I now understand why people say “that” after they break up, and hold onto “that” concept for months and months to come.
Before, I used to look at people who said that after they broke up, and would think, “C’mon, you need to let it go, its obviously not meant to be.”
But I realize now, it’s not about reality, it’s how they feel. It’s only natural to think “but we were meant to be”, especially after a long relationship, when both people know each other inside and out. The couple do things they like and dislike together. When times are tough, the couple stuck it through together. The couple explored and relied on each other. The couple were thoughtful of each other’s preferences and likes and dislikes.
So, the moment you break up, things just don’t go away. You still know your boyfriend’s favorite gummy bear color, you still remember that your girlfriend gets cold in the car. Its become a habit, after awhile in the relationship. You look out for each other, and you remember each other’s preferences. Just because the relationship ended, doesn’t mean you can forget all these information and just press <delete> and erase all your memory under “the boyfriend” folder. So, what happens? You still realize that you look out for him and you only eat the green and red color gummy bears because his favorites are the white ones. And then you realize, “Wait! I can eat those white ones now!! He’s not here anymore! Whoohoo!” But then, another wave of thought comes, “Oh, we matched so well…”
I know the gummy bear analogy is seemingly silly and mundane. But that literally was the example that made me start thinking about this.
Truth is, perhaps me and the old boyfriend really didn’t match that well. But due to memory and habit and such, you still feel a very strong bond. Its no wonder that people still think “we’re meant for each other” after their break ups. I’m not saying their delusional, but I am saying its a state of mind and perhaps not reality.
When I go about certain things, and strangers and friends just treat me as neutral (of course, because how would they know my preferences), I sometimes can’t help thinking, “Oh, but he used to do this for me,” and “If he were here, then he would know do give me this or never to do this or say that.” But then again, that is just all learned behavior, in psychology we call it Conditioning!
The boyfriend and the girlfriend in question wasn’t borne programmed to know our wants and needs and preferences. We had to explain it and sometimes even explore and find them out together. And this was a long and sometimes laborious process that can take up to many years. So of course when all is said and done, the work and progress of the years still linger.
So, in reality, it may not be true that “we were so meant to be!” But in our minds, we will have this tingling thought. Honestly, I think its because of the habits that we’ve acquired over the years. And things acquired and practiced over years, cannot be forgotten and altered within a span of a few day or even months.
But… at least now, I can understand when people who just broke up tell me things like, “But we were meant to be” and “But we were so good together” and “Maybe we’ll end up together one day.” Because back in the day, I used to think, “Man, these people need to wake up and smell the coffee.”
But now, I have more compassion. I understand where they’re coming from, and I stop calling them delusional. And even though those thoughts do not present themselves often, I sometimes still find them creeping into my mind. And when I take a closer look and research into why I’m having these thoughts and when I’m having these thoughts, I see that I’m not being delusional and crazy, nor am I actually trying to get back together, but just remembering the old habits and finding old habits die hard.