Saturday, October 15, 2005

It's not you, it's me

Earlier this year, when two people in the longest relationship that I knew broke up, I was taken aback. Suddenly nothing seemed to make sense. I realised that you may look at 'two people in love' with absolute awe and think how perfect they are together, and the next thing you know, they're walking separate ways, and you stand there bewildered, wondering what just happened in front of your eyes. I realised that these 'people in love' themselves can make all the plans they want, and believe that they have found their soulmate, and think that they're gonna live happily ever after, but in the end, what happens can leave them astonished and disoriented.

Human relationships are as complex as human feelings. What you feel for a person today may not be what you feel for him/her tomorrow. And yet somehow, I wonder if we can simply blame ourselves for it. What we feel is what we feel. Because that's the way it is. That's the way we are.

A year ago, I wouldn't have touched the topic of break-ups with a barge pole. To me, it was taboo to talk about it, to think about it, to even be in its vicinity. But then I have seen enough number of break-ups to have a more mature standpoint on it now.

The reasons why two people who were so in love once upon a time can break up, can be so many that it's mind-boggling. Here are just a few of the not-so-straightforward ones:

  • You're going out with person X. You realise that person Y is closer to you than X. You realise it's probably not fair to X that someone else is closer to you. You break up with X and get together with Y.
  • You realise that person Y is closer to you than X. You realise it's probably not fair to X that someone else is closer to you. You break up with X. But you don't get together with Y.
  • You were never going out with X. Just that one day you woke up and realised it.
  • You are way older than X. X seems like a kid at times. You don't see yourself living your entire life with X. You break up.
  • You are way younger than X. Sometimes you don't find anything in common with X. You don't see yourself living your entire life with X. You break up.
  • You have been together with X for many years now. When you wanted to get married, X did not. Now X wants to, and you don't want to be 'the person who waited around to be proposed to'. You waited for the proposal, and got your vengeance by breaking up.
  • You have been going out with X for over a decade. You wake up one day and ask yourself why. You break up.
  • X does something that changes the person you thought X to be. You break up.
  • You do something that changes the person X thought you to be. You break up.
  • You run out of conversations with X. You break up.
  • X does not let you want to be the person you are. You break up.
  • You don't want X to be the person X wants to be. You break up.
  • You and X never knew where the relationship was going. And now you know. Nowhere. You break up.

These are just a few that I have witnessed. The actual number of reasons (if at all there is one) is probably as complex as human nature.

Every second of the day, someone somewhere is breaking up. And others are judging them. They are taking sides. They are curious, "Hey, those two broke up?? What happened man??"

Does it really matter "what happened?"?

"What happened" is merely a story put forward to the curious public by the PR agencies (read close friends) of the respective parties. Because "what really happened" is something only the two people who broke up will understand. If they're lucky that is. Others will never get it. They can only try and speculate whom they can brand as 'the bad person'. Because branding one of the parties as the 'bad person' makes it easier for others to 'understand what happened and why', provides them with a certain 'closure'.

But maybe, just maybe, there was no 'bad person'. Maybe it was just two 'good persons' who realised they were not meant to be together.

The negativity associated with break-ups is what makes the topic taboo. Break-ups are not all bad. They are painful, yes, but they prepare us better for our lives ahead. And they help us make choices for our lives.

When two people break up, their common friends have a tough time. I have noticed that generally, guys tend to be able to hold the 'neutral friend' role much better than girls. Girls tend to pick a side and stick to it. Brand the other person as the 'bad one'.

When we go through a break-up, we don't need anyone to tell us that X was a bad person. We don't need anyone to pass judgement on the relationship or on the people involved. We don't need sappy idealistic views like "These things happen in life." or "X is the bad person." or "I told you you should have never gone out with him/her!"

We're hurting on the inside. And we don't need to hear this shit at that point.

At that point, irrespective of what happened or whose fault it was, all we need is our friends around us to love us for who we are.

And perhaps, to tell us that X did not deserve us.


virdi said...

me firsttttttttttttt



virdi said...

stupid blog... i am not commenting...

Anonymous said...

Nice thought sayesha! most of the time there won't be any clear explanation for a 'break-up'. i broke up from a long relationship when i realized i cannot be a 'special' friend of him. guess what happened after that, we became the 'best' friends after the breaking-up and not 'special' friends! we enjoy the best friendship status and we communicate better than when we were in a 'special' realtionship!

