Recently I’ve had several dreams about my ex. This is disconcerting for many reasons, the least of which is that I was planning to invite him and his girlfriend over to play Munchkin .
My relationship with my ex makes a lot of people look at me funny. That he and I are still close friends is met with confusion; that I am friends with his current girlfriend with utter shock. It all goes back to the fact that we were friends for a long time before we dated, and that we both agreed when we broke up that our then four-year-old friendship was too important to let go. I’m not saying it was seamless; I’m not saying it was by any means easy. I can’t even tell you the “key” or “tricks” that made it work out the way it has; it was a very singular situation for both of us.
But he knows me better than just about anyone, is probably the only person who really knows exactly what I’m talking about when I whine about my weird family, and an all-around supportive, caring, and devoted friend. The effort was well worth it.
And in our continued friendship, I have realized that I never want to get back together with him. Ever. Under any circumstances. My ex is a really great guy, and when I sing along with fervor to angry break-up songs it’s not about him (it’s about my college ex, but that’s another story). But maybe one of the keys to our friendship is that we both know it’s just never going to happen.
There are a lot of little examples of things that we don’t have in common, none of which are very important. There is also a fun little list of things he does that now bug the crap out of me, and I’m sure he has his own list of things I do that bug him. But the biggest reasons I know I don’t ever want to give it another go are the same reasons we ended things in the first place. Most of those reasons are between him and me. What I will tell you is we realized we weren’t going to be happy together. Regardless of what we do or don’t have in common, we aren’t right for each other. We weren’t right for each other three years ago, and we won’t ever be right for each other in the future.
So why am I dreaming about him now? Is my subconscious disagreeing with me, saying we should have been together forever? I don’t think so. Especially considering the last one, in which he wanted to get back together with me and I kept asking him, “But what about [new girlfriend’s name]? What happened to her? You guys were great together.”
I think it’s trying to tell me that it’s finally time to move on.
It’s been more than three years now since the ex and I broke up, and I have been on two dates…two first dates…two years ago. In addition to proving to myself that online dating is completely ineffective for me (I can’t tell from a picture and some emails whether or not I’m attracted to someone, no matter how “compatible” we are), I discovered I wasn’t quite ready to move on. I didn’t start dating until college, and even then it was four years after my first big break-up before I was able to brave seriously dating anyone new (though I did date off-and-on, and very unsuccessfully, during that time). I discovered that I’m not a casual dater. If I’m going to put my heart on the line, it’s going to be for something with potential, something real. And though the guys I went out with were nice, I knew almost the instant I laid eyes on them in person that what they had to offer wasn’t what I was looking for.
So the last couple of years, I stopped worrying about my love life. I focused on taking care of myself, on writing, on dance. Instead of waiting around for someone to build a life with, I started building one of my own. Instead of looking for someone to make me happy, I went out and did it for myself. And while I may not be content with every aspect of my life at twenty-seven, for the first time I find myself genuinely happy. Happiness that is not dependent on anyone but me.
But I think, maybe, my subconscious is telling me I’m ready to give the big L word (no, Scott Pilgrim, I don’t mean lesbians) another shot. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about dating again. Maybe I’m ready to feel something real.
Of course, the other night I dreamt that a friend of my sister’s from high school was trying to feed me the severed head from that one episode of Sherlock. You never really know…