I had already made plans to drive to a neighboring city to visit friends, so the next day after crying myself to sleep, I woke up and went into his bedroom. I informed him that I would be leaving, asked him for a ride to get my rental car and went silent. I felt like a failure. For the first time in over six years I allowed myself to open up to someone since my long term college relationship. How could I have let my guard down? How did I let this get so far, so fast and without out noticing any signs that “this ain’t it?” The dreams I had made for myself were gone.

He dropped me back to his house so I could pack and he left. In between sobs, I packed my bags, got into the car and literally cried for the next six months. I lost weight and I prayed for this man to come back to me, I was a certified mess.

Looking back on things, I later realized that years after we broke up, I got into relationships and situations with unavailable men because I secretly wanted this man to come back to me and also used these men as a defense mechanism. I sabotaged all of my relationships for the next five years.

He later on went to marry someone else and had two kids. We have mutual friends, so out of respect I never asked about him or his family. Whenever we would run into each other (even with his wife present), I did him a favor and acted like we didn’t know each other. I had to get over him and this relationship failure fast!

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I eventually did get over him and over myself for feeling like I failed. I looked at that relationship as a lesson. A lesson to take your time in getting to know someone and also a lesson in the process that is life. So imagine my confusion 8 years later once I am on the road to getting engaged to someone else and here he comes–THE EX.

It started with a LinkedIn request. Ok, sure. Granted. Then came the endorsements on LinkedIn. Then came the emails from LinkedIn. Is this ninja stalking me on LinkedIn? The emails started out with inquiring about my work, the strides I had made in my profession, etc. Then the emails became so frequent, as did the endorsements, that I had to finally ask him, “What do you want?”

It was time to face him, this past relationship, this elephant in the room. As much as I wanted to avoid him, I had to face this evil spirit, THE EX. He finally emailed me on my personal email account, basically apologizing. Here I am, about to get engaged and THE EX wants to apologize after damn near eight years?

What part of the game is this? He apologized for being a “f*&k boi” (he is from Florida where that term was utilized a lot). He apologized for just disappearing. He apologized for “giving up the very thing he always wanted and always needed” and that was me. I thanked him for the apology and told him not to feel bad. This happened years ago, it was a life lesson and he has a story for his daughters when they ultimately suffer their first heart break.

That lesson being “They will get over it and they will be fine.” I also told him that I do not harbor any ill will towards him and if he and his family ever come to New York, by all means call me, I would love to meet them and be hospitable.

Some weeks passed. I ended up getting my ring from my fiancé. I am good.

THE EX reaches out again to inform me that he is getting a divorce. The irony. THE EX, who totally changed the way I viewed relationships, who broke my heart to smithereens was announcing his divorce, while I was announcing my engagement.

My best friend’s father would always tell us this little nugget about men who have either broken our hearts or done us wrong: “He got to come back by you.” I never truly understood what that meant until THE EX came back by me, to tell me that he let go of the exact thing he desired (me, a hard working woman who values family) and that he was sorry.

More than anything his declaration eight years later made me realize a lot. The most important thing I got from our last conversation was recognizing both the best thing I could have done when my heart was broken and also admitting how my actions were not aligned to my desires when I suffered heart break.

What I learned was that I have to pursue what’s golden to me and that is love, respect, dedication and communication. I am so thankful for the lessons and the love that ultimately came by me and stayed, even when I had to wait on it.

About the Author: She holds multiple degrees, is a natural born socialite, a business owner, an extreme exerciser of faith and a realist. After 3 years of dating and a year of being engaged, she is ready to tell the truth about what to expect when you are transitioning from being a single woman with no worries to a future wife. For the sake of these articles, let’s just call her Nina. After all, that was here “Club Name” for over 15 years….so yeah, introducing Nina.

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