When Forever Means Temporarily

Termination clause, Breach of Agreement, Notice to Quit, Violation of Terms – what do all these statements have in common?

They’re all written and understood as intrinsic elements in business relationships where one party makes a commitment to the other. Both parties recognize that their could be a possibility that one or the other cannot meet the set agreement and have setup a contingency plan for that event. Even verbal contracts are rectified by laws that specify damages when a breach occurs.

Perhaps it is this rigidity in our transactional/business world that leads us to be so wreckless in our personal ones. Relationships are often entered into, verbally, physically and contractually (yes, hallmark cards saying ‘I’ll love you forever’ count), and frequently end in a number of ways that seem to happen regularly and with consistency across every country, religion, belief system and so on. Infidelity, distrust, miscourse, murder and more.

Businesses mitigate this potential with a clause that has financial implications. Outside of the business relationship, we really do nothing else.

After over four years of being together, Jeff and I have called it quits. Well, actually Jeff did – I’m left with a white flag and no further recourse. Not directly in quoting his words as so much as interpreting through his statements: I’m the Starter Wife; although he’s leaving me more for the new life versus a younger newer me… (Definition: That a newly successful husband, tired of the first wife, will drop her and go get a new and younger version when the time is right.)

The rational side of me sees this as an opportunity – a good thing, and a chance to move forward. Heart break is unavoidable, and I try to be as removed, uncaring and stoic as he is, but it’s always an area where others have been able to easily out-do me.

Break-ups, I’ve learned, require compassion. Not just because the two were once lovers, but because at the core level, there’s a human element. And that, inevitably, a judgement call must be made to determine if the excessive heartache one is causing to another is a) deserved b) you are the judge/jury worthy of making such an assessment and c) relevant to your purpose – if it can be softened or avoided.

My greatest concern is the baggage – there’s another ding on the record, but traffic court isn’t an option to have this one removed. With this excess baggage, will others start treating me like the airlines – charging me for the carryons. Will they be weary of what my past brings and trepid in emotional encounters and extensions of feeling.

Relationships are not hard for me to find – in fact, I am void of any fears of ‘being alone’ or never dating again – that’s never been my issue. It’s the pool I’m nervous of. The pool that has murky water, jaded by negative personalities and disgruntled swimmers. I now must decide if I want to enter that pool.

It may be easier to just date the lifeguard instead.