The Measure of Real Love (part 1?)

I been chewing on this for a couple of days, so I’m going to gone ahead and let this one ride.

This might end up being two posts, hence the question mark.

When it comes to relationships, there are about as many ways to handle them as there are couples in the world. Some are good while others..not so much. Some are mutually violent while others are one-sidedly so. Some bring out the best in both people while others make one person want to be better. In those relationships where the dynamics are more skewed toward one side or another, it’s more than likely that the relationship will end.

This post isn’t about the dynamics of the relationship as much as it is about what you do when it’s over and why you might respond the way you do. I don’t think there is “a right way” to be in a relationship. For those that work, the people in it will tell you that it IS work…but for those that don’t, you might get a million different answers about what didn’t…but I digress.

A friend and I were talking about the ways that people handle breakups and the why behind it, and she said something that I felt was worth exploring. According to her, the aftermath of the breakup says a lot about the value of the relationship to the people in it. People who were deep in love might wait a while before starting to date because they are holding out hope that the relationship can be revived, while people who weren’t can move on to the next and think nothing of it.

Of course, I don’t see things as black and white as that, particularly for the person who might go on to another relationship to help them get over the past one.

I seem to know a fair amount of people who believe that the way to get over an old relationship is to get into a new one, and from the outside looking it, it seems like they have different motivations.  I know people who are look at breaking up like cowboys look at falling off a horse -you have to get back on to make sure you have the courage to keep getting back on. When I ask them about it, I’ve been told that while getting closure from a past relationship can be a good thing,  sitting and waiting on it to come is not the way to find the person that you can make your forever after with. For other people, I’ve been told it’s so much about looking for the next long-term relationship as finding someone who can put the person you are trying to get over in the back of your mind. While you are learning someone new and bringing them into your life, you don’t have quite as much time to think about the person who just left it.  Those are just two reasons, and we haven’t even touched on the people who serial date because they just need a body to fill a need, whether it be physical, financial, or emotional.

In my mind, pining a way to mourn a love lost. Depending on how the relationship ended and the way the people in the relationship interacted with each other, breaking up means that a part of your life has ended. When you are invested in a relationship, it can be easy to think of the other party the same way you would think of yourself. Instead of planning dinners, meals, trips, dates, or budgets for two, you go back to planning for one. Certain songs or places might make you nostalgic, which can bring painful or pleasantly painful memories, depending on how things developed. For some people, pining is A way, not THE way. Some people redirect that strong emotion to other people, while others work through that grief by losing themselves in other things. Maybe they lose themselves in music or exercise. Maybe they start dating themselves, prioritizing self-indulgence over going out and getting caught up in the dating game right away. Hell, some folk even drink. *shrugs* I’m not judging.

Ultimately, you have to work through the emotion….but some people do it differently. I think that love can only be measured with emotional distance…hindsight is always 20/20.


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