Earlier this week, I received a call from my ex boyfriend asking me to lunch. For most people, this would be an immediate red flag. Exes should remain in the past. Rob and I began dating in 8th grade and were off and on until my freshman year of college. Officially, we dated a sum of 4 years. Although the breakup is laced with bitterness (solely from my end of things), we have remained friends.
This past Fall, we had attended the same school in Minnesota. Rob had already spent a year at the U, and I had hoped that he would show me around. For one reason or another, that didn’t really pan out and ultimately I left the school. Since leaving, he and I kept in touch, but at the bare minimum. Up until this week, I hadn’t heard from him in two months, right around the time I began dating Mat. I assumed that maybe that was the reason we hadn’t spoken, and honestly I didn’t think that much of it. I was pleasantly surprised to receive his call, and looked forward to going to lunch today. Even though Rob was the cause of too much hurt in my life, and I have zero desire to welcome him back into it, part of me will always love and miss him.
We went to a sandwich bistro in town. Rob began the lunch with asking for a moment to apologize. “I’m sorry I didn’t do more to help you acclimate to the U. You needed me, and I should’ve been there. I feel really bad about it.” All of my girly insides wanted to hug him and even tear up at this vulnerable confession. I thought to myself, “Maybe he’s finally grown up.” Conversation consisted of school, my medical traumas, just life in general. He nearly obsessed over my new tattoo, as well as the ring on my finger (which is simply a band I bought myself from Etsy). Additionally, conversation kept circling back to the idea of kids. Rob never wanted kids, and that was a huge issue for me in our relationship, even though it wasn’t something to worry about at age 16. It gnawed at me, sure, but it wasn’t a deal breaker at the time. He looked at me with complete disbelief when I told him I wanted a huge family; that I wanted to be married with a baby on the way in the next 5 years. Rob has always been career minded (which is code for self centered if you ask me) He asked about Mat, and even though it really isn’t his business I said he made me extremely happy. He then asked, “Are you and Mat going to get married?” and I simply smiled and shrugged, and said we’d talked about it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Rob’s eyes get so wide. His mouth was practically agape. “You’re so different,” he kept saying, and I became increasingly offended. He threw out phrases like, “You’ve aged 10 years since we last talked.”, “You’re old!”, “What are you, a born again Catholic?” Oh.. There’s the Rob I remember. Uninterested, unobservant, he failed to realize that I have been this way for some time now. And I have always been an “old soul”.
What’s frustrating about all of this, is that all I wanted to do was cry. He had basically told me he didn’t like who I was now. I should be the one that doesn’t like him. He ruined me. But after all this time and healing, he still had the power to make me feel inferior. It’s exhausting to care about someone so deeply that their opinion, however ignorant, always matters.
I closed these wounds closed a long time ago, but I guess I have a horrible habit of picking at scabs. For as quickly as people change, it’s just as slowly that they don’t.