What I’m about to admit is the adult female equivalent of sucking your thumb after infancy…
I still love my ex-boyfriend. I don’t want to get back together but he’s my favorite least favorite guy. By that, I mean nothing has replicated the exhilaration of experiencing him in every way. He’s like a tall tale or an urban myth I tell myself whenever I date a new guy who is lackluster or just isn’t what I want in that moment. He’s a legend, in my mind. It’s not a competition but if my ex-boyfriend was whole milk I just never adjusted to 2%. On the bright side, no one has detrimentally hurt my feelings as much either. There are pros and cons to this situation.
Back to my grown woman binky. The shame that I own for loving a guy I know I won’t ever be with is not as pitiful as it sounds, anymore. He was the perfect storm of a man. He was devastatingly handsome, it felt like we were the best of friends. and most of all it felt like he got me. We were like an inside joke that no one else got. We were like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer only in reverse. A tale of one person falling in love and the other person just going through the motions. I was stuck with memories of a failed relationship and he just moved on (and on, and, and on again).
What is a girl to do with residual feelings after you’ve talked to all of your girlfriends one thousand times about the same guy?
At a certain point, I realized how pathetic I sounded and I decided to move on because he had done so at least four times over. They say the easiest way to get over an old guy is to get under a new one and that is a lie. It’s the biggest lie ever because when the initial thrill wears off I revert. When the new car smell of my new love interest fades I lay on my side and secretly suck my pacifier.
How can I expose the most real parts of me, and not be terrified? I take responsibility and acknowledge that I took part in allowing negligent, narcissistic, manipulative behavior rule of my better senses. I sold myself at the low cost of keeping him for just a little longer. I’ve sucked this pacifier for way longer than I should have because knowing that I’ve already loved someone to that extent is easier than expecting another love to eclipse what once was. While other women are writing positive affirmations in order to attract the loves of their lives with optimistic glee, I hid in a corner with my secret bad habit.
I read a quote the other day (Yes it was on Instagram! Don’t judge me.)
“The best of you is not what you lost in the one who left, but in all the pieces they couldn’t take with them” -Pavana
For all the pieces of me that miss the guy who would kiss me until I fell asleep, talk to me until the sun came up and made me laugh, I realize those are only the good things I chose to remember. It’s a mind manipulation of sorts. He was a mirror reflecting back on to me showing me what I wanted to see. What I really fell in love with was the best my love had to offer and from time to time I just get sad that I can’t express myself in that way. (That and my ex-boyfriend was earth shatteringly good in bed but I digress.)
Here’s another quote:
If you sit in shit too long it stops smelling- Jennifer Lewis
Unrequited love is top heavy. The weight is badly distributed and the relationship eventually just topples over.
It’s also toxic because you convince yourself that the more you prove your love to that person it will change how they feel about you. After a while, you just feel like vermin doomed to be exterminated. The worst part is love doesn’t just disappear. I wish it did because I carried my dirty secret for way longer than I would like to admit. After my tower of love for my ex fell I didn’t really clean up the mess, I just gathered all the pieces and just shoved them into a closet and closed the door and prayed that no one would ever notice.
After infancy, your mom weans you from your pacifier and you have to learn to self-soothe. I’ve done my work, I’ve read books, I’ve abstained, I’ve given it up, at this point I’ve done it all. In this instance, I have to be the child and the mother and just let go of this horrible disgusting habit. This time it’s not because everyone is watching or because I found out he has another girlfriend but because I’m tired of him holding space he doesn’t actually deserve nor desires to be in. He’s not even that dude. If I was the only one in love he’s more fantasy than reality and I can fantasize about Michael B. Jordan like everyone else.
I think you keep a little bit of the love you have for people you loved that much. It’s unrealistic to think you won’t love someone after things don’t work out. Honestly loving him helped me get over him because I found that I can love him from anywhere. I can love him from my house. I can love him and never call, never visit, never make direct eye contact. Love him and keep all of my “never ever agains” intact. I just hope that one day I meet a guy who is so dope I forget that I ever had a metaphorical mental pacifier to suck.