This morning I was having a discussion with a colleague about their uneasiness at being the “bad guy” in an impending break-up and the looming prospect of divying up mutual friends. Part of the conversation dealt with how to manage joint events where under normal circumstances both would be invited — but also recognizing that a joint-invite was just that: a joint-invite. Eventually the conversation circled back to how to manage the neutral friends (the ones who don’t initially side with one ex or the other) and how much effort you put into maintaining or building a relationship with them. It made me reflect on the break-ups I’ve had in the past and how much I grapple with the fair and reasonable division of people, places, and things. Actually, I don’t. I don’t like having anything become mutual in a relationship because if/when things go south, I want to be able to live my life without that person being around as they live theirs.
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I always joke that “this can’t be life” whenever crazy, illogical, or incredulous things happen to me. It was never too serious, just a fleeting acknowledgment of the myriad inconveniences that are thrown my way in the midst of me living my so-called life. Unfortunately, I noticed that I now use the term multiple times a day, and the laugh factor behind the phrase is missing. What once was a chance to poke fun at my misfortune has turned into a plea of sorts, akin to me begging the universe to pump its breaks.
I think every parent who isn’t married to their child(ren)’s other parent has had to dodge questions about marriage plans. I know I’ve gotten this question at least every 2 months since my daughter was born. For the record: her father and I are not married, and I’m fine with that. I’ve realized I’m in much too selfish of a phase in my life to want to commit to another person for the rest. of. my. life. Maybe my thoughts will change in a few years, but right now, the idea of such a commitment makes me scrunch up my face. Do you have any idea how long the rest of your natural life is? I don’t (because who can see the future). Anyway, I’m always really offended and bothered that people are so consumed with the marriage plans of people they aren’t involved with. Meaning, why are you being so nosey? I’m generally really private with my relationships, and even when I let people know I’m in one, the details I offer or reveal upon inquiry are limited.
Life has a crazy way of making you periodically take stock in the relationships you toil over, struggling to maintain. I’m notoriously bad at fighting to maintain what I consider to be faulty relationships. I’m quick to let people in, but am even quicker to let them go. Sometimes it’s with a little foot-dragging on my part, but normally, it’s quick and silent. I allow myself to fade to black, being long gone before they ever realize I was contemplating an exit. I keep running into this issue, not always for myself, but for the people around me as well. It seems like every time I turn around, someone has a relationship that’s at a crossroads. Do you fight for it, knowing that drama, hurt, and frustration will be ever-present? Or do you let go, knowing that while the initial pain of loss will subside, when the dust settles, you may be alone? Well, more often than not, I am the little devil in an ear, saying “let it go, it’s not worth the trouble!”