Last night, a good friend had a few beers and he messaged me in the middle of the night (2am where he is at) to tell me he felt lonely coming home to no one. He likes this girl he met online 5 months ago but with the borders closed (looks like not opening anytime soon), they cannot meet yet to see if the chemistry transcends the virtual world.
I keep on encouraging him to go out and meet real people (he is very lucky to be living in probably the safest country during this pandemic). He keeps on brushing my suggestions off, believing (more like hoping, if you would ask me) that he has found someone he can actually spend the rest of his life with.
It got me thinking… was my ex right? Was it best for us to separate in the midst of the pandemic, after all? If I could advise my friend now to go out and date other women instead of waiting for the borders to open to see if he and the girl he likes have a chance, would we (my ex and I) be in a different kind of hell if we held on?
He told me someday I would realize that he was right. All this time, I was thinking that day would be when I find myself happily married to another man, someone supposedly better. But is this what he was talking about? I told him I got how he felt old and alone and depressed and did not know how he could keep on with our relationship. But maybe I have not really fully understood where he was coming from.
Physiologists have shown that as people become emotionally interdependent, they play an active role in the regulation of each other’s very physiology. This biological entrainment means that the cues each partner receives from the other have special power to drive their own body, for better or for worse.
In a nourishing relationship, partners help each other manage their distressing feelings, just as nurturing parents do their children. When we are stressed or upset, our partners can help us rethink what’s causing our distress, perhaps to respond better or simply to put things in perspective – in either case short-circuiting the negative neuroendocrine cascade.
Being separated from those we love for long periods deprives us of this intimate help; the longing for people we miss expresses in part a yearning for this biologically helpful connection.Daniel Goleman – Social Intelligence
Looking from a different perspective sure is refreshing. Talking to my friend was like a slap in the face. Was it cruel of me to ask my friend to wait? Should I be glad now that he did not change his mind when I begged him to be more patient and stay with me?
It breaks my heart to think that my friend is willing to wait this pandemic out with a stranger he has not met yet while my ex gave up the future we have planned together after a few months of being apart.
It is a bit comforting to think that I am not alone, that not all relationships stood the test of COVID-19. Call me Ms. Glass-Half-Empty but there are still those who did. So I cannot really help but feel discouraged that the love I thought was so great crumbled at the face of this pandemic. I hear stories of couples who are holding on, trying everything to keep emotionally close while physically apart and I ask myself, was it even true love? Is it time to knock him (and what we have shared) off the pedestal I wittingly have put him on?
I will not forget what he told me when we separated. He said someday he may regret letting me go, that I am the kindest, most loving woman he has ever known. I spitefully told him I live to that day, that no other woman can love and care for him like I did, but when that time comes it would be too late. Now I hope that he is right instead. That there is a better man out there for me. For what good would it be when that happens?
I choose love. What about you?
#ToABetterSarah #WhatTheWorldNeedsNow #FromZeroToHero