Let’s Acknowledge: The Self-Destruct Button.

When life becomes hard, there is one of two things we can do: fight or flight. In love, we sign the same deal. When it becomes tough, we can fight for our love or let it fly away. The situation with the latter is that there is always a lingering hope that it will fly back to you. But if you haven’t trained it to fly back, if it hasn’t a clue what to do once it’s released, then what? What if it flies into oncoming traffic? What if it gets sucked into an airplane? With this train of thought, without the hope or the coming back, doesn’t it become more of a self-destruct of your relationship than the letting go of it? Is this not the proverbial point of no return? Where does the line get drawn? When does the big red button become so tantalizing that the only feeling in the world is to press it and watch the fireworks come to life?

For one, it’s a much prettier end. To see the twirling embers in every color from scarlet to chartreuse light up the night sky, like a funeral pyre for those three years spent wondering if they’d propose, only to end your nights with lukewarm sex and a sweaty back. What better way to end a lackluster streak such as that than with a spectacle far more enjoyable than the ending credits of the fiftieth action movie you just watched? That, of course, is the best case scenario. But what about those moments you find yourself overthinking? What about those moments when the big red button is just an escape from a wonderful, yet emotionally difficult relationship? What if you just don’t want to fight anymore?

Thinking that it could be so much better, thinking that you want nothing more than to watch the fireworks twirl and dance, instead of spending one more day talking about your classes or work or how Patrice baked you the wrong kind of cookies when you were feeling down. What if, the need becomes so enticing, so comforting that you notice your hand begin to hover over the button. It’s bright and shiny and red, untouched and aching to launch days and months of work, devotion, and passion into the sky in a fashion that would entrance the most stubborn of audiences and frighten the most fearless of dogs? You get closer and closer and everything slows down; the sound of your heart pounds in your ear and you actually stop and think for once if it’s what you want to do, because to end something so abruptly isn’t a task to be taken lightly. You then begin making excuses, fabricated reasons to send rockets to the sky. How he licks his teeth, how he smells in the morning, how she scratches her armpit in a way that makes her look like an orangutan, or how the lack of texts means that they must be cheating on you. Lingering fears flood your mind and your gasping for air, the only thing in sight is the bright red button. I will briefly confess that this happens to me. Often. Why can’t you just push the thoughts aside? Let them lie still for once and realize that you have something special. Realize that someone is there for you. Realize that it could be something very, very good for you. Of course, if it really is something that is destructive or poisonous, then the best thing to do is go away, to push the button. Every love life is different and circumstantial. Please don’t look at my love life or your sibling’s, or your parent’s as a monolith for what true love is, because it’s different for everyone.

The fireworks are beautiful, I can tell you that now. They will leave you with awe and inspiration and life. But it’s temporary. The flames will fade and the smell of gunpowder and smoke will linger. The self-destruct button exists, but you can dismantle it. You can wish it away. You can control your life. So given the circumstance, what would it be: Fight or Firework?


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