“How did we ever lose communication?
How did we ever lose each other’s sound?
Baby, if you wanna, we can fix the situation
Maybe we can stop the rain from coming down”
Prince — “In this bed I scream”
If ever I need inspiration to write, Prince can generally provide it. I was putting together a list of songs for another purpose and stumbled across these lyrics. I gave pause to consider relationships that went wrong, perhaps with no crucial reason. The parties reached an outcome that perhaps neither wanted, yet they find the relationship over with closure nonexistent. Time goes by, heads have cooled, the question is, “Can you go back again?”
Maybe it was circumstances, distance, inability to communicate, finances. The first question is, is anything different now than before? If the same thing that broke you up in the first place is still staring you in the face. How can you reasonably expect a different outcome? Have obstacles been removed or (much harder to determine) have the individuals matured. Maybe you see a high school sweetheart at a reunion and are able to successfully rekindle a romance. But that would be two people who have grown through experiences and are now totally different people with some common experiences. If each is able to take the time to honestly assess who the other is now and not see them as they once were, they might have a shot.
What about exes, spouses and otherwise. If you had a long-term relationship as adults. Is your history a plus or a minus? If there was infidelity, why would you expect things would be different a second time around? What about other kinds of abuse? Is the devil you know truly better than the one you don’t?
I’m constantly pushed by those following my writing to open up more about my personal experiences and share my story. After my first wife and I split up after almost twenty years, there was a moment when dropping off children where I suggested we might start dating again. She asked, “Why?” and the answer wasn’t. “I love you so much I can’t live without you and I want you back.” The suggestion was spurred by a loneliness that would soon pass. Neither of us spoke of it again although I suspect it might have generated a bit of conversation between her and her girlfriends. It would have been a reconciliation for a lot of the wrong reasons and would likely have ended with another crash and burn.
Are there past relationships that might be reconsidered? Unless you were one of the two women I married, there are fond memories somewhere that might prove kindling for a fire. There are relationships that never quite got off the ground and one could wonder, “what if?” Then there were those relationships for which there was no solid foundation then and none now.
Thomas Wolfe wrote a novel, “You Can’t Go Home Again.” He wrote, “Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.” Sometimes looking back is freezing up, doing what might seem easier, rather than moving forward and reaching for new stars. Then again, if your previous relationship was characterized by honesty, communication, and something more than lust. If you can honestly say that what once stood between you has been or could be resolved. It might prove that there is enough of a foundation upon which one can build? We each have to follow our own hearts and mind, just make sure your eyes are wide open.