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“Why Am I Attracted to Unstable Partners?”

I might be back together with the Boyfriend. Yes, the same one who walked out on me. Are we flirting, or actually dating? Can he be there for me emotionally, or am I just perpetually attracted to, and holding out hope for, the ‘wrong’ guys?

The Friends are upset. For weeks I was convinced that the (Ex) Boyfriend was gone, and then he resurfaced in the form of an e-mail, a text, and the banter that I contributed to.

Like a heavily obese person who can’t control her compulsive overeating when the humming of the vending machine tempts, when he initiated the slightest bit of communication, I caved into my overactive texting and e-mailing urges. (What is wrong with me? Why did I not delete his e-mails and phone number after he walked out?)

He sent a letter and flowers and in so many words tried to explain his own troubles, noting that his behavior (leaving me) had nothing to do with me. Still, I am unclear as to what we are, where we stand.

Does any of this — revealing my slowly healing wounds to the salt of his potential to hurt me again — make sense? Probably not.

The Friends, who witnessed the tsunami of our breakup, say, “Forget him,” “Move on,” and “You know that you deserve to be treated better.”

For someone as myself who longs for stability and to settle down, why is it that I attract people who are not ready, who may never be ready to commit to me? Am I somehow unconsciously drawn to instability, or even to abuse?

These questions haunt me and make me mad as I am about to embark on my first business trip for this job, and at a time when my self-esteem is on shaky ground. I am better, I deserve better, I can’t live like this anymore. At some point I need to shut the door so another one can reopen.

I am unclear as to what we are, or ever were, where we stand, or ever stood. However, one thing is certain, I know very well that I should stay away.

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