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I drank too much that night. I was eating duck an hour prior and started drinking gin at a clip that my stomach couldn’t handle. The person’s apartment who we were pregaming at is a noted hater of yours truly, so I was admittedly a little nervous to be drinking there as all of the conversations I had ever had with the aforementioned were forced, brief, and void of any sincerity.
I was invited as a courtesy to the girl who I was with. Try as I might to keep my nervous laughter to a minimum and my interactions with people at the pregame lighthearted and breezy, the alcohol and inherent need to not look like a chump in front of strangers got the better of me. I know when people are talking about me at a party or a bar. I can just tell. If someone wants to be a dickhead to me, I’m going to be a dickhead back because I’m petty and irrational. But I can be a dickhead in a myriad of ways, and on this night I decided my best move to really annoy people would be to smile really big and laugh a lot. One party goer would later claim I was rude and aloof to everyone there. Another party said “Dude, you weren’t that bad. We had fun.” So what was the difference between these two differing accounts of what actually happened? One was from my ex-girlfriend, the other from a close friend. I think you know who said what.
So I browned out and threw up the duck I ate for dinner. I can’t tell you everything that I said or did that night with flawless clarity, but I can tell you that from the conversations I do remember, I was simply having witty repartee with the other guests. It was dick-ish at times, but in a fun way. Some of the people there genuinely didn’t like me and I knew that. I didn’t go out of my way to be rude to those people, but if they were near me while I was slugging gin let’s just say that I could have toned down the sarcasm. I wasn’t as nice as I could have been. Isn’t that better than being fake around them?
For the most part, I really think that I was having polite four or five-minute conversations with people. If you asked my ex she’d tell you that it was not a good night for me, and it completely wiped away any progress I had made with her in the past six or seven months. She would tell me later that it was a trip back in time to how I acted around people in college. I’m not trying to condone my behavior. I shouldn’t be drinking like this at 25. I definitely shouldn’t be getting so drunk that I have to throw up anymore. It’s just frowned upon at my age.
But does one mistake – one slip up justify a complete blockade from my ex? No phone calls, no texting, no snapchats, and certainly no playful tagging of one another on Instagram. I think a reasonable person – a third party with no prior knowledge of myself or my ex – would probably say no. But maybe I’m looking at all of this through rose-colored glasses. Sometimes you roll the dice with an old flame and the dice don’t roll your way. At least I can say I tried. And maybe that night with the gin was just my brain and body working in unison to tell me to fuck this up so I wouldn’t get myself back into a relationship with someone I shouldn’t
The problem with getting back together with an ex isn’t so much about rekindling some distinguished flame. That flame comes roaring back easier than you’d think it would. The problem comes when you remember all of the little neuroses that are unique to each person. Your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend has annoying tendencies just like anyone else. And I guess mine is that I can rub people the wrong way sometimes. I’ve never took much stock in first impressions, and I think people who judge off of one interaction are stupid. You can’t get to know someone in one meeting. It takes me three, four, five encounters before I know for sure if I like hanging out with someone. So maybe I could be better about not telling offensive jokes or becoming disinterested when someone starts telling me about what they do for a living. I’ve been working on that. But you shouldn’t be in a relationship with someone if you can’t handle those weird quirks that make them unique.
There isn’t a specific, surefire way to getting someone back into your life or good graces. If you’re just trying to reconstruct a bridge that you burned into a smoldering heap of ashes with a platonic friend, it’s not that difficult, really. Be remorseful or at least feign being apologetic and your friend will more than likely let bygones be bygones. It’s a totally different story when you’re talking about an ex-girlfriend, though. Ask yourself why the break-up happened. Was it mutual? Probably not. Did you do something to expedite the process of breaking up or did the other person? I’ve been on both sides, playing the role of dumper and dumpee, and the process of trying to get back together with an ex is tiresome. I think that night with the gin and duck was my subconscious telling me it was tired. Tired of bending over backwards. Tired of watching what I say out of fear that it would offend someone. Tired of going to dinners and parties with people who don’t like me. Just tired of pretending.
Be honest with yourself. Do you really want to get back together with your ex or are you misremembering? Was it all sunshine and rainbows or did the two of you have systemic problems that couldn’t be fixed? You might just be lazy and unwilling to get back into the dating pool.
It takes months of calculated moves to get yourself back in good-standing with an ex. If you find yourself questioning the moves you’ve made to rekindle something, might I suggest gin and duck? You’ll be single again by the morning. .
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