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PS: You are free

November 6, 2013

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There comes a time when a relationship doesn’t need saving, it needs separation. When you have said all you can say, when you have done all you know to do, when you have called just about everyone to help you salvage the relationship that was once a source of happiness and still nothing helps. Ironically, it seems the harder you try to put the pieces together, the faster the relationship deteriorates and decays. Despite your desperate and noble efforts to save it, the relationship dies.
I remember six years ago when my then-boyfriend and I were at that stage of the relationship where all we could do was let go. At first, I thought if I changed certain things about myself things would get better. I put myself under pressure because I was scared of losing the first guy I’d ever loved. And I found out later that he was scared of losing me too. The relationship was slipping through our fingers even though we were desperately trying to save it. We tried to spend quality time together but it was not the same. We were on the phone for a minute and surprisingly had nothing to say to each other (other than fight of course). Secretly, I feared that I couldn’t be happy without him (my naive 20 year old self thought) even though I was unhappy with him. The longer we delayed the breakup, the more we fought, and we hurt each other, and the more miserable we got. Months later of being in a relationship that suddenly brought nothing but drama and pain, my beau got a job offer abroad and had a reason to leave, and that’s when we both knew we were over.
Though the relationship failed, I missed the friend he was to me. I missed our goofy moments together and the way we’d both laugh at the same things. But, I learnt not to fear letting go. I allowed myself to love him without being with him. Looking back, I can confidently say, I am happier now than I have ever been because I’m not trying to maintain a relationship that refuses to work. I am free.

We need to make peace with the fact that there are people we will love passionately but things still won’t work out. We need to take solace in knowing we did all we knew to do to save the relationship, and its failure is not due to lack of trying. A failure of a relationship does not make us failures. We need to let ourselves off the hook and set ourselves free from guilt, regrets and blame. We need to accept that sometimes it is not working hard at a relationship that is needed, it is setting each other free.

When a relationship is not full of love, joy and peace, even our best efforts to save it will not suffice.
Though painful, the experience taught me how to love truly, genuinely and completely.
It taught me that loving someone is about desiring what’s best for them, especially when the best isn’t you. I learnt that a love that keeps you imprisoned or trapped only cripples you- and we all deserve better than that.

Rejoice when love comes, set it free when it leaves…

Love always,
Nono Cele
Twitter: @Nono_Cele
Email: nono@nonocele.co.za

This blog post is dedicated to a friend of mine going through a similar situation, find your wings to fly, princess.

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