I was talking to a friend of mine recently. He had a love affair that went on for eight years. Then circumstances separated the two. The girl married a software engineer and is now shuttling between countries wherever her husband is posted on duty. While reminiscing, he pointed out that the girl would right now be thinking that she had made the right decision and may even be regretting the eight years she "wasted." I agreed with him on the first count, but not on the second. We cannot be sure of that, though that does seem likely, I said then. Thinking about it now, I am positive that the girl in question would definitely be thinking so. If she is, I would like to take this opportunity to prove that she is wrong in thinking so.
It is true that the affair did not end on a positive note. But he conducted himself a true gentleman throughout. He could have taken advantage of her naivete, but he did not. For eight years he remained loyal and in fact shielded her from possible other misadventures that could have happened to her. They had had fights, misunderstandings, tantrums; the entire gamut of feelings that run in a relationship.
But they had a good rapport with each other. Each understood the other well. Now even though he is out of the picture, that does not mean that the experience she gained is of no use. Those eight years would definitely have left her more matured, composed, able to understand a relationship better. What if she had had an affair with a cunning confidence trickster. She may have paid a huge price for that misadventure. Or if she had had an affair with a young hot head, they may have eloped hurriedly only to repent at leisure. But all that did not happen.
Now that she is flying from continent to continent, she might consider it her good fortune that she was not able to wed him. While that is open to further debate, I would definitely have an issue to her or anyone saying that the affair itself was a waste of time. To outside eyes, it would seem so. But to those in the know, it is priceless. It laid the foundation of her present life.