I’ve seen lots of sad things and thought lots of sad thoughts. I’ve read lots of sad books and watched lots of sad shots. But nothing seems to bring me down quicker than the song “Someone Like You” by Adele.
Adele wrote this song about a relationship she was in with someone she thought she would marry. In explaining the inspiration for the song, she puts her feelings in such perfect words.
“I can imagine being about 40 and looking for him again, only to turn up and find that he’s settled with a beautiful wife and beautiful kids and he’s completely happy… and I’m still on my own. The song’s about that and I’m scared at the thought of that.”
I am too. Boanerges and I spent so much time thinking about our future together. We were stupid, naive, we wanted to marry each other one day–even though we were only 17. As adolescents, we all have many dreams: to be a performer on stage, to get into some elite college, to be president, to not do any of that and show everybody we’re great. Our dreams change and come and go, and throughout our lives, some of them may morph into something better, or others will become irrelevant, and well, we move on. We keep on dreaming. And for me, I’ve always been a dreamer. I always looked for excuses to just sit and be able to totally and completely drift off into another world.
When Bo came along it was a new dream of living a life full of adventure and raising a family and growing old. For the first time, I had someone to actually dream with. We would meet each other and just come up with crazy ideas of things we’d do like, “hey, I figured it out. We’ll get a helicopter pad on the island!”, and then whatever day dream we’d been having continued.
I knew in the nagging back of me this was all a dream, but we took it too far. We were naive and melodramatic and hopelessly in love. When things went down, Bo moved on, and I thought I would be the one who would more easily move forward, but instead my dream cycles had stopped there. I couldn’t come up with a new dream. I just kept on imagining a life with him, and I still do.
It’s been over a couple years. All our last encounters have been terrible–it’s clear we need to stay away from one another. He’s immature and I’m depressed, only one of a thousand reasons.
“….even though I’m very bitter and regret some parts of it, he’s still the most important person that’s ever been in my life, and ‘Someone Like You,’ I had to write it to feel OK with myself and OK with the two years I spent with him. And when I did it, I felt so freed.”
Yes, the rest of Adele’s 21 are actually very bitter songs, and most of the ways I portray Bo are pretty bitter, but what’s written here is true. I will always want the best for Bo. I want him to be happy and live well, and he is the most important people that has come into my life. I was changed and transformed by our relationship. I don’t want to talk to him now and he likely doesn’t want to talk to me. But, I will help him if he genuinely needs it, listen without judgement if I can handle it. And I know I will be able to. Bo has hurt me so many times in the years following it all, but I love him unconditionally and forgave every time. People think unconditional love is romantic. No, it’s unhealthy.
So I’m done with Bo…but in the back of my mind I know I’m not. I dream that in a few years I’m going to contact him again, that maybe I’ll have recovered and maybe he will have learned some things about himself, and we can try again. And that we really will be together one day.
Besides the point that this is unrealistic, what would happen if I found Bo again, and he’s perfectly happy with someone else? Would I try hard to convince myself he’s not happy and maybe he’ll come around? That would be the worst. What is really bad is that, if I see him happy and successful, isn’t that what I want? There was no bitterness when Adele sings the line “I wish nothing but the best, for you too.” I’m so afraid and embarrassed that I really will try again and he will have someone else good. I won’t be able to stay away or fight it, will I? For him, he’s moving on, and for me, it isn’t over, or at least I want a second chance one day, and a second chance that will definitely be successful. And if not, that pain will be more unbearable than anything I could experience.
“We were so intense I thought we would get married. But that was something he never wanted… So when I found out he does want that with someone else, it was just the horrible-est feeling ever. But after I wrote it, I felt more at peace. It set me free… “
At least Adele wrote this song that set her free and brought peace to her, but what will I do that brings peace? I want him to be happy. I’m terrified that he’s happy. I’ll want him to always remember me, won’t I?–because I will always remember him no matter where I go next. I don’t even know if I’ll last very long not speaking to him. Who knows? In a month, we could be lying back in bed together. I really hope not.
Sometimes it lasts in love and sometimes it hurts instead.