20 Nov Hello: Why do we Flirt with the Past?
Adele’s new hit song “Hello” has become much more than just a comforting break-up anthem for women wounded by past relationships.
According to a new study, the track has inspired 64% of women to contact their exes in an attempt to make amends and get back together.
The song’s haunting music video received 27.7 million views in 24 hours. It shows the 27-year-old singer staring sadly out a window and checking her flip phone, while having flashbacks of her smiling ex during their relationship.
“When your past calls, don’t answer. It has nothing new to say.” ~ Kwintell Wright (Kyoo Wright)
Today, I sat in my car, next to an abandoned building—the keys were still in the ignition, the car was still running, and Adele’s new hit single “Hello” was playing on repeat. There is something so raw and primal in her lyrics—in her voice—that one can’t help but feel her emotion.
I was captivated as it brought to memory all of my own past, failed relationships.
There was the fling with one of my male roommates. There was the tall, dark man of mystery (who I later found out was married). There was the man with a charismatic smile, wild blonde hair and piercing blue eye (who captivated me, and apparently a lot of other women, while we were together). Then came the scandal, when I began dating the charmer’s roommate—only this one was different. I fell in love.
I was 23 and he was 26 when tragedy shattered our romance. He died very suddenly and unexpectedly, from a brain aneurysm.
I was devastated—the world as I knew it came completely undone. I thought I would never find love again.
In reflection, I think my next relationship was a rebound—but at the time, I had no idea. I spent the next seven years with a man who was married to the Marine Corps, even though he was engaged to me.
The next guy was spontaneous and full of adventure. Everything felt exciting and new with him. He lived with passion, like each day could be his last. He was also reckless and completely irresponsible. Before long, I felt like I was mothering a child, and he was doing all he could to rebel against me.
I know in all of these relationships, I was seeking approval. I was seeking love. I just didn’t have a concept of what that was supposed to look like. With nothing to compare it to, I just accepted things as they were.
Instead of jumping into another failed relationship, I decided to take a break from dating. I decided to get to know myself. I spent a lot of time in quiet reflection.
Five years ago, I became involved with another man. Well, not just any man. He quite literally is the man of my dreams. Sometimes, I wonder if I conjured him. There is no drama, and there are very few disagreements—but there is a lot of kindness, understanding, trust and mutual respect.
While I desire him, I know that my feelings for him are not merely lust. Ours is a love that has grown so much deeper than that of honeymoons and butterflies.
As I sat in my parked car listening to Adele’s lyrics and reflecting on the past—I have determined that I have no desire to say, “Hello,” for I have finally found a love that will endure the test of time.
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” ~ Buddha
My mind wondered, and I tried to understand why one would want to reach out to the past—to a past love. I realized that maybe others have not always had pain in ending their relationships. It’s possible they broke up with compassion and understanding—maybe they just realized they were better apart than they were together. Maybe others have found the gift of friendship that could not be broken, even after a split. Or maybe, one just needs closure.
Whatever the reason, if you miss your ex, or even if you’re like me and don’t like to look back upon the past, for some reason Adele’s song has resonated with many. For me, it caused me to reminisce and feel confident about my choices of saying goodbye.
As I sat in my car, listening to Adele belt out her lyrics, I was reminded of a great quote:
“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth.
From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one.
Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine.
And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out carol the lark and the nightingale.
One superlative song, existence the price.
But the whole world stills to listen and God in His heaven smiles.
For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain—or so says the legend.
This creature is driven to the thorn, with no knowledge of the death to come.
But when we press the thorn to our breast—
We know, we understand,
And still—we do it.’”~ Colleen McCullough, The Thorn Birds
Would you reach out to your ex? Why or why not? I would love to hear your comments below.
Author: Mary Rogers
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina