I Met Up With My Ex During Lockdown and This is What Happened
Lockdowns came at a good time for me. Not that a lockdown is ever a pleasant thing to go through and I can’t deny that I’ve had my low moments, but when COVID-19 descended on Australia in early 2020, I was actually in a really good place in my life.
I was 24, had just entered into a serious monogamous relationship and was beginning to turn my passion for writing into a career. For the first time in years, I felt really content with the direction my life was going in.
During lockdowns, I’ve had endless time to reflect on my early adult years. I left home at 17 and experienced so many monumental moments during my late teens and early twenties, but hadn’t really ever had the chance to look back on how these experiences affected me.
Looking back is always a bit confronting, but I felt ready to dive deep into my past. If reliving something made me feel sh*t, it was okay, because I could just order UberEats and wallow at home, guilt-free.
I’ve always been a deep thinker, but historically, it hasn’t been the most healthy trait of mine. Overthinking in moments of insecurity, or constantly analysing relationships that I didn’t really understand, led me to feel high levels of some yuck emotions, like; guilt, anxiety and paranoia.
But although overthinking gets a bit of bad wrap, it can also be super helpful, particularly for someone who’s a writer and who cares a lot about their relationships and values closure.
Given that I’d never felt more content with my life, I decided that lockdown gave me the perfect opportunity to revisit past relationships in an attempt to understand them and hopefully get some closure.
What could go wrong, right?
We all have those relationships that remain in the back of our minds, because we still have so much to learn from them. These relationships are often ones that we don’t feel were ‘closed’ or officially ‘ended’ and there are loose ends to tie up.
I feel like this about a few people that I’ve been romantically involved with, but the one that has been the most prominent in the last few years is the relationship I had with another girl, almost three years ago now.
I met her at a venue I used to work at and we had an instant spark. It was undeniable. It was my first ever same-sex relationship and we fell in love terrifyingly fast.
I’ve pretty much always identified as bisexual but had never had to put that label on my sexuality, because I’d never developed deep emotions for a girl before. I’d been with women intimately and I’d always been attracted to women, but men felt like more of a safe space for me (go figure), probably because identifying as heterosexual is the easier option, socially speaking.
I entered into a relationship with her pretty blindly, as you do when you’ve got heart-eyes for someone and can literally think of nothing else. The only problem was: I hadn’t thought about having to come to terms with my sexuality publicly, I wasn’t prepared for the weight of pressure I felt to “pick a side” and frankly, I wasn’t done with my partying/kissing all the wrong people era.
In short; we met at the wrong time. I wasn’t ready to be in a serious relationship — let alone come to terms with my sexuality. It wasn’t the right time for her either. We struggled to communicate with each other and working late nights/being constantly hungover didn’t help.
We were in an on-and-off relationship for three years. It’s wild to think it went for that long, but neither of us had the strength to cut the other one out because we really did love each other.
Given this, it probably won’t surprise you that we ended things on pretty bad terms. She came to my birthday drinks, as did a guy I’d recently slept with, and reality finally hit: we weren’t going to have the happily ever after we both wanted. She was rightfully angry with me and I felt super guilty that I couldn’t commit. It was a hot mess.
Fast forward to now, and we’d barely spoken for three years. I’d seen her at a mutual friends’ birthday party a few times over the years, we’d had a few strange interactions here and there, but other than that, we barely knew about each other’s lives.
During the past few months, I’d found myself checking her Instagram pretty regularly, to see how she was doing and what she was up to. I honestly just missed having her in my life. It’s such a complicated thing to love someone but never quite get there with them. You never stop loving them and you want them in your life, but you’re never sure if that’s the right thing or not.
I’ve always been one to follow my heart and gut, so I sent her a text.
We ended up meeting for a drink in the park. We talked about our relationship for a really long time. We apologised, we relived some of the good moments and many of the bad, we admitted things to each other that we’d never said before and we both acknowledged that we were in the wrong place to date each other back then.
It felt really nice to be on the same page. I’d never experienced that with her before. It was therapeutic to discuss moments of our relationship that have stuck in my mind for years, but that no one except her really understands.
Through reconnecting, we’ve found a new appreciation for our relationship. Sometimes you fall in love with someone at the wrong time, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not meant to be in your life.
I won’t lie, reconnecting with someone who you were once in love with isn’t ever simple, especially when you’re currently in another relationship. In my case, I have a boyfriend who I’ve been with for almost two years and who I love very much.
Luckily for me, he and I are good at having conversations (most of the time) and we tell each other how we feel a lot. I told him that I wanted to meet up with her, and he was supportive of it.
But for me, being bisexual, I think there will always be this layer of complication to monogamous relationships because they only allow us to be in a relationship with one gender. When I’m with a man, I will have moments of missing women and when I’m with a woman, I’ve always had moments of missing men.
Meeting up with my ex was a really positive experience and we got to talk about some extremely important things. But, being in the company of a girl I still feel chemistry with definitely reminded me of my attraction towards women and being in a committed relationship with a man, that scares me a little.
I’ve decided it’s not worth overthinking. I am attracted to both men and women and it’s always going to be that way. Open communication is key and I’d rather let my emotions out and have tough conversations — whether that be with an ex or a current partner — than silently stew on things until I explode.
We often beat ourselves up for failed relationships, when really, we should look at why we were drawn to that person in the first place. I’m grateful for this relationship because it forced me to deal with my sexuality and taught me things about myself that I will hold onto forever. I also got to meet an amazing person, who I hope to have a lifelong relationship with, in some capacity.
My advice: if there’s no real reason to hold onto negativity, don’t. If it feels like the right time to connect with someone from your past, it probably is. You have nothing to lose. Send them a text.