The one I want to talk about is the one that made me feel sad afterwards. I dreamt about a certain sort-of ex of mine coming to stay near me and seeing him again... and hanging out with him, his gf (at the time I was seeing him - I have no idea if they're still together), his gf's husband, and Richard. In real life, that arrangement of five never spent any time together at all. I have a distinct feeling that the gf doesn't like me much, but I haven't spoken to her in years, and have no idea whether that's genuine or old paranoia from when I used to be a lot more insecure.
I have a lot of "sort-of ex"es - more than I have actual exes. It's a combination of being poly and having a tendency towards net-based relationships - it's often easy to get into a relationship without really defining what it is. And it's easy for relationships that work on the net to not work in real life, or at least, not work well at the time.
The problem I have is that I fall in love too easily, and never fall out of love.
My actual exes - by which I mean people who I know called me their partner, number two. With both of them, I have strong, rational reasons why the relationships floundered, and why going back to those people would be a bad idea, even granted that we're all older and more mature now. When I find myself thinking of them, or dreaming about them, I can say clearly "No, this wouldn't work", and believe it. With my "sort-of ex"es, it's far more difficult. With all of them, there was no good reason (from my side of things) why we ever broke up. It was things like time, depression, my immaturity (at the time), differences between my real-life personality and the way I come across online. Not a "proper" reason, like us not being able to stand being around each other, just... vague reasons - "My other girlfriend says she'll kill herself if I'm not faithful to her", "You're too high-maintenance for a long-distance relationship", "I really prefer monogamy", "It's not you, it's me".
I still love all my "sort-of ex"es. I recognise that what I am loving is a memory of the person they were then, rather than who they actually are now - but if there was some way for the people we are now to get back together as friends if nothing more, it would cancel a nagging ache in my heart. If we tried again with a friendship and nothing else happened, at least they'd be back in my life. If we ended up having a relationship and it didn't work out, even if it was for the same reason they gave before, at least it would validate the reason. I miss those people dreadfully. And dreaming of them always makes me mourn.
But how do you get back in contact with someone who did their best to sever all ties?
Now, I'm not the same person I was 5 years ago. Most of the differences are positive, maturity things. But there are one or two traits I miss. These days, I'm ridiculously over-cautious when getting into a new relationship. I've never told Alexa that I love her, not in those words, in case they poison what we have. I've told her that I love
But I miss the person I used to be. And I miss the people I used to be with.