Minus the City: Unfinished Business


Located somewhere between a fling, “it’s complicated” and a relationship lies the concept of unfinished business. At one point or another, we all come to recognize the almost-relationships we have had that fall under this category. These tend to be those over which we obsess, can’t seem to drop or drag on before progress is made in the relationships – or in some cases, all of the above.

In many ways, unfinished business is pausing on what could be and moving on for the time being by accepting the loose end of an inconclusive relationship. This could be for many reasons – from bad timing to a lack of ability to commit. However, there’s a clear distinction to be made. 

 Unfinished business isn’t burying emotions. Buried emotions come out in ugly ways, such as the drunk text to the ex we just aren’t over. Unfinished business is keeping the feelings at bay. However, therein lies the question: at what point are we supposed to let go of our feelings and leave it entirely in the past? Is unfinished business healthy, or is it prolonging the agony that we just don’t want to let go of yet?

Perhaps what causes the transition from cute to ugly is when we ignore our feelings in order to leave things purposefully unresolved. At a certain point, we may continue to involve ourselves for the sake of the game. It’s some twisted form of emotional masochism – the continuation of the feelings, constantly being undefined, the persistent lacking of a conclusion. It leaves you wanting more and dealing with the unpredictability of the future. It’s an addiction, and I have to wonder, at what point do we call it quits? Is there a healthy balance between holding out for something that might be worth our time and moving on before the undefined matter turns into a toxic obsession? After all, the saying “only time can tell” only goes so far. For some, there’s a lesson to be learned in being a “loose end” and leaving it all up to the tricks of time. For others, there’s a lesson in choosing between waiting for the text or call that might never come, or moving on and accepting the fact you once had something, albeit undefined and in the past – for now.