The relationship is over. The love is gone. There is no more us. Whatever the cause, we could no longer be. You shared a lot of time together – had some good memories. Is it possible to be together one day and the next be no more? More importantly, does the demise of the relationship mean you are no longer allowed by bounds to care about each other?

Some would define love as a feeling. Others would describe it as a choice. Then there are those who would say love is a moment in time and some moments last longer than others. Love is an energy and most would agree that energy does not die. According to Albert Einstein – energy cannot be destroyed; it is simply transferred from one party to another. This implies a couple of things. First, if you truly loved someone, it doesn’t die simply because the relationship ends. Second, if you loved once, it means you have the capacity to love once again.

Appropriate means to set apart for a specific use or purpose. This definition is usually used when talking about money. Think about that for a moment – setting something apart for a specific use or purpose. How often do we set things apart for a specific purpose? If you ponder it deeply enough – you may come to the realization that you do it more often than you realize. If you are making an effort to save money – you’re doing it. If you go to the gym every day and workout for an hour – you’re doing it.

When you think about it – we basically do the same thing with regard to relationships. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we usually make it a point to set apart for a specific use or purpose. In practical terms, we don’t jump in and out relationships because we set apart our energy for a specific use or purpose. Relationships are typically entered in with those who we deem special. More expressly, we enter relationships when we feel emotionally ready to set apart our bachelorhood for a specific use or purpose. Since we don’t enter into them lightly, it makes the choice to get seriously involved with someone all the more important to our overall as men. This is especially true because the person with whom we get seriously involved is an extension of us. Our choice in a significant other (like our choice of friends) tells others what we think of ourselves. If the relationship reaches its demise, it usually comes at great emotional costs. This usually only considered when talking about women but is just as true of men. Since we typically don’t enter the emotional pact of relationships lightly – it hurts as much when it ends even if we don’t show it.

So the relationship that was difficult to enter comes to an end. Bitter or not – you start the process of moving on. There are those who would think moving on simply means cutting off constant contact. But it runs much deeper than that. While distancing yourself from an ex may help – it doesn’t get to the root of the matter. Deflecting does not “deal with” – it never has and never will. It merely postpones the inevitable – the eventual need for the reappropiation of relationships.

Anyone who has a heart will tell you that it is an arduous process to move on and reappropriate the relationship. Sometimes it takes some serious introspection and in the process of that introspection – you’ll find yourself wrestling with emotions that make you question whether or not going on is really possible. You might beat yourself up unnecessarily. You may ask yourself whether or not you really want to move on.  You even began to consider if the relationship is still salvageable; not because it is where you want to be with no ambivalence but because you think it might just be easier in the end to go back versus going through the process of reappropriating the relationship. All valid and not unexpected emotions. But that is just what they are – emotions. While they factor – they should not be the end all of whether or not you embrace facing the challenge to reappropriate the relationship.

Since none of us where born in love, there was at least one point in our lives where we were able to survive without the incessant need to be in love with someone. As we got older, we came in contact with “love” and begin to formulate our ideology about it and relationships. What we tend not to consider early in formulating our ideology is that love and everything that comes with it is far from simple. Most of us want our chicken on the dinner table cooked. But rare is it we really consider every step it took for that chicken to end up in our freezer – let alone in our table. Love operates similarly – we want the good (like the chicken on the table) but won’t embrace that there is always a potential downside (like the chicken going to the butcher). This is not to suggest that one should focus solely on the negative – but more that in embracing the positives of love the negative associated with it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Acknowledging this concept goes a long way to reappropriating relationships long before they begin.

Evolution is an absolute must for our long term survival – individually and in relationships. It starts first with the individual. They make a commitment to constantly evolve and reinvent themselves. The individual does this not for anyone else but for themselves. When two individuals in a relationship share this philosophy – their relationship usually reaps the benefits of their individual fulfillment. But what happens when one or both do not continue to evolve? What does this do to the relationship over the long haul?

The evolution of relationships (regardless of classification) shares the same common thread. Depending on how long you have been out of school, there is a good chance that your friends today are not the same you shared in school. Time and distance play a huge role but largely it is because of evolution. It doesn’t mean that you no longer care about them when evolution reappropriates (or forces you to reappropriate) your relationship with a school friend. But the way you care and express it is different after reappropriation.

A similar principle applies to intimate relationships. There is not one person with whom I’ve been in a serious relationship at some point that I don’t care about on some level. Care, like love, comes in multiple forms and has layers. You don’t have to be with someone to care about their well-being or to want the best for them. Those who embrace this understand what reappropriating the relationship really means – it means you reappropriate the emotions associated to someone else to a different space of your being. It means if you cared once about someone intimately, the demise of the relationship doesn’t mean you stop caring – it means you learned a new way that you can care about them and has nothing to do with still desiring intimacy from them. Wanting what’s best for ex doesn’t imply you want to be with them – but more that you want them to be happy – even if that happiness doesn’t include you. This requires a maturity that not everyone shares. It forces you to step outside of yourself and see a greater good. Getting to this epiphany also helps you get to your bottom line – moving on emotionally so that you can have access to the happiness that is meant exclusively for you.

It is by no means easy to get to a place where wishing an ex the best is common practice – especially if the ex hurt you. But holding on to the pain and the misery associated with an ex are incredibly counterproductive to reappropriating the emotions of relationships. In fact, once you let those things go it is easier to start the reappropriation of relationships. Food for thought – how healthy is it for you to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing they still have access to your heart when the relationship is over? The sooner you start working on setting apart for a specific use or purpose, the better for you and your future.

People who strive to change the world don't take the high road; they build it - @MaxwellWStyles