When I was younger, I used to hate when the grown folks would reminisce about the “good ole’ days.” Now that I’m older, I catch myself doing the same far more often than I would like to admit. It’s natural to have fond memories of times gone by, except when it comes to past dysfunctional relationships.
Recently, one of my sister-friends asked to stop by my house unexpectedly. I could tell from the tone in her voice that she needed to talk. Upon her arrival, she told me that she’d just picked up the last of her belongings from her old home where her ex-boyfriend still lives. She was feeling a sense of melancholy and missing the relationship, which is understandable after a final act like that one.
“Reminisce from a distance,” I cautioned. True, she’s been single for about two years. (Yes, it took her two years to get the rest of her stuff). And, it is so easy to get caught up in what was when you’re single. Believe me, I have done the same thing. But, what you can’t do is romanticize a situation that was a bad one in reality a bad one. There was a reason why you broke up and you should always keep that in mind when your spirit starts floating backward in time.
As I saw my sister-friend drifting in to past love la la land, I began to bring up all of the various things that were wrong with her relationship. She and her ex argued incessantly. During their time together, I had seen my sister-friend go from a strong, independent and successful woman to a dependent, unemployed mess. It had taken her the entire two years to regain her footing and get back on her two feet. In so many ways, the relationship was to her detriment as a person, which is why she left him in the first place.
I hated to bust her false romantic bubble, but she was in need of some tough love and a little memory joggling. As I recounted story after story that exhibited the failures of the relationship she began to snap out of it. By the end of our conversation, she was feeling more resolved about the closure and less remorseful about the break-up. It was one of those relationships that needed to end for everyone involved. Although they had remained friendly, there was no way they should ever consider getting back together unless they both changed dramatically.
When you’re single, it is so easy to get caught in a web of romanticized memories of a failed relationship. Sometimes, there may be room to revisit the relationship if the basis for the break-up was circumstantial. However, most times, you broke up for a reason, and honestly, it’s best to just reminisce from a distance.
Wishing you LOVE & CEASLESS JOY!
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Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.