December 10, 2021

Ghosts of Boyfriends Past: What our previous Relationships Teach us about Ourselves.


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Life and dating have me thinking and reliving the past.

The stories, like a movie, play the stories of my life.

Exhaustion hit as it has been a hell of a week.

This started last weekend with some visits from long lost fellas in the wee hours of the night.

We have all heard of the movie “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.” Well, my version is with the boys and men of my past.

It started last Saturday when I woke at 3 a.m., hearing the boys banter in the living room.

“Wake up, Renee,” said familiar voices.

I crawled out of bed and rubbed my eyes, for every boy and man I have ever had any romantic involvement with was there in my living room.

“What are you boys doing here?” I ask.

“Renee, you’ve been thinking, talking, and now writing about us, so we have some things to share.”

I must be dreaming, I say out loud.

The cocky one in the bunch—the latest fling—says, “ No, sweetheart. Take a pen and paper and have a seat.”

There, in my living room, are all the boys from high school, brief encounters, part-time lovers, my husband, a common-law, and other work and skirt chasers.

They all look amazing, I might add.

Neither time nor death have altered them in any way.

I listen and pull a chair up. I take a deep breath, and they pour me a glass of tonic water with a squeeze of lime.

“Just as you like it!” says the former common-law.

I am told that I can write about them; however, I should be offering their side of the story, so here it is.

I let them have their time to shine.

I tell them that not every story or song was about them like they all are “so vain.”

At this they laugh and pour each other drinks like they are all old and the best of friends.

In my ugliest pajamas with my hair an unruly mess, I self-consciously groom and sigh and wait for the big bomb.

Okay, fellas, let me have it. What are your concerns? Maybe, what you all have to say will help me going forward, I offer.

At first, they share stories about me like I’m not even there, and then, I’m asked to take notes.

These are the messages and takeaways that they offered.

They actually helped me, and if you are struggling in love, they might help you too!

At 3 a.m., I’m told with the loud gong that not everything was and is my fault.

I’m asked to let go of what isn’t mine to hold and carry.

“Renee, we have moved on and you can too.”

It is okay to write my heart out and be me. Permission granted and accepted!

This was healing.

“Stop overanalyzing every conversation,” they all suggested.

Some things that were said really had nothing to do with me.

Earth-shattering revelation here.

Sabotaging and running actually get in the way. Self-fulfilling prophecies really do come true.

“Manifest all you want. If you shut down, pack up, and run—the same patterns continue.”

“You don’t need to figure us or anyone out.” This one I admit is hard. I fall in love with figuring people out.

“You don’t need to fix men. We actually don’t enjoy being projects.”

Lesson here noted.

They offered some sweetness too.

They all loved me and my quirky ways.

It is okay that I’m a mess some days, and we all have moments. In fact, they all loved every messy part.

No one is perfect.

What makes us different can be our greatest strength.

The greatest message and gift were a release from the past. In the end, we were all crying and laughing.

Life and love are now.

We must all live for today.

We can make peace with the past and carry on.

I’m thankful for my visit with “my boys.”

And I am ready to write a new story. Are you?

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