Before I share the conclusion of The Dreaded Phone Call, let me first introduce my parents. Dad and Mom are high school sweethearts who have been blissfully married for 30 years. They’re both educated (MBAs) and accomplished (retired in their early 40s) and they’ve taught me what it means to be a generous human being. Dad is a skillful violin player and micromanager, Mom is a book lover and amazingly considerate. People are often a reflection of their upbringing, and my awesomeness is not just a happy coincidence.
Last night, I finally called my parents to share the unexpected news about N. I actually get over break-ups rather (okay, frighteningly) quickly and I was at a point where I could discuss what happened without having an emotional response. Initially, I anticipated that they’d be angry with N, but instead, they said they were sad for him. Wait. Pause. Sad for him? “Hello! I’m your daughter and you should feel sad for me and what I’m going through,” I thought idignantly. As they explained further, my perspective began to shift.
My parents said there’s no sadness to feel for me. At age 25, I have a clear vision for my future. I know, absolutely, what I want from a relationship and those milestones will be achieved. N, they observed, is still searching for answers and when/if he ever finds them, it may be too late. As you grow older, committed long-term relationships become more meaningful and “floating” casual encounters lose their charm. It’s the difference between having a fulfilling partnership and filling a temporary void. Some people make this realization in their 20s, some make it in their 40s, and some never make it at all.
Dad, Mom, and I continued on this subject for a moment, then transitioned to lighter topics. It was good to soak in their perspective and finally put this discussion to rest. I left the conversation feeling contemplative…and surprisingly sad for N too.