that he could never tell, when I woke up in the morning, what mood I’d be in and what I’d decide to do. I always thought of myself as stable and loyal. Was I, really? Or perhaps….just maybe….did the men I’ve loved know me better than I knew myself?

And if that be the case, what happens next? I never knew I was meant to be an ‘independant flier’ but when I think about it, everyone I’ve ever been close to has settled down, in relationships, marriage and jobs. While my life remains even more of a nomadic hippy journey than ever.

When you realise the road isn’t moving but you are, where do you go?

I can be anything you want me to be….

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