Her mother responds with the line, “don’t be. We’ve just come to the end of our story.”

Brilliant. This line is so simple and honest. I believe it’s the line that sums up the core truth of all human relationships (though particularly romantic ones).

That is what every romantic relationship is, though. A story. And all stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Most romances tend to go something like this: They meet. Sparks fly. They begin dating. Hopes are high, hearts aflutter, dreams fill their respective heads, romance runs abound. Texts and emails are compiled and saved. The two cannot get enough of one another, yearning to talk every day, to see one another as much as possible.

The reason that number is so small is because only one thing is certain in life. That is change.

Nothing will ever stay the same, despite us trying desperately to make it so. In Buddhist culture, impermanence is the only permanent thing. There is a natural progression, to life, to relationships, to seasons, etc. Things grow and bloom, then they wither, and eventually come to a close. This is a normal, natural, and unavoidable aspect of life.

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”

Our society has built up incredibly high expectations for both romances and marriages alike. Our romantic partner is supposed to fulfill us socially, sexually, financially, and emotionally. As in friendships, our media strongly perpetuates the idea that our long term romantic relationships should last “forever.” We promise to spend our entire life with someone, no matter what. And if for some reason, that changes, we are deemed the ultimate failure. It’s a ridiculously narrow scenario.

What if our intimate relationships don’t exist to survive forever, but because they’re to teach us valuable lessons?

What if our relationships are meant to be fulfilling, beautiful learning experiences, something that fills our heart and changes our life, but ultimately are a temporary experience (of which the time duration is uncertain)?

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”

Fervent writer. Ravenous reader. Impassioned with words. Relationship researcher. Social Scientist. Social Justice Advocate. Author. www.brookeenglish.com

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