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Saying Goodbye

February 23, 2013

Ending a long relationship is always an emotional process. The initial realisation that a gut wrenching decision needs to be made. The stress of summoning up the courage to finally sever the bond. The anger directed at third parties that influence or cause the relationship to strain. The painful emptiness of knowing the separation is final. The constant reminders at every turn that trigger the agony. The bitterness felt when other people, perfectly happy in their relationships, unsympathetically flaunt their untainted love, with no consideration for your grief. Can’t they see that they’re living a lie? Setting themselves up for pain and heartache when it inevitably turns sour. Then comes the reluctant acceptance, the philosophical reasoning. You’re better off out of it. More time and money for yourself. The optimism of new beginnings free from the complications that relationships bring. It’s for the best. Time to move on.

Dealing with this process is made easier by listening to people who are experiencing the same thing. It helps understanding that you’re not alone. It gives you comfort, strength and confidence. It also helps to share your own thoughts. Your own feelings. So here I am.

Sometimes relationships naturally run their course. Fizzle out. Sometimes they are abruptly, unceremoniously ended, and sometimes people just change. They start to dress differently, maybe change the colour of their hair. They don’t only change superficially, but deeper than that. It’s as if they have become a different person entirely, unrecognisable from the one you fell in love with.  No longer the down to earth person next door that makes you feel appreciated and valued. The type where you can feel comfortable being yourself, you just *get* each other. They start to take you for granted, your loyalty, your trust. They might try to buy it back with cynical, empty gestures. But this just makes it worse. They think you’re some kind of mug that will accept material gifts and just pretend that everything is fine. Their attitude has changed so much. No longer the grounded soul, full of character and personality. Their new friends that you warned them about have corrupted them. Once so close, almost inseparable , now detached and distant. As if their priorities lay in a far off land. Gone is the warmth, to be replaced by a cold, lifeless feel. A bit. Plastic.

Everyone has their tipping point though. The straw that eventually breaks the camel’s back. The realisation that self respect and dignity are more important than maintaining an illusion. Principles must prevail over pretence. You try to make it work, you really do. But deep down you know it’s a lost cause. You can only fake it for so long. The magic has gone. You are left clinging to the hope that, in time, they come to realise that their new friends don’t have their best interests at heart. That they’re only being used for egotistical gain. You might try to tell them this, but you’re accused of being jealous, and bitter. They tell you, you need to accept it, get over it. This is the way things are now, why can’t you just be happy for them?

Maybe they’re right. It’s time to get used to the idea of living without that special person that was such a big part of your life. Get used to hearing about them from other people, seeing updates of their new life online. Reluctantly wishing them well whilst longing for the way things were at the dizzy heights of your union. But secretly willing their new relationship to fail. It’ll serve them right for the way they treated you. How dare they go on to bigger better things without you. But thinking like this is not good for the soul. It breeds resentment. Which is not healthy if there is any hope of reconciliation in the future. All that’s left to do is act with maturity and dignity, and get on with the rest of your life. And if. If, they see the error of their ways, come to their senses and rediscover the person they used to be, resist the temptation to say I told you so.

So that’s me saying goodbye.

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