When breakups would happen in the past – I asked what every girl does (and now sings, thanks to Tegan and Sara): where does the good go?
When you’re curled up in the fetal position, grasping to return yourself to reality and for a creme that will actually get rid of that awful puffiness around your eyes – it’s hard to see anything but bad from the relationship that just ended. You wonder why you wasted your time giving away pieces of your heart, why you spent so many days of your life with someone who you will most likely not spend another day with. You fight the urge to call, you block all of the connections you have with him, and you hide away those pictures as if not seeing him will make those memories just go away. You think of all the laughter, the silly plans you made without RSVPing, and the way you felt when things were right. When things were perfect. When you thought that no matter how old you were or how long you had been with the guy, that there was a chance you would spend the rest of your life together.
As much as we all fight the happy ending, somewhere inside each of us lives the desire to share this journey with someone else. To have a partner that actually stays instead of leaves consistently, with or without a notice, depending on how much of a jerk he is. And each time we put ourselves out there, each time we take that risk that we’re all told we’ve gotta’ take to find an illusive Mr. Right, each time we feel like we’ve found it and we discover it’s wrong, it becomes more difficult to be vulnerable. It gets harder to enjoy those fantastic moments where we’re basking in the sun of a new love because we’re trying so hard to prepare ourselves for his disappearance. We’ve nearly came up with the monologue we’ll preach to our friends over hard tequila shots about this a**hole who left us high and dry, just like the rest of ’em, before we even let ourselves really like the guy.
But that’s the problem with good. Good makes us happy and free, optimistic and hopeful, but we’re programmed to believe that good goes away, so why hold onto it? Why give it any credit when it could turn to bad before the third date? Why pay attention to butterflies and great sex if those butterflies fly away faster than the dude who leaves in the middle of the night? After a while, does the good just completely go away?
No, that good goes to the next guy.
Maybe because I’ve analyzed my past relationships until my fingertips were blue in the blog or maybe because I’m growing up, but I’ve decided that all the good of yesterday is helping me today. The good with Mr. Possibility is different than the good with any other guy – we have our range of inside jokes memories that just the two of us share, pictures together, toothbrushes at each other’s places, and the perks of a full-fledged relationship. Should we break up, there would be things I’d miss, there would be good that would be gone, there would be tears to cry and martinis to drink. But all that good from Mr. Idea, Mr. Fire, Mr. Disappear, Mr. Fling, all of them – has helped me make more good with Mr. P.
Because if you remember, if you look closely enough, if you’re brave enough to look back on love instead of running from it because it hurts to think about it, you’ll see that lessons can be learned from the good, just like they can be learned from the bad. Over time, you figure out what makes you happy and what guys, in general, like about you. You determine what settles in your heart and what’s unsettling to your body. You begin to understand yourself and you master the art of asking for what you need when you need it.
You begin to cherish the good because while you know it could not be there tomorrow, it’s there today. And what’s a better way to spend a day than to make it a good one?
Daily Gratitude: I’m thankful for air conditioning. NYC feels like 107 degrees today, no exaggeration.
Not just “like,” but love this. Wrestling with these same demons right now, so thank you.
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