I’ve dated and broken up with the same guy at least 10 times over the past few years. Even though I know I should move on and meet someone new, I find myself constantly recycling my ex-boyfriends – here’s why:
- Unfinished business. Closure is a common thing to seek at the end of a relationship, but does it actually exist? This expectation of ending every relationship on a “happy note” is unrealistic, as is thinking that you’ll totally understand what went wrong and why I couldn’t fix it. I know that, but I can’t stop looking for it after a breakup. If there’s no closure, that means there’s still something there and we’re not totally over, right? (Ugh, wrong.)
- Sometimes I get lonely and sad. That’s basically it – when I get lonely and sad, I automatically want to go back to the person I know can make me happy, even if it’s just for a few minutes. I’ve learned the hard way that ex sex is never, ever worth it. That doesn’t keep me from doing it, but I always regret it later.
- I remember the good times instead of the bad. It’s so easy to forget all of the times he made me yell, cry, slash holes in his tires, casually drive by his house at night to make sure he wasn’t lying to me again like he always does… but I digress. The good times are the ones we remember the most, which explains why it’s so easy to run back into the arms of the enemy.
- I sometimes wonder if I can do any better. Most of the time, I’m pretty sure I haven’t even peaked when it comes to finding an amazing guy. The best I could do certainly wasn’t my high school sweetheart or college love interest, and it wasn’t any of the other random exes I keep going back to either. There’s always something better out there waiting for me… but sometimes that can be really hard to remember.
- There’s always a possibility that they’ve changed, right? Spoiler Alert: They haven’t, and I shouldn’t believe them when they say they have. I’m sure Taylor Swift has written a few songs about this: GUYS LIE. They tell us what they know we want to hear. They’ve seen the romantic comedies too – they know what makes us swoon.
- Maybe I’ve changed. Spoiler Alert: I haven’t. I’m still the same exact person I was when I dated these guys before. Maybe I’ve grown, but I haven’t changed and I shouldn’t. Demanding respect and commitment isn’t something I should (or ever will) change about myself, and I won’t apologize for that.
- Sometimes it just feels more comfortable living in the past. Moving on is terrifying, especially from someone I’ve experienced so much of life with. I know everything about them and they know everything about me – that kind of relationship takes a long time to get to. And what, now I have to try and start building that comfort level with someone else? It’s really tough to cut ties with someone you love, even if they are a complete and utter total waste of space.
- I don’t want to stop. Sometimes I just don’t care! Sometimes I know a relationship is destructive and unhealthy but I couldn’t care less. I know it’ll end badly and that it’s probably a mistake, but in the moment it feels like exactly what I need so I just go for it. Whether or not I’ll get over that someday, I don’t know (and I hope I do), but this is just the way things are right now.