Hello there, and allow me to formally introduce myself. I am the queen of the on-again/off-again lesbian relationship.
I spend my spare time serving as a cautionary tale of what happens when you let good sex make up for bad behavior. I can also be used as an example of what happens when you’ve got the best sex around and are continually attracted to women who are totally out of your league.
(Or, at least, that’s what my exes would probably say, in between the break-up and make-up parts of our recurring cycle.)
After recycling a few exes in particular to stretch casual hookups out over agonizing years, I think I’ve come up with a few solid reasons why you should absolutely not go back to your ex – no matter how great she promises things are going to be this time.
Reason #1: You had a real reason to break up.
Once nostalgia starts kicking in and you’re feeling a bit lonely, it’s easy to remember all the things you loved about her in the first place. You start to think about which side of her bed is comfier, and which of her sweatshirts look the best on you. It’s easy to put together all those magical little pieces that made the relationship so spectacular.
The only problem is… It’s not spectacular anymore. No matter what the specifics were, one thing’s for sure: She’s not your one true love, or you wouldn’t have broken up. I know, I know… Everyone does it, and sometimes it turns out super awesome like in the movies. But your life is not a movie, and chances are, things haven’t changed that much. Save yourself the heartbreak.
Reason #2: It’s not worth the effort.
All relationships require work, but when you’re in a good relationship, it feels like you’re getting a valuable return on your (time) investment. Maybe you’ve got kids to think about, or nowhere else to live, and it feels like working it out with your ex is the only option. For the rest of us, though, it’s not your brain holding you to the commitments with your ex – it’s your hormones.
Now, what happens if you are totally stuck between working things out or being miserable? In most cases, this is just your brain stepping in and trying to make excuses for your hormones, by pretending it’s what’s best for your heart. It’s not what’s best for your heart – it’s what’s best for your sense of complacency. Why settle for being comfortable when you can do just as much work and be truly happy?
Reason #3: Your life is not a romcom – even if you’ve grown attached to your cast mates.
I know, I know – the urge to prove that our relationship is the exception to all the rules is super, super strong, especially when we fill that void in our heart with sappy love stories and songs about rain. TV and movie couples work their differences out no matter how big they are, and we feel hopeful that we can do the same.
You probably could do the same – if you had a whole team behind you handling makeup, wardrobe, expense reports, and dialogue. I’m not saying that your one true love doesn’t exist, but chances are, she’s not the one that everything’s gone wrong with. Most likely, she’s going to be the one who comes along and saves you from pining over the same person for the rest of your life. You can’t go out looking for her – you have to actually wait for her.
Reason #4: The only closure you need can be typed.
We often tell ourselves that we have to give it another go, “for old time’s sake”. We need to catch up. We need to get closure. We need to figure out where we went wrong last time. The truth is, you don’t need to do any of that. That’s just your hormones coming in and screwing things up for you.
If you need to catch up, you can find her on Facebook later. If you need to figure out where you went wrong so you can move on, you can get that from a text message. If you need to sleep with her one more time, try handling things yourself and see if you still want to hook up with her again. Trust me – this is solid science. There’s nothing you need to say to each other that has to be face-to-face, unless you ran over her cat or something… And then even I can’t help you.