It’s always amazing how when you’re happy with someone new, your old beaus come back to haunt you. The night before Adonis moved to Korea, an old fling who had hurt me quite a bit came back to explain his actions and beg for forgiveness. When I started dating Co-P, Adonis took responsibility for each and every thing which had driven me bonkers during our relationship. The way I handled all of those things was certainly the reason for our relationship’s demise, and the fact that he knew he had done a plethora of stress/ rage inducing things throughout our tenure (but was too stubborn to change) created a flood of emotions which were confusing, especially when I was starting to date someone new.
Flings and Stings
We all have a bizarre sense of when the winds change, but what about people who haven’t made that much of an impact, yet? I work near this guy I met almost a year ago. Things got very intense really quickly, and he ran for the hills. I thought he has ghosted me entirely. He has come back time after time with the caveat that he doesn’t believe in monogamy. (*LOL ROLLS EYES INTO BACK OF HEAD FOREVER!*) I think that just means that he’s scared – scared to miss the opportunity of another notch. He’s scared to actually feel something and potentially get hurt. He’s scared to put in a little effort.
I rarely run into him, but when I do it’s always when I’m starting something new with someone else. I’ve been on a few dates with someone who seems to have everything I’d like in a partner on paper, but he’s starting to pull back and I just don’t have the time or energy for that. Enter guy who works nearby – let’s call him ‘Sensory Overload’. He always manages to bump into me when I’m questioning my self-worth. he’s a total f*ckboi and I hate that I actually have a crush on the dude, but when you’re with him you feel like the only person on the planet. He will literally stop traffic to give me a hug. He’ll hang up the phone (he’s always on the phone, of course he is) to ask what’s going on in my world. He sends cute messages once we part ways. When I need him casually, he’s always around.
Why can’t we ever get what we want at the right time? This is why we turn into gremlins when one from the fold has found “a good one”. Tinder is like Pokémon-Go – we search the city swiping for monsters. We’re desperate for structure and consistency. Why am I summoning this demon each time something good starts to go a little sour?
We all do it. Social Media makes it easier than ever to look up how our loved ones past and present are doing. Are they living their best lives? How happy are they? It seems when I’ve finally met someone new, the ghosts of lost loves past have their interests piqued. When I started dating my most recent ex, it breathed life into a few poltergeists. The man I’ll probably always consider to be the first great love of my life reached out. He said everything that I had needed and so desperately craved hearing, albeit all a little too late. I was honest about our communication with my new partner, and he was honest (well…to a point) about his. When I was living with the Adonis, he would call his ex while I was at work. What did I care if they spoke? They dated for 7 years – she was a huge part of his life and he was important to her. She was also roughly 9,000 km away. How much harm could she really do from that great a distance? I think I’d be more worried if he wasn’t interested in her well-being and didn’t want to maintain mutual respect.
Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
In a new relationship, it’s tempting to look back on your partner’s old ones. Are you part of a trend or are you different, special – an outlier? Are you far enough outside the particular set of previous patterns and failures to stand the test of time? A jealous, pissed off, or threatened woman does better research than the FBI, CIA and Secret Service combined. When in a budding relationship I was contacted by my (then new) boyfriend’s ex stating that he had cheated on the previous two. She told me I was becoming a symptom of a much bigger problem. I, of course, dismissed it at the time. He told me just enough to make it seem like we had an open and honest relationship. I was completely transparent. When his pattern reemerged several months later, you had better bet I quickly learned about RSS feeds, source, input, and the ease of info gathering online. I did it because I sensed a problem. I had an underlying insecurity about the state of our relationship. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and unfortunately got more than I bargained for.
Poking Holes in More Than Just the Story
What about the longstanding current girlfriend, fiance, or even wife, though? I mean, she’s already won. What use is it to look back on something which ended so very long ago? On one hand, I can see that she means no harm. She’s just curious about our history together. How far down the line is it normal or healthy to creep? Why does my ex boyfriend’s current love want to know about my daily activities now when he and I ceased all contact 7 months ago? I’m sure there’s a small part where the “winner” can take perverse pleasure in popping up and rubbing it in your face that she’s enjoying your old memories. Is there trouble in paradise or does she just want to lord her “success” over me without ever having to exchange words?
When you’ve finally met someone new and are enjoying learning all about him, she’s there to drudge up the past. At least when a man’s 6th sense kicks in, you might get closure. When woman’s sick sense starts tingling, everyone just ends up shaken. It’s better on both sides to leave well enough alone.
