We come to the end of the road, the end of the relationship — and if you’re a child who grew up in the 90s, you just sang that first part along with the Boyz II Men soundtrack that’s always ready to spring from your consciousness. If we can acknowledge that, we can move on to the point: the relationship is over. Done. Finished. Bye, Felicia.
We’ve all been there, endured some type of heartache or a relationship’s untimely end. Many of us have been there so many times we’ll draw you a map with an air of weary resignation that we keep coming back. It’s over, but that doesn’t mean the love dissipates or is destroyed.
But more than that, there’s actually this “no take-backs” policy with love that I never seem to remember when I’m deep in it. Was this in the fine print? Words we’ve said, actions we’ve taken- none of that gets deleted when the love story is over. There’s no way to splice that out and leave it on the cutting room floor of our lives unless we enjoy living in the land of denial. What was, was. What is, is.
We can’t actually take back the I love yous or the you’re my forevers. We can’t remove all endearments ever spoken, although we can sure as hell make sure they never cross our lips to meet that person’s ears again. But at the end of it all, we loved. No take-backs.
Of course, some of us don’t want take-backs, more easily accepting the flow of life. But others of us wish we could extract moments from the past. We wish we could go back and pluck out our blind trust, our fierce love, and bestow it upon a more worthy candidate. But that’s not how any of this works, and yes, I know you just read that in the voice of an Esurance commercial. But really- that’s not how love works.
It comes to us, and sometimes it leaves. We become a part of relationships, and sometimes those relationships can’t (or won’t) hold us. Life goes on. We can’t request take-backs because things didn’t work out the way we once wanted or thought they should. We cannot un-do our past, but we can be aware enough of it that we do a little better in the future. Even if we weren’t the ones who broke the relationships, we can learn to choose people who are better suited to what we want and need.
We can grow from it and go from it- forward into a future that isn’t what we asked for but might be what we need. Love doesn’t have take-backs, but it does have second chances. Just maybe not with the people we once loved. Maybe the second chance was always for us.