to-the-men-from-my-pastBecause I Can't Write a Novel 

To the Men From My Past,


To the Men From My Past,

It would seem that there are a number of you lot who simply don’t know how to behave. This is directly addressing the men in my past, who keep popping up and trying to mess up my future. Stop it. Stop it right now.

It seems that you don’t understand the concept of “over”, so I’m going to explain it a little for you, just so that there’s no crossed wires. Piss-poor communication is more than likely what caused the demise of our relationship in the first place, so let’s not make piss-poor communication the reason our breakup is a disaster zone too.

Here’s how you should behave once I’ve broken up with you …

(Or vice versa, obviously. Don’t you just hate gettin’ dumped?)

There are going to be times where I’m not sure that I’ve made the right decision. I won’t text you, but that means you shouldn’t text me. I know that we made that vow to be “friends” one day, but I don’t really think you can be just “friends” with an ex. It’s always friends + ….

But the ‘+’ in question isn’t definable. 

So don’t text me. Don’t call me. Don’t try and find out how I am, because that just makes life harder for me. If you broke up with me – broke my heart – texting me is giving me false hope. And if I’ve broken up with you, and I’m sure I’ve made the right decision, I’m just going to smile to myself, letting the “I knew he’d come crawling back” realisation sink right in.

Calls are much the same, as are Instagram posts, Facebook mentions, emails, voicemails, and any other form of communication. For me, cutting all ties is the ONLY way to make it through a breakup. Many will disagree with me, but this is to the men in MY past.

Don’t contact me. I don’t want to know how you are. I don’t want to hear how fabulous your life is because that will make me sad. More than that, it’ll make me angry and bitter. Why am I sat here crying into my cornflakes and you’re getting on with life like nothing ever changed? It makes me feel like shit, like I wasn’t ever worth anything. So don’t fucking do it.

I’ll probably block you on most social media accounts, and I don’t want you to take offence to that, I just can’t let myself see what you’re up to. My heart can’t take it yet. And I don’t know when it will. I don’t want to know what girl is hanging off you in the club this week, or who you’ve woken up with on Sunday morning. I don’t need to know about your promotion, and I don’t really want you to know about mine. In fact, I do, but that’s only so that you’ll believe I’m winning the “breakup war”. Regardless of how old you are, and what your circumstances are for splitting, there is always a breakup war. One person always wins.

Don’t reach out to me. That’s like offering a drug addict their favourite drug. If it’s right there under their nose, they’re not going to have the strength to turn it down. If we’ve broken up, you’re my drug, and holding it under my nose means I’m probably going to fall for it every time.

If you do feel the need to get in touch, make it months, years, decades in the future when I’m happily moved on and living my life again. Women aren’t like men, we need time to grieve. I need time to grieve. I need to mourn the man I’ll never get back in my life again, the dreams, hopes, goals that’ll never happen. Do you know what makes this mourning impossible? The ghost popping back up again every five minutes. Or worse than that, intermittently so it can’t be predicted or prepared for.

When you pop back up, especially unexpectedly, I’m not expecting it. I react in ways I wouldn’t have reacted if I’d have known it was coming, not because I want you back, or even because I feel anything for you, but because it’s a shock. You were a man I once used to go to bed with every night, and now you’re the guy I barely remember. You were a man I once brought Bourbon biscuits home for every night to dunk in my tea because I knew they were your favourite but you never wanted your own tea, and now you’re the guy who’s dunking Bourbon biscuits in someone else’s tea. That’s how life goes – you’re my ex. But please, stay back there.

Having an ex in my present, or even my future, is not something that comes easy for me. I overanalyse everything to within an inch of its life – every text message, every spoken word, every touch looked into and pulled apart a thousand times over. I wonder what the true meaning is behind everything you say, and everything you do. Every Instagram post you share will obviously be about me even when it’s not, and I’ll always wonder what you’re up to. The only way to get over you is to forget you ever existed. I’m sorry if that’s harsh, but it’s true.

One day, I will look back over my time with you with happy memories, and the flashbacks will fill me with smiles, not tears. Right now though – during, after, or even sometimes for a long time after our breakup, I can’t bear to even think of you. It fills my heart with an unbearable sadness when I do. You were once a man I thought I would love forever, and now you’re just a closed chapter in my life.

If you are one of the men from my past, please stay back there. If you’re thinking of crawling back into my future, please don’t. I’d rather you didn’t. I’m lying, of course. I’d like nothing better than for us to get back together and live happy ever after, but if we broke up once, we’ll break up again. We’ll break up a thousand times because we just weren’t right for each other. That’s why you should stay back there, in my past, where you belong.

I want to be friends with you. More than anything, I’d love to be friends with you. But I can’t. Not right now, and probably not for the foreseeable future either. It’s too painful, too raw, too emotional for me to cope with. Remember I loved you. I probably still do. Leave that door closed. Please, for my heart’s sake, leave that damn door closed.

  • Expected word count: 13,336
  • Word count today: 1136
  • Word count to date: 10,755 (This word count business is harder than you’d think … even with the ‘cheating’!)

(Oh, and if you’re wondering what ‘Because I Can’t Write a Novel‘ is all about, click the link to be taken to the start … )

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