Essence of a Relationship


It happens from time to time, sometimes far more often than I would like. I think about and I miss a person that I once referred to as “The most important person in my life”.
This particular woman was either the FIRST woman I ever truly loved or the ONLY woman that I ever “truly” loved. I believe both are true.
Typically when there is a parting in ways in a relationship there is very little thought (on my part) about the past. Depending on the circumstances I don’t harbor a grudge nor do I pine for “lost love”. The end is the end, simply put.

Maybe it was because of the intensity of emotion in this particular relationship that won’t let me forget. Maybe it was because in most cases my relationships ended on a sour note or just faded away, whereas this one was halted abruptly and without warning.
I have never found anyone that has had any compassion for my situation, during or after this particular relationship as it was an affair.

I think the reason that I keep thinking back is because I never felt that I gave this woman a real explanation as to why I ended it quickly and without warning.
I had an opportunity for growth somewhere else and it took me until that point to finally accept that the potential life that I imagined her and me sharing was in fact just a dream. She once referred to our time together as being the “essence” of a real relationship. Nothing could be truer. That never stops me from wondering on occasion just what the “real” version might have been like.

I feel a great deal of emotional response to a “poignant” romantic situation. If “love” causes me to feel so much joy that it hurts, it will leave a greater mark, a far more lasting impression than a “balanced” love. To me, my relationship with this woman was the epitome of the story of Romeo & Juliet. We were star-crossed lovers, our relationship doomed from the start, yet perpetuated by the fact that the “essence” of our relationship was undeniably pleasurable.

I consider myself to be an intelligent individual and I have “my head on my shoulders” when it comes to most things. Statements like, “She took my breath away” are simply an author’s means of depicting emotion and not something that “really” happens, yet with this woman I think I felt every author’s “impression” of love in real-time.
In the beginning it was two people looking for a friend in the other but over time it became much more. On top of the thrill of being in her presence there was always the excitement of what the future might bring. We used to walk in the park and dream of the day when we would be old and grey, sitting on a park bench, feeding the squirrels and still being very much in love.

When I look at the two of us realistically as opposed to romantically there is a much colder reality. I had met a woman who was only living under the same roof as her husband, they had no relationship, nor had they for 5 years previous to our meeting. She said they were staying together because her husband was sick and needed someone to take care of him. As time went on, her tolerance of his abuse started to decline and she was talking about moving out on her own. I was really excited about her doing this for her own peace of mind as well as this being an opportunity for “us” to have greater freedom to grow our relationship.

It never happened. She told me that she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to “make ends meet” and didn’t want to be in a situation where she would lack the luxuries that she was accustomed to. Instead they would sell their house, pay off any debts and put themselves in a far more “liquid” situation where future decisions could be made without having any “baggage”.

It turns out they bought another house together, then an investment property, then a new car and finally they went away for a trip to Bali for her husband’s 50th birthday. It does take me a while at times to realize the “truth” of things and in this case it took me far too long. When I “woke up” I realized that our “relationship”, this relationship that was by far the most emotionally intense that I had ever experienced was just like she had said, an “essence”.
I don’t blame her for her choices. I can understand her rationale, there was far more at stake from her side than just a simple decision. She was used to living in a house of cards where her decisions were based on the “financial” better good of all involved. She was used to the potential fall-out from her family should she step out of line when it came to life choices, there was a huge cultural difference between the two of us. She once told me that money was on the same level in the hierarchy of needs as food and water. According to the graph that I looked at, love doesn’t even make the same grade.

I was not in a position to offer her any financial stability nor in any way would I meet her family’s expectations. In the movies the actors would throw caution to the wind and follow their hearts. In her more down-to-earth thinking she chose to remain within her comfort zone, regardless of how (emotionally) uncomfortable it made her feel. The only thing that I could offer her was the one that I had given her all along…love. In the big picture, what is love? An essence. It doesn’t pay the bills.
So I found myself in a very sad situation. I was in love with a woman, one that I knew loved me as well, but she would not take a major risk for that love. I had no choice but to look elsewhere or remain in a situation where I would always have to be a third.

It happened rather suddenly that I had an opportunity to form a relationship with another woman whose hierarchy of needs was more closely matched to my own. Where I would have loved to maintain my friendship with the first woman it was impossible. Impossible because it would be unfair to the woman that I am with, impossible as my current partner is VERY jealous and would never accept that I was “just friends” with a former lover and impossible because I never stopped loving the one I was no longer with. ( I don’t think I could handle the emotional strain)

I miss her. I miss our friendship. I really wish that there was a way that I could still have a connection with her, one that didn’t cause any harm to others in our lives but I can’t see it. She said once that some people “search their whole life for what we share” in our bond, our friendship, our love, yet never find it. I would like to add that some people that have experienced what we shared spend the rest of their lives fondly remembering that friendship.
So here I am almost two years later, my current relationship is good (great even) yet unlike any other past “love” this particular woman haunts me. I deliberately do not think of her but at times her “essence” invades my thoughts and I let my mind wander back…to a time when my dreams were unfettered and real. To a park, walking hand in hand with the woman that I so loved, everything was right with the world and nothing could stop us, nothing could break our bond or diminish our love….except reality itself.

Originally written in 2009

3 comments on “Essence of a Relationship”

  1. This is very poignant. I understand that intense, overriding love that takes your breath away. I also understand the star-crossed lovers thing. Your post made me understand even more what K means when he says “you jump, I jump.”

  2. You relationship with K. (I read your blog regularly) reminds me of this past relationship of mine. I truly HOPE for you that your turns out better than mine. The hopeless romantic side of me would love to hear that a “star-crossed” lovers “thing” actually came to be a match made in Heaven. I’m rooting for you!

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