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People move on, but the wounds remain

July 20, 2000

People move on, but the wounds remain



Why can't we be friends?

Well, because then we wouldn't be able to run over the one who discarded us.

Sound harsh? I thought so too, and not just because it could have been my fate if I ran into one ex in particular.

Sure, she could have been exaggerating, but would you want to take the chance? I didn't think so.

"Sometimes, it's really difficult to maintain the friendship, because one person wants to be friends and the other wants to maintain the relationship as it was," says Edwina Barton with Catoctin Counseling Center. "To work that out, sometimes it takes awhile. It usually takes until one person gets in a relationship with someone else."

Not to mention beyond. People move on, but the wounds remain. I'd like to think that if enough time passes we might reconnect and rebuild the friendships that have helped define who we are.

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And I do miss the friendships lost in messy breakups.

I don't miss the romance, for countless reasons beyond the better relationship I'm in now. It's hard to remember the past, sometimes, when the people who helped shape it have you on their hit list - literally.

Of my three best friends in college, I dated two of them; Of my three best friends in college, two are complete strangers now.

It's disappointing, and the frustrating part is not that the relationships ended. Looking back, it was bound to happen eventually.

But the regret - for me, anyway, if not for them - is that the friendships failed, when the friendships sparked romance in the first place.

Why can't we be friends? Is it stubborn pride or wounded ego? Apologies unheard or promises unfulfilled?

Probably a little of each, and a matter of life simply moving on and perspectives changing.

We've all changed from when we broke hearts and had hearts broken. If the friendships were strong before - I think they were - maybe they will be again.

Through the grapevine, I've heard that the ex with vehicular homicide on her mind would now pull me out of the way of an oncoming vehicle.

She may still rough me up a bit afterward, but at least I'll still have a pulse. As long as I have that, anything else is possible.

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Kevin Clapp is a staff writer for Lifestyle.

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