On Relationships

“You can’t just chop up the aspects of a relationship into discrete parts and select the ones you want like a buffet.”

I’ve been binge watching Parks and Recreation for a few weeks now and that’s a quote from an episode from season four called The Treaty.

It reminded me of a long-argued question a friend of mine always had with me; could a couple remain friends after their relationship was over? His stance was no. He was unlucky in love and every one of his relationships ended with the other party saying they wanted to move on. In each instance the other party wanted to remain friends and made great strides to do so. He rejected those overtures. It hurt too much, he would say.

My stance was yes. Why not stay friends? Better to have the person around if you still loved and cared for them, no? It’s civilized. It might hurt at first but then the relationship falls into some sort of natural rhythm. Whether that natural rhythm means you’re no longer friends then so be it.

“Why not,” asked Leslie Knope. Why can’t it be chopped it up?

“Because it’s selfish,” Ben replied. Hmm, interesting.

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