Friday, March 16, 2012

Relationship breakups are difficult! But it helps to maintain perspective... This article compares a relationship breakup to a computer crash, creating a fun and interesting story about a sad subject. While I was finalizing some very important work m

I tried every trick I could think of but it still said "Operating System Not Found," as if that explanation would soothe the panic that overtook me as I realized I had not yet backed up my data. So I was without a computer for 5 days (writing this by hand), figuring out what to do about the blasted machine, and wondering what to do with all my new found (and unwanted) spare time...

While thus feeling depressed and bored it occurred to me that this computer crash was a lot like a relationship breakup! Let me recount how I was feeling on that day...

First, this relationship was something very important and special to me. I was used to being with her (my computer) every day. She provided me with entertainment as well as being a helpmate and a source of pride. Now she's gone and I don't know what to do with myself. Her departure leaves a big void to be filled.

Second, I worry that she can never be replaced. Sure, I can find another computer (or a new hard drive), but if my data (date) cannot be recovered, I will have to start over. Whether the second time around can ever be as good as the original, I don't know.

Of course there's the chance that the relationship can be restored. This is what I want most of all, but I naturally fear the worst, that all the data will be lost. But maybe it can be recovered. I still don't know. I just have to wait, and I hate that!

I've taken the computer to a "clean room" data recovery center, affectionately known as the "ICU." But the uncertainty is killing me. Time seems to be in slow motion as I wait for the verdict on my fate. Part of me wants to just forget it and start over. Part of me wants to wait to see if she'll come back. Part of me feels confused because the other two parts are at war with each other.

I dread having to start over. I hate having all this extra time. I want to call the ICU and ask how things are going. But I don't want to upset them by being too anxious or needy. How long should I wait before I call? Will they call me? What will they say? What will I do? (These same questions go through your mind after a relationship breakup.)

This WILL be resolved of course. If I am patient I will find out the verdict on my hard drive, and depending on what it is I will either continue my work where I left off or go back to square one.

The reason for this article is to put relationships in perspective. You may laugh at my pain over "just a computer," though I would never laugh at your pain over "just a relationship." The point is there are a lot of similarities... uncertainty, pain of loss, impatience, panic, etc. It's just on a smaller scale.

And the solutions are similar also: find other things to fill the time (like writing articles...), be prepared for either eventuality (restored or not restored), accept whatever happens and don't take it personally, learn from my mistakes (back up my computer more often).

I think "living with uncertainty" and "not taking it personally" are perhaps the hardest things when it comes to a relationship (not computer) breakup. Also, the fact that a relationship issue typically takes much longer to get resolved than the couple weeks I'm discussing here.

What I hope this story will do is to help you get outside yourself and look at any relationship situation more objectively. A relationship is not really just a computer, that's for sure, but often when you are so directly involved you can't see what is the best thing to do, and a simple example like this can clear things up!

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