The Complexity of Relationships

As a person who moves around a lot and has gotten used to not forming severe attachments to most people, the way in which relationships wither away in a matter of seconds, is still a puzzle to me. I have tried not to question it for many years because I got used to the idea that the natural process of human relationships is that it eventually dissipates. However, every once in a while, when someone important enters your life, you start to think about the day when all you’ll have left of them are the tangible box of photographs and gifts and an intangible box of memories and feelings. 

 

photo of assorted photo lot

Photo by: Christopher Flynn

 

One minute you’re planning to get matching tattoos with your best friend and then the next, you realize months have gone by without any words having been exchanged. Or even more painful is probably when you spend all your leisure time with a significant other and then, despite multiple efforts, after a while, they fade out of your life. It’s difficult to grasp how it’s possible to become so disconnected from those we care about, in what feels like short periods of time. How is it that the person we were willing to share every single detail of our lives with, no longer even resides in the same part of our hearts?

 

The easy answer would be to say that the people who are not meant to stay in our lives, leave. But, oftentimes, there are those who leave such significant impacts on our character that using that explanation would simply not suffice. Perhaps, human relationships are meant to run their course. Just like everything in life is temporary and the only constant in our lives is change itself, so are the connections we make with those around us. 

 

two women walking together outdoor during daytime

Photo by: Joseph Pearson

 

I think what’s important is that even if certain relationships end badly or in a messy way, that we try our very best to remember the good times and hold onto the things that made us appreciate the presence of those people in our lives. Because while it might hurt a little more at first, developing negative feelings towards that person wouldn’t be a healthy way of dealing with the predicament either. So instead, we can attempt to hang on to the happy memories we have of them and slowly accept that while they might not be there anymore, their existence at one point, meant a great deal. 

 

two persons holding hands

Photo by: Dương Hữu

 

Now, this in no way describes all relationships. Certain people should most definitely be cut out of our lives if they are the cause of negativity and toxicity. On the other hand, there are always those who stay in our lives no matter what, through thick and thin, through distance and all kinds of bumps in the middle of the road. Just as much as the first group of people should be avoided at all costs, the second group should be cherished and embraced whole-heartedly. But then there are those who leave their marks and fade like scars that never completely heal; those are the ones that make you wonder, what happened?