Recently, I have found myself in the center of relationship situations with some of my closest friends, relatives and a host of Quaints. To be honest, I am among their ranks as well.
Over the course of time, some relationships dissolve, despite the effort of at least one of the parties. Some relationships dissolve despite the effort of both parties. In some cases, a clear argument for lack of communication is central to the break up. In other cases, more nefarious reasons were afoot: abuse, infidelity, neglect. In all cases, more than one factor is at work.
We have covered many of the reasons why relationships end. Let’s look at some of the aftermath. Specifically, let’s look at the dead horse.
When one person decides a relationship is over, often the other person did not turn love off like a faucet. It lingers until it fades or is completely broken. If the relationship eroded slowly, both mates can often feel the love slip away.
In relationships where a cataclysmic or silent series of events ends is one mate leaving, the other mate’s love may be thrown into turmoil. While it makes sense to not love a person who would walk out of your life and exclude you from the new one, the heart is often not swayed by logic.
While the mate who leaves is content with the way things are now, the mate left behind may well believe their love will be enough to salvage the relationship. They diligently wheedle, beg and bargain for Mate to come home and participate.
It does not work.
First, Mate is not interested in your love. Had Mate been interested, Mate would not have left. Mate would not have lost interest in the activities you shared. Mate would not have begun a life alone or with someone else. This is not your fault.
Second, increasing the effort you exert to show your love to Mate is going to end badly. Mate will be frustrated by your ministrations in at least one of two ways. 1. It will prove your prior exercise of love was insufficient to maintain your relationship to Mate’s standard. 2. It will prove Mate is disinterested in your love. Neither reason is your fault. Mate simply did not accept or does not want your love.
Third, loving someone who does not love you is not healthy for your self-esteem. Each of us deserves to be loved reciprocally. When we love those who do not return our love in equivalent measure, we doubt our worthiness to be loved. This is a false start.
Our worthiness to be loved is independent. Just because one person does not love you the way you love him/her does not mean no one will ever love you or you are unworthy of being loved. In fact, you are simply looking for love from the wrong source.
Not all love is built to last. Each of us outgrows love at a different rate. Some of us never get to the place where we no longer have caring feelings for those we loved ferociously at one point. When one person in a relationship stops loving the other, nothing will revive the old love. At best, it changes form into a friendship. In the middle, it changes into the goodwill we have for strangers we pass on the street. At worst, it changes into contempt.
We have all heard stories of those who “lost love” and found it again with one another. A closer examination reveals it is not what they had before. It is a different incarnation of love created by two people who are vastly different from the people they were when they first loved each another.
Deep inside, each of us believes we are gracious enough to grant a second chance, especially to those we love the most. Likewise, we want to believe those we love would grant us a second chance.
Exercise caution. Before you stride headlong into proving your love for someone who has walked away, find out why that person is not present. If you are as honest with yourself as Mate is about why he/she left, you will realize chasing what once was is a mistake. In the end, it is hanging onto a past which was not as good as you may have liked to have it remembered.
Have you seen someone go after a Mate who left? How can you help your friend see the past and present as they are?
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