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So what's on your mind?
Honestly? I know this is super personal but every now and then I think about that chat we had a long time ago when you ended your last relationship
I just really appreciated how much you were able to open up
and I was wondering if we could talk about hearbreak
Oh of course
It's so easy to love in the beginning and in the middle
But we're never taught or learn how to love in the end
I think that's the hardest thing for any breakup
Because it requires ending something like that for you to really understand how much it hurts physically and mentally - nothing else can prepare you for it
Heartbreak is withdrawal from the thing you were addicted to
You don't have to be a neuroscientist to know that
"how to love in the end" — what do you mean?
It's the idea of paying attention to why a relationship ends
Giving it the respect it deserves instead of lighting a fire and burning it to the ground
Anger is obviously part of it, and if you let it, so will resentment
If relationships are trains that get you to parts of your life
Some have a terminal station where you get off and switch tracks
You mentioned that being in a relationship is like being "addicted" to something
that sounds unhealthy
It can be
But in some ways it's no different than having a coffee to start the day, over a long time, and then stopping cold turkey
some relationships burn hot and bright and release the kind of adrenaline and intoxicatingly sweet addictive qualities
If you only feel that way with that person, and then when it stops, you have to account for that hole it leaves behind in what you need to feel
And you can't know what you feel, or how it affected you, unless you reflect and talk about it ... Make it as tangible as possible
It sounds abstract but anyone who has felt love knows this
the idea of love itself is so abstract isn't it?
Kinda like "art"
Yea some people get it and others don't, and we "look" for it when we don't know what it looks like
So we look to more eloquent people to help us understand
Music, poetry, films
understand or manufacture?
Depends on the intent I think
If it's here, in this conversation, we aren't manufacturing anything
Merely describing what I've thought about
But if I'm trying to sell movie tickets and get butts in seats I might manufacture a love story
I guess what I mean is that we're constantly sold this concept of "love" from the time we're born
it feels almost inevitable
and sometimes perhaps innecessary
I agree with that
Has that experience reshaped your idea of love?
It definitely has
But it helped me understand myself more
Because that was something I historically was afraid to explore or question
"Why do I believe that we needed to get married?"
"What do I need out of this relationship, and am I comfortable admitting to myself and my partner?"
"Why did it take so long for me to ask these questions"
Why did it take so long?
Pride/ego, fear, anxiety, immaturity
A lower sense of emotional awareness
And not having been raised to be comfortable communicating what I'm feeling and why
Being male and being afraid to be vulnerable is a big part of that
Boys don't cry right
Another aspect that I find fascinating is how flexible love needs to be to work
Damien Rice has this line in one of his songs that I love: "So don't give me love with an old book of rules / That kind of love's just for fools / And I'm over it"
So many of these "rules" are proving to be archaic
So our love stories need to adapt to how we think of love today
We are afraid of flexibility in love, I find
Because we don't want to admit when it isn't working
But the lack of flexibility
Not being able to bend
Is why it breaks
If love is too rigid it lends itself to becoming fragile, I think
What do you think is the difference between 'love' and 'companionship'?
Because I feel like sometimes people just don't want to feel lonely
and they look for refuge in love
I think the difference is how much you're willing to be honest about - you can have love between friends for example
And none between married partners
And of course we don't want to be lonely - but we like being alone too
Lonely is wanting to be with someone and being refused
Being alone is good for those of us that find energy in introversion
So it's important to be aware of those boundaries
And what kind of companionship we need
It could be as simple as admitting how much you're comfortable being with a person
Is it 24/7?
I doubt that
Yeah and then there's sex, monogamy and all that jazz, which is so taboo I don't even know where to start
but let's remember that heartbreak also involves quitting the sexual portion of that relationship as cold turkey as every other aspect
So depending on the level of physicality in the relationship, it might be devastating how different life is after it ends
It sounds obvious but still rarely talked about because we say stuff like sex is taboo
So how did you endure heartbreak?
A lot of things
I binge drank, did drugs, spent way too much money on making myself feel good
In the short time after that, I was only concerned with medicating the pain
A few months later when the pain inevitably becomes tolerable I started wondering how i got there
And that led me down a long and treacherous path of introspection
I hired a therapist that helped me explore my own vulnerability
I admitted I wasn't ready (and emotionally stable) to manage people at the level we need managers to be at Facebook
I talked openly about how I was hurting and why
I tried being healthier and better to my own body by hiring a trainer
Confiding in him about my own physical insecurities and realizing I had a lot
Along with friends, and a new music project at work, I had healthy channels to plug into and work with
Moved to a quieter part of town, started immersing myself in more music than ever before, intentionally crafted alone time
All with the intention of being more comfortable with who i was and what I needed
That's actually kind of amazing
Almost feels like everyone should go through a heartbreak!
Oh we all should :)
I think it forces us to deal with our insecurities and defines our worst and best qualities
Do you think there is a way to do that without going through so much suffering?
I can't say for sure what it is
But I suspect it involves vulnerability
Well for one, dudes are afraid to admit when things frighten them
Why is that? What do we stand to gain from hiding those fears and pretending they don't exist?
Are we truly stronger if we ignore them instead of navigating them?
Put that in the context of a relationship, do we ignore why our partner is home 4 hours late a little drunk and won't tell us why
Do we just get mad
Or do we ask why it's upsetting that we don't know
Vulnerability has been coming up a lot lately
I think people just value strength, right?
We're taught that strength is the ability to endure and overcome impossible things
Or at the very least the ability to overpower any odds
But rarely do we identify strength as the capacity to feel
Or communicate a broad view of your own beliefs and values - what drives you to a decision, like getting engaged
You know how we explore many iterations in product design
And how that plays a part in explaining how we arrived at a decision
I feel like my relationships never benefitted from that thinking until Larry
Idk who Larry is
Happy pride, Tim ;)
Tim is a designer that loves pizza and tacos equally. He's currently based in San Francisco and involved in improving the ways people share and experience music on Facebook.
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