circling back

I’ve been single for the past seven months after a long-term relationship ended.

For much of the time we were together, we talked about marriage. And, in the end, we never made those next steps — and it’s better this way. I’ve made peace with it.

And then I focused on work and family.

A few months later as I was still focused on my own growth, I felt a little nudge like a small voice asking a question as it poked at the back of my head, on the right side, just at the base of my skull. This poking was persistent and specific; the question was “love?”

In no way was I ready to dive back into a relationship. My business needed my attention. And I have only a few more months of having a child at home… once again, more possibilities open on the horizon. I needed to get back into the energy of what I wanted to create — and, as I did, unresolved hurts from the past kept rising to the surface. I took on a mission of healing and clearing those persistent beliefs, stories and energies.

A strange thing began happening as I started doing this work: nearly every man I’ve dated in the past decade circled back in one way or another. Guys I haven’t heard from in years came out of the woodwork to say “hey” in my dms: one became a client, one invited me to play Words with Friends, one asked to catch up over dinner, one hit me up to learn more about the work I’m doing now — and even that most recent guy reached back out to express his disappointment that I didn’t try to repair our relationship (he even gave me an apology script) after it had ended (and then notified me two days later he was engaged).

It became a running joke among a group of girlfriends. “Who did you hear from this week?” became a regular question during phone calls or messages, with me occasionally sharing screen shots or photos.

As flattering as it may have been to suddenly and strangely attract all these fellows from the past, there’s only one who might have stood a chance. And, of course, he’s the one I haven’t heard from in five and a half years.

“What if you reached out to him?” my friends have asked.

Truthfully, I have. More than once. Following through on something I said I’d do. Checking in. Sharing a photo memory that made me smile. And ultimately to let him know that I’d forgiven him and was grateful to have experienced what we shared together, to have those feelings as a compass. And I’ve never gotten any sort of response to those handful of notes over as many years. Which is its own sort of response.

I know all this and it still hurts. And I’m still tempted to share the Facebook memory that popped up from six years ago from our time at the beach. And I still hope for at least one more conversation, an acknowledgement, some kind of closure that I haven’t seemed to be able to allow myself.

I’m learning to move forward again, to release the energy and heal the hurt that seems to come in unending layers, and to embody the energies of what I want for myself: love, tenderness, devotion, adventure, companionship, etc.

And still, I can’t help wishing he would circle back.

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