There’s an old Chinese proverb that tries to poeticize the complete and utter agony of losing a lover: If you love something set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was. Come again? Whoever wrote this has obviously never spent the night alone with a box of tissues and a tub of bon bons watching The Way We Were for the ninetieth time.
“Breaking up is hard to do…” – another proverb, this one by Neil Sedaka, circa 1962 – doesn’t begin to do this trauma justice. It’s right there below death and taxes on list of things we all face, but that doesn’t mitigate the lengths to which we will go to get past the pain. Once the tissues are gone and the bon bons have made you nauseous, there comes a moment when a radical and dangerous notion crosses our minds, and at first it seems so logical, so wondrous: why I don’t I just try to get him (or her) back?
Welcome to the most vicious of all cycles where love is concerned. It matters not who dumped who, or for what reasons. Logic has no bearing when it comes to considering desperate measures in desperate times. Because the key word here is desperate, and like Michael Jackson with his head on fire, the desperate do whatever it takes.
And that’s the problem. Reconciliation might be the perfect quick fix, but in many cases it actually fixes nothing at all unless planned under the tutelage of Dr. Phil or at least your target’s best friend. So heed the accumulated wisdom of centuries and stop right there.
Don’t do it. At least not right away. The kindest, most loving thing you can do for yourself – and for your departed lover – is to allow time to do its work. Nothing about your emotions or your intellect, which have suddenly swapped places in the front seat of your existence, is operating on all cylinders. Reason, pride, patience, forgiveness… all are foreign concepts when your heart has been shredded and flushed.
In the midst of your long dark night one truth endures: whatever made your relationship implode is still there, and you risk much by crawling out from under the bus. Take care of yourself first, lean on friends, spend the money to get counseling if you must, but approach our ex-love with great care. At least until the two of you bottom out on the issue of who should apologize to who, and the checklist of things that need to change has aged like a fine cabernet, only later to be allowed to breath before bringing it to your lips.
Remember, the saying says… it will come back to you… not, you’ll crawl through cut glass for another shot. Trust that things will soon look and feel different, and only then can you begin to pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild your life. Even if that means you intend to go back in, at least now you’ll have a shot at it working.