Alfred Lord Tennyson once said, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all."
Is it? Really?
Once a relationship has ended and your mind's clarity has returned and you have the ability to separate the good from the bad, there is still considerable reflection to be done. The end of a relationship is the beginning of a lot of work. It is the beginning of work to rebuild courage, trust, or self-esteem, etc. Or it is the beginning of working on being single again or finding new friends or creating new opportunities for yourself. And before you can begin that work you must reflect, in a healthy state of mind, on what worked and what didn't so you know how to proceed in life.
I find myself at, seemingly, the end of several relationships at this time. One, in particular, is very painful and CLARITY has yet to arrive. I think she might be delayed for a while as she tries to travel through the storm of emotions that are lingering overhead. But as I work through the emotion and talk to friends and try to find some semblance of sanity, I naturally look back over the last few months and examine moments and words and feelings.
A few nights ago, two of my friends drove me around the city in the car like a baby who couldn't fall asleep, trying to get the crying to stop. (Eventually, we got ice cream and that worked wonders.) As we drove, one of them turned to me and said, "Would you rather have never known him?" And I thought briefly and said, "Yes."
Right now... Today... at 1:15 on a Sunday afternoon... I can still say that I feel as if never having met him may have saved me this pain. Nevermind all the wonderful that there was. But I think it's better to never have loved and not lost...
Maybe one day the wonderful will outweigh the pain and I will change my answer.