“Flames to dust, lovers to friends. Why do all good things come to an end?” says Nelly Furtado, one of my many idols. It was a song I sang many times in my youth, not understanding what she meant. Now I’m older and dare I say, wiser, and I have begun to overthink the song.
Love is the strongest and greatest emotion on earth. We crave it, we feel it, we search for it. It motivates us and confuses us.
All love stories start in different ways and in different places, but is usually as follows;
Boy meets girl. They date, get butterflies when they kiss, begin to fall in love. They date until they become in an official relationship. They meet each others friends and parents. They have sex, they have arguments. And unless they’re one of those lucky people that ends up settling with your childhood sweetheart, they break up.
Like the beginnings of a love story, they also end in different ways. It can be an abrupt, passion fuelled argument ending in screaming and punching, or it can end in an awkward conversation sitting across from each other in a silent room.
I started dating around seventeen, but never really found myself attached to the boys I was dating, and I ended things. In my younger years I never really focused on how they would feel about me breaking up with them. It’s one of the luxuries of being the break-upper, not the break-upee.
And then it happened to me. Honestly, I think the pain was more about my ego and pride than my boyfriend breaking up with me. But the one thing that really angered me was that in the beginning of our short lived romance, I didn’t like him. He pursued me, chased me, wooed me. Begged me to go out with him until I finally acquiesced. Our date went surprisingly well, and so did our relationship- until we broke up.
Afterwards, my heart mended and I met another boy, and the process happened again. This was a longer, more fulfilling relationship, but after two years I decided to end it. We’ll chalk it up to ‘personal differences’ as this is a blog post, not a therapist session. I was happy about my decision, he wasn’t, but even after trying again, it just didn’t work.
A year later, at a party, I met another boy. The night was honestly, as cliché as it sounds, magical. Perhaps it was the alcohol, but it was the most romantic beginning. He stayed behind at one of my parties to help me kick out the stragglers that wouldn’t leave at 5am, and we spent the whole night and day just talking. I suddenly realised that I didn’t want to date him. Well, I did, but I didn’t want the future break up that dating would bring. It’s a rather pessimistic idea, I know, but the fact is when you date someone, you either end up with them until death, or you will date until you break up. As nice as boy #3 was, I didn’t see myself walking down the aisle towards him at the age of 18.
So, upon our first meeting, I proposed an idea. What if we just had a wonderful night together, talking and getting to know each other, and never see each other again. That way it would forever be perfect. It would never be tainted by future arguments or betrayal, and whatever happens in our separate lives we could both look back on our one perfect night together. He liked the idea but disagreed, wanting to see me again.
I am not a very strong willed woman, and so it’s safe for you all to assume that yes, we saw each other again after that. A lot. We dated for a while, and it was nice. But guess what? it ended. He was heartbroken, but again, I’d made the right decision. He was moving away and I was studying and it wasn’t right. We stayed friends for a while, but after he moved away he turned into a dick and then we never spoke again. Every time I catch myself thinking about it, I just wish that I’d stuck to my guns and had kept that first night for what it was- perfect. Now, when I think back on that night, every other little detail comes to mind about our subsequent relationship and painful break up.
I renounced dating after that, and after three years of living the charmingly fun yet sometimes lonely single life, I’ve met another boy. Telling me not to overthink it is like telling the sun not to shine; impossible. Already, within the first few weeks of dating, I’m already jumping the gun, wondering what painful mess this new boy is going to bring into my life? Will he cheat on me? Am I going to be heartbroken again? Will I hurt him? Is it… worth it? Again, at the age of 22 I’m not ready to settle down yet, so I know this relationship will end at some point.
But I’m okay with that.
I’m not the type of girl that meets a guy and would marry him right that second. I don’t mind that I’ll date different guys, have different relationships. Because when I finally find the right guy, and end up marrying him, I know that I’ve lived my life, experienced other relationships, but found the best one for myself.
Some girls walk into a store and find their perfect shoes sitting there in front of them. Some girls have to try on a few before. I’m going to try and think of it that way.
As the old saying goes: you gotta kiss a few frogs before you catch a prince.
Anyway, back to the question in hand: what’s the point in loving? There’s a high percentage that my new relationship won’t work out in the long run. (I’m being realistic, not pessimistic guys, jeez.) But I really am fine with that. Friends and partners come and go, and I believe that different people are brought into your life and taken out, but they imprint on your life and leave you changed afterwards. They are in THAT section of your life for a reason, and if they’re not in a different part of your life, that’s fine. The 18 year old version of me and 22 year old version of me are very different, so I doubt my first relationship would’ve worked out for long anyway. We change, we adapt, and grow up, constantly. It makes sense that sometimes, we outgrow people. We’re all on our own journey in life ,and sometimes people walk with you for a while, and sometimes they need to go their own way too.
I don’t mind getting my heart broken again. It will heal, as everything does. And falling in love is worth it, it really is. We can’t walk around in a bubble of plastic wrap to protect ourselves from the world, and we can’t harden our heart to protect it. We have to accept our decisions, accept falling in love and new people, and what will be will be.
All good things may come to an end, but there’s plenty more to come after.
That’s all folks, for another 3AM rambling.