My ex was in town. He travelled 6,000 km to play some music to a new crowd and I just happened to live there. It’s not the first time we would be in the same room since I broke his heart, but it was the first time I’d walk into one of his gigs with a freshly broken heart and the faint sting of homesickness that comes with being hurt far away from home.
The feelings you get when you see someone whom you once thought you would spend forever with are always confusing. However, the confusion factor triples when you’re currently trying to pick up the pieces of your bruised ego and rebuild yourself into something somewhat presentable. The process is actually quite interesting.
You hug them, exchange pleasantries, just like usual. But this time, you find yourself looking into their eyes, desperately searching for them to reassure you that you are still desirable. You’ve been burned, and the person you are staring at once loved you. If anyone could make you feel worthy, it should surely be him.
Then, you start to question your feelings. You rethink the decision you made so very long ago to end things. He mentions his girlfriend and it burns. You’ve known about her for years, you’ve even met her. But right now, that word coming out of his mouth stings almost as bad as the rejection you’ve just been through.
You catch yourself staring. Wondering if they are perhaps looking at you too. You think to yourself, it must be strange for them as well. They’ve come all this way and their ex-girlfriend just so happens to reside in this strange city. Are they remembering the good times just like you are?
The way you end this encounter is key to whether or not you leave feeling great, or only more torn than you were when you walked into the pub. I tend to go for the option that leaves me with the most bruising. In this case, bring up something from the past. Reminisce. Make a joke about how amazing they are and end it with, “I’ll always love you”. They might say it back. They might not. Either way, you walk away dazed and wishing you’d just kept your mouth shut.
After all this, you’re left with your thoughts. And the most important thought you should walk away with is that this person once loved you. They once held you when you were sad, and shared your greatest moments. They treated you like you were the greatest thing they’d ever seen and made sure that you always knew you were wanted and loved. And when you walked away, it hurt. But one day, it didn’t hurt as bad. Just like this new wound will soon hurt less. Think about how the person you are recovering from now wasn’t always there for you. They didn’t treat you like you were the greatest thing they’d ever seen. They left you confused and they left you questioning everything. Remember that you can get through this because you’ve been through worse.
In the wise words of Homer Simpson, “Sometimes, when you least expect it, you’ll realize that someone loved you and that means that someone can love you again and that will make you smile.”