In the Scheme of Love, Almost Isn't Enough
Words by Salma Elbarmawi
You think of him whenever you've ended another relationship, don't you? The almost one. You tend to think of how he made you laugh, of how he adored you, how he understood you; of how you somehow thought you'd beat the odds together.
You tend to think of how everyone always thought you two were perfect for each other. How you thought the same.
What is it about the way a man can make you feel like an ocean? Strong and effortless all at once. The way he fueled your passion like a sea during a slowly passing storm. He was never intimidated by you, you were never too much, he was always so gentle with your heart. And yet here you are without him. Here you are alone again, now wondering if it's because it was always meant to be him.
He met so many marks on your storybook checklist. The way he looked at you, gazing so deeply into your eyes whenever he spoke. The way he surprised you with chocolates and flowers even for no reason at all. The way he teased you, just to make you laugh, and yet never made you feel like anything less than extraordinary. The way he understood you, even without words.
Looking back you can't seem to remember why it ended. All of the petty fights, now so distant, seem like a silly montage your mind made up. Yet deep down, you knew - you still know - you could never end up together.
Some loves are meant to tear down your walls, shatter your wildest expectations, and give you the foresight to see just how easy it is to love someone unconditionally. Some loves are so critical to your growth because they destroy your reasoning, reignite your excitement for life, and unintentionally cause you to abandon yourself.
This is where the love ends.
Some ends aren't as destructive as dishonesty, hostility, or abuse. Some ends are simply the final flame of a burning wick. While it sparked a perfect light and filled your life with the aroma of true, honest, unconditional love, it was always destined to burn out.
He may have been there to show you how to lose yourself in something greater, but how could you love someone like that when you had yet to discover that same greatness in yourself? Some lessons are too hard to learn while you're in the heat of the flame. Some lessons only become apparent at the end of an era, looking back on all the things that needed to take place to finally bring you to a place where you have the courage to bloom on your own two feet.
Some loves are created to give you the tools you need to find yourself. Some loves exist just to remind you that you don't always have to be right. That there will be times that call for your patience and moments that test your trust. Some loves are created to help you truly understand just what kind of sacrifice the world will ask of you, to give you the courage to shatter your own heart, and the faith to know it will one day be whole again. Some great loves have to end to allow you to fulfill your destiny, like the ocean which gives life, and the waves that destroy it.
Yet him, your temporary soulmate, was there for an even bigger purpose. He was there to give you the gift of a love so strong and timeless that it would weather the harsh journey that had been written for you to reach your destiny. It was given to you as a reminder of what you deserve, so you'd refuse to settle for anything less, even when it felt almost perfect. It was created if only to give you absolute certainty, that despite the turbulent road to your passion, an earth-shattering love does exist.
For now, it may feel like lighting only strikes once; but fate is far too playful to leave you with only a taste of what she's capable of.
And now, as your greatest achievements are just around the corner, you'll find that remembering him was the simple solitude that you needed to press forward. That if leaving him was the most difficult sacrifice, anything forthcoming should be effortless to conquer in comparison.
Your greatest love is still out there, and he'll understand.
For you were destined to build a legacy, to fall in love with yourself, to discover a reserve of power from within. And what you needed all along wasn't just a man who made you feel like an ocean, but one who would shower in your storm, and fearlessly uncover the wreckage in your deepest sea.
Salma is a writer, activist and aspiring social entrepreneur. She has a special love for culture, meaningful conversations, politics and dance. Although her passions for advocacy and articulate, authentic writing often collide with her love-hate relationship of the corporate world; she believes that one day, the narrative of business will change, and through the new generations’ collective voice, the world will have no choice but to change with it.