Here’s What Happens If You Go Back To Him (When You Know You Shouldn’t)

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You never go anywhere. You end up trapped in this twisted black hole that neither of you can get out of, a black hole that neither of you wanted to be in in the first place. You’re not going back because you love him. You’re going back because you’re bored. Or lonely. Or because you can’t stand the thought of spending another night laying in your bed, knowing that no one is thinking about you.

You want to feel loved. And cared for. You want there to be someone out there who misses you. But you’re looking for validation in the wrong places. You’re not going to feel more alive and less invisible just because someone kisses you a few times and tells you they missed you.

Going back to him means you’ll feel a small thrill at first. The thrill of not being alone for a while. The thrill of knowing that there’s someone you can text if you’re at the bar and you’re bored out of your mind. You have someone to tell things to. You feel a small comfort in the possibility that the fulfillment you’re looking for might come from him.

You’ve been alone for a while. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lonely. So you convince yourself that you’re going back to him because you’re just meant to be. You’re perfectly fine being by yourself, so that must mean you’re not going back out of desperation; you’re going back to him because of some pull you feel from fate or from the universe or from whatever you believe in. But really, you’re going back because nothing else is happening right now. Your life is steady and easy and fine. It’s not wonderful or crazy or amazing. But it’s also not sad or depressing. It’s just fine. And sometimes, that’s even worse. So you feel the need to shake things up. You need to feel something. You need something interesting to happen in order to remind you that you’re alive.

You go back to him. And that special thrill is there waiting for you. You have a lot to talk about in the beginning. You fill each other in on what’s happened since you broke up. He says things that are sweet and flattering. You feel like you have a companion again. You tell yourself that this is a romantic story. You think your reunion is special and story-worthy. You become infatuated with the idea of being in love again. It helps distract you from the fact that you don’t feel as happy as you thought you would. You ignore the feeling in your gut that tells you something is off. You have to concentrate on smiling. Your laugh around him sometimes feels forced.

Slowly, you remember that there’s a reason things ended. There’s a reason you shouldn’t be together. It doesn’t matter if he’s a jerk or he’s the sweetest guy in the world or he’s somewhere in the middle. Sometimes, two people aren’t mean to be together. They don’t make each other better. They don’t make each other feel that burst of energy that you feel when you like someone so much you can barely stand it. You want that feeling so badly. You want to feel madly in love and overwhelmed with thoughts of him and you want to look into his face and feel certain. But you feel everything except certainty.

You look into his face and you have a million questions. You’re thinking about how you got to this point, and what would happen if you broke up again. You try to remember the reasons you went back to him in the first place, hoping you’ll have enough that force you to stay put. But you can’t remember the reasons that got you here. It’s as if they’ve evaporated. You feel restless and unhappy and you just don’t really care about what’s going on between the two of you. You’re pretty sure that he feels the same thing. But neither of you wants to say it. You know you’re not in the right place. You know you’re going to have to go through pain all over again.

It’s going to take so much to go through this again. Even if you know you don’t love him, you still have to face the scary truth that he’s definitely not the one. When you broke up before, you always kept him in the back of your mind. He was a possibility. He was a thought. He was a fond memory, a memory that grew fonder and sweeter the longer you were apart. When you felt lonely or depressed or just so freaking single, you let your subconscious wander to the possibility that maybe, someday, the two of you would have a beautiful, romantic, exhilarating reunion. It would be so incredible and so powerful that you wouldn’t be able to breathe.

You held onto that possibility during your duller moments. But now you’ve lived out that possibility. You went back to him. And it wasn’t magnificent. So not only are you saying goodbye to him. You’re saying goodbye to the idea of him. The possibility of him. The hope of him. You’re putting yourself through all of this because you just want something to happen. But he’s not the answer. You don’t miss him. You just miss those times when your life was more interesting than fine.

Don’t go back to him. When you feel yourself coming close, just remember that he’s not going to make your life more than fine. He’s not going to change anything. You do that on your own.

By Kim Quindlen for ThoughtCatalog

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