When an ex re-appears into your life, it doesn’t necessarily equate to “fate bringing you two together.” Sometimes, as I just learned, an ex can re-appear in your life to show you just how far you’ve come and how at peace you are with your past.
Last week, I made the pilgrimage to Atlanta, Georgia to see one of my favorite rap groups of all time: Outkast. This was their first time in over a decade that they would be performing not only together, but in their hometown. East Point guys all the way, and I wanted to be in the vicinity to witness it. Plus, I had been talking for months how I needed to jump off the hamster wheel and take time for myself, so I was excited about this trip. About two days before the vacation day, I received a friend request from a guy I dated in high school. Now, here’s a few things you should know first:
- I haven’t seen him in 12 years
- I haven’t spoken to him in 7 years
- He’s been married for 7 years
- His profile picture is his wedding picture
So when I saw the request, I didn’t jump to any conclusions because my intentions were pure. However, as soon as I clicked “Accept Friend Request”, the red flags began to wave.
Red Flag #1: “Hey stranger!”
Anytime you see the “hey stranger, how are you?” message or text…..RUN! This was the first of many messages he sent to me and I immediately rolled my eyes. I knew nothing good was going to come from this exchange, but I opened back up a door that had been closed years ago (which I’ll get to later).
Red Flag #2: “I’ve missed you. You were the love of my life.”
The key word here is “were”, which is a past tense. Because in the present, he’s still married. Very, very married. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that at one point in your life that you were in love with this person, but then what? What’s the end game to admitting something like that? Especially when you eventually married someone else? I wasn’t the one who got away: I was the one you let go. Still, I didn’t give it too much attention.
Red Flag #3: “I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately.”
Alright…so this is the portion of the message when I realized he may be having problems in his marriage. Which immediately followed the feeling that I was the distraction, which I wasn’t a fan of. I don’t claim to know a lot about marriage, but I do know about accountability. Considering I used to be a woman who loved nothing more than a good distraction from my issues, I now bravely do the shadow work (or getting to the source of an issue) so that I can be a better person. Then my mind filled up with questions: Did his wife know that he’s been thinking about me? Does she know that he’s reaching out to me? Possibly trying to rekindle something that he left behind over a decade ago? Does she know that her husband is in love with another woman? What excuse will he come up with to try and see me? Does she even know that their marriage is in trouble?
Even with all of the flags waving, you know what I did? I hung on to the one word he used throughout our entire exchange: closure. My ego immediately saw a conflict that needed to be fixed. So I was willing to be that soundboard; a vessel that he could finally get everything he’d been feeling about me out of the way so that we could both go on to our respective lives. Instead, I should’ve stayed in the Present and see that all my ex wanted to do was have sex with me while I was in town, unbeknownst to his wife, and then go home. When his subtle approach didn’t work, he went with the more blatant route:
Red Flag #4: “When I come to meet you, should I bring protection? Just want to make sure we’re on the same page….”
We weren’t anymore. I was done 7 years ago, and I was done on that day. I went to the concert, hung out with my friends, and went home. Just like I planned it before I hit “accept”. And on the plane ride home, I realized that the door was closed for a reason. I was never suppose to settle for or down with him. Fate did bring him to me….but not for a reconciliation. Nope. Fate brought us together for the last time to show that the past, is better left in the past. Oddly enough, I didn’t just detach myself from that ex…..I felt that he represented all of my exes and in that moment, I felt detached from all of them! Now that’s growth.