A Mature Step

I’ve had many relationships over the years. Most of them ended badly if I must be honest. A good portion of them was based on my poor decision making and my need to make sure everyone else around me is happy, even at the expense of my own wellbeing. Almost all of those people I’ve spent time with romantically, I haven’t spoken to them again. With results like that, I’m used to just ghosting people now and making myself scarce. So, it was a complete shock to me when my ex blindsided me at the bar a couple months ago.

I was out to celebrate my friend’s 21st birthday and I wanted to buy her some drinks. As soon as the bartender was done making our drinks, I was just about to pull away from the counter and I heard a “Hi!” right beside me. I recognized that voice before he even finished the word and it shook me to my core. I couldn’t move because of how startled I was. So, I ended up slowly turning to face him to prove my suspicions and said a very weak “hi” back. That opened the floodgates for him and got him extremely hyper. He went on full conversation mode as if we never missed a beat.

Part of me wanted to just leave and forget this whole thing happened. I wanted to escape and be the true coward that I so desperately wanted to succumb to and get out of this conversation. No matter how many times I screamed at myself in my head to leave, I stayed. I wanted to make this interaction with my ex a semi-pleasant one. I also wanted some closure after how we broke up. The breakup was too abrupt, and I knew I wasn’t in a good headspace to ask the right questions without wanting to cry after the first word.

So after giving me a quick rundown of where he was at this semester, he said to me that he has been wanting to talk to me since the start of the semester. Eight weeks had passed from this point, so I couldn’t fathom why he would want to talk to me again. He didn’t show this much initiative while we were together, so why start now? My skepticism definitely showed on my face because he plainly said, “I didn’t know how you felt, so that’s why I’ve been holding back for so long.” Ultimately, this became the start of a long-awaited apology that I needed to hear. His indecisiveness on not knowing what he wanted from our relationship drove himself mad and he just abandoned ship, thinking that would solve all his problems. I told him that this decision was poorly thought out and it made me hate him for a brief period. There was no point in hiding my feelings at this point and, I wasn’t going to forgive him for the breakup. I will admit, this did come from a place of complete pettiness, but I wanted him to be aware of the consequence. He wasn’t shocked but almost looked like he expected me to say that to him.

Time passed by and I had forgotten to give my friend the drink I bought her when another one of my friends came by and reminded me. In true best friend fashion, she gave me a quick hug to secretly tell me that if I needed an out, she can create a distraction. For any other scenario, I would have taken this opportunity and just dipped. However, deep down I knew that this was something I needed to stick around for, so I declined. I told her to bring back the drink and I kept talking to my ex. At this moment, that was when I realized we really did reconcile.

After that night, I didn’t reach out for a couple days. I still felt very blindsided and not sure where to go from there. I thought about the deeper meaning of this situation and then I started to text him. Since that point, it’s been nonstop. I always treasured our friendship, so I was happy to get that back. We continue to talk about a lot of issues we had during our relationship and we’re able to be on the same page again. It’s notable for me because I have never made it to this step of relationship before and not have it backfire on me. I’d like to say that this is a big step for me as a person. It takes a stronger person to forgive someone, even if they caused you extreme pain. This experience also took a large emotional weight on my shoulders. Even though I have physically moved on a while ago, I can finally say that I’ve emotionally moved on as well.

For the first half of the semester, any time I saw him walking around campus, my heart would skip a beat. Not from the butterflies of early infatuation but instead by a heavy sinking feeling. It was rough to go through and even worse when he saw me and walked even faster to avoid my gaze. I was afraid that I would be dealing with this uneasiness for the rest of my senior year. Luckily enough, things worked out better for both of us and now we both can take a mature step into the future.