“It’s weird whenever I post about a relationship that didn’t end well… people always seem like they’re on the hunt for the how and why. And not just the lesson that can be learned, but who in the story is the hero and the villain,” I say.
“I know what you mean,” she says. “But real life doesn’t work that way.”
I laugh. “No, it doesn’t.” I take a sip of coffee. “And you gotta be careful with a person who tells stories where everyone’s so neatly sorted.”
“For sure,” she says. And then she evokes a very vengeful person we both know who went on a social rampage once upon a time, bullying and berating others, all the while insisting she was a harmless victim.
“You gotta hand it to her,” I say. ” She had her stories straight.”
My friend laughs. “It’s true.”
“Anyway,” I say, “I guess it’s a lot like Belief in a Just World. People want bad things to happen to bad people, and good things to happen to good people. And for it to be fair. So if a couple goes through heartache, they want it to be fair. To one or both of them.”
“Again, real life doesn’t work that way,” my friend says.
I nod. “You can do everything right and still end up hurt. On either side, or both, even.”
“It’s wild that anyone entertains that it works any other way,” she says.
“Not to me,” say.
“Well, just think about it. It’s terrifying to put yourself out there and take the risk of meeting new people — and that’s even with the belief that you can control things. That the world is just or whatever. So take that away – and add in chaos… and well…”
“How would anyone even date?” she asks.
“Exactly,” I say.
“Ah,” she says. “Now it makes sense why it’s been so long since you’ve dated anyone new.”
“Hey now,” I say.
She laughs. I smile.