Imagine feeling an instant connection with someone. You fall in love and get into a relationship. But all of a sudden, a whopping enemy comes to ruin the bliss: time and circumstance.
Circumstance has proven to be one of the greatest enemies of love. Literary scholars even coined a term for it—star-crossed lovers. The concept isn’t new—we’ve seen it in stories like Romeo and Juliet, movies and shows like Titanic, The Fault in Our Stars, and Love, Rosie. We’ve seen it in real life with people we know. The problem isn’t the lack of love, but the circumstances an ill-fated couple is plagued with.
Is love really worth fighting for even when faced with difficult circumstances? In this week’s article, Young STAR talked to three people who experienced being star-crossed lovers. (Note: The names in the article are pseudonyms.)
Marianne had her first boyfriend in her last year of high school. Though she thinks of it as more of a puppy-love situation now, she recalls being excited and ecstatic about being with someone she loved.
“Throughout our relationship, we would think about long-term plans like children and marriage and what we’re gonna do, where we’re gonna live. I really believed it was going to happen,” she shared.
As cliché as it sounds, sometimes love entails letting them go when it’s no longer what’s best for the both of you.
Despite the fact that they were about to enter a new chapter in their lives (college), she believed that they could make it work. In fact, when they were already in college, she didn’t mind the lack of communication and change of routine so much because she believed that it would eventually settle down. Then, the big, inescapable problem came: He was moving to another country.
“It got to a point where I applied to a school there. Funnily enough, I heard back from the school to complete the application a week after we broke up,” she remembers.
Although she had no plans of breaking up, it was around this time that she began to question whether or not she could handle a long-distance relationship. She convinced herself that she could, and he tried to assure her that it would work out. But things began to turn sour as his departure drew closer—he started to distance himself from her even though they were still together, while she was still trying to save the relationship.
As the months passed and being in the relationship became too difficult, they mutually decided to call it quits, agreeing that they were no longer on the same page. Though it was a few years later than planned, he eventually left the country.
Yet despite the ill-fated ending, Marianne says that she remains grateful for the experience because of all that it taught her—after all, it was her first relationship.
Chase met his ex-girlfriend at an organization when they were both serving as officers. At first, they were just co-workers whose views on things aligned. They ended up becoming friends outside of org work until they eventually ended up having feelings for each other.
Though they had different career paths in mind—him a doctor and she a lawyer—it never felt like a major hindrance to the both of them. But as things started to change, with his schedule settling down and hers becoming more packed, the rift between them began to grow. “I had all the time in the world, and she just had no time,” he said of the situation that they were in. Yet despite the problems it was causing, he remained supportive of her goals even if it constantly felt like he was waiting on her.
For the most part, he tried to understand, but he shared that it started to become too difficult for the both of them as the connection began to fizzle. The events leading up to the end were gradual—they would break up, get back together, then repeat. The problem of the lack of time and loss of connection was still there, but they kept on trying. But since the circumstances remained unchanging and the problems persisted, they grew tired and eventually chose to go their separate ways.
Eliza learned early on that love is not for the weak-hearted. At 24, she met her ex-boyfriend through a mutual friend—she worked for an airline, while he was a businessman. In her head, there was no way it was going to work. But then it did. They shared an instant connection which led them into a committed relationship.
“When I’m in a relationship, I go all-in. It’s all or nothing for me,” she expressed. Coming into the relationship, she vowed to herself to be there for her ex through thick and thin. “He had a lot of energy, so he would do a lot of things at the same time,” she shared.
Then they hit a roadblock—he was going through something difficult, and he wanted to leave the country for a while to clear his mind. What did she do? She quit her job and then packed all of her bags to be there with him.
There was no certainty if he was going to stay there for good, but to her, what was important was that she was with him. “It was a no-brainer decision for me. When he told me he wanted to leave, I knew I was going to come with him even if he didn't ask,” she recalled.
Eventually, they returned to Manila. And for her, the relationship only got stronger. But then the harsh reality hit: He didn’t want to marry her. “We were approaching the age when all our friends were getting married, but when I asked him if he ever saw himself marrying me, he froze,” she said. And from there, everything went downhill since it wasn’t a situation in which one could compromise. And so they both mutually decided to break up after four years together.
As she looks back at the relationship now, she says she feels nothing but gratitude. Being happily married now (to somebody else), she believes that people come into your life for a reason. Because of that experience, she knew that she had an immense capacity to love, which her husband and two kids are happily a recipient of.
As cliché as it sounds, sometimes love entails letting them go when it’s no longer what’s best for the both of you. After all, love is unconditional, sacrificial, and self-giving even when it hurts.