People have differences.  Sometimes, depending on the relationship between two people, the processing of these differences hurts.  Sometimes it hurts badly enough that the best solution seems to be indefinite time apart.

In the relatively distant past, someone close to me made that decision for us.  That decision still stands, because I respect their wishes and no longer have any means of knowing if those wishes change.  Recently, I was planning to make that decision with someone else.  Because it was my decision this time though, I spent many hours reflecting on it first.

And through this reflection I realised that with no committed view to restoring it, “temporarily” terminating a relationship with someone—whether friendship or otherwise—is neither temporary nor a solution at all.

With time away from someone who has hurt you, contempt can breed.  It doesn’t have to, but it can—and given that your reflections are likely to be focussing on the actions that caused that hurt, it probably will in more cases than it won’t.  With a rule of distance in place, it becomes much easier for you to vilify the other person.  It becomes impossible for the other person to actively influence your decision, because that requires contact with you—which would be a form of disrespect towards you because it goes against your previously announced wishes.

The other person is left powerless, and only you can advance the situation that is created.  Your desire to do that, however, will fall as time progresses because doing so will appear more and more unattractive.  After all, the other person isn’t doing anything to make further action seem worthwhile.  They can’t.

The result: lots of wasted energy on both sides of the equation, and permanent distance.

Having wanted to go down this path myself, I completely understand why it’s tempting.  It’s a non-confrontational, non-committal way out.  But either you know at that time that you want that distance to be permanent, or you don’t.

If you do know, then hopefully you see that person as deserving a truthful, immediate announcement to that effect so that they’re not left hanging with hope.

If you don’t know, then you probably ought to ask yourself if you want your own actions to seal that fate.  If the belief is there that things can work out in the future, set things in motion for that future to eventually reach the present.  Otherwise, like tomorrow, it will never come.

It’s a shame that people are driven to the point of wanting nothing more to do with another.  I regret having driven people in my past to seeing that outcome as the best one, but I respect their wishes and I will let sleeping dogs lie.

From this point forth though, my resolution is not to accept or instigate this scenario again.  I don’t want to run and hide from my problems, and if people matter to me, I don’t want to let them run and hide from theirs either—especially if those problems concern me, because I now have the hindsight to see where that leads.

Perhaps stopping things from reaching that point in the first place would be a better utilisation of time and effort.  One can still learn from what eventuates, though, even if those events aren’t ideal.  And as long as I’m learning until the day I die, I wouldn’t want it any other way.