Picture this. You've been in love. No not the fast track version of it. The genuine (here's hoping you do understand 'genuine'), old school notion of love. When you know and adore everything about the other person. Flaws and all. Or maybe you overlook the annoying details because what you're holding on to is more important. Throw in unfavorable circumstances, immaturity, wrong decisions (whatever the reason), and you find yourself out of the safety net you called a relationship. You're single in a world that views you as either a threat (yes you ladies, talking to you) or someone unattainable. Whatever else the consequences, you and your charming single self find out that this is how the world is. The world is full of people who've been someone's ex. Almost every single one of us. Since the degrees of separation have considerably been brought down thanks to our uber -social lifestyles, here's a thought, can you be friends with your ex?
I'm not talking the 'hi-bye-couldn't care less-but-cordial-on-your-face' friendship. We all acquire some skills of pretence when it comes to being acquaintances. I mean a real, deep friendship. By ex I don't mean some guy/girl you've spent the night 'dirty dancing' with, or someone you 'casually dated', or had a fling with, or whatever else there is that qualifies your definition of an ex. We're talking a full-fledged relationship. Sharing your highs and lows, your insecurities and fortes with someone who actually knows you without the 'make-up' on.
Each person has their own way of dealing with breakups. Some go on the defensive, some shoot daggers of outright hatred, some jump into the solace of another, and some accept the fact that what's done is done. Personally I think ill will never did any good. You might hate the person who has caused your heartache, you might hate their very existence. But who does all this ill will affect? You! You're so consumed by the grief of the past, of the 'could've and the should've' of it all. Lesson number one (and the only one that actually really matters for all I know): Let go. It's that simple. And yet we keep exhausting our brains for answers, we torture ourselves with the 'why's'. Simple doesn't somehow fit the bill, could it be that easy? Newsflash: It is; we complicate things. You want an answer but are not ready to accept that all that needs to be done is for you to let go; not for the other person, not for anyone else, but for you. Every decision you make should serve your purpose of being happy. It's that simple. And believe it or not, once you stop running after it, it'll come to you; the answers you seek.
To those who ask if someone as important and close can be a friend. One way to find out, try it. Trial and error has been the answer for most of the gruelling questions bopping around. You're low and your friends cheer you up. You're mad and your friends keep you sane, you fail and your friends treat you like royalty, you screw up and they never utter the words 'I told you so', they know your silliest most embarrassing secrets and would never tell, when explanations are not needed and acceptance is the ruling word; yes, we survive because we have them. This person who knew you best, who you once loved, but are over it (be clear about this one), might just turn out to be one of them. It's a two way street, as someone told me. They'd be as close as you would want them to be. It's healthy to have someone knowing you in and out, in your life, if not as the significant other, as a friend (who honestly mean a whole lot more). Or at the very least try working on it. There's a strange sense of security that friendship offers that no relationship does. (To those who can be friends with your partners, you've no idea how lucky you are).
Not all, but some (for those who have an endless list) and surely that one ex who actually KNOWS you, deserves a chance to be that friend. Provided, and this is very important, that they put in the effort and BE that person you want to have in your life. Really BE that friend and not just yap about it. It's easy to talk alright, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, the actual acting-on-their-words part of it, that's when you know if it's worth a shot.
Be that as it may, feelings (ughh yes that word again), real and genuine, don't just vanish into thin air with the words 'it's over'. It's how you grow out of it that matters. Feelings of resentment only pull you down, never let you move forward. Embrace the good times, let go of the hurt and anger. You can be highhanded and say you don't need that person; remember he/she was the one you've shared some of your happiest memories with. So if either one is willing to make an effort, to stay in each other's life as an ever supporting friend, give it a chance, don't disregard it as unnecessary rubbish because sometimes it isn't. Everything is a process of learning. Give it a go. That does not mean offering them the 'close friend' crown on a silver platter without them working on making their place in your life as a friend. That's just inviting disaster.
And as for love, if you haven't already found it, it will come, all in good time; until then what best you could do is value the time and people you've shared it with, that's the beauty of letting go. It lets you have the best part of the people who've affected you. It's your decision, your conscious effort to have a wholesome life. That means not just the perfect family, or just a fulfilling love life or just the deepest friendship but all of it together, in harmony; you balance them. And acceptance of your feelings for those who stand by you no matter what, who protect you no matter what, who love that silliness quotient in you and that one person who made you get the jitters, is how you have the best of all.
Most importantly know that as long as you have yourself you're safe. It might be a HUGE mistake, this trial might lead to a big error, but when you act upon it you know. And isn't it always better to have a life of 'oh-well's' than 'what if's'?
AN: Images via Google Images.