Why Go Back?

When it comes to relationships, most people are done (and I mean DONE) when they break up with their significant other.  But there are some who, for whatever reason, decide to re-visit an old romance.  Maybe they broke up because someone was moving away or their parents forbade it or the timing was off.  Whatever the case, some people have no problem getting back with an ex.

I have to admit, a few weeks ago I broke down and called The Boy.  I wanted to tell him I got the job (ok, maybe I wanted to brag a little), so I reached out to him.  I had decided that just because things didn’t go the way I wanted them to go didn’t mean that we couldn’t be friendly and cordial, which I told him.  We have great dialogue, which was never a problem for us.  Then, of course, our conversation turned to “us”.  I asked why he didn’t want to date me anymore; he said I never told you that.  I said you didn’t have to-your actions showed it.  So after some hemming and hawing, we decided we would try this dating thing again.  I had my reservations-I was DEEPLY skeptical-but he sounded sincere and like he had heard all of my concerns and was ready to make some changes.  He’s a movie buff, I wanted to see “Safe House”, so I suggested we go together.  He was given the responsibility of picking the theater and the time (since he’s always groaning he’s not a planner-I thought he would do ok with some direction).  The day of our date arrives.  I get a text message (A TEXT MESSAGE) from him as I’m calling him that says “Hey let’s reschedule”.  SO many thoughts are running through my head at this point-what the heck happened in 12 hours for you to want to reschedule-why couldn’t you pick up the phone-are you not answering the phone because you know I’ll cuss you out-and so forth.  After about 15 minutes, I texted him back and said “Let’s not”.  Honestly, I almost ignored it, but I wanted to let him know that I was done, like utterly and completely done.  And after not hearing a response back from him, 8 hours later I deleted our text message converations and his number from my phone.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, and he sends me an e-mail, asking for my opinion on some loafers…This is when I got angry.  So you think everything is water under the bridge and we’re cool again?  You obviously want me to yell and scream or otherwise you would have not sent me an e-mail (and E-MAIL of all things) asking for opinion about some shoes.  He may think nothing’s wrong and that I’m the bad guy.  But if he does, then he was never listening to me in the first place.  I did the mature thing and deleted his e-mail without responding.  (I know, how grown-up of me!)

So, I say all this to say, why do we re-visit past relationships?  For some, it works out, and they live happily ever after.  Unfortunately for Elle, I don’t think that’s a possibility.  I was at least willing to be The Boy’s friend, but if you can’t answer a phone call and send a text message instead…I can’t respect you as a person, and you’re not someone I would want to have in my life.  I’m glad I saw this 3 months in instead of 3 years; I’d probably be devastated!  If you have a story of going back with a happy ending, please share.  Or if you’re like me and opposed to it, I’ll take that, too.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.


  1. Girl! I can so relate to this post. I actually wrote a blog a while back called “Exes are exes for a reason” talking about this.

    I think as women, when a relationship ends but we remain cordial with the ex, it leaves so many opportunities for us to try to rekindle things hoping it will all work out. We try to rationalize why it didn’t work and jump at the chance to test our luck one more time to see if things will play out more favorable the second time around.

    Trust me I’ve been through this a few more times then I’d like to admit but it made me realize one thing. When a man tells/shows you something believe him. His mixed feelings and/or indecisiveness towards you is never a good thing. Just like you said, be glad you realized how he was sooner rather than later. Also, I’d suggest cutting ties, some relationships are better being left alone.

    (please excuse any typos, I’m posting from my iPhone)

  2. Ohhhhh ‘re-visiting’ the ex factor.

    My advice is to ask yourself what you really want from him. It’s to be expected that as soon as he does something wack, you’ll get angry. But the thing is you have to separate the then from now. Now, you’re just getting started-again. He’s not your boyfriend. Ouch. I know. Date him again. Find things you like and what you don’t.

    Second, if you want it to work do a lot more listening than shutting down. He asked to reschedule. You didn’t ask why. You based your response on his past behaviors and your anger; Or rather, him having to prove himself to you. He could have had a legit reason but you won’t know.

    Remember, he’s just as skeptical about this new thing as you are. Sounds like he wants to try but he also knows you well do he’s trying to go about it in ways that avoid direct aggression. Eg, email and texting. The less he feels he can talk to you with ease, the less inclined he’ll be to move forward. And the more you expect his actions to be rooted in ‘him trying to do you dirty’, you won’t be able to move forward.

    Be patient- if you want it to work. Listen. Talk. And take things slow. Have a conversation about expectations. That will really help. Give yourself time to answer what you really want from him. Give him time to adjust to being back with you again. We seek relationships. Men end up in relationships- but only if ending up is without strife and pressure.

    Hope this helps you. 🙂

    • Thanks, Ebs, for your comment! I’m with Tiffany, though. He and I had NUMEROUS discussions about what we were seeking. And he knew what I wanted; if he couldn’t handle that, he should not have made mention that he wanted to try again. My main concern was him wanting to text all the time and not date. Or come over all the time (that’s a post for another day…) And he could always talk to me, but I have a problem when anybody is handing me bull-ish. And that’s what he was doing. And so to save myself, it’s best that I delete ways to contact him, because I know at a weak moment, I’ll pick up the phone. And who wants to be a glutton for punishment???

  3. I think the email was sent to see just how mad you were about the movie thing. I think sending an email is such a coward move many people (not just men) make to test the waters. You can’t hear the emotion or frustration the other person has for you in an email, or a text for that matter. Glad you responded to the text the way you did. He’s not worth it and has shown you who he really is.

  4. I disagree with Ebs. The first go round, you said his actions spoke louder than his words. The second go round, his actions spoke louder than his words.

    I actually think you handled the situation very well. He didn’t have the decency to call you to reschedule and then did it at the very last minute. You were well within your right to decline to reschedule.

    Him sending the email a few weeks later was testing the waters to see if you were still pissed and see what type of reaction he would get. That’s gamemanship 101. You were right to not respond.

    I decided to re-visit a relationship, and one that ended badly at that. I thought that 7 years later we both would have grown up some and we could overcome some of the issues (namely communication) that plagued us the first time. Bad idea. Ended badly again (on Valentine’s Day of all days! LOL!!).

    I’m not going to say giving someone a second chance doesn’t work because it does for some. But I think those folks are in the minority.

  5. I’ve definitley had guys hide behind the computer screen with me after similar instances. For me- it’s an ex from waaaay back that likes to text/email randomly and ask if I want to cuddle. Anyway- that’s a whole nother story…. but suffice to say- guys are sometimes spineless. They enjoy doing things to get a rise out of you- if for no other reason than to see if they can, because it proves there’s still a spark of something there. Sometimes ignoring it is the only thing to do.

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