How I Know I’m Still In Love With My Ex

Shutterstock / Yongcharoen_kittiyaporn
Shutterstock / Yongcharoen_kittiyaporn

We met when we were only sixteen. I knew from the moment I saw him that I wanted something with him. Whether it be a friendship or more than that, I needed him in my life. He was my best friend’s crush and we started texting. Nothing that was harmful. But she confronted me and told me not to talk to him anymore, so I stopped.

For a month I didn’t speak to him. It wasn’t until I was in a relationship with another friend of mine that I heard from him. All he said was, “Are you dating Caleb?” and I replied with a simple, “yes.” And I didn’t hear from him for another seven months. My relationship with Caleb didn’t last very long. I still thought about my other friend all the time.

Senior year of high school started and that was the first time I had seen him in so long. His smile was so charming. I got butterflies every time I looked at him. It took two months for him to ask me to be his girlfriend. It felt so right.

We were very different. He was charismatic and charming and I was awkward and shy. I never understood what he saw in me. Our relationship lasted two beautiful and treacherous years. After our freshman year of college, we both changed. He wasn’t charismatic anymore. He was mean and lonely. I fought for our relationship for many long months. I fought to gain his heart back because he lost it somewhere during freshman year.

After many months at war with him and myself, I called it quits. He seemed okay with this decision. He didn’t fight me on it. The fifteen minute drive from his house to mine was filled with sobs. That night I told myself that I would no longer be broken because of him. I wanted to renew myself. So that’s what I did.

That summer was filled with adventures and alcohol. I was keeping myself busy so I didn’t have to think about how much I missed him. I had a summer crush on another guy that didn’t grow into anything more than drunken memories.

Once sophomore year started, he started to contact me. He confessed that he missed me and loved me and wanted a second chance. On the outside, I acted brave. I deserved better therefore I wouldn’t give him a second chance. On the inside, though, I wasn’t so tough. Every word coming out of his mouth chipped away at the wall I built around my heart. I didn’t want him to break me again.

The semester went on and I had crushes on other boys and went on a horrible date with another guy, but he was still in the back of my mind. One day, I found out he had been in a car accident and I told him that he could use my car anytime he wanted. I wanted to be there for him without having to physically be there.

Thanksgiving came and that’s when I knew I was still desperately in love with him. I couldn’t tell anyone though because they all knew how broken he made me. So I kept quiet. I didn’t even tell my friends.

I would send him a text here and there and one day I told him that I missed him. He didn’t really believe it. If I missed him then why wouldn’t I give him a second chance? Why would I let him hurt for even a second?

Over Christmas break, I found out that he would be working in the same building as me. I was in Chicago on vacation with my dad. I broke down in tears saying, “I don’t want to have to be around him. He’ll just hurt me again.” My dad comforted me and told me that I would be okay.
I helped him move into our building. We spent the day together. I was emotionally drained after that day.

I wondered how I would make it through the semester. That night he came to my room and confessed his love for me again. He said he had changed. He would finally watch Frozen with me and would buy me Peach O’s and take me to dinner. He would be the man he wasn’t able to be before. I was so confused. I kept thinking about how much he had hurt me before and I let him leave with tears in his eyes and heart shattered. The second he left my room, I knew I had made a mistake.

I wanted him. I wanted all of him. I wanted the good and the bad and the worse. But I was silent. My family’s and friend’s voices drowned out my own. They kept reminding me of the hurt.
It wasn’t until a couple weeks later that I told him that I never stopped loving him. But it was too late. He told me he didn’t love me anymore. My world stopped spinning. The sun stopped shining. My heart stopped beating. I was a body, not a soul, for so long after this. To this day, I am still taping my heart back together. He told me he didn’t want me to speak to him anymore. Not even as a friend.

I still don’t know why he stopped loving me and I probably never will. I act like I don’t care, but my insides are barely together. I was hospitalized from a panic attack and sent to counseling. I didn’t want to live anymore. I took any pill I could find to numb the pain, but one day I woke up hurting a little less.

I still think of him every single day. I pray for him to be okay and find true happiness. I also pray to forgive him. Some days I am okay and others, a huge wave comes that knocks me off of my feet because it hurts so bad. But the thing I know to be true, is one day I will wake up and not feel the sting of him anymore. TC mark

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