Do we ever silently stop loving those whom we once loved out loud?
More to the point, it's funny who we keep in touch with.
Once upon a time I boldly stood on the rooftops, beat my chest in the moonlight and declared that I had met the one in whom my soul delighted. It was match. Or so I thought. Two years later, as plans were coming together for us to build a life together, I started paying attention to the signals that I had long been ignoring. The problems with his character were no longer endearing quirks, and I found myself suddenly without the ability to turn the other way. Without much more deliberation, I ended the relationship swiftly and cleanly. It was over. Let us spare ourselves the drama and the fighting. No need to drag it out. Rightfully so, he was angry with me, and after the fact, never failed to remind me how much I wronged him. After the 5th psychological guilt trip down memory lane, I summarily lashed back, and we are no longer in each other's lives.
Yesterday, I was driving into the downtown area, and for the first time in a very long time, the thought occurred to me that the person who was once the greatest love of my life and I are once again living in the same city. Or are we? When people have asked me about him, my honest response was that we had purposefully lost touch with each other. He could be living in Timbuktu for all I know. (Although I seriously doubt it. He wasn't much of a risk taker.) I suppose if I wanted to contact him, I could find him where he (probably still) works, but that would take some effort on my part, and really, what would there be to say? Who knows, maybe I'll run into him one day, but this is a big city, and I'm not going to hold my breath.
In the meantime, I still keep in touch with other various and sundry love interests from along the way. One, in particular, is still very much a part of my life, despite the demise of our relationship two years ago. It took a few months after the fact, but he still calls to touch base with me every few weeks. We chat, we give updates, encouragement, and don't hold each other hostage to our failure at not making a go of the "happily ever after" paradigm. No hard feelings. Yesterday, he called me to tell me that he was in the throws of a new relationship with a girl he really liked, and I genuinely was all smiles for him. Funny how that happens. Perhaps the reason for this is that, prior to our involvement, we were good friends who kept in loose touch for years. And even when we were together, we were still best of pals. We never fought. Not even once. We always had a really great time together. Even when the relationship ended, it was so cordial and respectful that we didn't even need to shout about it. I think we were both a little sad about what happened, but neither of us were in a place to take things further. It was mutual parting of ways.
As I sit here writing this, I'm thinking that the ones we do ultimately lose are the ones we really loved the most. Either that, or they are the ones who hurt us the most. I suppose there has to be some direct correlation between love and the ability to get hurt. Anything that intense opens the door to too much air, only fueling the interpersonal fire. Hmm.