This has been the week of the Ex’s.
I technically count 4 men my Ex’s. These are the relationships where I was actually considered a girlfriend.
I was reminded of Ex # 2 on Tuesday. The dates of this week marked when he and I officially began dating more than 6 years ago. It was summertime in Texas, I was 26 and not focused of dating. When we began the story of us, I was completely oblivious to his pursuit. I fell slowly, but once I did it was wonderful. Long distance, quiet walks, and his humor still come to mind. His untimely death two years later still haunts me and kept me from dating for several years while I recovered.
On Wednesday, I was surfing my pinterest when Ex # 3 popped up on my pinned board. This was the guy I tried to make it work with, even though he was with someone else. He did hide the fact he was with someone else, but I still tried to make it work even though we would break up once a month. He seemed to always come back to me for some reason but in the end I hammered the final nail in the coffin when I told the other woman about me and him. I made it impossible to get back with him and so that he would hate me. In the end, he married her.
Yesterday at a golf tournament, I ran into Ex #1. My high school love. I haven’t seen him in 5 years, since his wedding (yes I went to it and yes I was invited and NO I did not try to stop the wedding). It took me 4 long years to get over this relationship once it ended. Back then, he was hilarious, cute, and made my heart flutter like no one else really has. I was so “in love” as an 18 year old that when we broke up I wasn’t sure I could do it again. We tried to get back together a few years later but we had both changed so much it couldn’t work, so we decided to be friends. Seeing him yesterday really got me thinking about ALL of my Ex’s.
Especially the latest one. It has been 4 months since we broke up. And I am still confused and angry, mostly at myself.
I see where I went wrong as well as him.
It was NEVER going to work.
But how did I end up there? With someone who couldn’t communicate with me, yet I allowed it? With someone who we both just went through the motions with? And yet I miss him so much?
I have to look back at all of the Ex’s to try and make sense of it all.
After Ex #1, I decide never to date the “Mr. Popular” again. That’s what he was, he was cute, all the other girls had crushes on him, and all the guys wants to be friends with him. It was all a little too much. So I refused to go down that path again. I had opportunities in college, but dating the guy with who everyone wants to be with is exhausting. Always having to be “On.”
When I started dating Ex #2, I didn’t realize it. I thought he was beautiful; tall (6’4), dark (Mexican), and so very handsome. The first time I laid eyes on him I was convinced he was some Spanish movie star. When he introduced himself to me, I was shocked and then completely off-putted on how he said his name. As if saying it with an accent would immediately land me. Like I said, I had already dating “Mr. Popular” good-looking guy, and I refused his advances. But I did agree to be his friend. This actually made him want me more, and work to ease his way into my heart. It worked over time, but he was different than #1. His looks were ten times better, but he didn’t “know it.” I remember going to the movies with him and seeing all the girls straighten up when he was buying popcorn, flashing that brilliant smile of his. And their let down faces once they realized he was with me. He was a Christian, devoted to his bible readings, but he had a fear of me cheating on him. So when I had to move back home to help take care of my Mother who had breast cancer, it was too much for him. We broke up, but remained close even up until his death. He even tried to get back with me once, but I was stubborn and told him if we broke up once, we would again. There was no need for second chances.
Somewhere in the middle of getting over #2, I ran into #3 at a bar. He was tall, dark, and not that handsome. I had decided NOT to date Mr. Beautiful and instead date a guy more on my level. I was 27, and determined to be married before my 30th birthday. I didn’t even LIKE him that much. His voice, his teeth, EVERYTHING got on my nerves. Until he ended it with me a month in. Suddenly I felt rejected like I had never felt. I let him go and when he came back two weeks later I decided try the second chance. I mean, I missed up with #2, there is no reason to do it with #3. HUGE MISTAKE. I began to realize he was also dating someone else, but I was convinced he liked me more. We saw each other almost everything, he introduced me to his dad, he spent holidays with me, when could he really see her?! We broke up 3 more times over the next 4 months, each time him coming back and each time me taking him back. When the truth finally right in my face I had to make it impossible. From there I decided to really take a genuine break from dating.
A break that last four years.
I guess I am still in this place. How does one end up in a relationship? All the mistakes I made with the past guys; I just couldn’t do it again. Making up all these rules to follow. I wanted to throw them out the window.
So when #4 showed up, I told myself to not care. He wasn’t Mr. Beautiful, he wasn’t Mr. Poplar, and he wasn’t Mr. Cheater. He was kind and sweet. His clothes bothered me, but in the long run if he was nice to me, who cares? And he was nice to me, more so than all the others. He brought me flowers, and listened to my rambles, and planned a birthday party for me. He introduced me to his sister and his family 2 months in and he was the first guy I had brought home since #1. But at the same time, there was “something” missing. I still can’t put my finger on it. He would later say there was no spark, but I know I still loved him. I saw a future together with him and sometimes I still do. He refused to tell me how he felt, he would say “Can’t you tell from my actions?” (flowers, letting me stay with him, taking me to dinners, buying me things) But some of his actions contradicted this. He would tell me how unfunny I was, he would sometimes give me looks that felt harsh, and imply I wasn’t smart. And the worst thing was even thought I could talk to him all day and all night, I couldn’t open up about #2. The loss of him made me want to find something and hold on and never let go. I didn’t truly realize this until I found myself in another relationship. I was constantly worried of something happening to #4. But I also felt like I was the BEST girl he had ever dated, there was NO WAY he would end things with me. His family appeared to love me (once of his sisters even implied about us getting married in front of him!). I thought it was in the BAG. I thought that or non-communication was just “us”. We never fought, we were just there and I was content. When it unraveled I felt like #2 had died all over again.
This week has had me really thinking about all of them and how I got to this place in my life. 31, single, and still trying to figure everything out.
Was it even possible to feel that kind of love again? The spark that me and #1 had has never been duplicated. Even yesterday I still felt a tiny ting of it even if we haven’t been together in 13 years. Is this the thing I was really missing in #3 and #4? Was it even there with #2?
#4 told me that what he was missing with me was this undeniable “spark”. I told him I too had had it once, but it was my first love. I am not sure if you can still have that first feeling of euphoric love once it has passed.
Or am I looking in the wrong places?
I have tried not to set “rules” for myself, as I have done in the passed. But still, I find myself doing that with the people I dating now.
Or should I stop looking so much at the past? They say that the past defines us and if that is true how can I not look back?