Why I Keep Going Back To The Person I Was Afraid To Love

By Cate

Do you ever find that when you're single, the memories of past relationships run through your head — the "could of, would of, should of" moments all come flooding back?

Did you ever think we all have someone we might be afraid to love?

I have found myself in a series of serious relationships that have all faded for various reasons, but when one door closes, one very memorable door always opens up — one that I never really explored.

This leads me to question if we all have someone we're afraid to love. Is it possible that the relationship we are the most attached to is actually the relationship we never really gave a fair shot?

The beginning of this "relationship" may sound very familiar to a lot of you. I met him in college during orientation. I was 17 at the time, and still mildly hung up on my high school boyfriend who broke up with me because we were headed off to school.

I was very nervous about starting college, away from the comfort of my old friends and family, but something about his presence made me calmer. We hung out, walked to class together, watched movies in his dorm room and texted pretty feverishly for about two weeks before he decided to get back together with his girlfriend from high school

And that was it. We weren't really friends anymore, barely saw each other and both went our separate ways. I always wondered about him though and admittedly would sometimes hang out with his roommate just to see what he was up to (don't say you've never done it).

That spring, I also got back together with my high school boyfriend, who I was on and off with for five years following that semester.

It was our sophomore year, when he was single, that we started to become friends again. I tried to keep a respectable distance, since I wasn't single, but something about our energies seemed to constantly draw us together. I felt safe with him and always like he understood what I was going through.

Through every relationship, I can always remember this one night when he told me to take a chance on him, that there was something between us and that I should leave my boyfriend.

Rumors flew, I got embarrassed and I never took that chance. Fail number two. I got distant, he moved on, we stopped being friends. However, that night stuck with me because for the first time, I felt like someone was fighting for me.

It may seem like our story should've ended there, but something continued to draw us back to each other.

Junior year we both became president of our respective fraternity and sorority, which caused us to spend a lot more time together.

Not that either one of us complained, but we fell back into in this pattern we had as friends. I would go with him to watch Eagles games, even though I was a Giants fan. We would hang out at the frat together and eat double-stuffed Oreos, but never once did we discuss our feelings again.

That spring, my boyfriend came to visit one weekend, and when he saw us together, he had some choice words. Needless to say, the friendship ended once again.

This cat-and-mouse game became our thing. Our friends talked about it, my friends would talk to him about it, gag gifts in the sorority would be focused around it. It was an ongoing joke.

Finally, I started my senior year off single; we both were. We would hang out pretty frequently, he would walk me home to make sure I got there safely and we would find ourselves out together whenever he wasn't working. This was the first time, since freshman year, that we were both available to give this thing a shot.

If you predicted that I am about to say two weeks went by and it was over again, you're right. Two weeks went by and we both pushed each other away; the fear we had about finally committing sent us both skyrocketing in opposite directions.

I got back with my boyfriend, he found a new girlfriend. I wrote him a letter explaining all of my feelings, in an attempt to make him understand why I ran and found it to be completely unnoticed. That was it — our saga was over.

I'll spare you all the repetitive details and fast forward to where we are today. Ten years later, post-heartbreak, the only person I wanted to talk to was him. We hadn't spoken in three years, we both "moved on," yet the second that text was sent, we were back into our old ways.

I fell for him again, and this time may have been the hardest. After a couple of weeks, a few "dates" and a lot of phone calls later, I'm back to the same spot I was in college, wondering why we pushed each other away again. All of this leading me to, is this the person I am afraid to love? Am I afraid because this could be the most passionate love I'd know?

All of these questions, certainly, do not have the answers. I still find myself wondering how the fuck I get over being scared and giving it the shot it deserves, or betting yet get him over being scared and giving us the shot we deserve. How do we find ourselves running from the one person who may actually have the key to our heart?