Love Bites: Conversations with Exes
This month's columnist reflects on why they've felt unlucky in love through conversations with exes
I always believed I was unlucky in love. At 25, I had never had a long-term relationship. I don’t even really know what it is like to be truly 'partnered.' It doesn’t bother me most days, but it can get a bit old being the constant third wheel to friends who are only ever in long-term commitments.
However, tired of this endless situation, I recently decided to take a break from dating to work on myself by reflecting on the past, specifically old, short-lived 'relationships.' The people I have dated are not blameless, but I was able to investigate why I’ve attracted the people I have. In this regard, conversations with my ex flings have been illuminating.
One of these men recently sent me a message apologising for taking two months to respond to me. After letting me down, he had archived our conversation, as he didn’t want me to “flip out at him.” This is something I have never done, though if you were to hear it from him, I constantly overreact. Another has messaged me consistently for two years to check in with how my poetry is going, even though I continue to remind him I stopped it in favour of journalism.
Whereas before I questioned why I was unlucky in love, now I cringe at the choices I made, thanking myself for never making it official with any of my exes. I have forgiven myself for fighting for attention from people unable to meet my needs. I thought I had failed by never making things long-term, but failure brought me to the path I am on now, and on reflection, I feel like the luckiest person in the world.