I recently heard a story from WNYC’s radiolab that made a very big impression on me.
A girl fell in love with a guy doing her first year of collage. First time she saw him she noticed his eyes and the gaze immediately attracted her attention. They had many casual conversations doing 1st year, 2nd year 3rd year and 4th year and each time she would fall a bit deeper in love with him. As she said: it just felt right. The very special thing about this story is that the guy suffered from a condition that made him unable to recognize faces (even of his closest ones), so at the time when they shared their first kiss, he had no idea that he had actually known this girl for 4 years. Only after she told him was he able to connect the dots. He fell in love with her as well and they moved in together. Everything was good until 1 ½ year later when he stopped it from one day to the next.
On radiolab they had talked to both parties in this relationship and while the girl found herself in a deep well after the brake up he moved on.
One thing that had given her comfort doing this time of getting over him, was that she a couple of times had allowed herself to walk by his workplace, stop and watch him without him knowing she was there.
The man only learned this doing the recordings of this program and the thought of her standing close to him without him being able to recognize her was somehow tormenting to him. He said it was like she faded back into the crowd. Which is what happens after most break ups. The other one will be just another part of the crowd, they become a stranger, but in this story it was just so literal.
Many people do not wish to interact with their ex after a break-up, but imagine if there was no choice, what that would mean. It makes me think of “Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind” and how we sometimes want to get rid of all the bad memories we had in a relationship (in this film also meaning the good). But there is always at least one memory that we wish to hold on to; because it somehow signifies all the good and beautiful things we shared with the other.