Billy Curtis, Sex Columnist

A great woman once said, “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”
Though that woman may be Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the point still stands – life is hard. It seems that as time continues to pass so rapidly in this world, the odds of some disaster occurring to you will rise.

As we grow into adults, we lose our sense of innocence and usually get exposed to many of life’s traumatic events. It’s up to us to decide how we take these disasters and whether they will bend or break us.

While in my disaster fiction class a couple of weeks back, we were discussing the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, on survivors of catastrophic events, like being involved in a war or surviving a natural disaster and not being able to cope with the events you experienced.

In laymen’s terms, PTSD involves symptoms that interfere with trust, emotional closeness, communication, responsible assertiveness and effective problem solving. Ironically, these problems are also possible reasons why most relationships end just as tragically as the world could end in 2012.

This got me thinking – if this were true, then could the inability to cope with life or a partner’s dilemmas through PTSD be the reason why most relationships end?

I started to think about my past relationships and went through my mental calendar trying to remember if I had gone through anything traumatic with my past boyfriends around the time we broke up. Then I began to realize that, most of the time, there may not have been a traumatic event that happened, but there certainly was something that I couldn’t come to terms with in that situation. This may have caused some inner turmoil, essentially leading to me picking fights for no reason and eventually losing the person I once loved.

You can judge me here, or you can realize that you might have done the same thing. Look at your previous relationships. Was there something about a person you were dating with which you could never really come to terms? Did you end up pushing that person away because you didn’t know how to deal with your emotions?

These are just some small examples of what PTSD can feel like to the people who have to deal with it every day. Take this into consideration the next time your world is falling apart because you think you’ll never be happier with anyone else. Trust me, you will be happy in time.

Every relationship you will hold will have its ups and its downs, its traumas and its ecstasy. When I refer to ecstasy, I mean that one singularly sublime moment, trapped in time and locked in the depths of you memory until the day you leave this earth – like something as simple as the way he grabs your chin to kiss you so delicately. Memories like these are the ones that would help someone get over their traumatic experience.

After dealing with every traumatic relationship, we all have our moments of wondering what the real point is, whether it’s worth it to keep trying and, of course, we have the stage of questioning every little thing to find out what went wrong.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gathered with friends over a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and listened to them cry and complain about how they never want to date another man again.

But they do and end up being happier than they were before. The only way to get over the post-traumatic stress of a lost love is to deal with it. Question it. Cry about it to friends.

Simply put, love is a battlefield: A long line of tumultuous battles with enemies who were once allies, and controversies that could have been resolved through communication and not the lack thereof.

Why do we deal with relationships? Because nothing in the world makes us feel more alive. As sad as it is to say – as well as tacky – love really does make this shitty world go round.

Surviving the dropped bombs, maneuvering around the mortars and coping with the problems life brings are the only ways to survive. After all, you can’t see what’s coming if you’re hiding, locked away in your comfort-zone closet.

Deal with the problems that manage to surround your life, because if you don’t, the only person you are going to hurt in the end is yourself. Not all relationships end with some stereotypical happy ending. It’s the broken bonds that hold the most truth and that will teach you what you need to know about yourself and, more importantly, what you are looking for in your own Mr. Right.

Don’t become the victim of a post-traumatic existence; take your failure as a lesson learned and move on to the something that you’re really looking for.