I Thought I Wanted My Ex Back, But I Really Just Wanted My Old Self Back

When my ex came back into my life after I thought he was gone forever, my knee-jerk reaction was that I wanted to give things another go. Turns out, that’s not what I was really after all and I wish I’d realized it at the time. Here’s what happened when I went back to him anyway.

  1. I thought he was “the one that got away.” Even though I hate that term, I really thought that we’d been unlucky when we were together the first time. Our breakup had been brutal for me because I’d loved him so much. Now that he was back, I thought there was still a chance that we were meant to be and it blinded me.
  2. It had taken me months to get over him. After our first breakup and lots of crying over him, I finally felt free of him and had put my feelings to bed. That’s when he came back onto the scene. I swear, guys seem to have a radar for when women are over them so they can try to weasel their way back in! Ugh.
  3. I was pulled back in. He texted me a lot and I realized that we really still had so much in common. It was like we’d stepped back in time to when we’d first met over a year ago. I felt that rush of emotion and felt myself falling for him again—hard.
  4. He broke up with me the first time and I was afraid of getting my heart broken again. Although we were having a great time, I had to be honest about how things had gone in the past. He’d broken up with me the first time, telling me that he didn’t see us as having long-term potential. Had he really changed? I was drunk on love but I had to maintain some sober thoughts here to prevent getting hurt.
  5. I thought I really did want him back. He made me feel so good about myself, confident, carefree and full of life. It was addictive. I couldn’t deny that I was tempted to take him back, so when he asked me if we could try one more time, I said yes.
  6. It started out well, as it always does. Those first few weeks were pure bliss. I felt like he was bringing such joy to my life, just like he’d done when we first dated. I loved the feeling of life opening up for me… but it wasn’t meant to last.
  7. He went back to his old habits. Once he tied me down to a relationship, he started to act up again. He wasn’t always available to me, he didn’t seem that interested in a future together, and I was sobering up just as fast as I’d fallen for him again.
  8. I’d fallen back into the old setup. I was the one carrying the relationship on my shoulders, making excuses for him and chasing him. It sucked. The good things had repeated themselves but the bad did too. That’s the catch of going back to my ex—history would always come back and bite me in the ass with this guy.
  9. I beat myself up. I felt like I’d been conned into thinking we could have a great relationship, a better chance this time around. Meanwhile, I was sad and felt like such an idiot. This guy wasn’t worth it and I couldn’t believe how long it had taken me to realize it.
  10. Turns out, my motives for getting back with him were kinda messed up. I realized what I’d really been after with this guy. It wasn’t him, it was the way he made me feel. Whenever he entered my life, I felt like I was the best, most amazing version of myself. He brought out that side to me and that’s what had intrigued me about him so much.
  11. I’d lost it completely. After our relationship ended the first time, I was really heartbroken and seemed to lose that wonderful part of myself along with my ex. So when he stepped back into my life, it was like he’d given me the promise of having my old self again. The problem with this was that I put all my hopes and dreams of the person I wanted to be on his shoulders. It was unfair.
  12. In the end, I understood that I didn’t actually need him. When we broke up for the second time, this time I initiated the breakup because I didn’t want to deal with his old, pathetic habits again. I realized that I never actually needed this guy in my life. I could be my old amazing self without him.
  13. It had happened for a reason. I guess going back to my ex hadn’t all been bad. Although I’d fallen for his BS, the experience had made me see how I could make my life and self better. There’d been a good reason for him reentering my life. Although he brought out the best in me, after some time with him he started to bring out the worst. I left him back in my past for good and bolted the door shut for good measure.
  14. I fell in love with myself again. I focused on myself, my goals, and my dreams (which he’d always supported) and I worked on my self-confidence. I stopped allowing the routines and drama of life to get in the way of my happiness and humor. That’s what my ex always reminded me to do, and I could do that and more without needing him by my side. Falling in love with myself was actually so much more fun than falling in love with him had ever been.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.