I am not good at keeping relationships, and believe me it is not for the lack of trying. My marriage ended after twenty years. Looking back I sometimes question if there was really a beginning, I believe we didn’t properly start, not in the right way at least. I was young, naïve and starry-eyed. I thought at first that we could somehow wing it. It took me more than a decade to realize that we were living next to each other but not together, that there was no relationship to speak of.
From there it went downhill. Little girls do grow up and with it come some understanding of certain things, like realizing that the picture was not complete, there were pieces missing. And what people do when they miss something? They go looking for it. When they found the missing pieces they start comparing. And when you compare nothing to something, the result is pretty obvious. You will find out that what has been done to you, you can do too; and suddenly “eat your heart out” is not such a bad motto.
I’m good at burning bridges too, sometimes when I’m still standing on it. That too wasn’t all deliberate. Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to stop the crazies from following you. In the case of my family, it took me almost five decades to recognize a hopeless situation which I was staring at whole my life but failed to see. Burn baby, burn.
That’s probably the reason why I clamped up on FB if some familiar faces send me friends requests. Then I go into hiding and delete every recognizable image of me wherever they can find it. Those are the people that I shared the greatest time of my life. We shared memories, we have history, yet I have no desire to rekindle the old flames and revisit the past. There are valid reasons for that choice (I don’t do things without valid reasons) one of those is: we cannot go back to the past. I don’t want to risk shuttering some very good memories by giving them a second chance. Things rarely go the way you wanted them to go. Experience taught me that some things are better left buried.
Another reason is: It did not end well to begin with, why dig up old bones?
My experience of friendship is neatly sorted out into two categories: betrayal and betrayal. Wait before you say anything it is really like that. Betrayal by women friends because of envy, jealousy or simply because most are born that way. Betrayal by men friends because somehow along the way, they get it in their heads to throw a spanner in the works by convincing themselves that there is more to a relationship than mere friendship and demanding a concrete definition of what’s going on between the two of you and a title to go with it plus rights to go with the title. I simply cannot do that. A friend is a friend. Exploring outside the boundaries is a sure recipe for disaster. There is no way back after that, no matter which way it goes.
I know that some marry their best friends. First of all, if you marry a friend s/he’s not a friend no more. There are some specific rules and expectations attached to the new status. I know that friendship could exist between a couple which is good for when the honeymoon phase is over and the cloak and dagger aspect of romance is nothing but a forgotten memory and passion is a distant past, there is always a friendship to fall back on. But it is very different than marrying a friend. A friend is someone you don’t harbour romantic feelings for like lust, you would not wake up one day and find out that you are falling for this person who does not move you one bit since the first time you laid eyes on him.
Of course one can marry whoever one wants but I must warn you that there is some setback doing these practical moves. If not one single strand of your hair stood out for this person, in the beginning, chances are it will never happen later married or not. There will be some sparks but never a burning flame. I’ve been there done that.
Where am I? Yes, keeping relationships and burning bridges and my attitude towards friendships reminds me of this quote …
“It makes no difference if I burn my bridges behind me_ I never retreat.”
You know what they say: don’t mind swimming if the bridge is fucked up, to begin with…