Ever had this pop up on your screen?
Scroll back to check.
Look at how many people ‘liked’.
Hover uncertainly over ‘View Comments’, then decide not to.
Visit profile page to see when this happened & what happened after.
Hover over ‘Like’ and decide against because it’ll mean notifications for the next 2 weeks. Not sure if this needs to be shoved into the face every day.
You may have broken up ages ago. You may have had closure & moved on to things that are themselves ancient history now.
You may not be in love anymore. You may never have been in love, even back then.
You may be in a relationship yourself. Or single and thankful for it.
It doesn’t matter. This will make you stop dead in your tracks and cause the breath to catch in your throat even if it is for the teensiest fraction of a second. No one saw the expression on your face. Not even a telltale blush or flush or gasp. But a tiny plop sounded inside you and you heard it. I know you did.
Every relationship, no matter how brief, how shallow, however fleeting is an opportunity, a little dirt track that could lead somewhere. It could take you to great sex, a wonderful friendship, that much-needed ego massage, fun for a weekend or a vacation or happily ever after (whatever that means to you). It’s a path that you considered once, when it opened up before you. Maybe you even took a few steps down that road. Even if you walked back or away, the road was there at some point of time for you. The message you just saw above, which made you stop in your tracks signifies that road has shut down permanently. Houseful, we have no more room, we don’t want any more, thank you very much. You may have a thousand other options but losing even one, especially one that you did consider once upon a time, will leave its mark on you.
Then there is this thing that women have about Plan B. I say women, since I’ve never really heard a man use the phrase. Perhaps men do it too, only they call it different things or (characteristic to men), they don’t think about it. But it exists. My best friend once told me,
“If you’re still looking, you’re not really committed.”
I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that. There’s no question in my mind about who the most important person in my life, right now. But that doesn’t mean other people who were once important, cease to exist altogether. Friends who’ve been married and happily, steadily, comfortably so, report the same feeling.
It’s a strange blend of nostalgia, comparisons, smugness & wistfulness, laced with just a hint of pinprick pain. There ought to be a word for it. I suppose the Portugeuse ‘Saudade‘ comes closer than any other word but it doesn’t completely describe it.
I know this and I even know the train of words that went through your head right after you saw it. Maybe you even said most of them.
Good for them.
Isn’t it kind of early?
I’m happy they found happiness with somebody.
How did they meet?
When is the wedding?
(Add sarcastic/bored/snide tone if your relationship with them was rocky)
And all of them were true. But they don’t negate that inexplicable place in your throat where you’re not able to swallow, that funny leap in your stomach that’s got nothing to do with what you ate and the words that come out of your mouth, sounding at odds with what you’re feeling inside.
I know. We all do.
I read an article which touched a raw nerve. The article 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. It’s 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 it’s over, the person and the relationship do 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.
To ‘the one special woman’,
You are the stuff of memories that never fade, rust or get forgotten. You are the overriding factor above everything hormonal, practical, emotional, logical and fair. Indeed, you must be special.
I’ve been thinking about you a lot. Do you know who I am? I am the one who he leaves to chase you. Or the one who battles with the insurmountable statue of you up on the pedestal. I am the real-world girlfriend. I spend the boring, traffic-laden, polluted days with him while he reminisces about the special candlit dinner-violin serenaded moments with you.
Actually we’ve met a few times. Once you were a good friend who toyed with the idea of him while I stood around waiting and then handed him back to me, slightly soiled, a few months later. The thing is you gave back to me his bruised ego to heal but not the fragments of his heart. That you kept for yourself and I’ll never be able to touch them.
Some other times you’re a stranger, nice and pleasant. You are never off-balance, never irrational, you never scream like a banshee. No, I do that….after all, security brings a level of peace and calm and I wouldn’t know what that looked like.
A lot of other times we haven’t actually met or even spoken. I’ve looked at photographs of you, heard about you from friends (and from him) and wondered a great deal about what you must have that I don’t. You aren’t prettier. Or smarter. Or nicer. Or more loving. But in his memories, you are incomparable.
I’ve thrown in the towel a while ago. I can’t compete with a memory. Or perceived perfection. I am real. Flawed, inconsistent, imperfect. I have acne, PMS, extra inches around my tummy, doubtful taste. I’m the real thing. Well…that can never compare with the poetry of a fantasy, can it?
Your position isn’t exactly a complete one either. For you do know what will happen the minute you succumb? You’ll turn into me. I guess you know. Which is why you let this state exist as it is. I guess it is better to be adored from a distance than ignored right to your face.
Do I sound bitter? Yes, I am. Very. I wanted someone to want to settle down with me, not settle for me. No one wants to feel like a consolation prize.
