Why??!! Do I Still Feel Triggered by My First Relationship That Ended 5 Years Ago??

My first real relationship ended roughly around 5 years ago. But why does that one still sting?
Has 5 years not been enough time to let it to rest?

Contemplating life… Why?? Photo by RODNAE Productions: https://www.pexels.com/photo/light-love-people-woman-6670258/

Is it because I had invested so much time and energy into it? Or is it because I never expected to actually end?

My first real relationship was my longest relationship lasting almost 4 years on and off.

But early on, I had a gut feeling that it wasn’t the right relationship for me at the time. Despite my hunch, I suppressed every urge in me to leave the relationship. 

I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave and bear hurting someone else. (Sounds like a red flag doesn’t it?) I couldn’t abandon him. 

Naively, I poured my heart out in hopes that it would miraculously work itself out. Only in the end, to have been left (kind of) hanging. 

Although the end of the relationship was pending for quite some time, I had always held on to the idea of him and the potential of what my relationship could be.

We were both young. Codependent on one another and unable to communicate and understand each others wants and needs.

Only now I can admit that I was mentally and emotionally in a very bad place when I had met my him. I was stuck in a miserable place in life where I couldn’t pull myself out of. 

I was always angry, frustrated, discontent, and unhappy. Looking back now, I was suffocating him and myself in the relationship.

What I had done wrong was expecting him to be the solution to all of my life’s problems. I had expected him to be the source of my happiness. And when he couldn’t satisfy my wants and needs, I would cause problems.

But, this is where I feel lost.

Was I asking for too much? Or was he actually not fulfilling my needs? Or could we just genuinely not communicate? Was I really that much?

We ended things when he decided to leave California to pursue his life dreams and goals. 

I wanted to support him through it, not be left behind. 

Though looking back now, I probably couldn’t be the emotional support he needed me to be. But in the end, I didn’t feel like I was given a choice. He had abruptly ended the relationship saying he was leaving and didn’t know when he was coming back.

To be completely transparent, I kept pushing him during the relationship to do something in life because I felt like he was stagnant. I felt as though he was making excuses as to why he couldn’t try harder. I was not happy with his approach in life. But, maybe I pushed too hard.

At the time, personally, I felt like I was constantly drowning trying to make my ends meet; supporting my family with a business that they were reliant on me for. I did not have control of my life and forced myself to accept things for the way they were. I didn’t see any other way out.

But to this day, I still feel confused.

It is frustrating at times because the thought of what-could-be and what-could-have-been still haunts me from time to time. Do I still like him and miss him or is is it the idea of him and the relationship that I miss?

I have had a serious relationship thereafter and a few flings here and there.

Before fully healing from that relationship, I met a wonderful man who knew my story but still continued to pursue me and a relationship. Consistent and loyal, he showed me what it feels like to be loved unconditionally and as myself.

That relationship lasted a wonderful 2 whole years.

Unfortunately, that didn’t work out as our values didn’t align and because we could not agree upon a shared vision of our end goal. But, I could not have asked for a better relationship or better closure.

Thank you. I thank you more than you will ever know. Photo by Panos Sakalakis: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-envelope-with-thank-you-printed-card-1775115/

Today, I randomly still see unforeseen glimpses of my first ex-boyfriend on my stories from the mutual friends we share.

It’s been 5 years, come on, why does it still bother me?!

Why do a few of our mutual friends still egg on the relationship? Or so I feel?!

Why does my friend who is closest to him ask me if I still miss him even when I’m in a different relationship? Why did I keep hearing about him from people?!

Why was I told that he was coming back to California?!

Ultimately… Why did I give in and reach out to him to catch up once he moved back? And why was I left hanging once he said he would be back back in January?

I know, I know. I have a lot of work to do on myself.

I have been doing a lot of internal work since the end of my most recent relationship back in June 2021. 

I never knew how much it hurt to not be able to be the person that my significant other wanted me to be. And since then, I vowed to myself that I would not enter another relationship until I could be someone who could give as much and healthy emotionally. 

I am very single today. Maybe I’ll put myself out there here and there.

But here we are again, slightly bothered, slightly triggered, by seeing random stories of him on Instagram… Why???!!!

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