Dear Lucy, my ex-boyfriend keeps rejecting me in my dreams.
It normally starts with an unspoken reunion though occasionally it’s like a fairy tale. One time he even built me a shopping mall with everything I could ever want so I didn’t have to leave. Normally though it’s quiet and familiar and I just kind of appear in his life like a lost sock.
But always, always, at some point, I am dumped, rejected, removed. All the while, I always have itchy feet and am doubtful with the reunion. I’ve never felt, yes!, this is it, even when he built me the shopping mall.
It doesn’t happen dramatically – our relationship was never that kind. I’ll suddenly notice his latest girlfriend in the background, or she arrives at the flat and he ignores me or even locks me in a room to hide me. Or he just goes out, becomes distant, sees me to the door… Over and over again. Rejection, rejection, rejection.
The feeling puts me in mind of being ‘managed’ by him when we had the ‘we’ve had a separation and we clearly aren’t getting back together’ conversation, where I cried so much the waiters brought extra serviettes long after we’d stopped eating. I swam home that night.
The irony is that I left him. He told his friends we ‘came to an agreement’. What he actually meant was that he said “ok” when I suggested things weren’t working. I wanted him to fight though I knew he could never win. I wanted him to care, and cry and scream and holler but instead, I did that bit too.
Did I do it all? Did I conduct the entire relationship on my own, did I need him at all, even at the end?
I’ve imagined speaking to him to ask what he wants. I’m quite certain he would say “isn’t this your dream? I’m just minding my own business.” The message is clear.
I fear that this is the only relationship I will ever have. One that is long dead but lives on in my dreams, my own Groundhog Day. Bill Murray learned to be a better person to break the Groundhog spell, but I’m already a good person, maybe I need to be bad.
At least I get the whole bed to myself even though I never sleep in all of it. Perhaps tonight I’ll sleep on his side and see if I dream about dumping him.