Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Dating the Man You’re With, Not Your Trifling Ex

May 14, 2012  |  

I’m great at remembering. It’s probably the reason my favorite animal is an elephant, a pendant often strewn across my heavily burdened chest. Often, I find myself sifting through memories: A familiar song on the highway will push me through tunnel visions of a summer car ride and fling long gone. A passerby’s smell will trigger a yesterday. The awkwardness of someone’s jawline will remind me of the same one plastered on an ex’s face.

I’ve always counted on my reflections. Recollection has always been my forte; the ability to pull from the good and the bad when I’m apt to reiterate the same mistake or shiver at the good ones running down my spine. I’ve always been able to recall, the description of those I’ve loved, in metaphors and similes.

Lately, this talent has forsaken me. Actually if it were not for conversations with friends, highlighting this same issue in their partnerships, I would not have noticed it at all.

My memories were ruining my relationship.

I got into this habit of noticing reflections of exes’ behaviors with my new partner. One of my exes got into the habit of calling late. We’d digressed from the all day check-ins to speaking a few times a week and eventually nothing at all. He’d call around midnight, expressing his schedule was keeping him away, and tell me we’d speak tomorrow. We would, but it was always very briefly and bereft of the love we were once so immersed in.

Another past love, one who’d also been infatuated with the art of the word, frequently joined me at open mikes and poetry slams. We discussed rap lyrics on city steps until the wee hours of the morning, debating whether or not hip-hop was meeting its demise. We flipped through DVR’d HBO Def Poetry discussing the social issues that the poets slung through literary elements. After a while, his interests also began to deviate. Soon he’d grow frustrated at the mention of cafés and microphones, hanging out at the skate park instead. We’d grow apart slowly, my confusion a lingering voice through text messages and infrequent visits.

You see, I remember.

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