By Paul Wein
All of us, at some point in our lives, have had a relationship. When a relationship begins, it can be one of the most magical experiences of our lives. Whether we meet this person through a friend, and organization, or a job, we feel a tingle in our body when we are introduced to them. Or when we see their first smile, or make the first eye contact, adrenaline flows through our veins. And after we meet that person and spend some time with them getting to know who they are, we decide to date them and before you know it, you are inseparable – two people – now one. All aspects of your lives – friends, families, hobbies, likes – are melded into a pleasurable existence that for the two people involved, is Heaven on Earth. For when two people are involved in a relationship, nothing and no one else matters. For they are in love, and that is the greatest feeling in the world.
But sometimes, after some time has passed, whether it be months or years, the existence suddenly isn’t pleasurable anymore, the life they have created suddenly doesn’t bring the same joy it used to – and the two people say good-bye.
Personally, I feel that if I love you are the three greatest words in the human language – than good-bye is the worst. In my life, I have said I love you – and good-bye – four times. I have even said “I do” once.
Who I said I love you to and why we said good-bye is irrelevant. My point is that in my opinion, when a relationship comes to an end, it can be one of the most life-altering experiences we can have. The life that the two of you have created suddenly has to be split, and that in itself can be a horrific experience. Trying to separate aspects of your lives. Which books are yours? Which tapes and dreams belong to you and which are mine? This can sometimes take as long – if not longer – than the relationship itself.
The relationships I have been in have brought me the most joy – and the most sorrow – of my life. I would be lying to you if I said that the reason we said good-bye was not partially my fault. Just the fact that good-bye was said is what makes my heart ache.
When a couple says good-bye, what then? Now what? Do they never speak again and only think of each other when “their song” is played on the radio? Or do they try their best to stay friends and cringe when they tell each other of their new boyfriend or girlfriend? Sometimes it is easier to say hello then it is to say good-bye.
Since the last time I said I love you, I have sworn myself from relationships. I have promised myself that I would never utter those three words again, because where there is an I love you – there is a good-bye – and I hate good-byes.
Of my four “ex-girlfriends”, I speak to two on a regular basis, one drops me a line once every few months, and one I have not seen nor spoken to in years. The funny things is, I don’t know what I find more painful – speaking to an “ex” of mine and feeling awkward about what to say, or not hearing from an “ex” and wondering if they still think about you as much as you think about them.
No one can predict what will happen when you meet someone and go on that first date. If we could, then radio stations would not be plagued with sad songs about good-byes. All we can do is hope that the time we spend with that person is bliss, and hope that good-bye is not in that person’s vocabulary – because of all the organs and bones in the human body – no pain is greater than a broken heart.
To the four ladies I have said I love you to, thank you. Thank you for your love, for the memories we have made, and for the pleasurable existence that we once lived. May the next time you say I love you be the last time you have to say it, but know there will always be a place in my heart for you.