Last week one of my exes took me out to dinner and a movie for my birthday. I won’t go into detail about how or why this even came to be. I’ll just say, over the past couple months, we have been on very amicable terms. The conversations we’ve had over the last few weeks have been pleasant, sweet even. So I took a chance and said yes.
As my ex made small talk with my roommate, who’d answered the door when he came to pick me up, I couldn’t help but remember all the many times throughout our quazi-relationship1 he’d disappear for a few weeks or months and then reappear as if nothing had ever happened. I can’t tell you how many times I’d told my friends I was done with him and then shortly thereafter having to confess to them that I was seeing him again2. He never managed to stay away for long. So when I saw him chatting it up with my roommate, like it was the old days, I couldn’t help but blurt out the obvious, “he’s like a bad penny–he keeps coming back.” He even laughed and, to my surprise, nodded without dispute! He knows what he is! And in all honesty, he isn’t the first (and may not be the last) of my exes who keeps trying to pop back onto the scene.
You see, I’ve never been able to completely cut some one off – be it a friend, family member, or boo-piece. I don’t have the will or desire to never want speak to some one again because of tension/friction/bad blood/etc. Distance myself from them? Yes. But sever ties or burn bridges? Almost never. I tend to be very forgiving and willing to let bygones be bygones for the sake of [my] peace and harmony. I don’t usually initiate the mending of broken friendships/relationships, but I don’t shun it either.
I think it’s my willingness to be amiable with people who have wronged me–namely ex boo pieces–is why I have a steady flow of bad pennies re-enter my life. Though I make it clear that I want nothing romantically to do with these BPs3 (<~~see why I did there?), they still try to rekindle what we once had and try to right the wrongs of the past, even though I express no interest in doing the same. With urgency the BP tries to convince me of how much he’s changed and why I should reconsider his offer of love and affection. The question of “can we start over?” is inevitably asked, and for a second I give it a thought. For a second I consider how things might be different this time around, now that we’ve had some space apart to get it together. For a second I consider that perhaps the timing was bad before and now was our right time. For a second I consider if the BP will be the “one that got away” because I couldn’t see his early potential. For a second I consider the rest of my life with the BP.
But only for a second. Because, after all, a bad penny is [for all intents and purposes] worthless and unwanted. If I am to ultimately reach my goal of being in a long lasting, happy relationship, I must save for my future and build my good fortune on something of value, and bad pennies just don’t pay out.
I don’t regret any of my past romantic relationships, despite how unpleasant some of them were. Each relationship has taught me something about myself (and others), and I’m wiser because of it. And while I think people and circumstances can change for the better, most of my relationships are better left in the past!
So tell me folks, do you have any “bad penny” exes who just keep coming back into your life? Do you even allow contact between you and your exes? Have you ever gotten back with an ex and regretted it later? Have you ever not gotten back with an ex and regretted it later?
Seeing a bad penny, passing it up,
1 Though we were dating exclusively, to say we were in a “committed relationship” would be a stretch. To me, “dating exclusively” simply means 2 people are dating and being intimate only with each other. A committed relationship, on the other hand, is more of a deliberate decision to be in a courtship that has long term potential, likely with the intention to be married.
2 My close circle of friends (which includes my roommate) is tight, so not much gets by them. If one knows, they all know. And when I’m confronted about anything by one, I’m confronted by all.
3 To be clear, not all of my exes are what I’d consider “bad pennies.”