One of the most difficult things about any relationship is learning how to accept when it's no longer viable. Anyone who's ever been romantically involved for more than two years will tell you about the tireless labour that goes into keeping a fire burning. Vicious fights, restitution and a whole lot of compromise make it all the more challenging, but at what point does the effort of loving someone become too much? We break up and make up in hopes that it will all work it out in the end, but when a relationship reaches a certain crossroad, how do we decide which way is best?
Being in love with somebody is a truly wonderful experience especially when that feeling is mutual. It's like having a massive shock wave of electricity running through your body awakening the senses with passion and vigorous excitement. The thunderbolt as I like to call it is absolutely amazing but unfortunately it wasn't built to last. It is after all a single flash, a jolt to the system that loses impact shortly after it strikes. The fact is that true love only comes after the honeymoon phase, when the flaws begin to surface and you begin to love someone for both the good and the bad.
But what happens when a relationship becomes too hard to handle? When painful situations prevent you from moving forward as a couple? Is unconditional love enough to see it through or are we in denial? Every relationship goes through sporadic moments of doubt but when they are as frequent as a new Ri-Ri album, is it perhaps a sign that things are probably over?
After three and a half years, Aiden and I had finally reached this particular relationship crossroads. For the past eight months, we had spent more time fighting and arguing with each other than we did making up. The infidelity, the resentment, the guilt, the anger, the self-inflicted hurt we caused each other over the years had somehow overshadowed the good times culminating in a very unpleasant living situation. Despite the copious amount of hours spent at couple's therapy, Aiden and I were confronted with the most difficult decision in our relationship: keep trying or move on?
More and more, I began imagining my life without Aiden or any kind of partner for that matter. Free and blissfully uncomplicated. I could cower in the safety of the four walls I had built around my heart and never have to deal with another person disappointing me ever again. It wasn't the most realistic or healthy solution but it sure as fuck looked appealing. A drama-free, emotionally undisturbed existence where the only person that mattered was me, myself and I. Had I just answered my own question?
But what about the history and all the good things worth fighting for? Were they worth salvaging or were they just that - history? The thought of losing my best friend to an emotional tug-of-war was heartbreaking, but I couldn't help but wonder whether breaking up was the right thing to do. We were both clearly unhappy and my erratic public outbursts were no longer respectful to Aiden or the relationship. Was I about to make the biggest mistake of my life or was taking the path with least resistance the most practical solution for all?
Forget what you see in the movies. Love is not a slow motion kiss in the rain with orchestral symphonies blaring out of invisible speakers. It's hardcore and messy and just like most of Taylor Swift's relationships, it doesn't last forever. Even the holy grail of relationships will tell you that it requires work, and a lot of it. Sometimes all it takes is a little time apart to reconnect, but when it gets to the point where you're trying too hard and lying to yourself, perhaps it's time to admit defeat.
When it comes to the relationship crossroads, is it easier to raise the white flag on love or simply try harder?