May 10, 2016

Sometimes They Come Back: What my Ex Taught Me about Love.

red x hands couple unsplash

It happens sometimes that after months and even years apart, we are faced with an ex who wants to rebuild burnt bridges.

Sometimes we take them back and sometimes we don’t. I’ve been in this situation twice—both times, my exes contacted me after years of no contact, but it was already too late. I had moved on.

I chuckled to myself, wondering what pushed them to want our relationship back again. In one of these situations, I had been the one to screw up and it made me wonder even more why my ex would want me back when I wasn’t much of a perfect girlfriend.

Sadly, this is what happens sometimes. We laugh at the ex who wants us back and wonder what reminded them of us. Our ego enjoys the attention, especially if our ex was the one who never owned up to their issues.

The truth is, exes who want us back have something important to teach us about love.

We claim they knew nothing about love. We claim they were fools to let us go. But it’s actually the complete opposite.

Forget about whether we take them back or not. Forget about how much they may have screwed up. Bottom line is, when exes come back, they come with lessons about love that can benefit our present life.

They teach us that time is radical. Love knows neither clocks nor calendars. They prove that months and years no longer exist when we think about being with the person we love.

They are the perfect example of forgiveness. When they want us back, I’ve found it’s often because they have forgiven themselves and us. And we can’t open to a new page unless we choose to forgive and let go of the former chapters.

One of the reasons I chose not to take one of my exes back was because I hadn’t forgiven the past, even though I’d moved on. Him wanting to build something solid showed me that on some level he had done more inner work than me. I learned that forgiving ourselves is much harder than trying to forgive someone else.

They also teach us courage, because it takes a hell of a lot of audacity to step on your fear and your ego and ask someone to take you back. Even when faced with the possibility of rejection, they take the chance because for them, love is always worth trying for.

I used to find myself judging my exes who returned, but now I respect their courage, willingness to forgive and ability to move beyond the past.

And perhaps, the most important lesson our returning exes can teach us is that love doesn’t forget. No matter how long they’ve been gone or how far away they go, when we truly love someone, our hearts won’t let them go.


Author: Elyane Youssef

Editor: Nicole Cameron

Image: Nicholas Gercken/Unsplash



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