Anonymous said...

you write damn nice sayesha.. although i feel when it comes to break ups, may be they happen cos it just wasnt meant to be.. you could very well deserve Mr X, but things were destined to work out the way they did .. and soon enough, a new Mr X comes along .. I'm not trying to be a fatalist, but just amazed how some things are always "meant-to-be" while others, just dont work out the way we think they will.. anyway just my two cents on ur lovely post !

nuttysocrates said...

hmm the reasons seem fair enough -- about going out with X and being close to Y and hence breaking up ... as u point what u feel is what u feel ......


where does one stop this .... can this be practiced in marriage as well ? X is married to Y, but is closer to A and hence breaks up ...

If that is allowed, then i believe we would go back to older times where commitment was not a key issue as today ....

or is this only not reprehensible pre marriage .... in that case does it mean that a relation is not really for keeps unless marriage occurs ? do we need some social custom to enforce commitment ?

Thanu said...

Any given day I would take a break up instead of a Divorce years later. Great post. Agreed that break ups are not all that bad.

Rays Of Sun said...

Hey Sash,

I have seen people break up, but at the same time, in my family I have seen my closest cousin getting married to her boyfriend of 9 years!!!! As unimaginable as it sounds, thats the truth. That despite the fact that in such a long courtship period, she was in UK and he stayed in India. She went back for good coz thats what she wanted, thats where her heart was.
its wierd the way things happen for good/go sour! It ultimately depends on how much belief you have in the relationship to take it through!

popsicle toes said...

I can relate to not just one, but quite a few of those reasons - all for one person. Strange, huh? ;)


Anonymous said...

Very interesting subject. There's a multitude of things to mention here, and I believe if I start writing on this subject, it will become a thesis in no time :-)

I agree with everything you expressed.

In relationships, I feel there are as many factors that are Not within our control, as there are, which are within. It's not easy.
Even people, who seem to click so well, still have their unique challenges that they overcome everyday.

When circumstances and our inner worlds are changing all the time, it is not surprising that relationships change too. We are all growing everyday. We all have our own personal challenges too. Some grow with each other, others grow apart. And they can be two good people. Love is different from compatibility. A break-up is a setback that we can learn from. Not by becoming bitter, but by learning to be more aware in the future. It teaches different things to different people..

A break-up can happen because of a million different reasons and their complex interplay. Even the couple can't define it all, even if they tried. More than likely, they would even disagree with each other's reasons and would have different sides to the story. So why even open Pandora's box causing more pain and strain and confusion.

When someone breaks up, just be there for them....
feedback and other details come in the picture only when the person is ready to share..

Vikram said...

Me in a slight hurry to leave a meaningful comment. Have to rush, have a midterm in the next hour. But have a few things to say, you guys have to resist your incredible curosity until I return :D

Anonymous said...

Complex thing. Depressing.

Some ppl here have posted some wonderful points. The questions asked by nuttysocrates are very insightful -

where does one stop this... (brilliant!)

do we need some social custom to enforce commitment? (the more I think about this, the more I feel that 'yes' is the answer to this and sadly so)

I especially agree with Rays of Sun:
It ultimately depends on how much belief you have in the relationship to take it through!

(Sorry ns and ROS for copying your text, but I couldn't have said it any better! :P)

Rays Of Sun said...


Oye no problems!!

Sahil said...

Oye kudiya,

When you write posts like this, I'm forced to think that ladki mein dimaag hai. Somewhere, kahin na kahin there lurks some intelligence which pops out every now and then. ;)

I think the saddest thing about some people in relationships, is when they are in the relationship only for the sake of being in that relationship. If you lose the connection, the feeling for the other, and are only going out because you can't stand the thought of being alone - then that's just truly sad. And u're right, one day u'll wake up, and without reason you'll just break up.

Some very interesting points raised. Maybe there is no 'bad person' - but what of the guy who has a steady girlfriend and has affair(s) on the side. And eventually breaks up with the girl because of that? Wouldn't that be considered the 'bad person' - or is it ok as he got closer to someone other than his girlfriend. and if she's a better match, then he should have the right to be with who he wants to be? But anyway, my take on it all is - you have to be honest, and you have to be fair, and you shouldn't intentionally hurt others by your actions. Yes, in a break-up someone will get hurt, but as long as u can put ur hand on your heart and say you've done nothing wrong - then u're fine.

ps - Thanks for the answer to my comment in ur previous post. Being a 41 year old 'oldie' perhaps I was missing the old times. Blog on my dear, I'm here for keeps.

