Ghost from the past suddenly comes back

Two weeks ago I got a Facebook friend request from my ex from 5 years ago. My heart skipped a bit. I didn’t think this day would come. He was the only guy who didn’t at least try to knock on my (metaphorical) door after we broke it off. For many years, I’ve hated him for that, for giving up on us, for not wanting to try harder. I’ve dreamed about him many, many times over the years even after I have completely moved on from him. In my dreams, sometimes we are still together, sometimes we are fighting, and sometimes he is crawling back to me.

We were young. We both had the worst temper. We had strong chemistry at the start, but there was nothing to sustain that passion. He thought he could love me, but he wasn’t ready to be the boyfriend he wanted to be. I was desperate for his love, but I didn’t even “like” him that much as a friend. There were so many tears and fights through out the relationship. We could barely hang out one day without getting into a fight. Every date, every phone call, every sentence, and every sigh could be a trigger of the next big clash. Eventually I got too tired of walking on egg shells. I asked to leave even though deep down I wished he could ask me to stay.

He didn’t. He let me go. I hated him for that. It made me feel unwanted and worthless, but it was also a wakeup call for me. Our relationship had broken and awakened me. It made me question myself worth and examine what was wrong about the way I behaved. It took me weeks to stop stalking him on the internet and months to remove him from my conscious mind. For years, every time something or someone reminds me of him, I’d get all tensed up. Slowly I accepted the fact that we were wrong for each other and that it taught me a very good lesson on when to give up on a broken relationship and the importance of self-love. I recognised that what we had was an illusion of love rather than love.

I told myself I would never let myself get involved with someone I was so incompatible with.

Many years later, I would overcorrect. I would fall head over heel for someone who I thought was the opposite of him, only to find that it didn’t work either. Then I would overcorrect again and date someone who was incompatible with me again.

Fortunately I did learn from my mistakes and see the resemblance in the relationships, so I could pull the trigger fast enough before any more harm could be done.

My counsellor asked me a few days ago if there had been any past experience that I had thought was awful but later turned out to be not that bad. I thought about him and the friend request. Yes, five years ago I thought that was grievously bad, but it made me who I am now. I grew and matured from it. I am a good girlfriend and know how to appreciate the man I have now because of what I went through five years ago.

I did wonder why this person who didn’t want to have anything to do with me suddenly want to be my Facebook friend again. Five, four or even three years ago, I may have welcomed him back to my cyber life, just to show him how good I have turned out. I don’t even want that anymore. I don’t want him in my life, and I don’t need to tell him that. No response was my response.

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About Nicky

Nicky English is a journalist, an educator, a podcaster, a couch potato, a dreamer, and a child at heart. Learning is her passion, so is the English language, which she believes is the tool to unlock the door of knowledge. Born in Hong Kong, she received intensive writing training at The University of Iowa, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. Apart from the Hawkeye State, she’s lived in Chicago and Philadelphia. When she was a guest student at Georgetown University, she fell in love with Washington, D.C. She also has a Master of Arts in Communication. A little side note—she cannot imagine a world without her Mac and iDevices. Like many crazy ones, she hopes to change the world one day at a time.
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