“I hold it true, whate’er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” – Tennyson
Maybe in the moment of the worst pain, you’d rather never have loved; but there is sometimes something exquisitely beautiful in such a love. It makes us feel alive in a very special way. It also, of course, hurts like very few other things do. So, you have this great friend/buddy, whom you hang with most of your weekends, go out catch a drink, text them throughout the week, staying engaged in their lives and then you sort of have feelings for your friend… you start to spend more time with them, you expose yourself to whom he or she is — all the idiosyncrasies, past experiences, what makes him or her happy or sad, dreams and ambitions in life, flaws and the depths of his or her heart. And you, in return, divulge your deepest secrets and desires. They know what it takes to make you laugh or feel special, and you build new memories together that make any torment of the past that much easier to bear. It makes you feel hopeful, and before you know it, you’re in love…something which you sense but will not admit. You feel safe being your vulnerable best with them and are finally able to share stories held tightly that you have locked up from the world outside. You trust them.
Somehow, everything changes the moment you look at your buddy differently. You start to notice intricate details you didn’t before, like the curve of his or her lips, the frown line above his or her eyebrows and the way he or she laughs. The realisation of being in love or even being infatuated with your buddy is not an easy one. You realise, you will either have to commit or move away and you also know you’ll always miss the wildness, the craziness and the laughs only they managed to get out of you.
To avoid awkwardness, you decide to take the heat of the relationship, by calling them your “drinking buddy” or only someone with whom you hang your “hair down”. You let go off them finally, and you miss them. You let go to a point, where even going out and drinking with anyone else, reminds you of them…the fun you had, the crazy madness and the chemistry which you both felt but didn’t speak about. So, you get involved with other people, but you secretly always wonder about the , “what if’s”, fearing you’ll never open your heart that way again. You also fear no one will be able to get you the way they did.
When we live with the regrets of certain relationships not culminating into something more concrete than we would have wanted/hoped for (but maybe the time/situation in your life at that time didn’t allow) you’ll keep the bond alive. The distance does not stop you from thinking of them or wondering how wonderful it could have been. It does seem like an harmless exercise, but you understand, it’s just a matter of time, when you’ll bump into them and have that harmless drink again. So, you wait, patiently – for time to go by and things to get easy, but you’re secretly certain – this is not over.
I unfortunately have no rule book which would dictate, “You have to text only when its their birthday” or “Don’t pine for them!” Every relationship is different, every person is different, and different things work for different people. What I do understand is, it’s helpful to create some extra space between yourself and the person you’re interested in. It could mean, cutting down the time texting, updating them about your life or showing interest in theirs.
Honestly? It may sound harsh, but either you learn to accept that, for whatever reason, and for however long, this circle is the pattern you’re going to live with. (of playing the patient game and then having the innocent drink) and be okay with it.
Or … Let go and move on, without the closure that you think you want or they want. None exists. Recognise your need to fill that gap again left by that person and accept it. Don’t chase closure. It’s a holy grail.
You don’t need to keep looking for signs that it’s over, but what you may really want is proof that it could happen. So, be clear – of what you want or what you wish for. Hidden desires have a way of manifesting themselves that could confuse your current relationship.