Is there really anything more than time and a face that you lose when a relationship ends? It is often the first thing I mourn, more than the person: wasted time. It is such a cliche to have a friend console, ala Charlotte York, that no relationship is a waste of time because you “learnt something”. But I can honestly say I haven’t learnt shit since I dated more than a decade ago.
Lets look at the evidence:
I still date men that are totally emotionally unavailable, usually with mother/sister/grandmother issues
I still manage to make the men I don’t like, fall helplessly for me, annoyingly without trying. Then hook up with them thinking that will make me like them. It doesn’t. It just makes them hate you when they realise you didn’t fall too.
I still insist on not texting back a man if he wore bad shoes. Sisters, I know you feel this. It’s not shallow. It’s discerning.
I still wear the same yellow long sleeved silk blouse and jeans, with high heeled brown boots on every single first date I go on.
Regardless of the weather or location of the date. And I still always get compliments.
I still insist of dating friends of friends. Just because you have someone in common does not stop them from being a c@!t.
I still blindly believe that I am going to meet my future lover in the supermarket/library/queue at the RTA. I am not in a hollywood rom-com, but try telling me that as I put on mascara to get milk.
So when something ends, and my tried and tested relationship formula hasn’t worked out, I can hardly be surprised anymore can I?
I have ended one relationship without a second thought. It was 2008, and after 18 months together (in which I got it pretty good, his family were loaded) I woke up one morning and could hardly stand the thought of him touching me. I went to work, threw up from the realisation that it was over, then promptly took myself home to break up with him. After stopping in at a girlfriends house, wailing for half an hour, drying my eyes and hardening the fuck up, I went to his place.
And haven’t shed a tear since.
I calmly walked into his room, started to pack my belongings, and somewhat cruelly let his pleading voice wash over me. There was nothing he could have done to change my mind: it was over. The relationship was so dead it had a toe tag.
After the dust settled (lots of mutual friends, lots of mutual social awkwardness) I realised and truly believed that you don’t lose anything when a relationship ends other than time and a memory. That person no longer becomes your everything. You really, like it or not, start a new chapter.
So at the risk of going all Charlotte on your arse, if you’re in the throes of mourning the end of something great, or like me, not so great, take heart. That person you mourn, will one day, in the wise words of Goyte, only become somebody that you used to know. That is the beauty of time.
On a positive endnote, that chap I so callously dumped came out of the closet earlier this year. Not directly to me of course. We have barely spoken more than monosyllabic mumbles to each other since that day. I like to think that he had the best woman he was ever going to have, so no longer bothered with the gender as a whole.