relationships

Some Relationships Are Meant to be Friendships

Have you ever looked back at a past lover and thought ‘we should have just been friends’? I have, often. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I don’t mean that I’ve wondered ‘what was I thinking, we should have never dated’. I simply mean that some relationships are meant to be friendships.

Sometimes you meet people and there is an instant connection. You date them, because that seems to be the natural progression and for whatever reason, things end. You fall out of love. But that doesn’t mean you stop loving them altogether.

That ongoing love can be terrible or terrific. It can result in a heartbreak you struggle to get over, or it can give you a new lease on your relationship. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been really lucky with that ongoing love and that you definitely shouldn’t always stay friends once a relationship has ended. Everyone has to do what’s right for them.

That said, of the people I’ve dated, I now consider two of them best friends. Not just ‘we’re still Facebook friends and attend each other’s birthdays’ type friends, but actual best friends.

One of these best friends of mine has wisely answered the ever asked “why do you stay friends with an ex?” in the most simple and logical way. He said, “you spend all that time getting to know someone and you obviously enjoyed hanging out with them, why throw it all away?” I re-use his explanation all the time.

The people I have dated are still some of my favourite people in the world. They are people I trust with my life, people I know will look out for me, people who have seen me at my most crazy and know all my bad habits and still choose to be my friend. There is this unconditional love. They know more about me than most of my other best friends. They aren’t afraid to call me on my bullshit because they know I’ll still love them afterwards, and vice versa. It’s a unique relationship. It’s one I’m really grateful for.

Sometimes Good Things Should Come To An End

The Awful Truth
One day, whether you
are 14,
28
or 65
you will stumble upon
someone who will start
a fire in you that cannot die.
However, the saddest,
most awful truth you will
e
ver come to find –
is they are not always
with whom we spend our lives.
– Beau Taplin

I came across this poem by Beau Taplin a few months ago on Instragram. It instantly resonated with me and, after reading many more, is still my favourite of his. After purchasing his book The Wild Heart I discovered this was the poem he’d chosen to grace the page as the first in his collection of many. I have to say, it makes for a good opening.

The poem resonates with me because there are many people in my life with whom this rings true.

We cross paths with an infinite number of people and it’s amazing to think that all it takes are a few choices, a simple action – the decision to leave early or stay late, to drive your car or catch the train – to determine the relationships we do or don’t have. There are countless, seemingly insignificant choices I am thankful for because they resulted in bringing certain people into my life. These people may not all have stayed for a long time but they have and will leave a long lasting impression.

There are many people in my life I am grateful for; people who love me unconditionally, people who care about me, people who want me to be happy. But for me, the ones who remain the most special are the ones who changed something in me. The people who had such an impact on my life that I see things differently because of them, I act differently, I believe differently.

I have been lucky enough to meet a few special souls who have entered my life and given me amazing gifts such as self belief, motivation, ambition. I’ve met people who taught me to see failure merely as a way to learn how to do it better next time or who have built me back up and restored my belief in love and the goodness of people.

Sometimes you meet someone and instantly click; you know you’ve found something. I don’t believe they need to be the person you spend your life with in order for them to be memorable and meaningful.

Ever after is a nice idea, but often one that should be left in the pages of a fairytale. Ever after doesn’t always exist because sometimes, it shouldn’t. We hold on to people, unsure of what we’d do without them and afraid that if we let go we’ll fall. When in truth, that person could have come into your life with the very purpose of showing you how to stand on your own.

If we learn to look at relationships like this, there will be less heartbreak, less wondering why all good things come to an end. We can start to appreciate people for all that they gave us and be thankful for the time we had together.

To borrow a line from spoken word poets Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye’s “When Love Arrives”, sometimes, love arrives exactly when love is supposed to and love leaves exactly when love must. Sometimes people come to give a breath of fresh air and fill our lungs so that we are able to blow on the first sparks that light our own fire and, once our lungs are full, they drift away, leaving behind nothing but amazing memories.

To all the people who have started a fire in me that cannot die, I am eternally grateful for the time we’ve had together.