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Breakups and Makeups: Not as Juvenile as I Thought

There was one thing in relationships I never did.

When I broke up with someone, that was it. Even if the person was really cool, we did not return to give it the old college try.

Maybe in those particular relationships, both parties somehow knew we weren’t going to last forever and took the experience for what it was. Besides, I’m only 30, how seriously was I supposed to take my relationships in my early 20s? Maybe no one had ever gotten under my skin enough to compel me to take another swing at it.

In every scenario we face in life, wise people know you can never say never.

I’ve seen people do the complicated dance of we’re together, we’re not together, we’re back together, now I remember why you suck, we are broken up again.

I have rarely seen yo-yo couples stand the test of time. I know there are some who are out there, I just can’t recall if I know them personally.

So early on, I was staunchly against the emotional Russian Roulette game of the breakups to makeups. Besides, of the relationships I’ve observed, these periods of separation were usually just as long as Kim Kardashian’s first marriage and even shorter. I couldn’t take these folks seriously.There was no growth, no time to change or contemplate. So naturally, you both were coming back to the same person and the same crap, hence the inevitable break up, yet again. I equated these yo-yoers with being like fickle teenagers, and not grown folks seeking a deep, meaningful relationship.

It was judgmental. I know that. These days, when a 16-year-old girl says she is in love, I don’t tell her she isn’t. She’s experiencing what she knows to be love at that moment in her life. She’s at the very beginning of a wild journey, but what she is learning and feeling is real. I have teenaged cousins on Facebook who go through this. They are madly in love and then a few days later they are declaring “Boys ain’t shit.”

I start laughing because I’m like, baby, you just starting. You may want to conserve that energy for your 20s. You are going to need it.

Love is going to change when she’s 20, and 24, and 29, and 42 and 99. It’s going to change and evolve into something different with Rick, then Jack, then Sean. Even if she marries Kevin, it’s going to keep evolving throughout their time together. It’s going to look and feel different over time with different people and even with the same people if you are lucky enough to stay together.

But as I get older, as I keep living, I keep finding out more and more that life gets increasingly more complicated. The things people do, their reasons for doing it– as much as you try to connect the dots, you have no clue what’s going on in their heads and they have no real clue of what’s going on in yours. Sometimes you find yourself having difficulty with keeping up with what’s going on in your own head and heart.

There are certain fears, certain experiences that shape us; things we may have never shared with anyone else, or things we’ve fought to suppress that cause us to react to things in unexpected ways. We surprise ourselves, we surprise our loved ones.

I guess I didn’t believe in the breakup to makeup couples of my teen years and early 20s, because when you are that age, there’s a certain selfishness attached to the reasons why folks want each other back.

They are lonely.

It hurts too much to see the person with anyone else.

Great sex.

Proving naysayers wrong.

Dating other wack people isn’t working.

The grass wasn’t that green.

The list goes on.

These days, I’m willing to give more credence to trying again under the right circumstances.

I’m most interested in grown people who have decided to start over with people they loved and had to let go. I’m interested in the people who took the time, years even to rebuild something. Where are the people who forgive, the people who accept the others for who they really are? Can they share the joy of learning from mistakes? What made them listen to something rumbling deep within that told them this is worth saving?

My nutjob ex boyfriend set some strange things in motion this week with his loquacious and highly dramatic pleas for forgiveness and friendship. While I didn’t agree with him that our story was epic and worth revisiting ever again, it made me think of another, more recent love story that actually was.

Is it harder when you’re older? I think so. Ego and pride are the toughest obstacles and their intensity grows with age. It’s dangerous and childish to appear reckless and impulsive. Admitting when you are wrong? Asking for forgiveness and giving it freely without strings attached? You are supposed to know better.

While ego and pride have steel traps for memories, love fortunately is a little bit senile and far more flexible.

In honor of teenage girls and love. I share one of my favorite teenage girl love songs.

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