Last month I reconnected with an old friend/ex. Long story short, we met in college, had feelings for each other for about three and a half years, but didn’t make it official until after I graduated college. I flew to New Mexico to work on a movie, which put strain on our relationship, and it ended before it even had a chance to begin. Not to mention, I moved after graduation and he was still in school, and we both didn’t think we could make it long distance.
Anyway, after he graduated (which was the following year), he moved closer to me but for work reasons. We hung out for a little bit, but I could tell things had changed and he wasn’t very upfront with me about how he felt. It caused a lot of strain and tension to the point where I’d had enough and I decided to cut him out of my life completely. I didn’t tell him I was going to do it. I just silently removed myself from the picture. If I wanted any chance of ever moving on from him, this was my only option.
About a year goes by and at that point, I figured I should just accept that this is how it was meant to be and as unfortunate as the situation was and the fact that I had lost a friend in the process, there are a million other ways this could have ended and it could have gotten nasty. But it wasn’t. We were never intentionally malicious to each other. We were just frustrated. So for one year, I didn’t see or speak to him, until one day, one of our mutual friends was visiting the SoCal area and invited both of us to hang out with him, not really knowing what was going on between us.
It was so awkward when we saw each other because there were months and months of not being in each other’s lives…and it’s not easy to forget all that history we had, even though it had been a long time since we went out. But by the end of the night, things seemed as normal as they could be for the most part and we seemed to be on mutual terms. He had no feelings of resentment towards me for how I ended it and I no longer carried any resentment towards him after everything he put me through.
A few more months go by and we would text each other here and there, but it was always small talk and he would abruptly end the conversation by not replying. At this point, I accepted that this was the new “us.” There was no way our friendship could go back to the way it was before any of this happened.
But then one day, out of the blue, I happened to look at my phone and see a notification from Tumblr letting me know he started following me on Tumblr again. (After I had deleted him from my social media, he did the same to give me my space.) Not even a couple of minutes go by and then I get a notification from Facebook saying he wants to add me as a friend. It caught me off guard, but at that point, whatever had happened between us in the past was in the past and it was time to move forward. But the weird part of it all was that a few weeks before he reconnected with me, I had been thinking about reaching out to him. But I always had reservations, which told me I wasn’t ready.
My relationship with him was the first real one I had, and even though it only lasted a couple of months, the feelings were there for three and a half years. So after we broke up, it really affected me. There were some days I told myself that I was never going to get over this, that I would never be happy again. But I was wrong. Even though it was painful, I learned a lot about myself during that time. A broken heart is not an easy mend, but I finally got to that place I never thought I’d get to…that place of complete acceptance for our fate and that place where I could feel happy and content again.
I realize we’ll never be as close as we once were. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that it will never work out romantically between us either, and that’s okay. We may not be the best of friends, but if we can be friends, I am open to that. This is not the first time I’ve cut him out of my life. I’ve done it a couple of times in the past, but he somehow always found a way back into my life. This time is no different. To this day, I don’t know what made him decide to reconnect with me, but I won’t question it. I was almost positive that we were never going to be a part of each other’s lives again…that this was the part in our story where we’d go our separate ways. But the universe works in mysterious ways, and I have to be open to whatever’s thrown my way.
I won’t make the same mistake again. But if I didn’t give myself that year to properly heal and move on, I don’t think I would be able to do this right now, which says a lot. I’ve grown and learned so much about myself and relationships that will make me a better person going forward. I’m ready to start on a clean slate.