To my exes’ new girlfriends and wives: ladies, if you’re really that curious about me, reach out! I’d rather be cool with your creeping than completely unnerved. If that’s not your jam, please have the decency to use a fake account. You don’t need him to block me. You don’t need to control with whom he communicates. The women before me prepared him to love you. If your relationship is strong, it’s due in part to the fact that I made him ready to love you and that you’re a better fit together than we ever could have been. The hell he and I went through together doesn’t negate the joy you have now. It’s not in spite of it, it’s because of it. We worked through issues together that have made him a more considerate boyfriend or husband for you. They will hopefully have helped make me a better partner in my next relationship, too.
To my readers: If your man is communicative, caring, and observant, chances are there’s a mother, sister, or ex-girlfriend who helped him along the way. There’s not a single ex-boyfriend of mine with whom I’d want to get back together, but I have a genuine interest in their well-being. Don’t try to police your significant other’s communication. If he’s friendly with his ex and a better man with you than he was with her, you might even want to buy her a bottle of wine.
Letters from the Ex-Boyfriend: An Expat’s Guide to Man’s 6th Sense
Getting “that message” from an ex both incredibly gratifying and infuriating. It seems like it’s the new vogue to write an apology letter to your ex-girlfriend. It’s like it just sits there waiting and waiting for the exact moment she’s over you. The moment she’s moved on and might just finally be happy, he clicks ‘send’. Is this man’s 6th sense? Has Google created a new alert? Am I the last to know that they’ve created the latest algorithm in social media f*ckery?
He Hurt You
In this letter, he finally takes responsibility for all the things he did wrong. All the times he lied (and the corresponding gaslighting), all the times he perpetuated gender stereotypes, all the times he just wouldn’t listen. How did he come to the realization that this was the perfect moment to bare it all? Why is right now the perfect time for him to come to his senses? How does man’s 6th sense determine the right time to connect?
I have no doubt that a recent post encouraging communication between partners is the most recent source for “the apology letter”. What about the other times, though? My rebound after H got his friend to message me on Facebook to see if I was going to Busan for an event. This friend owns a travel company and it was pretty clear that there was no way in hell I was getting on the bus for this sold out trip. How do these people know that you’re off the market? Most of these messages come from men with whom I’m no longer even connected through social media. Even if they are able to look on Facebook or instagram, the messages are sent before there’s any sort of public trail of the relationship. It’s like how dogs can sniff out fear. These douche-canoes can sniff out happiness and want to stifle that shit immediately.
Tell Me Sweet Little Lies
I went out with a military man who was just dying to make the blog. He was, indeed, a Tinder failstory. He lied to me about his location for no reason with the full knowledge that Tinder shows you the distance between you both. We lived pretty close to one another already. When he said he was out in the bush running drills, he was actually cursing the high cost of a side of guac at Lotte World Mall. I wouldn’t have cared if he was too busy to hang, but don’t tell me you’re being eaten alive by mosquitoes out in the peninsula. The night before H came to Korea, I got a lengthy message from MM apologising for it all. He even told me he had gone deaf in one ear and had nearly lost his job. We had only been out maybe 3 or 4 times. He owed me nothing. Some cosmic force in the universe (or man’s 6th sense) must have whispered that Cartier might be happy so it was the perfect moment to insert his thinly-veiled attempt at roping me back in.
What does it all mean? Well, man’s 6th sense seems to hit him like a pile of bricks once he realizes there’s a chance you won’t agree to another shot. It’s not that he wants you back, he wants you to want him back. Toxic relationships are less partnership, more power struggle. He wants to have the upper hand back and he can feel that it’s gone. The best part? By this point you really should no longer care.
Gentleman, what you must realise is that your messages contain several of the same phrases. When you all write the same thing, it doesn’t sound genuine. Here are some of the canned phrases in each message I’ve received:
“I just want you to be happy.”
“You’re an incredible woman.”
“You deserve the best in life.”
“Even if we don’t get back together, I hope we can at least be friends down the road.”
It is well.
It’s lovely for you to admit that you were wrong. It’s validating to have all those worries and frustrations confirmed as your own f*ck ups. I’m glad you’ve managed to clear your conscience. Next time, don’t bother drudging up the past. The notion that I’ll ever see a travel romance again is ridiculous. We didn’t work out. I’ve released your ghost. It is well.
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