I have confession to make: For most of my adult life I have successfully and disastrously reunited with my most of my ex-boyfriends, and with Christmas around the corner, I’m on high alert. The urge to call up an old beau after months of no contact to say, “Hey. I miss you. Do you want to hang out?” grows stronger around the holidays. Surrounded by all of my boo’d-up siblings and friends as they exchange loving gifts, kiss under the mistletoe and ask me when I’m going to bring someone home, I sprint straight into an old lover’s arms, in fear of never finding someone who truly understands me. Sitting in my therapist’s office I asked him why it was so hard for me to just leave the past in the past. “It’s because you’re afraid of being alone,” he said. Blank stare. “You think you’re not enough as a single woman,” he explained. “You’ve got the wrong girl,” I thought. “I don’t need a man to make me feel complete!” Then I thought about it some more. It was always so easy for me to slide back into a relationship with my exes because I never really tore myself away from them in the first place. I always had a safety net, just in case the single life became unbearable. In college I took an early flight from Florida, where my mom lived, back to New York the day after Christmas so I could spend a few days with my ex-boyfriend, without my roommates around. We locked ourselves up in my apartment for three days, reliving all the good times, cuddling, watching movies, ordering takeout and feeling the love. By the end of the weekend I was bawling my eyes out and by New Year’s Eve, we were officially on the rocks. Two years ago I practically moved in with my ex for the two weeks that I was visiting home. This past holiday season, I made it past New Year’s Eve without reconnecting with my most recent ex, only to call him up in January. I began an exhausting relationship in which I tried to prove that I could be content with less than what I deserve. He didn’t buy it. Thankfully, neither did I. By the time Valentine’s Day rolled around, I was searching for a way out. This year has been a year of soul-searching and with Christmas around the corner, I’m feeling pretty confident that I won’t do any backtracking. I had to own up to the fact that being single can be scary. It can also be enlightening and freeing if you take the time to explore yourself. After spending the bulk of the year without any ex-boyfriend safety nets, I can say that I prefer to be “alone” during the holidays than to be with someone I know isn’t right for me. Ladies, come clean. Have you ever reunited with an ex during the holidays?
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