I feel like titling this, Deep Thoughts by Jamye Handey, but it’s too long winded to be a deep Jack Handey thought and that’s not my last name. Still, as a sex educator and blogger since 2003, I often think about how personal to get on this page. I maintain professionalism more often these days - if you go back a few years you’ll see more posts on my personal life - but today, after saying goodbye to a friend who was also more than a friend, I feel the need to write from my heart and my head.
This is about the end of a relationship, or the beginning of a new one, or both perhaps. I guess I’m just wondering how come when people break-up, separate, divorce, share the same story as Brenda and Eddie, and both of them remain alive after it’s over, we often thing of the sadness in the split, rather than the happiness in the opportunity we were given at all?
When I talk to people about relationships ending, I often hear, “that’s so sad,” or “how, awful that after 5 years together, Jack and Jill refuse to climb that hill again.” I understand the idea of sadness, of something ending, but I also wonder why we place such an extraordinary emphasis on love having to last forever?
In a relationship that involves sex, hand-holding, kisses and cuddleishisness, why do we more often focus on what we lost, instead of being grateful for what we loved? I’m asking this out loud, because I have been there, done that, and sometimes, I too, have a difficult time enjoying the moments shared, the lessons learned and then accepting the truth that life goes on. Because, for the time being, until we all go POOF as a result of a natural disaster, robot attack, nuclear war or 2012, life will go on.
I was thinking about this last night, at the last hoorah for Ben (not his real name, but, the man I’ve been dating for the past five months). Today he starts moving back from west to east and he had friends out last night that I had yet to meet. I didn’t think this one girl was particularly fond of me. Then I realized I’ll probably never see her again, so why did I care? And then I realized that most of the people in this bar I would never see again, and that the one moment I had with the majority of people I will ever encounter is just that. One moment! After that, they’re gone and I’m not sad. I know a vested relationship is different. You have close contact with one other human being and you invest time and emotion. But I’ve done that before, and lost that too (both with lovers and best friends) and I’ve been fine. In fact, I know I’ll be fine again. It’s not right or wrong, it just is what it is.
I suppose it’s the dual debate of optimist/pessimist. The glass is half full, or half-empty, and it all depends on how you perceive what is in front of you. Someone I love, but are not certain I was ever in love with, leaves and now I’m sad (normal) and want him back (longing) and think about if he was the one (doubtful). That last part I think about more often now that, in my mid-thirties I am both interested in meeting someone I can make it work with, and disappointed that I haven’t done so thus far.
I’m going to take this opportunity of pouting to teach myself a lesson on love. I have found it before, and I will find it again. And it’s okay, down the road, to feel a three-year glitch or a seven-year itch, and accept that this is part of being in a committed relationship. And it’s okay for a relationship to end and then to have to begin again. And it’s okay to give someone my forever too, if that’s what I choose. Only I’ll try not to be disappointed when forever doesn’t last, because if you think about it (and as a child I used to lay down at night, head on pillow, chanting the next nine words until my brain went to sleep) forever is forever is forever is forever is forever, and that’s way longer than you, or I, will survive. Robot attack, or no robot attack.