“I haven’t dated anyone before and I need that experience,” was the first reason for why she broke up with me.
“I’m going back to school and I don’t want to drag you through that,” was the second.
“I love you, but I’m not in love with you,” was the third. And, “You’re pressuring me too much,” was the fourth.
Finally, the fifth and six times provided no excuses at all, just silence. She just simply disappeared without a word.
In case you weren’t counting, five times I was stupid enough to get back with my ex. The part I am proud of is I didn't come back running back to her even once.
Instead, it was she who begged me to let her back into my life. After months or weeks apart, I would get a text in the middle of the night from her, in which she confessed her love and claimed it would be different “this time.”
If she were a drinker, I could easily dismiss these as clichéd drunken texts, but each time, she was sober and apparently sincere.
As I type this, I am considering the possibility that she might be a sociopath, using me as a source to feel loved because I did love her — even at her low moments.
Maybe, she suffered from a personality disorder, and craved romantic connection but ran away once things became too intimate.
Whatever the reason, each time she left me behind, I wondered how someone who said she deeply loved me one day could leave me the next.
One day, we would be happy together; the next, she wouldn’t return any of my texts or calls for seemingly no reason. I would just sit there and wonder what was wrong with me.
Why do we let toxic people back into our lives after they hurt us repeatedly?
Why did I repeatedly welcome her back, only for her to make me feel like sh*t and make me believe I was the problem with the relationship?
It offers some consolation to know I’m not the only one who does this. A friend of mine once described those “assh*les” we keep going back to as our “kryptonite.” They are people who, when near, make us lose our powers and our natural ability to think reasonably.
And, just as Superman can only save the world far away from any kind of kryptonite, we can only save ourselves and our hearts when we are as far away from ours as possible.
This brings me to the most recent encounter I had with my kryptonite just a few weeks ago: One morning, I woke up to a text from her, which explained how afraid she was of love.
She said I was missing from her life, that she knew the very moment she fell for me and about the time she told her mother I was “the one.”
Of course, I believed her, and after a few texts sent back and forth, I agreed we should try getting together again. We met up and spent the night together talking and holding each other, just like something out of a cheesy romance movie.
Afterward, we stayed in contact for a few days, but once I asked when she had time for us to see each other, there was silence.
After several days of being deliberately ignored, I had enough and finally asked what was going on. Several hours later, I got an email.
Yes, an email. It explained that in some way, she wanted me to reject her, or for me to not be as good of a guy. She wanted a reason to never want to come back to me.
She then went on writing about how she dated another guy that summer (during one of our breaks), and in only a month, she felt more connected to him than she had with me after more than a year.
The email ended with, “Maybe we just aren’t meant to be together.”
After reading that final line, I picked up my phone and called her. Of course, she did not answer. After the beep I left a very, um, delicate message.
Basically, I told her to go f*ck herself, and once I did, I instantly felt a huge sense of relief. It was like taking off a weighted vest.
After leaving that voice message, I did what I should have done months earlier: I blocked her number on my phone, blocked her on every form of social media I could think of and sent one last text, strongly suggesting she should never contact me again.
At that moment, I finally felt free.
I threw my kryptonite to the sun and never felt better. You never can feel how damaging a toxin is until it's out of your system.
During our time together and while under her spell, I put in all the effort to make the relationship work. I worked for it because I deeply loved her, but you cannot make a relationship work on your own -- especially not with a toxic individual.
When someone you love doesn’t treat you the way you should be treated, sometimes, the best thing you can do is tell that person to f*ck off.