There are a lot of nice girls I “used to know” with whom I wanted to have a relationship. Unfortunately, due to my BPD and poor social skills, these relationships either blew up in my face or never even had time to start. I kick myself every time I see a picture of a past crush enjoying their new spouse, children, and family. I tell myself, “That should have been me…” but sadly it isn’t. At my age (32) people tend to start settling down and get serious about life. The teenage years were for experimentation; the 20s for rebellion and acting out; and now the 30s, a search for stable ground.
Granted, I’m not too old yet… The clock ticks louder for women because of their natural reproductive cycle; although it’s worth noting that these days women can get pregnant at 40+ naturally or via fertility treatment methods. If I married at 40 and still wanted kids, my wife would probably have to be no older than 35 (that’s just a random guess…maybe others have opinions on this).
The thing is – mental illness or not – we prefer the familiar, the known, the concrete to the unknown. In other words, I can recall my memories of infatuation with women I’ve met because they’ve already happened, and I don’t have to invent them. If I had a different mindset, I’d embrace the future and perhaps be surprised when someone special walks into my life. This, however, is easier said than done, especially for those with BPD who tend to obsess over past partners/crushes.
So I ask myself: should I simply reintroduce myself back into the life of someone I fell for, pleading for forgiveness and promises that I have changed? There are a multitude of romantic comedies about this very subject. A man desperately seeks out an old flame, impresses her, and then rides off into the sunset happy and fulfilled. Unfortunately, romantic comedies don’t represent reality. To be completely honest, starting to write random emails, making calls, or getting back in touch with women years after our lives went different ways would be very awkward, to say the least, especially if they’re involved with someone else now.
Think about it, as a man or woman: if someone suddenly appeared back in your life, would you start over with them or call the police and get a restraining order? 🙂 My guess is the restraining order, or at least a resounding “NO” to the person that randomly appeared again, way out of place. Facebook.com is great for watching people change and grow over the years; and makes reconnecting fairly easy. The problem lies with how that other person will react to your romantic overtures. It is easy to fantasize and ruminate from afar, but when you get up close, things are different.
Do people reconcile and eventually become life partners? Sure, it’s possible and it has probably happened. Given my BPD and the status of the relationships when we fell apart, they’re probably just not interested in getting involved with me again. It’s almost like a form of jealousy. I can’t bear to see them with someone else, despite the fact that I completely destroyed the relationship years before, or never even worked up the courage to introduce myself in an appropriate time and place.
Emails out of the blue are treated as SPAM, and such emails to old crushes would likely find their way to the trash bin before the other person’s heart.
It’s just really hard to let go when you feel so alone. Sometimes it’s easier to live in the pleasant moments of the past opposed to the misty fog of the future.