I Finally Stopped Text-Stalking My Ex

TextingIt’s been two weeks. Two long, psycho behavior-less weeks since I last texted my ex. Hooray for small victories and for easing up off of crazy.

It was sparked, exactly two weeks and one day ago, by a revelation. I’d been sitting on my sofa, cellphone in hand, about to fire one off to him for the 1,000th or 100,000th time (only Verizon knows the exact figure) and randomly express my undying love in what probably would’ve been the text message equivalent of a Keith Sweat song. I am impulsive, and paired with unlimited texting and rambling thoughts, I am downright dangerous sometimes.

It’s a steep, slick slope into pathetic, and I was about to aim right at it and launch. I didn’t know what I was going to say exactly, but whatever it was was going to put me under love’s stiletto boot heel. For the 1,000th or 100,000th time.

Divine intervention tiptoes in at the most fateful moments, thank God, and I paused because words surprisingly failed me, which, for a writer and self-aware motormouth, is a miracle in and of itself. Drawing that blank is how I ended up on the balcony and when I slid the glass door open to walk back inside, I had a new perspective. “Wouldn’t it be nice,” rational Janelle said to emotional Janelle, “to get these messages instead of being the one to send them?”

When you find yourself always playing the part of event planner and never, ever the invited guest, when you’re the one initiating conversations that wouldn’t have been had if you weren’t the one who started them, you’re in a relationship with yourself. The other person is just there for decoration.

I’d have a mouthful of advice for one of my girlfriends if she was habitually on the heels of a dude who treated her like an option, not a necessity. But damn all that. Love had punked that better judgment into a cowering corner somewhere.

Sometimes women, in our eternal optimism and see-the-best-in-people-ness, give 150 percent all into relationships that aren’t worth the time or the energy we invest simply because we can envision how things could be if this would be like this and that would be like that. We gotta learn the hard way that you can’t make something be what it was never capable of.

It’s not easy to publicly admit, especially as a super girl-power flexing womanist, even one who shares all kinds of personal business, that you’ve been strung out on a dude who’s ever-so-nonchalant about you. I suspect I’m not the first and, unless Apple finally markets the technology to walk up and zap a guy into acting right and falling in line, I probably won’t be the last. (But seriously ... that invention? Now, please. I’ll even front some of the funding.)

But I felt compelled to share on behalf of girls with big hearts and bad experiences. So this is my official manifesto to myself to let it go. If I put it out there, I have to stick to it.

Back away from the texts, Janelle. And stay far, far away.

When do you know you’re out of control with post-breakup contact with your ex?


Image via Vox Efx/Flickr

breakups, dating, exes, love