“Unengaged”

I was walking Dolce this evening when he saw this dog he simply had to sniff. I struck up a conversation with the lady walking that dog and she asked if I live in the same building.
“Yes, I do,” I replied. I was glad to find that our dogs were getting along so well and I was thinking maybe Dolce could have playdates.
“Well, I’m moving out soon,” she said.
“Oh…” I wasn’t sure if it would be proper for me to ask her why.
“I’m getting unengaged,” she said.
“I’m so sorry!” It was the only thing I could say to a lady who was kind of a stranger to me.
“Better unengaged than divorced. Trust me, I’m a lawyer; I know.”

And for some reason this struck dread in my heart. Here were two people who had probably fallen in love and loved each other to the extent of wanting to get married. Granted I don’t know them, but that’s a reasonable assumption given that they were engaged, isn’t it? And now it’s over. They’re getting “unengaged”. I can only imagine the heartache. They lived together and now they have to learn to live without each other. That’s never easy. Then again it’s always painful when a relationship of love ends.

But that’s the risk you take, right? You trust this other person so completely. You trust this person to value your happiness. You give this person your heart and trust them to not break it. You have faith in them, faith that they will do the right thing by you. Always, always, always. And if you don’t trust them with your heart what do you really have there?

But these two people who’re breaking their engagement probably trusted each other like that at some point too. Was either of them wrong? We don’t know. Maybe not. Maybe when the trust was created they both deserved it and maybe somewhere along the way something changed. I know stuff like this happens all the time. It just hit me really hard when I heard this today.

This comes on the heels of something I read earlier in the day, a quote that goes:

I’ve been in love before, it’s like a narcotic. At first it brings the euphoria of complete surrender. The next day you want more. You’re not addicted yet, but you like the sensation, and you think you can still control things.You think about the person you love for two minutes then forget them for three hours. But then you get used to that person, and you begin to be completely dependent on them. Now you think about him for three hours and forget him for two minutes. If he’s not there, you feel like an addict who can’t get a fix. And just as addicts steal and humiliate themselves to get what they need, you’re willing to do anything for love.
– Paulo Coelho, ‘By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept’

I’m absolutely sure many of us have been there, have felt this, have ached and longed. When I read this it reminded me of every single time I’d been to that place, and I said, “Never again.” I know we take these risks just because the payoff could be worth it all. But what about when it goes wrong and you lose it all? Is the risk still worth it then? I hope, I really hope I don’t go there ever again. I don’t want to feel that hollow core of despair again. And if the price that must be paid is never again falling in love, then so be it.

10 thoughts on ““Unengaged”

  1. I have been there many times in my life. I have not found the love that lasts. When my head is clear I can see the things those loves taught me. Sometimes they were significant life skills. Sometimes they were relationship skills. When my head is clear, I can look back on those loves and appreciate the richness of that relationship without the loss overshadowing everything. Those are the brief clear moments. But I was raised in a culture that says people marry and have children and live their older days together. And I just can’t figure out why not me! Is it better to have loved and lost then not to love at all?

    1. How beautifully you have expressed your thoughts, Cindy. It is those moments of clarity that makes us think it was worth it, that at least there were lessons learned and so something was gained from it, and we take the plunge again. But that feeling of hopelessness in love is not even close to being fun at all. I was raised in a similar culture so I think I understand exactly what you mean and I feel that some of us probably have different life-lessons to learn, which is why all our paths must differ so much and sometimes I think we must simply find ways of making peace with the way life is right now, in this very moment, for who has seen tomorrow?
      Many, many hugs to you, Cindy. I’m sure a person as wonderful as you has a family of loved ones, even if there is no “significant other” yet.

  2. People come and people go.. That’s the cycle of our life. One involvement teaches us something and lets us pass to new ones everytime a bit wiser and a bit more experienced.

    Karmic connections are not all roses, but really they are all valuable. After every meaningful person we meet, we are never the same again, that’s how our feelings and experiences teach us to grow..

    1. You are absolutely right. We learn something from every person we connect with and every relationship has its own purpose in our lives even if takes us a while to realise it. However, I’m in a phase where the potential heartache just isn’t seeming worth the risk of finding real love which is so rare in itself.
      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment.

  3. Where have you come from??? or should I ask.. where have u beenn??
    Why am I asking that??
    As I am speechleeessss ! I have nothing to comment on the above in words but soo many thoughts in my mind !
    Reading soo many of your writeupss is like reading my own mind or thoughts ! Its crazy but true how I can relate to soo soo much of the stuff you write !
    I totally agree to everything mentioned above.. love has all of its moments…but dont by purpose shut the door to love again… its different everytime.. unique in its own way… only each time we are or should or must be even more carefull and beter prepared !

    1. We appear to have a lot in common, beginning with the person who connects us, and it’s so good to know that my thoughts are reflected in yours. It’s a bit reassuring because it lets me know that I’m not crazy or alone with these thoughts.

      I know you are right, Saman, and it’s not brave to shut the door to the possibility of love, but I think in love we lose all sense of treading slowly, being careful and wise. This day I was reminded by these incidents very strongly of how deeply despair and hopelessness set in when we lose love, how lost we feel, and how it seems for a period of time that everything has turned to ashes. And I never, ever want to endure that again. Even though I know that we survive it and probably come out stronger on the other side. I’d prefer to shelter myself from that stabbing pain.

  4. True… the pain is just too much .You are willing to stand tall as you are equally strong and hopefull ! Lets focus on enjoying life as it comes! No point on thinking about socially driven enigma’s for namesakes !

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