April 13, 2007

the art of recycled love affairs

a.k.a. another one of those general observation posts. or alternatively, learning from south america, india and the continental drift theory.

“Things fall apart… they fall apart so hard. You can never put them back the way they were. You know, it takes time. You can’t just have coffee and expect–there’s so much to work through. Trust has to be built again, on both sides. You have to learn if we’re even the same people we were–if we can fit in each other’s lives.
It’s a long and important process and… Can we just skip it? Can you just be kissing me now?”
-Tara Maclay, btvs 6.18, “Entropy”

the other day, a good old friend of mine chatted me up over yahoo. turns out he’d just graduated from college, and was about to leave town to work somewhere else. the last i heard he was this amazing guy who was nursing an amazingly very broken heart over a girl who couldn’t commit. the last i heard, he’d ditched her completely — refused to talk, moved towns even, just to be away from her. at the time, i was stuck in a similar situation and all i could say then was that i so envied him for his will power.

so yeah, he caught up with me the other day, and guess what? before leaving town, he’d hooked up with her again, after more or less a couple of years without contact, and now he’d settled for an undefined sort of relationship with her!

undefined? i‘d asked.

and he’d just said, you remember what Tara said? we’re not the people we were.

so it really begs the question. if people change over time anyway… does that mean it’s okay to eventually pick up where you left off?

as it is, there are no existing policies governing getting back together with former flings, lovers, crushes and what-not, regardless of how the break-up fared or how long the relationship lasted or whether there had been one in the first place or how long you waited to break up altogether.

not that i’d volunteer to draft any — god knows i’d be the first to break every. single. rule, because that’s what i am, stubborn and incorrigible and prone to think too often and watch tv series dvds too much.

so yeah, here’s the deal. i am thoroughly bothered — he says i should consider the fact that during that span of time he’d been away from her, he’d been fixing himself too, and fixing means therapy worth at least 10 months.

10 months? i’d said, talking to a professional about a girl? when he said, yeah, it made me think about how i could have missed that option.

and now he’s back, all sorted out, and she’s back too and now they’re in this undefined thing altogether, and he’s saying to me, i’m going to be ready for her.

i affectionately say right back, are you now? and he’s so sure, it’s almost heartbreaking.

the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional

so does that mean we could, you know, check every now and then if something could work already?

man, that puts the fun back in dysfunctional. seriously.

okay, so maybe not all the time. we all know how certain love affairs are better the second time around — older, wiser, better, they say. not the people they were.

but sometimes, it’s precisely because you’re not the people you were that makes the whole idea of a reunion an outright horrible one.

(to expound intro quote: of course, this doesn’t apply to willow and tara, whom joss whedon (lord of buffy and all things related) reunited two months later (after a break-up caused by willow’s magic addiction), only to have tara shot dead the morning after. jesus. so, so much about assessment of the entire getting back together you know.)

anyway, case in point. seven-year-strong same sex couple, who were like, an institution prior to their break-up over a third party. they had decided to have a baby, but the whole thing sends their relationship on the rocks, as the other one is unable to cope with stress and her pregnant girlfriend’s needs.

so non-pregnant girlfriend strays, other girlfriend loses the baby, it’s all emotional turmoil and downhill from there as formerly pregnant gf finds out. there’s violent revenge sex, and it’s all very painful after. 7 years down the drain.

and so. after a while, formerly pregnant girlfriend tries to get pregnant again (this is all assisted by science you know) without cheating partner by her side. for her part, cheating gf is trying so hard to get back into the relationship, it kind of hurts watching her try.

but actually, it’s when she finally gets back into the relationship that the real hurting starts. baby’s born, the relationship plateaus as in plateaus as in wallowing in lack of sparkage and actual cold and that’s when it hit me — uh-oh, the whole getting back together was an awful idea after all.

last i heard pregnant gf left former cheater gf for a guy. seriously. now they’re in a sort of ugly mood with the whole custody thing, it’s insane — i mean, um, weren’t you in an eight-year relationship before? why can’t you not sit in the same room without biting each other’s heads off? jesus.

they’re not the people they were.

second chances

i don’t know what kind of ESP someone has to have to be able to properly discern whether some second chances are meant to be taken (or granted) or not, because apparently, no amount of prior connection, chemistry or affection can ensure that a second attempt at romance would float and float smoothly forever.

not that this has stopped any of us from giving certain people second chances (and third and fourth ones, ad infinitum nauseam) to redeem themselves, because you know what they always say — people change anyway. sometimes they do change for the better. sometimes.

but then, sometimes they don’t. and then sometimes we do, and then they don’t, just staying right where we’d left them, and what then? when we’d grown and they hadn’t – what then?

so, you know — if time changes people in ways that may or may not make the whole prospect of recycling the affair attractive, just how do you know it’s worth the attempt?

the thing about second chances is that you never really know how it’d fare beforehand, not until you’ve given or taken it. you don’t really know for sure unless you get on with it, your heart going with a soft “tsug” in the night air, as if to warn of a future mistake. the scary thing about it is that some attempts do end in regret — some in situations certain people never recover from, and that’s altogether sad.

but you see, some connections are impossible to deny, and sometimes that’s all we need: another shot with a better view, from a better place and with a better state of mind.

and i say, a chance to make it work better this time?

why not?