1. Sometimes they come back when you’re over them. After you’ve suffered years from their absence. After it took you years to move on. After it took all the strength you had to get back up. Sometimes they come back asking for a second chance when it’s too late to forget all the pain they caused you and the hell they put you through.
2. Sometimes they come back when you’ve finally realized that you deserve better. That you deserve someone who accepts you. Someone who doesn’t leave. Someone who chooses you. Someone who doesn’t need to lose you in order to appreciate you. Someone who doesn’t put everything else above you.
3. Sometimes they come back when you’re with someone else. Because they like to ruin things for you. Because they thought you’d wait forever. Because they were too self-centered and thought you’d never find anyone better than them. Because they thought that you would always settle when it comes to love. Because they thought they’d always get away with anything, given what you taught them.
4. Sometimes they come back when you’re doing great things. Just to be a part of your story. Just to feel like they can still come into your life whenever they please, no matter what you’re doing. Just to feel special that you’ll always leave the door open for them. They want your validation because you no longer need theirs. They come back when they discover that their absence made your life a thousand times better.
5. Sometimes they come back because they’re genuinely sorry. They realized they messed up. The timing is now right for them. They’re ready for someone like you. They want to start over because they’ve changed and they want to make things right again.
But nine times out of ten they come back when you no longer want them. They come back when it’s too late. They come back when the damage is already done. They come back when you figured out how to live and thrive without them.
6. They come back when you no longer miss their touch. When you no longer want to hear their voice. When you no longer need their support. When you no longer look for a home in them. They come back when you’ve built your own home and learned how to let the sunlight in all the dark spots they left.
7. They come back when they can sense that your self-love is enough to get you by. They come back when you start acting the way they used to act with you. And they remind you of the person you used to be with them. They remind you of the tears and the pain and the heartbreak. They remind you of a past you never want to revisit. They come back as a test to see if you’ll fall back into the trap of giving them everything they haven’t earned.
8. They come back when you’re the one who’s ready to leave. When you forgave them but don’t want them back. When they want to give you more, but you know that you deserve much more than what they’re willing to give you.
Rania Naim, the author of All The Letters I Should Have Sent.