Relationships can’t really be defined. Sure, we put labels on them, like friends, family, partner, lover, but there is no line that defines each of them separately. I mean is the difference between friends and lovers only sex? but don’t people have sex with strangers? Let’s just say they have different meanings for different people at different points of time. I always defined them as any form emotional connect between two people.
Maybe because of this simplistic interpretation, I’ve always been aloof about relationships. My rationale is pretty full proof too :P. I mean, we have not seen or experienced life without our parents, there is no version of reality where we existed without them. Still when we lose them, life doesn’t stop. We still go on, we learn to live without them. So we must be able to live without anybody. Sure, it might take us time to get over them, but no matter how important they were to us, no matter how dependent we were on them, life doesn’t stop and we learn to cope.
But what about those relationships that we lose along the way. The friends we haven’t called for years who were our other halves, the lovers we thought we couldn’t live without, the acquaintances we lost touch with. What makes these relationships different? Why is it that some relationships leave gashes of despair when they are broken, and some end without so much as a whimper. It’s not like they weren’t deep connections, it’s not like you weren’t dependent on those people, it’s not like you hadn’t shared secrets with them, or hadn’t spent countless hours contemplating the stupidest bullshit, and yet you don’t even feel their absence, you don’t feel that connection slipping from your heart.
So where does the difference lie? I don’t have the slightest idea.
I know it happens, I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it. And I do have a theory. I think it’s because of the fact that human beings are selfish assholes. I think the reason we don’t feel the loss of some relationships, is we don’t perceive the importance of the relationship based on the person, but on the role that relationship plays in our life right now.We need certain people to play certain roles in our life at different times, and we value them for that. But, as soon as that role is no longer important, the person loses importance as well.
Maybe that’s how relationships deteriorate. People change, and their needs change, and maybe you are just not needed anymore. Your emotional needs are more like baggage, and there is always a breaking point for how much someone’s willing to carry. Maybe that’s why some relationships sustain, when people change together, you know, “You have gaps, I have gaps, together, we fill gaps”. I think that’s why it’s a little easier later in your life, to cope with your parent’s death as well. You don’t have that strong a need for that role of a guardian and guide anymore.
Maybe.. but your guess is just as good as mine..