Sometimes we need to get our house in order before we can move on. And clearing out an “ex” is a great place to start.
Before I met my husband, I had one single serious relationship. I was only in my late teens, but it lasted a couple of years, and he was, without a doubt, the love of my life.
I have to confess that I never totally got over it. I secretly carried a torch for him for two decades.
And then, out of the blue, shortly after leaving my husband, I bumped into an old friend of the “ex”. He told me that James, who had married the girl he met after me (the bastard!), had got divorced a couple of years before.
Curiosity got the better of me. So I sent him an e-mail. He replied straight away.
“Wow! I can’t believe it. How amazing to hear from you. When can we meet?”
So, we met for dinner the following week. And there was, without a doubt, a certain “frisson” between us.
Half way through the evening, he interrupted the conversation.
“I didn’t know what to expect this evening” he said. “I really thought you’d tell me off for treating you so badly when it all ended. But you haven’t – and I’m just so sorry for the way I behaved. You didn’t deserve it.”
I felt a rush of emotion – a Pandora’s Box of feelings.
“And I have to say, I think you’re even more beautiful now than you were when I last saw you.” He continued. “I just wish I’d met you five years later, because I would have married you.”
I didn’t know what to think or say. Was this going to be a Friends’ Reunited moment, where we end up requiting our unrequited love?
I went home that night feeling overwhelmed. He had acknowledged and apologised for his behaviour all those years ago – and it made me feel great. And he had paid me compliments that had done my tattered ego the world of good.
And so we started calling and seeing each other… He wined and dined me. I enjoyed the attention and for a short while, I toyed in my mind with the idea of us rekindling our old relationship.
And then the bubble just went POP! I started to see that he wasn’t quite what I remembered.
He told me that he wasn’t ready for a relationship – which I could see for myself. I wasn’t ready for one either, so it was a moot point. But then I realised that whilst he had no wish to commit himself, he clearly wanted a physical relationship.
That was the POP! I just realised that he wasn’t what I remembered him to be. He was just a washed out, paler shade of the vivacious and charismatic person I had remembered. And he wanted me to be his “Fuck Buddy”!!!!
“We all have needs” he said. “And in this day and age there is no reason to feel any shame in having casual sex”.
I agree. But the problem is – whilst there may be no shame in it…. I’M 42 AND I JUST DON’T DO CASUAL SEX.
And more to the point, if I was going to do it – it bloody well wasn’t going to be with him!
Finally I realised that the memory I had carried all those long years were based in the mind’s eye of a teenager. All those years I had a secret longing for him to still want me….
And now, he wanted me alright – but you know what…?
I’m just not interested.