I really don’t know why there exist all of these lame love clichés about two specific people being destined for one another: “no one could take your place”, “you’re the one”, the basic concept of a soulmate, that stupid Greek myth about a four-limbed person being divided in two to roam the earth searching for its other half, etc. etc…. not to mention all of the bullshit the beloved RomCom genre has offered in its shitty and tacky – even at its most poetic – way. Call me jaded (I call myself realistic), but after being in love five (maybe more? 5.5?) times, I have unyielding confidence in the fact that almost anyone can fall in love with almost anyone. As long as you share mutual physical attraction, some vague interests (the ones most important to you and your identity as a human, obv.), the ability to spend time together without feeling annoyed/murderous/disillusioned with the human race, and a city – and even that isn’t necessary – the potential is there to cultivate something.
I’ve been in multiple-year-long relationships with individuals that I thought were the loves of my life at the time (more clichés, yay!). I truly believed, at various points, that I would marry each of them. Some of them had more obvious, unforgivable downfalls that eventually punctured and wearied my love for them than others, but I really could have seen myself ending up, in the long run, with any of the men I’ve had a serious relationship with. I’ve endured breakups that left me crippled, alternately vomiting and vehemently sobbing in the fetal position; bed-ridden for more than a week; unable to eat for just as long; engaging in questionable, out-of-character sexual escapades; and adopting anxious, compulsive tics. Even recently, I’ve had this perpetual physically ill feeling that resonates in waves in the pit of my being since my ex-boyfriend moved out a month-ish ago and we stopped talking on bad terms the other week (hey dude, you fucking suck, for the record!)
And yet, and yet, AND YET… in each situation, I’ve gone on to live and love again, to my own surprise. Maybe loved differently – not better or worse, but differently – but still, I was able to move on with a speed and ease and intensity that my mid-post-breakup-distress self never could have imagined. And because it’s happened to me in the past, I find solace in knowing through experience that I won’t feel shitty forever. Or care about someone forever. That person who pops into your head every time you hear a Taylor Swift song or see a couple so sickeningly in love that you want to barf on the street? Yeah, that person you think of will change, probably before you even realize it.
There’s this all-too-necessary realization that you don’t miss the person themselves, but just the idea of that person, a long-gone version of that person, the also long-gone memories with that person, or just having a damn person with which you share a comfortable, convenient routine. (THIS TOTALLY APPLIES TO FRIENDSHIPS, AS WELL). Breakups are far more bearable when you realize how easily you can fall in love with someone else, which I guess is something you won’t comprehend until it happens to you – or to your ex, for that matter. And that’s all up to time and fate, my friends.
I, for whatever reason, was graced with great favour from the universe FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE at a defining moment in my once wonderful three-year relationship that had gone to complete, resent-laden shit (because that happens); that defining moment being: do we try this again, or move on? If it weren’t for the serendipitous occasion of meeting a new, phenomenal man at this exact time, I would probably be a devastated, debilitated wreck over my old one. And before you mumble “rebound” or “crutch,” I’m actually completely enamored and admittedly in love with the guy, actually goddamn happy, and those are feelings I just can’t help – whether it makes me a shitty or resilient person, who knows. What it is, is either horrible or horribly PERFECT timing (hint: it’s the latter). And aside from being lucky enough to stumble into a relationship like this at any time in my life, it’s been timed to bring me to this stunning existential realization that I think I really needed to have: we’re all goddamn replaceable. All of us. (My ex has a new gf too, if that helps to prove this point any further… though I at least had the guile to tell him about my relationship as it bloomed, while he is another story). If you think you can’t live without your significant other post-breakup because they’re SO SPECIAL – or better yet, if you think you’re so special – you will come to realize how wonderfully/terribly incorrect that notion is. That fact is sad, and it hurts. But it’s also incredibly freeing. Yeah, you had something cool with someone once, maybe; friendship, relationship, whatever. And maybe they’re an asshole now, or maybe you’re still on good terms. But while you’re ruminating on that for months, life is offering the both of you options, everywhere. Better options, worse options, different options. If you’re currently somehow mourning the loss of someone still living, keep your head up and your eyes open, is all I’ll say. 😉