People say an ex is an ex for a reason. If someone cheats, steals your identity, fucks your sibling (or parent), has a serious criminal record, could possibly be a threat to your well-being…those are certainly good reasons to live by that saying.
But, sometimes, an ex is an ex just because two individuals need time apart. Time to grow, time to heal, time to learn, and time to think, without worrying about anyone but themselves for a little while.
So with that notion, after the self-growth, what happens when two people consider trying to work on getting back with one another? That’s one of those situations in life that no one ever teaches you how to navigate, because there is no set course.
You’re somewhere between being on the quest to the promised land or standing outside in a shit-storm playing Russian roulette, hoping there’s not one in the chamber. It’s a gamble, it’s a crap shoot, it’s absolutely nerve-wracking, and it could potentially be one of the best OR one of the worst decisions you’ll ever make.
Think that might be a tad bit stressful? Welcome to my life as I currently know it.
Contrary to what most of my articles discuss, I am not one who typically would prefer a random hookup with a new girl every night of the week. Don’t get me wrong, casual sex is awesome. It’s fun, it’s exhilarating, it provides one hell of an ego boost (Lord knows I don’t need that), and it’s always a new experience in at least some way. But what I don’t write about, and what many fail to realize is…that shit is exhausting (not to mention risky).
I honestly haven’t spent most of my life living like a vagina-crazed frat boy. I haven’t spent years embracing and loving my bachelorhood. I’ve had many more years of solid, committed, serial monogamy under my belt than I’ve had random women under my bed sheets. The fact of the matter is, I went through a painful break up and I resorted to the coping mechanisms that I know how to use: alcohol and promiscuity.
I was doing alright. I wasn’t doing great, or even good, by any means but I was at least surviving and healing bit by bit every single day. I’ve been through tough break up’s before. I’ve read this book, I’ve seen this movie, and I wasn’t going to be thrown off by any plot twist. Or so I thought…then, suddenly…
She texted me.
We talked. We cried. We apologized. We talked some more. We became friends again, which is something we lost. We felt the love return. And, most importantly, we missed each other. Terribly.
I was spending so much time swimming in pools of booze and pussy that I never really took the time to process the emotions, I just stored them in the back of my mind and felt like the regret and the pain would slowly dissipate. They never did. And now, here they are, full force again.
It’s not going to be easy for us to work on this. It might be the hardest thing we’ve ever done, as individuals and collectively. Yet, we still trudge on, assuring each other this is what we want. This is what we need.
But fuck, damn…thinking about this now, as emotionally detached as I can possibly be, this is a daunting task. Getting back together with and loving an ex-partner, without letting the past get in the way of the future, is hard enough. Forgiving all mistakes and learning to live with regrets, for the greater good of the relationship, that’s even more difficult. Compartmentalizing things that may have happened during your time apart, or towards the end while it was all sinking, might be the hardest thing of all.
None of these are impossible. But it’s hard.
We weren’t separated for that long. The things I’ve done, can she look past them? Yes, I was single, I had every right to, and plus these are things that will never come up in my life again. Girls I will never see or hear from, never receive a text or call from, or even a Facebook message for fuck’s sake. Still, even if it’s not present in my present, it’s always going to be in my past. And thus, indirectly in hers. Can she still look at me with respect, and want to be with me intimately?
I don’t know, but I’m willing to find out. I’m willing to work to see if we can work. I’m willing to work to earn her respect again.
And she had a right to do what she did during her time being single, without any thought to us working things out. I can’t hate her, resent her, or judge her (that would be hypocritical), but I can be hurt. But I’ll have to work on letting go, work on forgiving. And that will be hard.
So, why? Why bother? Why bother trying to make something work that’s clearly been damaged? Because being damaged doesn’t mean irreparable. Because sometimes you realize who truly matters. Sometimes you realize it took two to tango, and if you’re both willing to stop dancing, maybe you can get through to each other.
Sometimes you just know.
It’s her. It’s always been her.