The importance of burning bridges after a breakup

How important is it to burn your bridges when a romance dies out? Our contributor shares his story

Ram Kumar | Posted on 23 Jun 2016
Why One Must Burn Bridges After A Breakup | Bonobology

It is very important to burn your bridges when romantic relationships die. Life does move on. Without the old baggage would be the best way to move on. It is true that you have got a thousand ways to snoop on your ex/exes. Facebook officially declared that the famous ‘Six degrees of separation’ have now shrunk to 3.57. There are other ways too, for you have your former spouse/partner’s number on your phone, the opportunity of checking his/her WhatsApp profile picture does exist. Common friends too can potentially bring in some heartburn in the form of unwarranted blasts from our shared pasts. Though I resisted a lot of snooping and was confident that I had moved on like a king, it dawned.

For me, it dawned one day with a nightmare. Literally. It was about seven in the morning. I had a strange nightmare that shook me awake, all sweaty on a cold winter day. I remembered each and every bit of it vividly, and I wrote what I had just seen, as a draft on my phone, drank some water and slept again.

I re-read it the evening, and sensed the heaviness of it, and the profundity that it implied. Cut to the nightmare - I am walking in the park where have I spent most of my childhood, playing. Avoiding the people I know, who were strolling on the park’s periphery, I walk towards the inside - to the tree in the centre, faster and faster. My heart races. I begin to run; to escape all the faces I know. I run on thorns, several of them, limp, hop and jump till I cannot take it anymore. I stop, puffing and panting, holding on to the bleeding leg. I see that the leg is not only bleeding, but it also has a long-left bandage, probably nursing similar injuries. I unwrap the bandage, with heart thumping to a new high. I see, to my chilling surprise that all the years of ‘bottled-up’ bandage has not cured anything. I see my foot completely rotten, with just the skeleton left! A thought arises in me that this should immediately be amputated. This ‘part’ of my inside that has gone beyond repair. It also strangely, brings in a sense of peace. The realisation. Cut! That was when I woke up, to jot it all down!

Multiple meanings rush to my head, and the most sensible of them was apparent from my understanding of the structure of this dream - that the leg was only a representation of my mind’s part - the memory - that needs to be cut off. An amputation of course needs a closure stitch, right? So, I thought deeply: what should I do? Is there something that still lurks inside? Resentment? No. Guilt? Yes. Should I apologise? Yes. So, I went to her place - to apologise to her and her family for the hurt I had caused, for the fight that had taken place, and what ultimately resulted in our separation. I climbed slowly, up the stairs to the second floor flat. It had been five years. Heart pumped like crazy. I felt dizzy. Mustering up all courage, I rang the bell. Surprise again - for a different person answered the door, saying they do not know where the previous residents are right now. But she gave me the number. I took it down, and went out.

On my way back, I called the number. Heart pumped up fast again. Her dad answered. I talked, in a calm manner, “You should remember me. I called in to say sorry once again. I know that she is well-settled in some town abroad. I will not disturb you again, I promise. This is to clear my mind. This is to say that I am sorry. I want her to be happy forever.” I cut the call without expecting a response. The next step onwards, I felt like I was born new, with a fresh mind, with no burden. I thanked my dream. The power of subconscious mind it is!


Ram Kumar

RamKumar is a mechanical engineer from Chennai, working in the automobile industry. He is interested in contemporary literature and translations, between English and Tamil.

Comments : 1

Sucheta Chaturvedi: Aw. Life's too short, you've got to say the things that are in your heart. If you don't, you carry the burden. If you do, you run the risk that they turn you down but at least you know, for definite. And who knows, for some, they might just say yes.


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