There are fewer things in life that cause more hurt, pain, consternation and disappointment; in unequal measure; than heartbreak. The simple act of being emotionally attached to and dependent on “someone special” can at once become your greatest strength and debilitating weakness. Life is seemingly hunky-dory and a bed-of-roses until cracks begin appearing in one’s relationship; initially fortified by trust, loyalty, understanding and of course, love. That is when human nature’s characteristic “fight” or “flight” instincts are usually triggered. Does one stick around to mend fences and consolidate on the progress made thus far? Or; does one save time, effort, energy and heartache that is usually invested in such “salvage missions”? The above conundrum assumes a more frantic hue when those cracks gradually or expeditiously become gaping chasms filled with misunderstanding and blame-throwing. What does one do in a situation like that?

There’s one school of thought that vociferously yet ambiguously maintains that you ought to stick by your partner through rough weather and calm if you believe it is “worth it”. That appears to be sage advice on the face of it. However, arriving at a conclusion such as that is a personal challenge and remains highly subjective. Factors such as the duration of the relationship in question, past dating history and current life priorities ought to be taken note of; amongst others. There’s another school of thought that encourages you to walk away from it all as perhaps no good is liable to come from putting up a dogged resistance when the writing is on the wall. This might smell of a defeatist mentality tinged by pessimism but who today has the luxury to invest so much emotional energy into something that might crumble at the next bus stop? Simply put, it becomes a case of exiting the scene with minimal damage; emotional and otherwise.

Either way, with some amount of emotional investment in any relationship comes an undeniable degree of vulnerability. Some would deem that element to be one of the fundamental blocks on which any potentially healthy and sustainable relationship is founded. However, being vulnerable is always a double-edged sword. It opens one up to a plethora of possibilities that can tug at your heartstrings, this way and that. But, does that mean that one should shun the idea of letting one’s guard down to an extent where it comes back to haunt them somewhere down the line? I don’t think so. However, whilst saying that, I can imagine how recurring incidents and failed relationships can majorly deter an individual from “putting themselves out there”.

The bottomline is no relationship in the history of relationships is smooth sailing. Love can be an intoxicatingly heady cocktail that makes you feel on top of the world one night and wakes you up with a crippling hangover the next morning. Heartbreak and hurt is inevitable. It is an “occupational hazard” one signs up for when entering the haloed arches of a potentially long term relationship. Flaws and faults shall abound. Acceptance, compromise and forgiveness become the cornerstones of a realistic relationship scenario. The inevitability of it all makes it pointless to deny the same or run away from ground reality. So, go ahead. Take a chance. It’s perfectly alright to make that ultimate leap of faith. As with anything in life, you win some and you lose some. However, don’t allow the fear of failure or heartbreak to get in the way of something that “could have been”. That is a regret you do not want to have down the line.

I am hardly an expert in this arena. For that matter, none of us are. It is the constant cycle of making mistakes and (hopefully) learning from them that makes life the fascinating journey of glorious uncertainties that it is; heartbreak or no heartbreak.