Lately I have been taking transit a whole lot because of school, but sometimes I bring it upon myself because I want to go downtown and I am probably going to die driving down there myself. But while transit is sometimes incredibly annoying, one of the more interesting parts of it is people-watching and listening. I can hear my mom saying “you mean eavesdropping?” as she reads this, but let me be clear: as long as you don’t react, you’re fine. Just take it all in like a sponge but keep your face neutral, regardless of how you feel.
But let’s be really honest: sometimes people are not discreet about their dealings and wheelings on transit. Case to point: my transit ride back into Surrey on Monday.
As I stepped onto the Skytrain on Monday afternoon I could already sense something different. But nothing looked out of the ordinary so I just shrugged it off and took a seat. And that was when I realized what was wrong.
From where I was sitting I was facing a young couple who didn’t look very couple-y anymore. In fact, I think they were breaking up. I say that because I saw tears and a guy and a girl looking out at opposite sides. They had their backs turned and no words were said. The train began to move.
The whirring of the train picking up momentum must have given the guy the courage to say something, but being that I didn’t want to overly eavesdrop or seem too interested I couldn’t hear what he said to her. Clearly whatever he did say really made her upset, because she whirled around and said incredibly loudly, “I was your girlfriend. We were in love and you went behind my back. Our love isn’t disposable.”
And then silence for the rest of the ride until I made it to Columbia. The couple (ex-couple?) stayed on, so I have no idea what happened to them. Hopefully they were able to work something out.
I can only speculate that they were once a couple and then he unfortunately did something that she probably constitutes as cheating.
That’s it. That’s all I got.
The power in those 4 words hit me. At first I thought, obviously! You don’t just throw love away! You work through your problems. You talk it out with your significant other. You have to try your best to work through and push through.
Though I haven’t been in a relationship for a while, I can somewhat remember the feelings as you go through it.
At the beginning everything is new and exciting and you want to do everything together. Separation sucks, even if it’s just for a couple hours. I believe wiser adults have called it the “honeymoon phase”.
But it’s what comes after that that truly counts. Sure, the first month and a bit will probably be the most fun that you ever have with this person. But once you get to that point where it seems like there is no more fun left to be had, then what do you do? You begin to look commitment in the face: is this really something that you want? Do you really see yourself with this person? Do you really love this person?
Hell, do you even know this person?
It seems like a dumb question to ask, considering that you spent the past month and a half texting them every day, every waking hour of the day, pulling an The Fault in our Stars-esque telephone scene and going out on as many dates as possible.
After the honeymoon phase, the blinders come off and you are face to face with this person that you are dating. You begin to see the flaws that he or she may have, little quirks that you didn’t know were there before and some things even begin to bother you. For example, it was only after the honeymoon phase that I realized that the guy that I was with said “like” way more than I did. So, like, it would, like, totally, like, interject into, like, his, like, sentences like this. It became so distracting, and the more that I heard it, the more I began to resent it and him.
Now this is where my problem, and I’m sure many other people’s, problems begin. At this point, the classic break up line of “you changed” can always be pulled out. I know because it was once used against me. But the thing is that in a relationship, both people change after the honeymoon phase, not just one. We don’t think of ourselves as changing because we think we know ourselves really well. But it isn’t until we are on the outside looking at ourselves that we realize that we did indeed change.
My problem growing up was that I couldn’t accept this change. The dynamics in the relationship suddenly shifted and it was almost as if I was dating someone completely different. For all I know, my boyfriend(s) at the time probably felt the same way about me. So what did I do? Instead of facing the commitment and moving forward with a guy, I ran in the opposite direction. My love became disposable.
And this was how it went for me for most of my high school life. I stayed with a guy until I started to feel a slight change, and then that was it, sayonara my friend.
In retrospect, I realize now that I gave up some pretty incredible guys that were willingly ready to put up with me. And I gave them up because of some really minor things.
If we threw away all of our hobbies because they suddenly changed and got too hard, none of us would be good at anything – we would just be mediocre at a lot of things.
In the same way, our relationships will reach difficult points. I’m learning now that it’s not always a bed of roses and that thorns exist. But running from our problems and not being serious about our relationships turns love into something that can be disposable and not valued. Similarly, we won’t have life giving relationships, just a lot of mediocrity and what-if’s.
I’m not saying that dating other people is wrong. It’s the only way that you will truly see if that person is a fit for you. But if you are starting to see potential in this person, take time in developing a relationship where you both learn about each other and from each other. Having a solid foundation that is built on trust, respect and knowledge will help you to withstand the test of time. You will bring truth to your relationship and be a guiding light for others.
In closing, the four words that the girl said above to her boyfriend hit home for me, in part because of everything that I just listed but also because it was used, in an opposite meaning, against me. I was with a guy who, when he broke up with me, said to me that,
Yeah, okay. And yes, he too was the one that said to me “you changed”.
Not only does this sound like a poorly written, teenage angst filled breakup ballad, but the truth is this guy, held a mirror up to me and showed me exactly everything that I had done up until that point. So in many ways, I guess I deserved it.
So thanks for breaking up with me and showing me what love shouldn’t be.
Love shouldn’t be disposable.
Until next time,