Rays Of Sun said...

# Sash,

You got me thinking! My next blog post is in the dont sue me if ideas run parallel;

. : A : . said...

VEry interesting. Quite an exhaustive list.

Bhole said...

Sayesha...I believe its all about destiny/karma.


Pi said...

Sayesha : Gossip Time when we talk, lot of gossip. ;)

Vikram said...

According to me, a break-up is as personal a issue as the moments shared between the couple when they were together. Ideally, friends of the couple shouldn't involve themselves in the issue unless asked for. If one of them is on the verge of taking an extreme step, then you have to cross the line and see to it the person is fine. Otherwise he/she should be left on his own. Every wound heals on its own but the time taken for healing depends on the gravity of the wound. The core idea is leave them be and probably hear them out but don't make conclusions for them.

As Sayesha rightly pointed out, nobody knows the actual reason for the break up. So why do people force their ideas and inputs onto others?

Sayesha said...

Thanks, man. Exactly what I needed today.

Lucky you :)

#Anon gal,
Thanks, dear. And yes, I do believe in the 'meant to be' theory. The happiest couple on earth could break up without reason just because it was not meant to be. And I have learnt to accept that.

You have brought up a very important point. Marriage. It's too big a thing. There's such a huge difference between breaking up a relationship and breaking a marriage... it's scary... what is not too bad becomes despicable after marriage? Scares the hell outta me man... I have not figured out the whole marriage deal in my own head yaar... some day if I will, I'll write about it I suppose...

Wish it were so straightforward. What if you're married and one of the reasons occur and you wanna "break up" with your spouse? Marriage makes a divorce out of a break-up. And that's scary shit. Sigh...

I always admire pple who can take a long distance long term relationship thru. Kudos to your cousin. :)

I know exactly what you mean, girl.

Your comment is a post in itself. Well said. :)

Oye get your ass back here and tell us!! :)

Yeah, I agree. Nutty's point is very scary, isn't it?
ps: And it's okay to quote pple as long as you mention the source (editor speaking). Sometimes, someone just says something in the exact words we would have said it, isn't it?

True. Some people are in a relationship because they like the feel of being in one. Others are in a relationship because they like the feeling of being loved so much by another person. Both of which are not good enough reasons to stay on in the relationship.

I still don't agree about the whole 'bad person' thing. Yes, it is wrong to have an "affair" and one should break up with the first person before that happens. But sometimes the lines are fuzzy, and you're not sure at what point you'd already having an affair... could have been a really close friend who started becoming more special than just another friend, and one fine day, you find yourself in love with this other person... of course, when you do realise it, you break up with your original partner, but then you're already a bad person by then... we can't just state the exact date and time when such things happen... No pun intended, lekin kashtiyan toh sahil par aakar bhi doob sakti hain, nahin?

What if the person just feels that he will be much happier with the other person? After all, aren't we all living first for our own happiness, and then for others'? Aren't we all trying to stop ourselves from getting hurt before stopping others? The only person we will spend our life with, is ourself. And we have to keep that person happy, isn't it?

Human beings are so restless. We're always running after something that is a mirage, that was never really there. Perhaps it's time we should look at what we have, and what is really with us...

Gal you talkin' to an editor here. You write about this and behind bars you go! Any lawyers around??
ps: Kidding re! Blog away, babe! :P

. : A : .,
Thanks :)
I'm sure there are a million more though.

Yeah, destiny boils down to my 'meant to be' theory. we're so helpless, aren't we?

#American Pi,
Catchya next weekend, buddy! :)

Arre tu waapas aa gaya? :)
I agree with you. Sometimes, after a break up, you may need to be alone, or you may need some silent company, or you may need to talk, or you may wanna listen to certain things. Only close friends will know what exactly you need and provide that.

Rays Of Sun said...

Oye Sash,

Naah! You are dealing with a scientist here, no plagarism allowed here:O

BTW, here dead confused about your profession...
Few days back, you commented on my blog that you were an engineer?? Now editor?? Girl plzz resolve the mystery...:)

BTW, I have posted my views..kuch likhna chaha, kuch aur likh deeya..ha! thats what they say about the "power of pen"..Err..keyboard!

Sayesha said...


Hahahahaha! That's the story of my life, girl. Engineer by degree and editor by profession. :P

You can read about how that happened here :)

ritzkini said...

too complicated for lost in the maze of X and Y's...last i heard,they represented chromosomes !

Anonymous said...

