I’m a pretty smart girl. I put my blinkers on when changing lanes; I floss regularly; I don’t walk to my car late at night unaccompanied. However, there’s one dumb decision that I find myself constantly repeating: dating my ex.
I love hearing stories about people reconnecting with their exes. They always end up dating again, getting married, and laugh at how they “almost never were,” and I think that’s the kind of 2013 fairytale I’m trying to recreate for myself. Or maybe I really like stressing myself out - a lot.
Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I must be out of my mind.
Here’s what I’ve learned from constantly “trying it one more time” with my ex. I do it so you don’t have to.
1. There is no “courting” phase, or “recourting.” All the cute stuff he did when he first met you isn’t quite the same the second…or third…or fourth time around. He knows you. He doesn’t need to impress you. He’s not trying to win you over. He isn’t always going to text you first. It’s bullsh*t.
2. All those memories you had that you reminisced on when you two broke up…well, you’ve been looking back with rose-colored glasses. Everything wasn’t as awesome as you thought. He isn’t as funny as you remember. His angry face isn’t as cute as you thought it was. He’s not nearly as understanding. Those small little things he did that only “kinda, sorta bothered you” now grate your every nerve. You start wondering if you can kill him and make it look like an accident.
3. There are a lot of promises about how “this time, it’ll be different.” It might be…but it probably won’t be.
4. You aren’t as tolerant. The same way as how he might not compliment you as much or laugh as hard at your jokes is the same way you feel when he talks about how stressful his job is, how his classes are so hard, how his family is annoying him. At first, you were understanding and supportive. Now you’re rolling your eyes and muttering him to “get his sh*t together” under your breath.
5. Every time he doesn’t react how he use to, you’re upset that he’s changed. And every time he does the same sh*t he used to, you’re upset that he’s still the same.
6. His stupid-ass friends are still around. WHY are they still around? Between the freeloader, the pothead, and the guy who gets mad when his friends all have girlfriends, you don’t even know why your ex hangs out with these losers.
7. His promises of how things will be different “in the future” don’t carry the same weight. It’s the future and sh*t is looking real bleak.
8. Your friends don’t want to hear about it anymore. You’ve been talking about this for years. They’re bored. They roll their eyes when you talk. They’ve taken to calling your ex “him again??”
9. He use to be “the one that I’m going to marry” and slowly, he’s become “I mean…maybe we just aren’t meant to be, you know? If we’re meant to be, we’ll end up together. But maybe we’ve grown apart? Like…does he even KNOW me anymore?” After hours and hours of talking like this to my best friend, I start hating me, too.
10. You are NOT Carrie and Big. They are TV characters, and when you think about it, Carrie was a bit pathetic for going back to Big 493 times. I want Carrie’s wardrobe, but I don’t want to BE Carrie. Big left her at the freakin’ alter. Why does everyone keep acting like that part didn’t exist?
Exes are important because they teach you things. In each relationship you’ve been in, you’ve learned how to deal with other people, be compassionate, how to put someone else’s needs before your own, and most importantly, what you are and are not looking for in a partner. However, you can’t use any of this knowledge that you worked so very hard for if you’re always reliving the same relationship. So let go. It might be hard at first, but I promise, there’s better and more for you out there. You’re ex isn’t it.
Top Photo Courtesy: Dope Couture