‘My Best Friend’s wedding‘ was about me. But I am not always like that. The platitude talks about wanting happiness for someone you love, even if it is not with you. I aspire to do that, even if I don’t always succeed. Believe me, if you think its difficult being friends with me, you have no clue what its like for me to battle envy and resentment and like you for who you are. Well, you are likeable. Which makes it even more difficult.
I won’t ever tell you this to your face. Why, I wouldn’t even admit to him that he’s important enough to me to colour my thoughts of another person. But I feel it. I guess all I have left is the thought that….
Eve’s greatest enemy isn’t Adam
But another Eve
Even if you are a better woman than I am, I love him more than you ever will. Now if only, he’d understand that. But that probably doesn’t matter.
The ordinary woman
Some 55-word-stories, related and un-related. Draw your own conclusions and leave your comments behind. Also cross-posted on IFSHA.
She: I want to meet your ex-girlfriend.
He: What an odd thought! Why?
She: She’s your past and that’s part of you. Getting to know you includes meeting your past.
It’s to know why you like me. If she’s shy, I’ll know its my personality. If she’s sweet, its my attitude.
“CRAP” he was thinking.
That’s her??? Your ex-girlfriend is gorgeous.
Not the way you are.
Right….you didn’t tell me she was so tall.
How does it matter…I think you are my perfect woman
Shorter than you, you mean?
Quiet now…here she comes
Pretty face, status symbol, too much attention. It must have been about his ego, then.
XX1: I’m glad to meet you!
XX2: Me too! I’ve been hearing so much about you!
XX1: We must talk about books. He said you have a collection!
XX2: I’ve got a book I hope you’ll like.
She’s just like me. Hmm…he’ll be a frequent furniture re-arranger. The same stuff but with a new look.
1 new message!
Hi, I’m disappointed you didn’t come for the engagement. We were friends after all. You could’ve left work early. Anyway, here’re the photographs. Wish you were a part of them.
Photogenic me? But I don’t have that complexion, do I? You always had a thing for fair skin. Congratulations Mr.Fair & Lovely.
She stubbed out the cigarette butt and gazed out of the window, running through the list in her mind. An organized mind aids good decisions.
The Head girl
The Beauty Queen
The Campus Rebel
The Business whiz-kid
The ex-girlfriend of his nemesis
The Former Colleague
A collector of alpha females.
Does anyone know what the best ‘ex’ policy is? I admire…no, I am deeply envious of those enlightened souls who are ‘great friends’ with their exes. They’ve obviously got it all figured out just great and I haven’t reached my Bodhi tree as yet. I am struggling, as yet in vain, to define just how to deal with that increasing species called ex-boyfriends. (Here and here are some previous attempts)
My trouble these days seems to be too-fast exes rather than just too-many! Well…that too but mostly I’m alarmed now by the rising conversion rate of boyfriend/consistent date to ex. I was born finicky but I seem to have just turned fussy now. Hence, having concluded that men in general, have only one head that can actually be put to any use, my super-high standards of dating are crumbling. But after awhile, I can’t pretend my interest remains nor that my patience stays constant.
Which brings us to the issue of the ever so sensitive, ex-policy. Now a guy I recently dated said that he was great friends with all his exes. I retorted, “well, you don’t know me as yet.”…ah, I was being peevish but I don’t like being clubbed into one junta-group like that. Then I said, “I have a different equation with each person I’ve dated and that’s because I was a different person with of them.”
Which is all very fine, but each one takes up even more effort than the relationship/dating schedules did. For starters we have the relationship issues, differences and incompatibility in the starring roles of BIG HURDLES to being friends. Spice that liberally with any fights, verbal arrows that would have been thrown and you have a masaledaar creation that’s not going down with any amount of antacid. Okay, fine, some people have amicable break-ups. Everyone isn’t a melodrama queen like me, perhaps (oh, but how??). Then we get to how to face someone who’s seen a side of you that the rest of the world doesn’t?
I think my biggest shame in meeting the ex-love of my life was the memory of an extremely sappy (and scorching) love letter I had written to him on his birthday….which of course he refused to return or destroy….gave me a good enough reason to let me go of him at least and there you are. (But oh how mortifying!!! I hope I never see him again….)
Then there are the more obvious and twenty times more mortifying incidents. I had a day that started off just fine till I bumped into someone I’d ‘politely declined’ after a few weeks. Which is fine, since we hadn’t discussed it too much since then. And then he remarked that I must have had a rocking weekend. I wondered what he was on about till I realized in the rush to get out of the house, I hadn’t had a proper stab at my make-up as yet. If he’d been a part of the Master card ad, it probably would have read
Weekend alone spent on DVDs: 700
Getting there early: 1000
New shoes after losing old ones trudging through mud on a rainy day: 3000
Spotting the hickey before she does: PRICELESS
I so much wish I could have wiped that smirk off his face. Well….then again…
Knowing who was really responsible and it certainly wasn’t YOU!!!”: ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS
Smirk smirk….I think I’ll stick to being the catty ex.