@ Tarzan...kamaal hai...of coz you would keep it simple in the jungle but thought this topic would be right up your alley :) as in jodiya jo banti hai, not toota hua ones :(

@ Sayesha...yaar...itni gum sum kyon? Grab some popcorn and a good comedy film and all will be right with the world again :)

PuNeEt said...

hiii Sayesha...

I hope u dont mind me saying that
I luv ur attitude...
(next to ur writing ;-)

But maybe, just maybe, there was no 'bad person'. Maybe it was just two 'good persons' who realised they were not meant to be together
this is sooo damn true...
sometimes there is no bad person but yes at times there is...

When two people break up, their common friends have a tough time.
So true... I can vouch for that...
Recently handled one...

Actually u gave me a topic to blog...
I would like to give link to ur blog n pick some extracts too... if u have no issues...

I luvd this post...

Take care

Humjoli said...

hey sash, when i saw this blog in the morning I had the same comments (or no comments) as of Virdi. (you can frown upon me on that) But after a while my subconscious mind was working automatically to find out the reasons of break up between people who were so in love with each other just a while ago. (you give masala to think automatically)

I think the main reason of split in any genuine relationship is that we start taking certain things for granted. Like the time we use to spend or the attention we give in initial stage of any relationship is not the same as time goes by. Thats when the paradigm starts changing about the person. and then comes a stage when you start thinking 'bas, bahut ho gaya' now i need to look for a change. this yearning for change ultimately results in break up.

(this break up theory applies only on genuine relationship in which 2 good people are involed, means none of them is trying to deceive or do anything harmful deliberately)

ps: i might write something on this issue in my blog soon. by the way did you read the comments on my blog?

Anonymous said...

x,y , x,y ...itne equation to maine algebra mein bhi nahin dekhe...
wait a minute.. wo algebra hota tha ya geometry??

Anonymous said...

Hey Sayesha,
I have been a silent n a regular reader of ur posts and this particular post couldn't have come at a better(?) time...right now, i myself am going thru a breakup of my relation of six yrs..yea,it did turn ugly and ended on a bitter note but now when i think abt it, am happier that this happened before we got married rather than go thru a divorce..maybe there are better things in store for me and maybe i was meant to go thru this..

And I must say ur blog rocks big time..keep up the good work, gal!

Ravi said...

Did I ever mention before that you have the maturity I've rarely seen before?

A break up is a thing that has happenned. As friends, we rarely have any power of changing the outcome of a break up. So what is most important is that we make the breaking up parties feel comfortabe about the break up. Its important to divert their attention from the break up to other things in life. Anyway it is better that they broke up now than finding out later that they were not meant to be together.

I think all the relations society gives name to in life are an effort to enforce commitment not just "marraige". But if you think about it, its not natural. It is an artificial pressure applied by society to enforce commitment. I do not like that idea. I believe any relation should have its own natural strenght to stay put

Rays Of Sun said...

Tu to role model ban gayee hai:D

I will check that post:)

Pradyot said...

it is as simple as this... you live, you break up! there is no avoiding it.. and there are no justifiable reasons for it.

Animesh said...

Nice article,

Like the way you geekily use X and Y.

Some rants from my side too... have been thinking for some time as to why people get together in the first place if they have to break up?

It is known that girls and guys brains are wired differently, and if you come to think of it, it is very easy to _not_ like someone of the opposite sex judging by their expertize at skills that we hold so dear [e.g. I sometime feel angry at my female friends who cannot read maps at all!].

Yet, the hormones take over at the opportune moment. You start seeing the difference as "complementary" as opposed to "antagonistic". Somehow, the girl a guy is attracted to starts to look more like himself, and which guy would not want to date someone who is similar to him in some ways, yet complementary in others. And there is a reason for this - apparently guys secrete estrogen and girls secrete testosterone during courtship - nature's way of making sure people fall in love and procreate!

Unfortunately, the hormonal high does not last forever, and then it is the turn of the maturity of the individual to take over. I agree with the idea that if you constantly look for a better person, there is no end to this - it is like looking for a better PC.

All relationships are put to a test once the initial honeymoon phase is over [and many other times], some pass the test, some don't. That's life.

As far as "good" and "bad" people are concerned, I stick to the maxim of "hate the behavior, not the person".

Luv and Luck,

Unknown said...

True that!

I always maintain that soulmates don't exist. So my hypothesis is life is just a string of relationships spent in the hope of finding your soultmate. But soulmates don't exist. Hence the circle of life continues. But its still fun nonetheless...God bless lovers everywhere, coz its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Sayesha said...

