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4 Reasons We Grow Apart After a Breakup

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4 Reasons We Grow Apart After a Breakup

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I recently had a bittersweet dream about a girl I was once close to. We were in the water and she had turned into a fish and I couldn't find her. I explained the dream to the girl and we both laughed, and I even admitted that I had a "feeling of profound sadness" when I couldn't find her (as the fish) in the water.

My dream reminded me that I still have feelings for this girl. I felt a sense of disappointment in myself and my stupid subconscious for harboring the "still caring" feelings. Then I did the dangerous "looking back" at old e-mails. It reminded me of the chaotic ups and downs we went through.

After waking up from my dream, which was beautiful and sensual in a tropical setting sort of way, I had mixed feelings of disappointment that things didn't work out, and confusion at why I had these once-dormant feelings suddenly reawakening. The frustrating irony of dating:

The closer two people get, the further apart they'll be when things turn sour.

I guess it's tough to catch lightning in a bottle: the elusive mutual breakup. When a relationship burns out and is void of passion, mutual breakups are possible. How else do you explain two people who are able to walk away without an explosion?

It takes a spark to create this explosion, and it stands to reason that the most passionate relationships end in fury and fire rather than slowly fading away. After passionate relationships, we often hurt each other, ripping the union apart in a process faster than it took to put together. 

Here are reasons that we fall so far after we build ourselves so high:

Sex

It's almost impossible to simplify the results of sex, unless you're able to separate emotion from the physical act. It deepens the relationship and it adds a layer of intimacy that you only allow a handful of people in your life (of course "handful" is a relative term).

Once things go wrong, we are forced to question whether it was a good idea to have sex, and the pain of separation is more intense given the physical intimacy you shared. 

Jealousy

Once you're done, the possibility of someone having what you had with that person hurts on every level in addition to sexually.

Pride

It's immature, but sometimes a false sense of superiority develops after you break up. We want them to know we are the stronger one and we are getting along just fine without them. You do your best to be "over" someone, even when you're not over them. You used to be in a relationship that was full of compromise, and after the relationship ends, no one is willing to compromise. 

Risk

You cannot go back to an amicable relationship with that person because you run the risk of your attraction taking over again. "Reinventing" your feelings is nearly impossible, because of the disaster in your past; you don't want to give it a chance of happening all over again.

And even with blowup after blowup, this girl from my dream and I gave in to our attraction repeatedly. Finally, we just got away from each other, minimizing the chances for attraction to take over and thus minimizing the blowups whenever things came to a head.

When you care about a person passionately, that passion draws you together when things are good. When things go bad, that same passion creates the explosion, and causes a strange distance between you. The ironic thing about dating is that two people who once cared deeply for each other, shared a bed and merged lives, are torn far apart by the very intimacy that brought them together.

So, with each ending, that little box in our subconscious where we stash our "I still care about them" feelings gets a little fuller.

What are your thoughts on this "once so close, then so far apart" phenomenon? Do you stash your feelings away so that you can get away from a person for the good of both of you? Do you still have feelings for the guys with whom you've had mutual breakups, or passionate/fiery ones?


Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens

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