Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've had this thought bouncing around in my head for a few days--or maybe even weeks--based on something I read. The question was, "When do you know you're over someone?" The answer was, "When you wouldn't take them back, even if they asked."

Well. That does not bode well for me. By that measure, I am most definitely not over Kent. (I AM over Curt and all but a handful of my exes.) Hmm, that's an interesting thought--how many of my exes would I take back if they were to ask? I have more than one ex, who, under the right circumstances, I would take back. I don't think that's such a bad thing. I think it means that I've dated a few guys--a very few--who I'd be happy to live with for a very long time. Guys who I wouldn't want to change. (Originally, I included on this list a couple of guys who I'd be happy to date again but about whom I had serious reservations. I'm kicking them off. I am keeping Tom, though, because my life is never uncomplicated enough not to include Tom.)

Who are these guys?

Jack, my first serious boyfriend. He is married and lives far away. I sure was crazy in love with him and I thought he was perfect (except for the part where he dumped me). It may seem nuts to put him on the list, but if he were actually like what I thought he was like (a big if and probably NOT true, given that he broke up with me), I would've been happy to marry him when I was 19 and live happily ever after. I would be happy to find out if he's still they guy now that he was back then.

Ed. The best boyfriend ever. I left him in Seattle to go grad school in North Carolina. I broke up with him to date someone. Big mistake. If he'd have me, yes, I'd be delighted to get back together. (It almost happened once but then he decided to cut off all contact with me. Sigh.)

Tom (important grad school boyfriend). I mention him because we still have a friendship (talking once or twice a year and perhaps a drive-by visit when I'm in Seattle). I love talking to him. However, the rest of our relationship was always a volatile mess, so I'd probably give him a pass if he came knocking. But it would be a hard decision.

Kent. Need I say more? I'm still actively pining for this guy. We have a friendship that consists of a rare phone call and monthly emails. SIGH.

I'm sure I'll be more over Kent than I am now, but I don't know that I'd ever turn him away if he were to come calling. I mean, not while I'm single! I'd have to have a new boyfriend (or a husband) in order to turn Kent away. So...I hope that isn't going to make it impossible for me to ever date again! I wasn't really over Kent when I started dating Curt, but still having some feelings for Kent was not the problem with that relationship. Not at all. (Curt did suffer a bit by comparison, but only when the chips were down--the way Curt handled my distress about work pretty much told me all I needed to know about having a future together: we wouldn't.)

When I meet someone I really, really like, I will be happy to be with him and I won't feel bad that he's not someone else. When I choose the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with, I won't be tempted to leave him for any of the guys above. That I know to be true.

I have learned how to handle my various relationship regrets. Well, the regret about Ed is particularly difficult to shake because I ended that relationship. I had good reasons for the choices I made and I understand them. I just wish I'd had the foresight to make slightly different choices. But, still, my life is hardly ruined because I didn't marry Ed. It's just a different, but still very good, life.

It IS a good life and it's the life I chose. I trust that I will meet someone wonderful. Look, I have been lucky to meet many wonderful guys and have many relationships. Some of those relationships didn't end well, but I've had plenty of good times and I do not regret those dating choices. I am glad about NOT marrying most of the guys I dated--we would've been miserable! Those were good break ups. I have a couple of not so good break ups--but those also show that, yes, I am capable of choosing to be with someone who makes me happy. And, if it didn't work out those times, it will work out one of the times in the future.

Right? Right.

Grateful for: perspective.


  1. Ha! I wouldn't take my ex back if he asked, and I'm sadly not yet over him. I think it's more the nature of love that sometimes it takes a long time, and you do have to move on before you're fully "over" the person.

  2. liz: interesting. So, as a corollary, can one be willing to take an ex back AND be over him? I know that if I bumped into the "right" guy, I'd be open to dating him, but I'm not sure I'm in the right state of mind to do the bumping, ahem, as it were.

  3. Apparently so, because the first time the Hunky Actor and I broke up, I was like, "Oh, OK bummer, moving on..." And then back he comes, and I was like "Oh, OK then." And then he broke up with me again just a bit later. lol

    I think maybe the moral of the stories is: Fresh Meat? :)

  4. Did you ever see Swingers? I always liked that theory of how long it takes.

  5. liz: what can you do?

    anon11: I did see it, a million years ago. I don't remember the theory, but I do think it takes as long as it takes. I'm not sure I'm ready or not--I'm not really actively "out there." But if Mr. Right magically appeared in front of me, I like to think I'd give him a chance.

  6. It does take a long time to get over some exes, especially the ones that dumped you. I have tried to initiate contact with one in particular who refuses to speak to me. I can't really figure out why since we are both married and have been for decades.

    Unfortunately matters of the heart have no rules and no timetables!

  7. Barbara: I wonder if being in touch with you would stir up too many feelings for him. That's basically why my dad isn't in touch with my mom. Oh well.

  8. That is a very interesting assessment you made. There is no ONE person, so regrets need to be kept mild and distant. The key is to living life for you.

  9. yellojkt: I try not to live in the past and I'm against having regrets. Stuff that maybe wasn't the best idea, I did because it was fun and I wanted to. So, that's how I learned not to do it again! Or that it would be ok if I did. Still, it's hard not get blue about this being single business, but it could be much, much worse. I could be in an unhappy relationship!

  10. I just loved this post.

  11. Still reading after what must be nearly six years! You're over someone when you don't feel emotional attachment in either a positive or negative way. You're OK with them doing their own thing even if you're not part of that. Still being emotionally invested, whether it's because you're still in love or raging with anger, means not over. I guess all you can do is keep it real and that helps you to move through grieving the end of the relationship. Breaking up and moving on frees you up to be with someone who you will be happy with.

  12. First of all It requires a lot courage to describe your personal life and accept your mistakes as well. I was dumped when I was 17. It hurts a lot when you face this at first time. But do you think get back to the same girl after 3 years again as she has accepted her mistake?
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