During this quarter, in one of my logical philosophy classes, we explored the idea of interpersonal relationships and the reason behind why we feel attached/nostalgic towards past romantic relationships.
It's a topic of interest that I've become pretty knowledgable about, so without further adieu—welcome to my Ted Talk.
Now, imagine this scenario:
It's Friday. Late at night, maybe past midnight. You just drunkenly stumbled into your apartment after a night out with friends or perhaps even a date with some complete a-hole who you narrowly managed to escape from.
You dive into bed face first and curl up under the covers only to blankly stare at the wall. Depending on how many drinks you had, you might feel a bit boozy and begin having random thoughts or past memories flash through your mind.
It's like a Drake music video. Cue Drake's Marvin's Room as background music.
Then, the feelings hit you. All those feelings. You know, of him. Of that guy who you convinced yourself you were over with.
You know, your ex.
So, what do you do? Without much of a second thought, you desperately pick up your phone to dial his number.
For those of you who do this, don't be ashamed. This sad portrayal of an emotionally unstable ex-girlfriend/boyfriend applies to just about everyone.
Even me. Yup. It happens to me, a fiercely independent girl who doesn't define happiness as having a man in her life. Of course, there was a time when I viewed things differently and fell in love with this one particular boy who captured my heart only to rip it apart into a million pieces.
But I mean—we broke up over two years ago. You would think that both of us would've moved on by now and that I would've deleted his number for good.
But here's the thing: I didn't want him back. I didn't call him because I wanted a second chance with him. I still hate his guts for the way he broke my heart and how we ended our tumultuous relationship as quickly as it started.
Then, why? Because I've forgotten many of the things he did/said, but I never forgot how he made me feel.
I miss it. I told him. It.
I missed all the types of "feels" I experienced when we were together. The feelings that were so strongly empowering that I couldn't put them into a sentence of words to utter them aloud.
That feeling when I met him for the first time and something just seemed to click.
That tingly feeling when he nervously asked me out on a first date to an art museum and I couldn't respond because I was smiling ear to ear like an idiot.
All those feelings of feeling admired, loved and appreciated every time he referenced me as his "girl".
The great feelings, the happy and heartwarming ones.
Then, why do human beings latch onto these great feelings, especially when it comes to our past romantic relationships?
Is it nostalgia? Our personal instinct to cling onto some of our treasured memories with the people who hold a special part in our hearts? Our psychological incapability to simply move on?
Here's my logical approach:
We just want to feel loved. And when I say loved—I mean we constantly desire these types of heartwarming feelings. When we can't fulfill this feeling in our current relationships, though, we pinpoint our focus back into past relationships to find that. And most of the time, we get so caught up in the moment that we pick up the phone to dial his number because it just seems right.
This is really off my personal experiences, but let's look at the bigger picture here. Exactly what you can get out my theory behind why you can't stop drunk calling your ex?
First off—I'm not in any way discouraging or encouraging you to call your ex. The choice is 100% yours so if you have a friend/therapist/mom/crisis hotline who you prefer to call instead of your Satan ex-BF, I applaud you. But also, please don't take the chance to call one of your exes to tell him how nostalgic you feel— it will completely catch him off guard and make you seem like a crazy emotional ex GF.
Also— A drunk call is not the equivalent to a booty call. In other words, you should be clear with your intentions. Boys will be boys and if your ex fits under the personal qualities of human basura, he might misconceive your call to be a, I'm-Drunk-And-Lonely-So-Come-Get-With-Me type of call.
Lastly and most importantly— While it's good for you to reminisce on all the great feelings, keep in mind why the relationship ended and how the heartbreak affected you. When you're deep into that moment, it's hard to remember why your ex is your ex. For every heartwarming feeling, there usually a heartbreaking feeling. For every smile, there was a frown. For every happy memory, there was a cringy one.
Value your self-esteem and remember—never let a guy take away your pride.