It was funny this morning; I went to the gym earlier than normal and was about to hop in the shower when about four people tried to g chat with me. Normally, the moment I leave home until I am out of the shower and dressed is strictly “me” time. I guess some friends had other ideas. I was a bit short with them simply because I was not fully in the mood for lengthy conversations and needed a shower. But this is all a digression.
A few weeks ago I was home and an ex-girlfriend of mine sent me a text message that she had met some guy who knew a guy I knew. My first thought was “WTF” I don’t care who you meet while interning in New York and even if I did this barely concerns me at all. It was simply unnecessary on her part, but another one of her attempts to “stay friends”. I hate that. This is a girl who I dated a while ago now and we had a number of rough patches and worked through a lot of stuff, almost all of which revolved around her inability to move on from an ex and be a mature person in a relationship. What gets me now is that even after everything and how there were some bad splits; she still wants me to be a part of her life. Now, I wouldn’t mind that if this was a former girlfriend where things ended amicably and there were no hard feelings. That simply is not the case with this girl. I cannot stand her repeat attempts to “stay in touch” with me and have me be her friend. I do not want that. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I do not appreciate someone not getting the picture after all of this time. It is the kind of thing where she would text me when we were at school as if she wanted to hookup but that would all be a tease. It got to the point where I told her that I didn’t want her to talk to me unless she actually wanted to hookup. Other than that I was not interested in seeing or talking to her. That clearly has not stopped her. My hope is that she will finally move on with her life and mature to where she can have a mature and fulfilling relationship with someone. That is my hope, and if she doesn’t mature I pity any guy that is willing to be in a relationship with her. She simply does not get it.
Looking to positive relationships, in the past six months I have had the pleasure of spending time with two girls whom I am good friends with today. Those were not what you would consider full relationships, even if at times they might have seemed as if they were. Instead, they were two people spending time and talking to one another because they enjoyed each other’s company and when the dynamic changed and was no longer what either party wanted, they ended, no hard feelings, just mature young adults resolving differences and accepting the end and moving on. I have a lot of respect for the most recent one who forced me to admit that I knew that the dynamic had changed, it was no longer the same, and that if we didn’t discuss and resolve it, it would only lead to animosity between us. She was 100% correct. It is hard to admit to yourself what you know deep down, but ultimately that is for the best and enables us to be friends today and going forward.
Since this particular ex-girlfriend texted me, I have been doing a lot of thinking about love and how we handle ourselves and our emotions once a long relationship ends. A short relationship can end amicably because neither person has been involved so long that they have completely shifted their life to accommodate the other. The two people can see that it isn’t working and go their separate ways because that is for the best and even if they disagree on that, the emotional investment tends to be such that they can be friends if they understand that even good things have to end. The same cannot be said about a long relationship. Oftentimes people become very emotional invested in their partner and struggle moving on without them. That is not necessarily because they can’t, instead it is because their life shifted and now a main component of that has been removed and they struggle to cope with that fact.
This post is not about people being able to move on from relationships, but about that time doesn’t ever fully heal a broken heart. As you can tell from my large rant about an ex-girlfriend, you know that I still have some very real emotional wounds because of her. I want to see the good in people and so I kept myself invested in a relationship with her long after I should have ended it. My brother hates her to this day, and I don’t blame him, but I don’t hold the same animosity toward her. Instead, I just want to move on with my life and not have to have her continue to try and be a part of my life. What people struggle with is understanding that even if they moved on from a relationship that does not mean that the other person did as well. I would think it is rare to find an ex-couple that are complete friends with each other after having had a long relationship. In my experience, and talking with friends who have had similar experiences, once you care deeply about another person, it is hard to fully heal once things turn sour. I do not believe that time fully heals those emotional wounds. Time helps us cope, but it doesn’t erase the pain and the memories. My high school ex-girlfriend most definitely still feels animosity toward some high school friends because of how things ended between people the summer after graduation. It is like scar tissue, it can cover the wound, but it will never be 100% the same.
Time is important in the healing process, but no matter how many good times were had or the feelings you might still have for someone, you have to pick yourself up and move forward with your life. You cannot wait and hope that they will still want to be in your life. A broken heart may never fully heal, but time will help you cope and find the person who you will love and will not break your heart.