Am I Still In Love With My Ex?

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Yesterday, hours after writing a post called “Thanks For The Advice?”, an email came through my personal website from someone who felt like they needed to tell me that, after reading a few of my articles, they agree that I should stay single for a little while. I wasn’t entirely sure how to react to that properly, so I sent a quick note back with the subject line, “Thanks?”

I thought that might be something that my ex-girlfriend would appreciate, so I texted her about it. She laughed and related a similar story of her own. In that moment, I felt closer to her than I had felt to any other women in the last two years. It gave me pause.

I continued to grunt my way through my grunt work — but as I did — I couldn’t stop daydreaming about the very real possibility that I may still be very much in love with her. It would certainly answer a lot of questions that I have been having a hard time with lately. The one glaring one being, “Why has it been so difficult for anything to work with anyone else?”

For the first year, I kept hearing the phrase “I don’t think you’re ready,” being thrown around more often than I’d like to admit. This new year, I kept thinking that I am so caught up in other pursuits that it’s just not the right time.

Sometimes it feels like I create things to tell myself to make reality more palatable, no matter how incorrect or stupid they may be. Either way, the facts are these:

1-She and I never argued.

2-I never looked at her with disdain even as I was leaving.

3- I never stopped feeling attracted to her.

4-Her mother lived with us for the entire five years we were together.

Number four always freaks me out a little bit. Sometimes I’m not entirely sure if I broke up with her or her mother. Let’s be reasonable: it is not easy for a man in his mid to late forties to live in a house with someone’s mother. The dynamic was strange and, quite honestly, annoying. I’ve never been one to be cemented into traditional roles, but I still think it may have been short-sighted for neither of them to understand that it may have been too much for a man who was working the equivalent of two full-time jobs every week and contributing the proceeds from that work, to come home to a house where he was made to feel like an ancillary third wheel most of the time. A lot of the time, I felt like I was horning in on the marriage she had with her mother. It was uncomfortable.

Still in all, though, that may not have been enough for me to “fall out of love.” Life, unfortunately, is never as cut and dry as all that. The situation was obviously untenable, but feelings are feelings and love just doesn’t conveniently dissipate because it can’t find a proper habitat. It may actually just lay there unsure of where exactly to go.

Which is, actually, very close to what it feels like.

Am I Still In Love With My Ex? was originally published in P.S. I Love You on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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