I Kept Going Back To My Ex Because It Was Easier Than Finding A New Guy

We dated for almost two years and then broke up. Still, I kept going back to him instead of looking for someone else. It just felt so right at the time, but I realized later that I was just being lazy about putting myself out there to meet someone new.

  1. IT TAKES ME A REALLY LONG TIME TO FIND SOMEONE I LIKE. Sure, I find a whole bunch of guys reasonably attractive, but beyond that? Not so much. The thought of spending my evenings swiping left till I randomly hit someone who may or may not be worth talking to did not appeal to me at all.
  2. I WASN’T READY TO PUT MYSELF OUT THERE. Just thinking about the time and energy needed for looking for and dating someone new put me off the idea straight away. When you think about it, there are so many hoops you need to jump through when looking for a new relationship—dressing up, making small talk, flirting—you’re basically putting on a show for someone you may or may not be interested in.
  3. FIRST DATES ARE AWFUL. I hate the awkwardness, the anxiety and the formulaic nature of the vast majority of first dates. I also know that dating is a numbers’ game, so I’d have to go on a whole bunch of bad first dates before finding someone I’d want to go on a second date with. Just the thought of going through the motions of a boring first date made me want to never leave the house again.
  4. GOING BACK TO MY EX WAS A SAFE BET. Fear of rejection? Not with this guy! It might be a terrible thing to say, but I knew my ex would always have me back. This took the stress out of getting in touch because I already knew what the result would be.
  5. I ALWAYS KNEW EXACTLY WHAT TO EXPECT. With my ex, there were no surprises. We’d been together long enough and had been dating on and off for enough times, I knew all there was to know about him, us, our relationship dynamic and pretty much everything else. I knew exactly what I was getting into and it felt familiar and comforting each time. There wasn’t anything new to learn or adapt to. We just instantly clicked into our old dynamic and carried on from there, for better or worse.
  6. I KNEW THE SEX WAS GOING TO BE GOOD. When you go on a date you hope your new guy won’t be disappointing in bed, but even if the guy’s awesome, you still need to learn about each other and what turns you on. Going back to my ex cut through all that. I already knew the sex was good and we’ve had sex enough times to know exactly what each of us needed to get off.
  7. WE DIDN’T HAVE TO BUILD INTIMACY BECAUSE IT WAS ALREADY THERE. Both physical and emotional intimacy take time to build and you need to actively work at it. Until you make it work, there are plenty of opportunities for doubt, anxiety, and disappointment. Just thinking about having to go through all that with someone new made me run back to my ex every single time I wanted company.
  8. I DIDN’T HAVE TO BE ON MY BEST BEHAVIOR ALL THE TIME BECAUSE MY EX HAD ALREADY SEEN ME AT MY WORST. Seeing me without makeup on? Check! Farting in bed? Check! PMS? You got it! My ex and I have already been through all that stuff, so I knew I could just turn up at any state without having to worry about putting him off. This was far more appealing than trying to appear all plucked and perfect for the next guy. I could just be myself straight away.
  9. WHEN WE WEREN’T DATING, I KEPT FORGETTING THE THINGS THAT MADE US BREAK UP. My ex and I were obviously not right for each other, or we’d have never broken up in the first place. But whenever we weren’t dating, I kept forgetting that. All I could think about were the fun times we had and that warm, fuzzy feeling of familiar comfort I had whenever we were together. I kept thinking it could work if we tried hard enough. Denial? You bet. But I didn’t realize this at the time.
  10. I WASN’T EMOTIONALLY READY FOR A SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP BUT WANTED THE ILLUSION OF BEING IN ONE. In hindsight, it’s quite obvious that I wasn’t ready for a real relationship. After all, I kept going back to a person I knew wasn’t right for me, only to break up with him time and time again once I remembered we were a bad match. As long as meeting and dating someone new felt like work rather than like something I wanted, the appeal of what I thought was a “real relationship” was obvious – cut through the dating crap and go straight into “real” intimacy right away. Now I realize it was just me not wanting to move on from the familiar past. Once I was ready, the thought of putting myself out there and meeting new people didn’t seem so bad after all and I was ready to leave this guy behind me.
Writer, artist, intrepid traveler and lover of cats, cheese and techno music. Preferably not all at the same time.