The One I Know Versus The One I Don’t
I used to have this foolish rule when it came to breakups: No going back. Once a girl became my ex, there she remained for what was the rest of my life.
But then, at some point, I stopped mandating such a rule on myself and the girl. It wasn’t prompted by any one particular event. For me, the idea evolved out of style because of my maturation. I got older, got into more relationships, with more great women, and found not every break up didn’t mean the end forever, just the end for right now.
Now I’m here; single and actively dating girls I have dated before and girls I meet in the moment. The whole thing doesn’t have me confused. It’s not like I have to make a choice right away, and to keep it extra real, it’s not like any girl I’m dating is is going to choose me. They are perhaps not thinking about things the way I am, still doesn’t make the pong game in my head between the girls I don’t know and the girls I do know any less intense.
There’s pros and cons to any choice we make regarding relationships, so let’s just not default and take the easy way out. We make a choice, and in the end we lose some, we win some, but in the end, we ultimately get some. That’s my motto. My other motto is, there is no winner, no universal “better”, it’s whoever is best for us.
Now that we have the semantics out of the way, let’s discuss a little bit.
The idea of getting back together with an ex is always exciting, especially if that ex was good in bed. Just kidding. But if enough time has passed, everything about that old thing can seem new. With all of my exes, no less than three years has gone by since we last dated, so in a lot of ways, they are new people, but not so new, there’s mystery. There’s also some familiarity. Sure, they say familiarity breeds contempt, but it also breeds a certain type of comfort in which we can seek solace.
Of course, the thing that stops me from going there with a potential ex is the idea of meeting someone I haven’t met. In a weird way, getting back with the person I once broke up with (or who broke up with us) is admitting I had it wrong all along, and doing that is as much fun as a trip to the dentist. I moved on, and they moved on, and we both did so in hopes that someone who was more right for us actually existed. To get back with an ex is to say that person doesn’t exist, or I’m just tired of waiting for them to show up.
The thing is, I’ve never even met this person who doesn’t exist. I just make them up. They’re out there somewhere, but I don’t know where they are, who they are, or where they are, so continuing to believe they’re out there is like believing in Santa Claus. It’s all so childlike.
So who do I decide on, the one I know versus the one I don’t know? The answer is simple: I pick the one who picks me. We pick each other.