Woman, without her man, is nothing.
oman: Without her, man is nothing.
The exact same words, punctuated differently, carry entirely different meanings. In English language, punctuation removes ambiguity in sentences. Just like how punctuation defines messages, the timeliness of spaces in in our relationships define our love stories.
With every passing day, we unconsciously write our own love stories. Some stories speak of pain and hurt. Other stories speak of simplicity and bliss. For a few, the story comprises of only one person. For most, the story comprises of more than one. Regardless, most love stories go through these stages.
The Comma (,)
The phase which all relationships go through, the difficult times of frustration, uncertainty and hurt. Most times, the comma often represents a downtime. At times, the comma could even represent time apart. As the make or break punctuation of a love story, the comma represents the cross road of any relationship.
Some believe the comma should be avoided wherever possible. Yet, just like a sentence, relationships can never go on in perpetuity without pauses and temporary stops. Without commas, a sentence will never last long. Without timely pauses in relationships, we’ll never have chance to stop and appreciate whatever we’ve built up. The comma, the make or break moment, it is possibly the most beautiful punctuation in all love stories.
The Question Mark (?)
Remember the time where you were left hanging? The relationship ended with burning questions. Why did it end? How did things turn out this way? The question marks, the unknowns you wish you could uncover. These are often the ones who hurt us the most. Not because the relationship was the longest or the sweetest, but because there wasn’t any closure.
As we seek the answers that should follow but find ourselves being left hanging in limbo, we find comfort in other means. Some seek solace in rebounds to fill the void. Others find peace in the form of a long space that’s left blank after. The latter put their pens down and stop writing. But over time without realising, they start to pick up the pen again and write again. And when they do, it’s often about someone else.
The question mark; the symbol of climax in a relationship, reminds us that sometimes people shut doors in our faces so we can start to realise how we’ve taken for granted those who have opened their doors for us all this while.
The Full Stop (.)
The conscious decisions we take to put an end to it all. For the ones who move in and out of relationships quickly, full stops come quickly and in quick spurts. For others, full stops may mean stopping and re-starting all over again. Sometimes with the same person, other times with someone new.
The Exclamation Mark (!)
The symbol of ending a story on a high note, the exclamation mark represents the happily ever after end we all subconsciously dream of. Sometimes, happily ever after comes after the first character. Yet more often than not, the love story takes more than one character to reach this stage.
It doesn’t matter if our hearts get broken along the way. It doesn’t matter if the story isn’t always smooth sailing. What matters most is that we never give up hope that our story can end on a happy note. Most of us wish we didn’t have to be hurt, but the truth is, every punctuation and every cross road in the love story makes you a better writer of your love story. Every pause or stop we take, makes us the greater lover who can better articulate our happily ever after we dream of.
In today’s day and age, love can be found conveniently with the swipe of the finger. It’s easy to fall into the trap of convenience, but remember, great stories never just comprise of short sentences. The most beautiful stories speak of ups and downs, climaxes and uncertainty, yet despite it all end on a happy note.
Every love story, short or long, is beautiful. Make sure you write your favourite one.
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