BENGALURU: One of the perils of being in a relationship is that it could possibly colour everything in terms of the couple-dom. The places you like to eat in, the markets you go to, whether you go to malls or not, movies you like, activities you do together, friends you hang out with – a lot of it gets altered, if not in its entirety, then certainly to some extent. If one is not careful to maintain one’s own space and people, then with absolute certainty, all the ‘my' and ‘mine’ changes into ‘our’ and ‘we.’
It is beautiful to be in that world of ‘we’ and ‘ours.’ You might not even miss the old single you at all, maybe even relieved at not having to do so many things on your own, and even if some interests change, it doesn’t feel like a big thing. You might even be happier for it. So what if you stopped swimming and took up tennis? So what if you don’t go to as many plays anymore and watch more movies? So what if you lost touch with some of your old friends and you are both largely hanging out with people who know you as a couple only?
You are doing things you learn to love with a person you love, and that makes all the difference.
But then, consider this: What if after a few years, you break-up? Everything can then feel really painful. The sports centre, the mall, the multiplex, those friends. Everything about the city hurts. Moving and starting afresh seems like the easier thing to do, and it often is. But look at it this way, you are already breaking up with one love, do you have to break up with your city as well?
This was your place even before you became a couple, and so why should it not be yours anymore? Take it back. Your places, your spaces, your people. Reclaim them from the haze of couple-dom for yourself. Go to the coffee shops you both did, the samosa vala who might ask you where's your friend, the movie theater guy who might wink and ask which seat you wanted. Smile at them all and say it is just you now.
Then, go to the dosa place your ex might have derided as too down market, walk down the park that seemed too clichéd, go to the theatre, reconnect with your favourite improve group, connect back with those quirky friends of yours who just didn’t fit in with your couple lifestyle. Go back to the swimming pool, go go-karting or bowling or whatever else that you gave up because you wanted to spend time with your ex.
Your city and your places may not break up with you as easily as a lover might. Your city might be more forgiving and willing to embrace you in your singlehood than your coupled life. Enjoy your city the way you want to. Take back your city. For yourself.