The afterlife

The death of a relationship is, in a number of ways, similar to the death of a person.

The perspective I have regarding relationships is that a ‘thing’, an entity, something that two people had built, had developed, had emotionally invested in, has ceased to exist.

How we deal with this passing (and indeed, how we deal with the passing of a human being) is a very individual process.

You might be thinking that I don’t subscribe to the Kübler-Ross model, but the truth is that I do. Sometimes. In some circumstances. Certainly, when my first daughter unexpectedly passed away, I followed what I didn’t know to be, but later came to learn was, the Kübler-Ross model of grieving.

But although there are similarities between physical and emotional bereavements, I do believe that we treat each emotional bereavement in a different way, depending on our true feelings for the other person in that recently ceased relationship.

As with a physical bereavement, we have memories of the other person. Yet, and unlike a physical bereavement, the other half of that relationship is still around. This is the point that defines the difference between the two passings.

I’ve seen people fail to get out of the pit of anger, when a long term relationship has ended. I’ve always thought that was an odd place to settle, and it certainly isn’t me.

The person who I am no longer romantically involved with (though I am still very emotionally involved with – because we can’t control our feelings, and developing the ability to turn feelings off and on, on demand, is never going to happen to me) is still around. And because this person is still around, and because I still have feelings for this person, I want to keep in touch.

No.

I am going to keep in touch.

Just because we are no longer lovers, it doesn’t mean that I don’t care for her. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to keep in touch.

To keep an eye on things.

To make sure she’s alright.

Because this is the kind of thing that friends do.

And despite the pain, despite the sadness, despite the longing, I do want to be friends with her.

Because I care about her. Not in a creepy stalkery kind of way.

I just care.

This is not a bad thing, surely?

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2 Responses to The afterlife

  1. Soup says:

    I felt the same after things ended with Boy. I tried to keep things amicable for the friendship underneath everything else was important to me.

    Several months later, that has been abused. The only reason I haven’t cut ties already is the money he owes me.

    I don’t want to remain in contact. I don’t want to know him anymore. I don’t want to even see him again.

    I know we are are individuals and circumstances are unique but you might find your feelings change too.

  2. Author says:

    Hi Soup. Thanks for your thoughts.

    The girl (to use a label) and I have no retaining links, such as you had with Boy. So there is no need to keep things amicable between us. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this (I have a lot of thinking time available to me!). I do still love her. And I miss her. But, as I said to her on the phone last night (yes, really) ‘I love you and I miss you but I know you aren’t mine any more. But I still want to keep in touch. I still want to talk with you.’ And she wants to, too.

    Yes, my/our feelings may change. My love for her may diminish, yes, that’s conceivable. But right now, here, today, I think of her and I smile. And I like that this woman has the ability to make me smile as much as she does, even though we are no longer together.

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