Backsliding: Oops I Did it Again!

It’s Sunday morning, you roll over and before you have the chance to fully open your eyes, memories from the previous night start to flood your mind. All of a sudden you aren’t reaching for your phone just to complete your daily Instagram scroll, instead you’re frantically calling your best friend to let them know the bad news.

You’ve blackslided. The ex you swore you were completely over made an appearance in your life once again. 

It’s okay, we have all been there (unfortunately).

During high school, there wasn’t much anyone could do to make me catch feelings. It didn’t matter how interested I was in someone, it never really lasted more than a couple of weeks. There was one guy (let’s call him Daniel) who I would see around at parties frequently. We had a lot of mutual friends, so I found myself constantly around him. I never truly noticed him though and I’m not sure what changed, but one day I did, and before I knew it, I had added him to what I can only describe as my mental “kiss list.” 

We hung out one night and the next morning I walked into school probably with the same expression that I make when I check my bank account and I realize I have enough money for a chipotle bowl. Before I could even sit down in my first period, my friend Maren and Josh burst out laughing. I asked them why they were acting so weird and all Maren said was, “I don’t know who he is or what he did, but you’re in trouble.”

He was right, I was in trouble. At some point the previous night, all the names on my “list” disappeared and Daniel’s name never got crossed off. 

I started freaking out, so I pulled out my phone and texted Daniel right away. 

“Hey Daniel, I just want to make clear that I’m not really a feelings type of girl. So I hope you know that this is nothing serious, I just want a good time.” 

To help summarize the rest of the story: It got serious, we fell in love, it was great, I went to college, it stopped being great, I got on a plane back to Florida to break-up with him, and then it was over. 

“Over”. That is such a funny word to describe a relationship because I don’t think anything is fully over. Donde hubo, siempre habra is a saying in Spanish that translates to where there was, there will always be. That’s the problem with backsliding: you end up falling into a pile of memories that feel comfortable to you because they were once such a big part of your life. 

I spent the next couple of months after our break-up “moving on” and attending every single kappa sig party. He stopped being the first thing I thought about in the morning, I stopped checking my phone for missed phone calls, and all of a sudden I could hear his name without missing him. 

One night when I was home during break, I went to my friend’s 21st birthday. Daniel was sitting alone on the couch and I sat next to him to try to be “mature.”  I had seen him a few times since we broke up, but this time he was wearing the same cologne he used to wear when we were dating (which is so rude, btw).

Before I knew it, we fell back into what felt like second-nature. At the moment, it felt so right and like such a good idea. However, at some point, my brain started to work and I reminded myself that there isn’t really much that doesn’t seem like a “good idea” when you’re a couple of hours into a 21st birthday party. So, I frantically stood up from where we were and ran (please picture me LITERALLY running with one fake eyelash falling from my left eye) back into the party screaming (actually screaming), “I AM SO STUPID” while Meek Mill’s “Dream and Nightmares” played in the background. 

My best friend Christian who occasionally plays the role of “the older brother” in my life was staring at me from across the room and I prepared myself for the lecture and judgment that was coming my way. 

He walked towards me, but when he did reach me, I wasn’t greeted with judgment. All he did was hug me and say “Yeah, that was a little stupid, but it’s okay. Sometimes we have to let ourselves have a final goodbye. Mar, you are always going to love him, but you need to love yourself enough to not go back.” 

My story with Daniel will never be over, but it did shift to another genre. Occasionally, that shift can only happen when you backslide. I said earlier that the problem with backsliding is the fact that you end up falling into a pile of memories that feel comfortable to you because they were once such a big part of your life. That is the problem, but sometimes it’s also in the midst of old memories where you find the solution. 

I am not saying that you should go back to your ex so that you can fully move on (especially if they were trash, please stay away). If you can manage to truly move on without putting yourself through that confusion, please do.

However, if you do backslide, don’t greet yourself with judgment, because you never know what unsolved question was left behind in that pile that was keeping you from truly turning the page.