While it’s been years since my last boyfriend broke up with me, there is some part of me that will still react to the fact that he’s alive and breathing.
I can’t really explain the feeling. It’s just there.
I don’t believe in a “One”. And having been dumped in all of my serious relationships, I’ve come to think a lot about whether people are just not compatible or just not able to work things out because of lack of effort or miscommunication/misunderstanding.
My current boyfriend and I often point to the fact that there were a few moments early on when we fought and could have easily called it quits, but instead, figured it out. I feel like that’s a testament to us considering when you’re in the first few months of a dating situation, it’s much easier to think “Eff this. Bye.” To be scared off by the notion that you just don’t “get” one another.
So sometimes I look back on my last two longterm relationships and wonder if we’d just talked more, been more honest, trusting and open minded if perhaps we would have made it, at least for a bit longer. Or if we just couldn’t do that, either as individuals or as a couple.
I will never forget being told I wasn’t my last boyfriend’s “soulmate” and this was the foundation for him breaking up with me. I didn’t fight back because I believed him, even though I didn’t believe in soulmates. That’s because I was never brave enough to tell him when I was feeling vulnerable or anxious or scared. I wasn’t open about some of the things I thought we needed to talk about and work on. That manifested into me thinking we might not be totally right for one another. And apparently he felt the same.
I’m not sure if a conversation could have solved our problems. But it’s hard to think that an honest discussion about what wasn’t working would have hurt anything. I know I loved him and I thought he loved me. That’s not the end all be all, but it seems big enough to at least try.
And try is what never happened in the relationship before the last one that haunted me for years.
In any case, both of those guys have moved on in one way or another. So have I.
The other day, as I was walking to the bus stop to go to my boyfriend’s house, I came upon a group of people having a yard sale, playing bags. As I got closer, I realized they were right outside my ex’s friend’s condo. And sure enough, there he was.
My instinct was to cross the street. But I felt that was too obvious. Instead, with a racing heart, I walked past them without acknowledging anyone, thankful for sunglasses, but wishing I had my earphones in too.
It’s not like we’re on horrible terms. If anything, we’re on no terms, so a wave hello wouldn’t have been the end of the word.
I just couldn’t.
Because there will always be a feeling of rejection no matter how much time passes. And I don’t need to be reminded that he’s married and happy because in order to be those things it meant not being with me anymore.
I become divided into Old Me and New Me. As good as New Me is, she still can’t seem to show Old Me that things are pretty great now and that that should somehow snuff out the strange humiliation that creeps in when confronted with the past.
I’m thankful for my current relationship. Perhaps I had to go through what I did to get to this point so I could understand what it really takes to work on something. I don’t mean that this is more of a struggle than the past. I mean that I was trying to deal with all of my insecurity by myself, afraid to show my true colors to the person I loved. And as hard as it is to be that open and forthright, it makes for a better, easier relationship.
I just wish that strength could override the coward I become around my exes.