I have a confession to make: I'm still in love with my ex-boyfriend. Which wouldn't be so bad if we hadn't been broken up for several years now, and if there was absolutely no chance in hell I would ever get back together with him. You see, we honestly can't stand each other. When we were dating, we didn't go a week without a huge blow-up. We don't understand each other; we don't have the same idea about what a relationship is; and I suspect, deep down, we didn't even like each other very much. That didn't stop us, however, from falling madly in love.
Since I broke up with him years ago, I haven't seen him and hardly spoken to him. Yet I don't go one day without thinking of him. Sure, I'm not crying anymore. And I'm not running the continual mental loop of "How could he --?" "Why did he --?" "Couldn't he just --?" anymore. I'm done asking questions that will never get answers.
I just wish I could get him out of my blood. Lord knows I've tried it all. Meditation. Therapy. Online support groups. Massive amounts of self-help books. Dating. Exercise. New hobbies. Inspirational quotes calendars. Praying. More dating. Travel. Girls' nights out. Cognitive behavioral therapy. Yoga. Dating again.
I've stopped stalking him via social media and couldn't dial his phone number if you held a gun to my head and ordered me to. I know he's got a girlfriend, and honestly, I don't care that much about it. I know she's dealing with the same shit I did. Have fun, lady.
And YET. This man. In my blood. My bones. My molecules. My electrons.
I dream about him at least a couple of times a week. I can't have 10 minutes of free time without him creeping -- sometimes slamming -- into my thoughts.
I thought for sure by now I'd stop thinking about him. Thought it would take a year at most for him to gradually fade to that "I dated him ...?" kind of icky feeling you get when you're totally over someone. But that has yet to happen. I think of him and my blood starts racing.
Lately, however, I've done something that had made everything so much better. I just accepted it. I said to myself, I'm in love with my ex, probably always will be. And that's okay.
It doesn't mean I can't love someone else. It doesn't mean that I can't function, or that I'm damaged goods, or that I have Limerence or need medication.
If one of your children dies, do you stop loving that child just because you have others and that one isn't around anymore?
My "child" (i.e., my relationship) died. But I still love it, the hopes and dreams I had for it.
So I've decided I will live with my love like other people live with any chronic condition, such as asthma or diabetes. I will manage my disease.
I will avoid places he goes. I won't stalk him. I won't call him or email him or text him. Just like an alcoholic needs to stay away from booze, even a speck of champagne at a wedding. Because I think I could handle one email exchange with him -- but it might lead to a five-car pile-up.
Still ... the alcoholic will always think of alcohol. And I'll always think of him. Simple as that, I guess. And I'm okay with it.
Are you still in love with anyone from your past?
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