I was hanging out with some friends when one of them started talking about expiry dates. She said it seemed the more organic the product, the shorter the expiry date.
And this made me wonder: does this same thing happen in relationships? The more organic and natural a relationship is, the more honest we are, the sooner the expiry date?
If we “force things” can a love story last longer just because we want it to? Are there such things as artificial ingredients we can put in a relationship to make it last longer?
What are those? You may ask. Well I wondered that myself as well. Long distance, sex after a fight and so many more! But are they useful?
Let’s go back to the story. My friend put the example of apples. Those bought in the supermarket (with more artificial things) lasted quite a while, however the organic ones lasted just a few days.
It made me think about what was going through in my life. I was seeing a man who I really liked.
I didn’t know if it was love, I just knew I truly care about him. I didn't know what the future held, but I knew that I wanted to find out.
I was sure I didn’t want an expiry date on this story.
I wished I could have known what he felt. Did he want an expiry date?
We were not a one night stand, but we were not anything else, we were something in between. I wanted to erase the expiry date marked by my trip, and he... well I have no one idea what he wanted.
What happens when one part wants to ignore the expiry date but the other one doesn’t? Heartbreak. And I felt it right there and then, when I was leaving.
I tried to extend the expiry date as much as I could. I would text, call and keep in contact. Any way I could make him not forget about me, I would do. However did that make me less of a feminist? Was I putting artificial ingredients on an already expired relationship (or whatever that was)?. Yes I was, however I was not less of a feminist.
Sometimes I repeat to myself that following my feelings doesn’t make me less of a feminist, but in this case, it was making me unhappy.
Longing for him when he was already ready to buy a brand new fruit, was the moment I realized that it was not only a question of being a feminist, but as well of loving and respecting myself. It was time to let go. I had to admit the fruit was rotten and that expiry dates cannot be ignored.
However, can expiry dates truly me respected by the heart? Probably not. The heart wants what the heart wants. And obviously our hearts wanted different things. It was time to heal for me, and for him it was the right time to realize that respecting an invented expiry date was making him miss out on the most beautiful fruit he could have ever gotten.
He probably didn’t realize that, but I healed, with time and patience, accepting that in a relationship there isn’t a fixed expiry date, but two, one for each person. The one that thinks the fruit will last longer is the one that will get his/her heart broken.
And that is ok, because isn’t that part of relationships? Whether we want to create or ignore an expiry date for a relationship, the heart will decide when it is truly rotten and should be thrown out. In the meanwhile, we can only hope to not ever have an expiry date.