For those of you newer to the blog, apparently, my karmic challenge has something to do with my desire to leave things on good terms with guys I date, regardless of who ended things. I don’t know if it’s causal (because I don’t throw hissy fits at them, I tend to run into them or they tend to look me back up later) or coincidental (it’s a good thing I don’t throw hissy fits at them because I tend to run back into them), but the break up is seldom the end.
Here’s the thing. I encountered the “Desiderata” pretty young and it made a big impression on me. Some of its earliest lines include
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
And that’s basically it. If I liked a person enough to have them in my life as a potential mate, I hate to treat them in a way that negates whatever we had. Even when I’m very clear that we don’t still have it.
Friday, I get this Facebook message from the last guy I seriously dated, an embarrassingly long time ago. We dated for a few months in the spring of 2014. God I feel old. I’m still not ready to “get back out there.” Not because of him, really, but this whole boomerang thing contributes to my ongoing exhaustion at the idea of dating.
We’re not still Facebook friends, which was his choice. He apparently also deleted my number. He tried to talk me into giving it another go 1.5 years ago (tried to give me his number then, also, but a-I didn’t delete it in the first place, and b-I didn’t give him mine again, because I don’t want to encourage all this) and I repeatedly said, “listen, you’re a nice guy and no offense, but I don’t want to date you again.”And then I just stopped responding to his messages more than a year ago.
He Facebook messaged me and asked if I read the book he left me six months ago. Like I said, we’re not in touch, so he doesn’t know that I moved more than a year ago. I debated ignoring this message, like I’d been doing, but I really struggle with ignoring people who are talking to me, and I caved. So I told him that I didn’t get a book, but that I moved, so if he left it at my condo, I didn’t get it. I joked to my mom (we were at dinner) that the new owner thinks she has a secret admirer.
He said that he read something on my Facebook page (it kind of creeps me out that he can de-friend me and still see my very locked down Facebook page) awhile ago that made him want to share this book with me. He didn’t sign it, but wrote the note “Know Thyself” in the book. It’s kind of an astrology/personality type book that he’s trying to talk me into reading.
First of all, let the record show that dude broke up with me. Because he wasn’t feeling it anymore. (I wasn’t particularly feeling it either, which made it pretty easy to let him go without drama.) Second, during the entire course of our relationship, he bought me no gifts. Why does two years post-breakup seem like the right time to start this? And then to leave the book without signing it? To me, “Know thyself,” from an ex, with apologies to Polonius, sounds pretty passive aggressive. Makes a girl glad she hasn’t left her forwarding address. And then to follow up and ask me if I read it? And then send me a link and tell me to read it? Also, not for nothing, but he knows I’m a committed Catholic. I knew he was into shamanistic spirituality when we were dating, and I never tried to make him go to church with me or reconsider my faith (he was born into a Catholic family but left the church pretty early). I asked him about his spirituality during our time together because I’m interested in people’s paths to faith and why they believe what they believe, and I think it’s an important part of getting to know most people, but I deliberately made it clear that I wasn’t looking to convert, and that my faith was an active part of my life. It’s not like we shared this— this is yet another example of ignoring what’s important to me and pushing his own agenda. Which was almost 100 percent of the reason I was considering breaking up with him when he put our relationship out of its misery.
If he’s trying to convince me to let him back in my life, he’s got his tactics all wrong. There’s not a lot he could do that would convince me that what didn’t work the first time would work better if I let there be a second time, but this?— I’m not in the habit of blocking people (see quote above), but he’s making a pretty persuasive case.