”Until we make up our minds that there is no going back, we would always feel like we left something behind.
I once had a friend tell me about how he was having a hard-time getting over his “break-up” with a girl he was never really in a relationship with. Thing is, they were pretty close for a long time, and somewhere along the line, someone fell in love and failed to take the other person along. So, there he was, stuck and flat-face on the ground. The girl liked him as a friend, he wanted more, which she could not give and was clear about, but she was not willing to let him go or help him let go… at least, that was how I saw it. She would still call and chat, and ask to hang out; obviously, he was very responsive every time she reached out, because he was willing to do anything for her and she knew. But after every hang out, he would lament about how dizzy in love he was and about how every moment together reminded him of what he wanted to have but could not have. I was mad!– at her and for my friend; I thought she could do better; I thought that if she really had his best interests at heart, she would help him get over her, over the idea of them… which brings me to the question of whether we have a duty to help people get over us.
While I do not think it is a DUTY, I think that when we can, we have a responsibility to help people move on and away from us.
My last break-up happened a year ago, and it has taken me the whole of that one year to get over it. Even now, I am still walking on egg shells, and my reasons are fair: He was a great guy, he was a fighter, I loved him and he loved me. So why did we break up? We just were not meant to be together and I realized this. He was not on the same page with me, he would not buy my excuses or see my reasons… but in my mind, it was time to call it quits. From that day on, there have been days that I cried from missing him, days that I would hear a neighbor’s voice and wish it was his, days that I would see a stranger’s face and think it was him. Yet, through all of this time, I have had to make certain conscious decisions; however, short-selling they turned out for me… like stay away from all forms of contact with him, refuse to call or receive his calls, refuse to be “just friends”, refuse to chat or message and tell him how much I love and love to be with him but can’t and all of that stuff. I just think that, beyond being unfair and pointless, it stalls any efforts to actually move on and forward to other things.
The way that I see it, these things are not just for myself but for him as well. I feel that despite having made up my own mind that our relationship was not the healthiest that it could be, I had to help him understand that too. So, while we do not have it in our power to dictate what someone feels for us, I think that we have the power and should in fact exercise that power to make ourselves inaccessible or less accessible to help someone else move on and away from us; because until we find a reason to make up our minds about being over someone, we will always think there is one more thing we should be doing to make things right again; and since sometimes, we are too weak to find that reason ourselves, would it not be kind if someone else could help us see it? So, I say:
- Yes, it is okay to block the person off your social media
- Yes, it is okay to take as long as you want, to forget and be forgotten about
- Yes, ignore phone calls, chats, messages and all else if you must
- Yes, refuse to meet if you must
That we love something dearly does not mean we should always have it. And that we stay away from something we love does not mean we do not love it any longer or that we love it any less. It doesn’t mean we do not miss the excitement they introduced into our lives or that we are heartless; it just means that we want what is best: not just for ourselves but for other people as well.
What do you think? Do we have a responsibility to help people move on from us? And how much is too much to help someone get over us?
Chartered Accountant, occasional writer, lover of fine things and smiling beards.