To the one I used to love,
Time and time again, I’ve written you countless five-paragraph essays of emotion to prove my devotion, taking you for a stroll down memory lane to remind you of why I stuck around. This is not one of those times.
After waiting 10 hours for you to return my phone call, I realized that closure isn’t always in the form of a face-to-face conversation, nor is it in the form of 30-minute conversations that inevitably end up at the blame game. It’s the ability to realize where you went wrong and accept that you may not get the answers you seek, and if you’re lucky enough to obtain them, they are usually not the ones you expect.
When I met you in college, I thought you were the missing puzzle piece: charming, caring, considerate. I thought I blew our first date when I revealed my apprehension to love: instead, we sealed our date with a kiss as you said accepted me and all my insecurities. Who knew I’d be questioning that day two years later when I found out you cheated on me?
In hindsight, you were never perfect. Perfect men don’t lie and use the emotional instability they created in a woman as an excuse for their piss poor behavior. They don’t get cops involved when their ego is bruised, they don’t physically and emotionally bruise the woman they “love”. They don’t cause them enough stress so they drop 22 pounds, or have suicidal thoughts, or nearly ruin their grad school career before they start.
I never believed that loving someone else could expose how little I loved myself. I thought accepting your mistreatment would prove how strong I was, that love conquers all, that bad men can change into good ones. Instead I learned that nobody can save people like you, not even someone with a heart like mine.
You will probably read this as a scathing criticism though it is more like a thank you note. Thank you for showing me why I should have left you sooner, why people don’t take back a cheater, why de-valuing myself is even worse than loving somebody who is wrong for you. Thank you for showing me what love isn’t. Thank you for stopping my path of self-destruction before I became a lonely 30-something plagued by daddy issues, an endless string of bad boyfriends like yourself, and a life without self-love.
I thought I’d never see a day without anxiety or depression, yet I’ve been afflicted by neither in the months we’ve been apart. It’s almost unfathomable how long I refused my own happiness simply because of how hard I tried to find it within you.
For the first time in my life, I’m happy to be alone if being together means being unhappy with someone else. I’m no longer bitter and angry, just wistful and wiser. After all, they say they best revenge is success; years from now, I hope you’ll enjoy a dish best served cold when you see me at the SportsCenter desk, regretting what could have been.