Breaking up is definitely the worst moment of any love story. It is like the “the end” sign that immediately makes us long for the movie we have just finished watching.
When we are young breaking up is hard but we know life is out there waiting for us and it is normal to have many experiences, in fact we want to have them; what teenager would want to live only one love story? Even if it were a perfect one? And aren’t all love stories perfect for a time?
But as we grow older breaking up becomes more difficult. Above all, because love stories become much more than that, they become a “partnership”, where the two characters of the love story create all sorts of ties such as children, common assets, social obligations…and it becomes harder and harder to sever those ties, to the extent that many couples stay together no longer bound by any feelings but rather by everything else they have created together.
As a teenager, I experienced quite a few break ups, with different feelings involved. When the initiative was mine, the break up would be followed by some relief and thoughts like “wow, I’m free again!” and a merry mood. However, if it was not my initiative, the break up would inevitably involve many tears on my part. A hopeless romantic, I would cry my heart out and I particularly remember one funny episode when after a break up I was so dedicated to my grief that I put my ex boyfriend’s photo inside my Law books while I was studying; when every once in a while I came across that still beloved face tears would again fall abundantly down my face.
And then there were also the cases when you didn’t really want to break up, but as you felt your boyfriend more and more aloof you would take the initiative yourself, so as not to lose face – something utterly important for a teenager, at least in those times.
But, as the song “Knowing me knowing you” by Abba goes, “breaking up is never easy I know…”.When a relationship has lasted for some time, when two lovers have gone through many happy moments together, when a deep connection was there between two people, when many stories have been shared, when certain songs become special and your very own, when photos of happy moments together pile up ( in your photo album back then, in your iPhone today), when that moment of the day reminds you of a phone call that will not be there anymore…. When you think of all that you want to postpone the end; you tell yourself you have to give your relationship a chance, love is like that, never easy, relationships are hard to build…one should make concessions, one should not rush into a decision, after all, he (or she) has so many qualities…and no one is perfect. There is even a Spanish expression that says “más vale lo malo conocido que lo bueno por conocer”, meaning that we should rather keep the bad things we know than the good ones we know nothing about. And humans are usually cautious by nature (well, most of us), so many times we extend our relationships beyond what’s reasonable, simply because we have no courage to break up and to face what comes next – solitude.
But the cruelty of it all is that there will be solitude within a relationship too. A relationship is about sharing, body and soul – especially soul, because you may share bodies mechanically, but when souls are connected it’s the most wonderful and truthful feeling you can experience. If your soul is not in it, as much as you share a bed you are hopelessly lonely, and still, you persist, you will not take the decision to break up.
When you are a grown up, mature person, there are times when you still love someone but even so you know you cannot, should not, continue with the relationship – and you finally break up. Because you want different things, because you are not loved back, because the other person has given up on life…and so you go ahead and do it, and it breaks your heart, but deep down you know it was inevitable and for the best. Still, it is hard, it is painful, and you will make every effort not to come to that.
If there is one lesson life has taught me, it is that there is no common recipe for everyone. We all have our own stories and ways of coping with heartbreak. Love is never simple, and it becomes more complicated as, with age, we become more and more complex in our feelings and emotions. And scared of loneliness. Thinking it’s time to give up looking for that perfect love, that perfect relationship that will sweep us off our feet and make everything worthwhile.
I, for one, feel that as long as there is love, there is hope.
Building a love relationship takes time, patience, tolerance and most of all understanding. Even in the lowest moments there may be hope in a smile, a touching hand, a light kiss on your forehead; passion might well make a show of appearance – and then all will be well. Or not – none of this will happen, and when there is nothing to keep you two together, then breaking up is inevitable. As the song goes, it is never easy, but it’s time to go.