A Stopped Watch

My watch stopped recently. I like my watch. It is (usually) reliable and has been a loyal friend for many years. And I must glance at it dozens of times a day. But suddenly it stopped.

At first I would instinctively continue to check it, only to be reminded – after a beat or two – that the time it was showing was a lie.

Despite all those thousands of instances down the years where I’d loyally turned to it for the right time and it had loyally delivered, all of a sudden none of that mattered. And it took just an hour or two for the habit and the trust to break and for me to stop looking to it.

I didn’t judge it too harshly though. All watches do stop at some point. That’s not their fault. They just need a service or a battery change every now and then. So that’s what I did. I gave it a chance for redemption.

However, problems persisted even after a service. It would stop or run slow. And the trust in it continued to erode.

It did continue to be beautiful to look at throughout. But all the good looks in the world can’t make up for it failing at its main job.

I eventually binned it. You can only trust a lying watch so many times.

Relationships are like this. Accumulative goodwill does build up. But only kind of; within limits. All you have to do is treat a partner badly a couple of times back-to-back for that trust to breakdown. For them to stop looking to you for the time.

You don’t always have to be right or perfect. But you certainly can’t be wrong or unreliable too many times in a row – no matter how long you’ve been reliably ticking away before that.

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