Have you ever loved someone so deeply? Someone who’s gotten lost in the whirlwind of your romantic past?
They may have even been jam-packed with all the red flags your mother’s warned you about, but the nebulousness of your cloudy memories made you forget about all their dark sides while your nostalgia illuminated their most beautiful characteristics.
You remember how they made you laugh until you swore you got six-pack abs from giggling up a storm. They made you feel special and complimented your physical magnificence. The steamy chemistry you had with them is totally incomparable to the bleak options you’re currently facing in the modern dating world.
“Oh, I wish he could come back to my life!” you wail. “He made me happy.”
Those were the exact words I used after stumbling back home after another disappointing date. And just like that, as if I waved a magic wand, the man I’ve pined for for years returned back into my life.
“Hello,” he said in a direct message.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!” I said to myself. “It’s him!”
At the time, I felt as if I rubbed a magic lamp and my most dearest wish came true! But in hindsight, I later realized that likening the experience to a “genie with a lamp” would be erroneous. A better analogy would be the Ghost of Christmas Past, except this time, instead of teaching me a lesson on unselfishness, I was taught a lesson to never, ever romanticize the past.
During the first day of his return, we spoke endlessly! We both reminisced about our carefree college years (we met as freshmen in a New York university). The giggles came back again! It felt like I hadn’t laughed in years. It was as if he was the only man in the world who held the key to tickling my humor.
It was perfect – or so I thought.
I longed to see him again. He lived three hours away in another state. “When can I see you again?” I asked. “I haven’t seen you in years.”
He started to act a little … strange when I asked him this question. “Erm, I can’t right now. I have some pressing obligations at the moment,” he said.
Pressing obligations? What could they possibly be that he’s totally hindered from meeting me? And then my intuition, my inner gut, gave me a nudge that something wasn’t right.
Now one thing you should know about me is that I am relatively inactive on social media, which my long-lost love, let’s call him Jacob, used to his advantage. But something told me, “Psst, check his Facebook! Check his Facebook!”
I blew off the dust on my Facebook account that I’ve neglected for years and typed in several passwords until, finally, I was granted access to the popular social platform. I searched for his page and I hit a goldmine of information that Jacob did not want me to know.
The “obligations” Jacob was referring to was that he is now, at the age of 28-years-old, the father of a one-year-old little girl. In doing some more sleuthing, I discovered that Jacob is currently living with the mother of his child.
All the dark sides that I blocked out of memory when I had those dreamy, nostalgic episodes of Jacob came flooding back into my mind:
Jacob was always a compulsive liar and a seedy character.
When we first met as 18-year-old college freshmen, he came on to me strong and pursued me with vigor. I later found out that he had a live-in girlfriend whom he was cheating on with other women on campus. He used his gift of gab to win women’s hearts – and their “inner treasures” – only to stealthily disappear into the night while leaving a trail of teary-eyed, broken-hearted women
I had never slept with Jacob thankfully. I was too afraid of becoming another one of his victims. But our chemistry – oh my god, our chemistry – was unbelievable! We could talk for hours, we could laugh uncontrollably, we understood each other, we loved the same shows and films, we had similar ambitions, and we both uplifted each other with gems of wisdom.
It was an impossible-to-replicate chemistry that I couldn’t find anywhere else, which is why I grew so attached to Jacob. In the past, I wondered “Would he treat me differently than the others?” In order to figure out the answer to that question, when he’d seduce me, I’d say:
“You want me to open my legs, but I need you to open your heart.”
We’ve known each other since 2009, a whole decade, but I knew next to nothing about his childhood and his upbringing. He was always hush-hush and silent about the goings-on in his life, and he was careful not to reveal too much about the core of who he is.
In the end, he could never truly open his heart. Why? Because a man who refuses to develop an emotional attachment with you typically does not want to stick around. “Opening up” would make it far too difficult to “hit it and quit it.”
Jacob and I drifted apart, but in the back of my mind, I wondered, “Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I should have given him a chance.” The “what ifs” swirled around my thoughts constantly.
But as Jacob made a second appearance into my life in 2019 and his true colors surfaced, the “what ifs” that clawed my mind finally tamed.
After I confronted him about the details I’ve discovered on Facebook, Jacob drowned me in a fit of apologies. “I didn’t tell you because I knew it didn’t look right and you’d never give me a second chance! The mother of my daughter and I are not together – she dumped me, but we do live together. I’m so sorry! I’ve promised I’ve changed. I need to change. If I’m going to set a good example for my child, I need to be a better person – and you make me better!”
And then it hit me.
He didn’t come back because he “loved me,” as he often claimed. He reached out to me because he’s terrified. Mistreating a woman, this time the mother of his child, now came with a consequence that no longer just affected himself. His dream of fostering a healthy, two-parent household for his daughter was tumbling down and he wanted me to swoop in and save the day.
To confirm my suspicions, I asked him one final question:
“If you could have the most ideal relationship with me, what would it look like?” I asked.
“I’m not sure how to answer that,” he said. “But I do know that I want someone who could be an excellent influence on not only myself, but my daughter, and you fit the bill.”
He later went on a rant about how marriage is a “scam.” Right then and there, I realized I deserved better. I deserve someone who doesn’t need to wait until their world falls apart before realizing that I am a woman of value.
He thought that I was some mule who was at his beck and call, and whenever he screwed up, I had to carry him on my back and right his wrongs. I was to play stepmother for his child and get absolutely nothing in return.
For years, I wished for this man – the love of my life – to return. Wow, all that time I was yearning and longing for him was a total waste of time. Jacob was placed back into my life to teach me an important, valuable lesson – don’t dig up your buried past unless you want to deal with rot, grime, and mold that comes with it.
You may think, dear reader, that you desire the return of a past lover, but as the old adage says, “be careful what you wish for.”