“Thanks for Wasting a Year of My Life”

Luke Jackson
4 min readNov 13, 2019

*Please note that this article does not specifically address situations of any kind of abuse, neglect, or violence. If you feel you are (or might be) in one of these situations, please call 1–800–799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Abuse Hotline

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this phrase in my lifetime, in media and from my friends in talking about the people who they had supposedly fell in love with and then so suddenly felt nothing but scorn towards. It’s always puzzled and frustrated me how many relationships today revolve around a model of emotional transaction. More on that in a minute…

So what does saying this imply about relationships in general, about the perception of the person saying it?

I would argue that the implications here are:

1) My only goal was to be with “someone” indefinitely.

2) All the emotional growth and experience throughout the relationship had no value and meant nothing to me, or it was never present in the first place.

3) The perceived loss of “time” is entirely the other person’s fault, and may also have been intentional.

The destructiveness of these implications are obvious here, but let’s take them one at a time for orders’ sake.

A quote by John Lennon comes to mind here, of when John’s teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said “happy.” The teacher smiled and said “I don’t think you understand the question.” John said back to his teacher “I don’t think you understand Life.” The parallel argument I’m making here is that relationships aren’t a means to an end of finding a suitable person to end up with, relationships are a journey of growth and self-discovery, of passion and vibrancy. Their worth to you is not contingent on whether they end or not. Thomas Edison didn’t thank each failed light bulb for wasting his time, it was a noble attempt. And he learned something new every single time, about this endeavors and himself.

Luke Jackson

Designer. Musician. Writer.