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.