Earlier, much earlier, in the month I read a really good post about seeing things differently from our friends. This blogger explained how she tried talking about her boyfriend troubles with a friend of hers and how the friend immediately recommended dumping him without really taking into consideration whether or not the offending action was deserving of that plan.
I’ve been there before.
They also disagreed about whether or not it’s okay to reconnect with one’s ex. I’m basically going through that very thing right now.
This is a really important topic for me at the moment. And as I recently went through a somewhat similar conversation (about getting rid of a guy without really thinking about whether or not that’s the right decision), I wanted to take a moment and share my thoughts on the matter.
For any of you who have been paying attention, the Boy is back. And he’s back with a fierceness!
We’re not dating, though what we’re doing is somewhat in a hazy place. Our previous history makes us automatically more than friends, but his current off-the-market status makes us less than lovers. At the moment, he’s one of my biggest supporters while I try to get my life back in order.
I have not been as supportive of some of the things in his life.
If I’m honest with myself, a bit of that is because a little part of me is just now getting to the point where I feel as if he’s made reparations for the previous hurt he caused me.
And this is where the dilemma comes in: am I wrong for talking to him now? Is it wrong to have hope that things can be ok with us? Basically, everyone else in my life thinks yes, while I’m on the fence about it.
I know that he did not mean to hurt me before. I know that what happened before happened because of a variety of problems in both of our lives: meddlesome friends on both parts, unstable situations in our personal lives, a two way lack of communication, and I may never know all the other factors that were involved at that time.
For that matter, I don’t know all the factors involved at this time!
What I do know is that he and I have been moving very tentatively in a direction where we’re learning how to communicate with one another. We’ve had a few of our knock down drag out, ready to scream and cry and possibly murder each other kind of arguments, but at the end of each one, or even in the middle of a couple of them, we’ve stopped and figured out where the error in each other’s understanding has occurred.
It’s been surprisingly… reassuring.
Not so long ago, I decided I needed to walk away because I couldn’t handle the emotional turmoil. He’s got his own thing going on, and I need something that’s going to be a wee bit more…solid than I think he is in a position to give me at the moment. I need a friend I can consistently rely on, who won’t cancel on me and make me feel bad.
But here’s the thing: a lot of the reason why I start feeling bad is because every time I’ve told anyone that I’m talking to him again (and I do mean EVERY single time I tell someone) they groan, call me stupid, or make a big fuss about what he put me through before. Almost not a single friend, relative, or acquaintance thinks even giving him a chance is a good idea.
There have been three people willing to keep an open mind about everything. They tell me they are concerned I’m going to fall into things with him and get hurt again, but they see how he’s trying, really trying, and so are withholding judgment.
But everyone else has no problem telling me I’m an idiot, or reminding me he’s a bad guy. In fact, when I was catching one friend up on the variety of men in my life (Superman, the Artist, the Boy, and the Bad Boy) all at once, when I told her I’d never had a bad boy before, she told me she disagreed, that the Boy was definitely bad and she didn’t understand why I was even letting him back in my life. Even though I told her I wasn’t dating him, just being friends.
When that happens, when my friends tell me how horrible he is and how I shouldn’t be wasting my time, or how they can’t believe I’m even talking to him again, I get instantaneously defensive. *I* see the effort he’s making, and how he’s acting radically different then before. And *I* see how, even though it’s not the ideal romantic situation I would have wanted at one point, he’s trying to be a good friend, a good person, and actually wants to know me, the real me.
That’s really important to me.
But, even though I get defensive and try to defend him, and want to have him around, the doubt settles in. It grabs hold of me with razor sharp raptor claws and tears my self confidence to shreds.
All the good that comes from him telling me things like I’m “really worth it” when Superman was such a douche, or telling me that he accepts me for who I am and actually likes me for who I am, all that gets chopped into little more than filling for a kaleidoscope. It’s a filter that gets twirled around in my mind while I double think and triple guess his motives and his every action, every word.
Instead of taking him at his word that this is a different evolution of our relationship, I find myself consistently watching for repeats of old behavior. It’s the safe course of action, but it means that sometimes I jump straight to the “Boy is a Jerk and This Was a Mistake” place at every single tiny thing.
If I’m honest, that’s been the cause of a couple of our knock down drag out fights lately.
And even when I do that, he’s been willing to calmly talk me down out of the Hate tree and discuss with me where things went sideways.
My roommate pointed out how that was a really big deal.
All relationships have issues, but the important thing is if both parties are willing to work on them, especially on communication issues. And that’s what we’re doing at the moment. As he is very uncomfortable talking about feelings and things, this is an immensely gargantuan big deal!
I don’t know if I expect anything intense from this, or if I even want anything serious from this, but I know right now it feels good…when I don’t let everyone else’s negativity get in the way.
Besides it’s not like I’m talking to him at the expense of all the other guys in my life.
There’s still the Bad Boy, although he’s not moving real fast, and that’s a little disappointing. And there’s the Massage guy. I’ve only discussed him once on here, I think. He’s a guy I met on a dating site I sometimes go on. But he too is moving really slowly, and I’m not exactly impressed yet. But, like I said before, I haven’t really had the chance to be impressed by him. I’m trying to let him take the lead, but at this rate, I’ll be married to someone else before he decides to even ask for my number…
So now we get to the crux of it all. Is it wrong to revisit an ex?
The lady who wrote the post that inspired me to write this was under the impression that no, it’s not:
I believe that sometimes, we still have the choice of picking something up after throwing it away, because sometimes we throw things at a wrong place and time, and sometimes not all we throw away are considered a trash, but something more valuable and it only took us a long time to realize it. And sometimes, we throw things away to realize its worth.
I want to agree with her. I want to believe that sometimes it’s worth letting people back into our lives. I had wanted him to work to fix our problems when he was busy pushing me away the first time around, and I feel like maybe this is a second chance to have the relationship (generic term, not romantic) that we should have had in the beginning.
It’s rare to see such a 180 in a person, but he’s done it. In spite of all the meanness I’ve thrown at him due to my own doubts and insecurities, he’s come back time and again to work on our issues. This time it’s been me pushing him away and him putting forth the effort to make this work. And that gives me hope.
I just have to remember to not discuss it with anyone else until I’m sure of what is happening.