“Get over him!” “She’s not worth it, man!” “You’re better off without him!”
If you have been on the receiving end of one, or all of these paltry attempts to cheer you up after a break up, then read on fellow love sojourner. It can be a hard pill to swallow, but some relationships are better left untouched after the expiration date. Much like a sweaty carton of milk, with a clearly labeled date of no return, we have to learn to stop digesting the poison of rancid relationships.
“Here, taste this...it tastes awful!” Why do we do that? Why do we smell or taste something disgusting, and then immediately shove it into the innocent faces of our unsuspecting loved ones, forcing them to suddenly become sick to their stomachs? There is actually a word for it. It’s called schadenfreude: a German term meaning “pleasure derived from the misfortune of others,” and we all fall suspect to that at one time or another. It’s also called universality, where we want to know that we are not the only one having that experience.
I am sure there is a purely scientific and thrilling pin-pointed moment in the putrefying food process, where the morsel of food or the container of milk goes from edible to horrendously awful for you. The same thing happens in relationships. One day, you wake up, gaze lovingly over at your partner, and then suddenly have the urge to look a little closer, as you realize that ever so faintly, just beginning to glow on their forehead is a date. Now you’re looking at them in terms of an ending, as opposed to a budding future together, and everything starts to go sour....literally.
When you let a relationship go way past its “use by” date, it’s almost as though you are poisoning yourself, and you will get horrendously sick; the kind of sickness that weakens you for years after, and will affects you in twinges in the future.
Here’s where the poison comes in. Once a relationship starts to have signs of going bad, and you allow yourself to stay in it, every day you start to resemble less and less the strong person that you are, and you can see the role of victim take over your body. You will forfeit your dignity just to feel the comfort and familiarity of staying with your partner. Your daily dose of poisonous thoughts becomes like an addiction, and once that starts, it can be one of the hardest challenges to break that cycle.
But then, there will come a moment. A moment where the bottom follows out, and you will have to deal with the impending situation. So, what do you do? You let it go. You let the relationship and all of its deadly side effects go. When you stop convincing yourself that you can tolerate the stress, and stop putting the poison to your lips, you will find that each day you became stronger and healthier. You can allow yourself to wallow in your sadness for a bit, and then, each day, release a little more of the sadness into the world, and replace it with a positive thought of how happy you can become.
After some time, and yes just like any illness, there is a recovery process to this, you will develop a stomach of iron, and a heart only a little worse for the wear, and you will be able to laugh about your situation. The lesson will clearly resound. If anyone comes up to you and shoves something rancid in your face, imploring you to try it, you should immediately knock the container out of their hands. We all agree that poison is bad for us, right? Then, pay attention to the expiration date on your relationship, and start pumping your stomach right away. Call your version of poison control, and don’t get off the phone until you’re all done up-chucking the crap. When you stagger out of the bathroom, you will finally recognize the relief.
All Good Things