Why Do We Go Back To People Who Only Hurt Us?

I did something stupid. Something I’m not all that proud of and will most likely regret.

I slept with my ex. But that’s not the worst part.

I’d do it again. In fact, I have.

You see, I’ve always believed myself to be someone who likes to give people the benefit of the doubt. To try to rule out the bad with trying to see more of the good qualities they can possess. I mean, at one point in my life this person meant everything to me. I gave so much to this person that I truly thought they would hold onto it forever.

But then they do something you don’t ever want to have happen, they break it off. Break their promise, break your heart, and most importantly, they break your “fantasy.”

Everyone has it, I’ll be the first one to deny it but deep down I imagine it too. That moment when you first meet someone and all at once you see this future together going a hundred miles per hour right before your eyes. Everything set in stone.The kind of fantasy no Taylor Swift love song can come close to.

So then what do you do when the person you thought could fit that mold ends up ruining it? How do you allow yourself to feel whole again when they still have some of the missing parts you’re allowing them to keep and hold onto?

Why do we allow ourselves to do that? I’ll tell you why. Because somewhere deep down we think they’ll change. That we’ll forget about what they did, push it in the back of our mind where we put those bad memories that will eventually collect dust, and give them another chance.

But you know what happens when we give them another chance? They hurt us all over again. And yet, we still willingly go back for more. Sometimes I feel like I enjoy the chase. How fast I can run towards something bad already knowing the end results. Thinking maybe if I reach my hand out for them they’ll grab it. They never do, instead they let it slip through their fingertips.

It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t seem to have an end to it. You try to forget the person even though you continuously go through their social media, and bring them up in a conversation. Then one day you’re minding your business and they send you a message completely out of the blue. Now, the person you are now doesn’t want to respond. To have them know how it feels to be left on read or unanswered. But the old you, the one who would wait at your phone all day for them to text you back gives in and responds.

This brings back all the good times you had together, Almost forgetting what made you two break up in the first place. You get flirty, a little dirty talk here and there. Until they’re asking you to come over their place. Before you know it you’re back in their bedroom you spent almost every single night sleeping on your designated side closest to the wall with the heat from his skin radiating onto you. Except this time you’re not sleeping on that bed. You came there for one thing and one thing only, at least that’s what you told yourself.

Fast forward you’re walking back down his steps from his apartment and back to your car that you drove over there to get the only thing you wanted. Then why do you spend the drive back home crying? Why do you wish he had offered for you to stay? Why did you let yourself think this time it would be different and you’d spend the night talking about the inside jokes you shared and re-watching that show he got you into you still watch it alone in your bed.

Because you still care about them. You may not want to admit it, I certainly don’t, but you do. Somewhere deep down a part of you is terrified to let them go, or at least let the idea of them go.

Believe me, I’ve tried it. I tried to so hard, always going back to the same soul-crushing line he delivered that day he broke up with me. But no amount of alcohol or reassuring words of advice from others can stop me. It’s like going on a Ferris wheel. You already know what’s going to happen and you’re going to get scared when you’re at the top and it stops to let people off. But you still make it down to the bottom only to keep going around.

The question you have to ask yourself though is this, when are you going to get off of it and not go back on? When will you be able to truthfully tell yourself you’re better off with them staying in your past instead of creeping back into your present only to deny you of a future with not only them but somebody else? When will you finally listen to your friends who told you they were bad news the second they met them? When will you listen to your mom who helped you wipe your tears when they hurt you the first time only to see you not learn your lesson? When will it be enough?

I’m sick of giving myself to someone who will only ever want my body and not my heart too. I’m sick of allowing myself to go back to someone because I don’t want to forget how they say my name or not be able to point out their face in a crowd. I’m sick of sabotaging other relationships because they couldn’t live up to that person when I never gave them a fair chance to begin with.

But mostly, I’m so sick and tired of waiting by my phone for their reply. For it to be convenient for them to see me like I’m something they put on their to-do list that they’ll get to later.

I want to be the person they call just to say they wanted to hear my voice. I want to be the person they show off to their friends not hide in their bedroom or save in their phone. I want to be the person they store their heart right next to because they belong together, no questions asked. I want to be the person that they look at and see their fantasy right before their eyes and this time, they see how it ends and you’re in it.

I don’t know when this will happen to me. Some cynical part of me thinks it never will. And I’ll keep giving my heart to the same person only for the pieces to be scattered in so many different places I’ll never find them all again. But then there’s a small part in me that still hopes for the best. That there’ll be someone out there waiting to help me close this chapter for good. I’d like to think that.

Maybe one day I’ll get off that Ferris wheel.

About the author
I write about my past and what’s caused me pain Follow Kirstie on Instagram or read more articles from Kirstie on Thought Catalog.

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