Yeh dil ki baatein hai, tu nahin samjhega. Go back to your treetop. :)

#A Jane,
Time lagta hai yaar :) Not gumsum anymore... tho' it's mainly cos my assignment is killing me! :P

Kamaal ke insaan ho. Taareef karte ho aur kehte ho 'I hope u dont mind me saying that'?? Haha! :P
ps: Looking forward to reading your post on the topic :)

You too? Ok post soon then, wanna read your views too :)
ps: Yes, I read the comments.

I think you and Tarzan aka RItzkini are soulmates man! :D

Honoured that my blog helped in whatever small way it could. Take care girl, and anytime you wanna talk, just drop me a holler! :)


//Did I ever mention before that you have the maturity I've rarely seen before?

Actually no. :)
Most of the time you (and Ashish!) make fun of me as if I were a 2-year-old! :@

//It is an artificial pressure applied by society to enforce commitment. I do not like that idea.

Well said, my friend.

Hehe... zindagi kahan kahan le jaati hai, nahin? :)

You summed up my post in three sentences. Wow! (Makes me wonder -- am I long-winded or what??)

Welcome to Sayeshaz. And thanks for sharing the enlightening views. Amazing stuff. :)


//So my hypothesis is life is just a string of relationships spent in the hope of finding your soultmate.

I'd echo that, except for the "spent in the hope of finding your soultmate" part. I'd like to fully live every relationship that exists in my life, without "searching for" or "hoping to find" my "soulmate". Like I said, I believe that each of us has seven soulmates, and there's no rule that says we have to meet any or all of them in our lifetime. :)

Siddhu said...

Nice, and extremely coherent post! No other comments :) - cannot make any other comments, if you get wha i mean.

nuttysocrates said...

hmm waiting for the next post :-w

rimjhim said...

well written post sayesha..

a few more observations..(basically for relationship 5-6 yrs)

->After a relationship of 5-6 years..mostly it is the girl who finds sm problem in the relationship///and she initiates this break-off process.....I ve played the role of this "common frnd" many-a-times..but not even once did a see the guy initiating break-off!!!!!

->In all the break-off I saw..girl was alves gud luking and charming kinda!

->When a girl initiates this process//its 2-3 mnths past thinking that she gives to this step of hers..Unfortunately guy dosent have a single idea whats goin on in girl's mind till the moment when the girl declares that she wants a break off!!!!


Anonymous said...

tu nahin to aur sahi. aur nahin to koi aur sahi.

i love biteme. i love parasite too. choices, choices.

don't tell the hobbit i was here.

Unknown said...

I roughly meant the same, don't know why it sounds different. *befuddled look*

7 soulmates? Bless the thought, and bless you for saying it!

Phoenix said...

hey iw as just about to pot something exactly on this...arbit reaons for breakups!
bu u are first!

good post

Sayesha said...

Yup, got it. Thanks :)

It's there. :)

I don't think we can generalise that girls initiate the break-up... a break-up involves both, irrespective of who "initiates" it. I think the instances that you came across were very similar... but trust me, there's more :)

//tu nahin to aur sahi. aur nahin to koi aur sahi.
Good approach! ;)

The 7 soulmates thing is just my own theory, don't go by it, I have too many theories man! :P

Looking forward to your post :)

Unknown said...

the problem with most people is that they're living at a very superficial level! they don't understand the depth of true emotions but instead just want to be in love!...And most people are in love with the very concept of 'love'!!

Anonymous said...

Just loved some of the lines in your blog...
"But maybe, just maybe, there was no 'bad person'. Maybe it was just two 'good persons' who realised they were not meant to be together.

The negativity associated with break-ups is what makes the topic taboo. Break-ups are not all bad. They are painful, yes, but they prepare us better for our lives ahead. And they help us make choices for our lives."

I wish everybody understands that....

About marriage.... its better to break-off and give little (or more) pain to everyone associated rather than just hooking on in a relationship for the sake of others and give pain to yourself for life long. Life moves on and with time everyone learns to live without the "missing person"....

The first thing i want to tell my parents is that "He is NOT a bad person, its just that we are not meant for each other..." Hope they will understand.....

Sayesha said...

#Vik H,
//And most people are in love with the very concept of 'love'!!

I couldn't agree more!

It's difficult for others to understand what the two people had and don't have. But as long as you know it in your heart , nothing else matters.

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! »