I am a slow walker, but I never walk back ~ Abraham Lincoln
A good friend of mine, a few weeks ago, said to me, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘why is that when you’re in a good place, you’re feeling good, everything is shiny, do suitors of yore come knocking?’ And by knocking I mean texting. We have both discovered this phenomenon to have proven true. It’s as though some sixth sense is at play and the universe lights up the bat signal as if to say, ‘now would be a really great time to send that text and make sure she’s still hanging on…just in case.’
I think I understand why it happens, why people hang around and drop back in at inopportune times, but I don’t understand why we entertain the idea? I can understand the insecurity of the unknown and the boost of confidence and self esteem that may be gleaned from reconnecting with an ex-something or other. The act of throwing out the line and seeing if there’s a bite. But why do we bite in the end?
Perhaps there are the same elements of security and self esteem boosting that occurs when we receive these unsolicited reach outs from the past. Perhaps there is a hopefulness that he has ‘realized’ what we had or how great I am or that he’s now, finally, emotionally available or ready for a relationship. Perhaps there is also an ease and a comfort in entertaining the idea of not having to start all over again. That there is a potential of just picking up where it left off and avoiding the awkward ‘getting to know each other’ phase.
However, the past is the past for a purpose. There is generally a reason why these people exist only in our rear view mirrors. In my experience, there has always been some fundamental rationale for why it was not meant to be or some significant shift in values and life vision that have caused me, or the other, to move on. And in my experience these fundamental differences, core beliefs or values, don’t change. My mom always used to tell me, you can’t change anyone. She was and is right. The only person I can change is me. And my core beliefs, values and vision for my life has held pretty steady over the years.
In my years on this planet, I have only ever reopened a relationship once. Against my better judgement, I really wanted to be proven wrong. Sadly, I was right and, in that situation, strangely, I didn’t want to be right. The exact same reason we split the first time was the cause of our split again. Although not completely unexpected, it was still a loss and was still an unpleasant experience.
Perhaps everything does happen for a reason or perhaps things happen and we find a reason. I have learned lessons from all my relationships and experiences, and the person I am, at my core, hasn’t changed very much. If he wasn’t right for me the first time, he’s likely not right for me the next time either. And I question the motivation for bringing someone back. Life is forward motion. I don’t want to be second choice or the easy and comfortable path. I want to be the right person, and take the time to figure that out. Not the recycled person, for I have come to believe that the only things that should be recycled are plastics, glass and paper.