When you break up with someone, and finally accept you are no longer an item, together, coupled – when that moment of dreaded realisation hits, how exactly does one go about quantifying whether or not the relation ship was a good one? What parameters, what possible scale could possibly do justice to the feelings and moments you want to preserve and evaluate? Perhaps some of us judge the quality by how many souvenirs are left to place in a shoebox stained with tears – dried flowers, a resteraunt menu, a tester strip of his signature scent. Others may feel that if anything is kept it means it is not over, that to keep these scraps of a life in a box only means you are waiting to revisit them, to draw out the pain. However, what if you have nothing to keep? No scraps of paper or ephemeral tat to immortalise this partition, this severance?
So many people, male and female, these days seem to judge a relationship purely on its length.Were they there for a few weeks? Not that important then. A few months? Semi- realistic, almost meant something. A year? That’s a real relationship. However what if the flame that burnt brighter for a shorter time meant more than a protracted slow yet comfortable relationship? I am thinking this, as you have probably imagined, as I have just had the ‘good friends’ chat with a boyfriend of three months. Not partner, he never reached those dizzying plains of togetherness. But boyfriend, yes that covers it. I am not going to name him, he is a private person who prefers the non digitization of his life – so I can only hope he forgives me for using him as the catalyst to this ponderence.
I have known him in total for six months, roughly, been together for half of that. So a three-month relationship – met online, met in person, and yes I tumbled him into bed on the first night – don’t judge me, he was (and still is) a handsome, sweet and amazing man. At first I thought he was perfect (in a quiet whisper in the dead of night I may still admit it) , we shared the same tastes in food, movies, music, people and drinking. And it was all happy. All good. He told me he loved me – I didn’t respond in kind (I wish I had, it may have meant things turned out differently). And then in the space of a weekend it changed, he wanted just friends, we fought I acted like an idiot, secrets were revealed and accusations flung – and it was all over. We are however, good friends, who have seen each other naked.
So how do I class this three-month relationship? Some of my friends call it a fling. Some call it a relationship. Some say bad. Others good. I have come to the way of thinking however it is not the quantity but the quality that I judge this on. And it was great. We laughed, a lot, about everything – even the awkward things. Spent fantastic nights getting drunk in pricey cocktail bars we could not afford. He introduced me to new and exciting music and films – and some disturbing new photographers. He made me drink wheat beers and port with my Stilton. I had never before tried port. Bless him he tried, but I just didn’t like it.I may not have much to put away in that box, but what I do have means a lot. A Molten Brown handwash, a toothbrush, a cinema ticket stub, a CD. They do perhaps mean more than that which I gleaned from a four-year extravagance of a relationship. In the fullness of time we may lose contact, he may meet someone who is uncomfortable with me, I may move abroad, life happens. I hope not though – I feel he has more to offer, to teach me that I havent yet touched upon and so for now, selfishly perhaps, I want him to stay a part of my life even if not as involved.
This has given me pause in the way I approach relationships however. They are all worth something – just because they do not end in the way you wish them too does not make them any less amazing. Some people enter your life in one role, but are destined to continue in another. Friends become lovers, lovers become the best of friends, enemies become partners, teachers become colleagues. Who knows, he may yet have a very important role to play. It just isn’t the one I originally had mapped for him.