They say that if you can still be friends with your ex, it’s either you’re still in love with them, or you didn’t really love them before.
Call me naïve, but here’s what I think: you can be friends with your ex again. Especially if that’s where you started out.
Forget what the Internet says. Drown out the noise. You KNOW that even though your heart got broken, and you’re not with them anymore, you still care. You cannot deny this. You still love him. But people… people will make things complicated. People will throw wood in the fire. People will expect you to hate him. Hell, people will tell you to be mad at him, because he hurt you, because you do not deserve to be in so much pain, because you are too beautiful and precious to have been disregarded and rejected like that.
Of course, they mean well. They care about you. And so you will believe them. You will listen to them.
But hear me out: while all of those things are true—that you are beautiful and precious and so worth loving—he doesn’t have to be the bad guy, and you don’t need to hate him to get over him.
Hate will only add to the pain. Hate will only make you feel ugly on the inside. Hate will make you paranoid. Hate will weigh you down. In the long run, getting mad at him will not get you along the moving-on process. It won’t really help you get over him, because your anger will consume you, and then it will be even harder to control your emotions.
If you really want to mend your broken soul and put the pieces of your broken heart back together… if you want to be whole again… hating him won’t do that for you. Hating will only make things worse. It will only intensify the pain and make you hurt more.
See, you are no longer his princess, and he has chosen to give you up, and the heartbreak is terribly unbearable.
But it’s okay to still choose to love.
It will still hurt. Boy, it will be agonizingly and excruciatingly painful, like your heart is being ripped out and shoved back inside your chest multiple times. You won’t be able to forget—at least not right away. You will ask yourself countless times, “Why? Why me?” and cry yourself to sleep every night. You will miss him. You will want him back. You will wish and pray that he will realize that he made a mistake when he let you go, and that sooner rather than later he will show up outside your house, in tears, and will say, “I’m sorry! I still love you.”
You will write him letters but keep them all in a box, not really planning to send them. You will read all the little notes he wrote you on blue and yellow and white cards, and in tissue paper, and in the back of receipts, and in your birthday and Christmas cards. You will cry again but maybe still smile a little as you go over all your photos together while you drag them into a folder that says “Don’t Open This” (because you can’t quite bring yourself to trash all of it just yet).
You will delete conversations with them on your phone. You will delete his phone number as well—which, if we’re honest, you actually know by heart. (But chances are, he’s already changed them. Then again, you’ve changed yours, too.)
At the end of the day, though (or after the first week, or seven months later), you know that in spite of everything, that even if he let you down, broke your heart, and gave up when you wanted him to fight for you, in your heart of hearts, you still love him… and that’s okay.
It’s okay to still choose to love, because you are strong. You can still love because you know loving is worth the pain. Because love forgives, keeps no record of wrongs, is kind, and is hopeful. Love endures.
But loving him this time means loving him from a distance. Loving him as a friend. Loving him enough to let him be. Loving him with no expectations whatsoever. Loving him because it’s the right thing to do.
Loving him because you always will.
You don’t have to tell him. You don’t need to show him. But peace comes with the choice that you made, knowing that even if he caused you such pain and so much sadness, your ability to love is still the same. Even without him, there are still so many people who love you, and you will appreciate them better. Even without him, you are still very much loved.
Meanwhile, you are no longer clamoring for his attention or affections, no longer craving his scent, no longer tearing up or getting sad whenever you think of him. Letting go of the hurt and truly forgiving him for what he did brings a certain liberation, a peace that will last. It will be freeing. It will be the happiest moment of your life.
Grieve what you lost, sweetheart, but never EVER let the bad outweigh the good. Choose to love. Always.