Admittedly, people don't often look at a relationship as having a 'best before' date, but that doesn't mean it's not there. When you first meet someone, if the desire to get to know them is there, things seem great. You talk to the person, maybe go out with them for dinner or to social gatherings, and potentially enjoy your time. Truth be told, nobody begins a relationship with the idea that it is only for a certain time period. At least, not very many people anyways.
As time goes on, you may find yourself in one of two situations.
- Either you would like to continue to get to know this person and possibly further the friendship to a partner, rather than a friend, or you feel it is time to end your relations because you realize this person is no good for you. Thus bringing us back to the "best before" or expiration date. Though these moments are not easy to cope with, they exist and must be dealt with when the date comes up.
- Another expiration date or "best before" is when someone you care about is dying. Unfortunately, until science comes up with a pill for immortality, we are all born with a biological expiration date, that has already started from the moment of our conception. Though it is truly a depressing way of looking at people, and the world in general, it is a realistic way.
In our time period on Earth, however, we still try to form connections that we hope will last a lifetime. Though, someone somewhere will have to deal with some else's expiration date eventually.
Harder, and perhaps least logical, of a relationship is the one we form with pets, because some of them have even sooner expiration dates.
Recently, I have lost our family's pet. Though Ludo was technically my sister's dog, he became a big part of our family for the ten years he lived with us. Right from the moment we fell in love with him, we dreaded his expiration date. Two weeks before he actually died, my sister called my parents and told us to come and say our good-byes. He had a horrible night and she feared it was time to put him down.
We enter a relationship with our pets and integrate them fully into our beings, knowing that we are going to have to say good-bye not long down the road.
Despite prior knowledge to the best before date, we all still strive to make connections and should continue to do so. Growing, changing, and evolving is what every living organism needs to do. We accept that certain foods expire and that relationships expire because there is nothing we can do to change it. We are simply surrounded by expiration and "best before" dates.
All writing (c) Mike Deregowski - no reproduction in whole or in part unless written permission is received from the author.