We like to tell ourselves that we have become better, stronger people after a failed relationship and that the time spent in that failed relationship was responsible for teaching us some inspired piece of admonition used to hopingly contrive a piece of divine clarity for our future hookups. I am here to tell you that no matter what you tell yourself, you wasted your time and the higher clarity you think you have achieved is just a feel-good excuse to ease the pain of the breakup. To put simply, you wasted weeks, months, and years with someone you are no longer with when you could have spent that time with someone whom you could still be with, or even worse, someone you missed an opportunity with while you were in that failed relationship.
Despite the grandiose revelations we may think we have achieved, we do sometimes acquire helpful traits from the person we have ended a relationship with. Whether those traits make us better and, all-around, stronger individuals is debatable, but we can carry “something” away from the time we spent. It is that “something” that allows us to better ourselves as individuals and not consume ourselves with the clouding of fate, which stabs a dagger in the heart of romanticism and usually accompanies a breakup; cheating, lying, stealing and of course, cheating. Unfortunately, most relationships end in one person cheating on the other, which doesn’t allow any sort of friendship to be salvaged afterwards. The only remembrances of our exes are tiny character improvements or habits that were gained or lost during the interval of the relationship.
This type of skewed life barter system can only be compared to what we saw in the matrix movies; Take this red pill and realize your life is fucked up, you have metal sockets protruding all over your body and there is no hope against the machines who want to kill you, but we can teach you Karate and how to fly a helicopter. The same can be said for the traits we take away from a failed relationship. You ruined my life by sleeping with your best friend, but at least I learned about 80’s music, tortilla making, and long distance relationships. Or, you left me for another guy, took my money and the ring, but taught me to stay healthy by drinking bottled water throughout the day, how to make tasty baked chicken, introduced me to fitted clothes, taught me to shave in the shower and not the sink, and taught me never to trust again. Or, you said you loved me, but you needed to break up with me because you needed to find yourself (whatever that means), but I learned how to dance, fry okra, clean my kitchen and never pursue a relationship with someone who has baggage. Sometimes comparing what we gain from a breakup with what has now jaded our personality seems a bit unbalanced. Long story short, it might have been better to take the blue pill (or not enter in the relationship at all).
No matter how the relationship ends or begins, it is up to us to live everyday with the honor, truth, and love we want reciprocated. I know that every one of my past relationships has learned something positive from me, despite our destiny of being apart. I know that Diet Dr. Pepper sales have exponentially increased throughout my dating line; it seems like every girl I date becomes addicted to Diet Dr. Pepper! Life is great because the connections we share; even the failed ones. Ultimately, we have to learn what we can from others, and if it doesn’t work, move on. We have to make our gift of life count for “Something” because if we don’t, we will end up with “Nothing.”