One of the hardest things about a breakup is the aftermath. After the crying and the tears and the mourning is over, when reality has sunk deep into your soul that this actually, really, truly is how things are one must still wake up every morning with one truth: He's still out there. The awful thing about a break up is that, even though you're no longer "together" you're still in each other's lives. There's the separation of the belongings "Do you want these plates? Or should I keep them?" There's the forced conversations and texts and questions from casual acquaintances who haven't yet heard asking the inevitable "So! How are you and your man doing these days??" Not to mention the innumerable texts, tweets and Facebook updates all reminding you that he is still out there and he is moving on with his life as happy as can be.
And then there's the other thing. There's the staying friends thing.
I'm not going to lie, I hate staying friends with an ex after we break up. I would rather he just fall off the face of the earth and I never have to see, think of or hear from the guy again. Usually, though, I'm the one doing the breaking, so it's an easy desire to have. In this case, though, I'm the one who got broken. In this case, he's the one who suggested we still be friends. In this case, I'm just enough in love with him still to be willing to go for it.
Let me tell you this little secret, dear darling reader--being friends freaking sucks. There's no way around it, really. For all the above mentioned reasons, it's hard to still have someone who you're crazy about close in your life and not be a major part of theirs. It's hard to see the updates on Facebook of flirtatious or fun things happening in that person's life. It's hard to know that you're only allowed to see that person with prior planning and scheduling so that you won't overlap with the other girls/friends he has around. Also, it sucks to know that you're no longer the cause of that person's happiness.
They say if you love someone then you let them go. Well I say that's bull. What should you do if you love someone? You fight for them. You hold them close. You shield them. You do whatever you can to make them happy. But you don't, under any circumstances, let that person go out of your life.
And so what is my elucidation of the day? Part of me, the part that's feeling a little bitter and neglected wants to say the lesson is to not love or to not stay friends with those who you used to love. But no. That's not realistic. And anyone with a dreamer's heart will know that the only true happiness for a romantic is in that love, and is in that hope, and is in that dream that some day things will be better. And so the lesson is instead, despite the heartbreak and the hurt, the disappointment and the feelings of inadequacy and emptiness, to love, to fight, to stand strong in your love. Even if the person you think should love you back--the person you're fighting for--doesn't and won't ever return those feelings, some day, someone will deserve that kind of fierceness. Some day, someone will love you back just as strong.
You can't keep your grasp tight if you aren't willing to exercise it. And so I flex my love, even though it hurts. Even though, like a muscle tearing, I feel sore for days after. I flex because I know, some day, that love muscle will build up and I'll be stronger. Some day, that'll be enough.