Coping with the slow death of romance
I thought I was done with romance. I honestly had to
stop using FW principals long ago
because I hurt a few people really badly. Think about it, if you're
single, every relationship you have ever had has failed (unless your
mate has died). I've had far too many romances in my life, and they
all ended with someone in great pain. Has there EVER been a romance
where both parties become equally bored with each other and split up
at the exact same level, pain free? Nope, someone ALWAYS gets hurt,
often tragically, and even when it's not me I often wish it was,
because I can't handle the guilt. I have never found a way to break up
with someone without hurting them. If anyone has a way, please contact
me, I'd like to know how.
So when a man from my past came galloping back into my
life and swooped me up, I was not prepared. Old feelings flooded
back way too fast. After just a few weeks and finally deciding "well,
maybe," he just as suddenly seemed to lose interest and his heart was
gone. (I never even had time to get out the FW book and review). His
sudden lack of affection was OBVIOUS, and I recognized the slow death
approach of attempting to let me down gently, with innocuous signs of
saying he'll call and forgetting as the attention and even the tone in
his voice started to wane.
How many women have been through this? And you tell
yourself "it's over" but hope dies slowly and you beat yourself up for
checking the message machine so fast. You KNOW it's over and you wish
you would stop hoping.
I found a way of looking at it that helps and keeps me
from calling, looking for awkward closure.
Itís like the man in my life took me to the race track and sat on
the other side, and we both excitedly watch our race horse (romance)
take off at a huge pace, watching from opposite sides of the track.
But as the horse comes back around, the horse falters between us and
heís lying on the race track, slowly dying. The man in my life
is distracted by those around him and finally looks at the horse and
me and asks, "Is anything wrong?" And Iím supposed to say, "No,
everything is fine" right there with a dying horse between us, as the
phone calls become less frequent and the man's interest continues to
Anything I say at this point would only be a pathetic attempt at
manipulating a response or reaction out of him. Itís as obvious as
looking at a horse, breathing hard and dying painfully on the track. I
keep wanting to call the man and finish the job, make a clean ending,
anything would be better than watching this slow death. But then, I
know myself, and I would hope he would call and tell me it was all a
mistake, he really has just been busy or Ďwhateverí excuse I could buy
and forget the neglect for a while. It's like walking up to a dead dog
and nudging it with my foot, trying to bring it back to life, but it
So I sit there, frozen, staring at a dying horse unable to do
anything about it, waiting even longer this time for a phone call than
the last time. This is supposed to be the easy let down, this is
supposed to be subtle hints and I must make the appropriate response.
I remember doing this to many people, Jim South comes to mind. I
remember feeling angry that he wasnít getting the hint. Breaking up or
exiting out of a romance is never easy, for either side. At least I
kept my dignity and wouldnít talk cheap (or worse). At least I donít
have the guilt of being the one calling it off and acting like they
My job is to accept the dead horse for what it is, and itís hard.
And every time I sense myself looking for his voice on the message
machine, I remind myself gently, "Checking to see if the horse is
still dead, Jen?" Every time my mind wanders to the man, I imagine I
still see it lying on the track--yep, just checking, still dead. And
then I crank up the
praise music and focus on Christ, and God really
does come close to the brokenhearted. It's almost worth getting hurt
in the first place.
And I pray Jim South is okay.
The best Christmas I ever had was right after my divorce, I spent
the whole day reading "Gentle Thunder" by Max Lucado and focusing on
God, listening to Christian music...He came so close. The Holy Spirit
truly is right there for you, comforting you, just be still and listen
to Him. He will not forsake you, ever.
(Jim South's name has been slightly altered so as to
respect his privacy, if you know a "Jim South," it's not him)