Let me share with you some of the facts and figures I’ve collected over the years that have tried to define a relationship.
Like the 80/20 rule, where the 20% of things we dislike about our partner always seem bigger than the 80% of the things we like about them. Or how research shows that the ‘honeymoon’ stage of a relationship only lasts about a year. Or how about the one that says couples who are further apart in age are more likely to break up?
And my personal favorite: A significant percentage of breakups are caused by mood swings.
As if I could just throw us away on a whim.
And yet. For years I have violently rejected these ‘facts’; love was about me accepting all of you, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ve seen all of you and have loved all 100% of you. We’ve been together 3 years now – long enough for us to consider marriage, experts say! – and our four-year age gap has never prevented us from being mature about the practical things and being immature about the fun ones. It was all a matter of balance, you said, and I agreed.
And yet. I find myself turning to these ‘experts’ more and more, like a faithless follower returning to beg a god for their favor, asking to know where we’ve gone wrong, how to make it right again. Was it the 20% I’ve seen in you suddenly overshadowing the 80% I’ve loved for so long? But for every dismissive text you’ve sent me recently, there’s also the memory of your comforting words. For all the times you said you were too busy to see me nowadays, there’s also the memory of us cuddling on the sofa during a thunderstorm, you drawing a blanket protectively over my head. So no. It was more like 50/50, maybe. And I’m rightfully torn.
Perhaps if we tried to bring the honeymoon back? But the dates we’ve been on lately seem to lack the childlike excitement they used to hold, the unbridled fun we used to have when taking part in our shared interests.
We’ve talked about this; discussed the issue of our growing distance like the mature, civilized adults we were, regardless of age difference. “It’s not you, it’s me,” you’ve said several times. “And it’s not you, it’s me,” I’ve replied. But our efforts still seem futile, the relationship deities, experts in the field, have seemingly turned their backs on us.
Perhaps it’s karma for not taking the facts more seriously. Perhaps it’s a punishment for my complacency, for not having done enough reading about the relationship dogma. Or maybe, just maybe…
Maybe we’re just not worth saving anymore.