You Don’t Miss Him, It’s Just Nostalgia

Michael Ramey
Michael Ramey

You don’t miss him. You miss the way the room used to feel when he walked in, like the temperature had just risen a few degrees and you couldn’t help but shift the edge of your sweater off your shoulder.

You don’t miss him. You miss the way you used to laugh, how it felt so light, how you were so comfortable coming home to the sound of familiar footsteps on the carpet, and his pair of gym shoes by the front door.

You don’t miss him. You miss having someone to talk to you, someone to listen. Someone who locked the front door at night and always kissed your cheek before rolling over to bed. But you’ve gone to bed just fine since he left, haven’t you?

You don’t miss him. You just miss the sound of someone else moving around the kitchen, miss the smell of cologne on his sweatshirts, miss the toothbrush on the edge of the bathroom sink.

You miss the way it was so easy to fall into a pattern with someone, how strange and wonderful it can be to shift your life into rhythm with someone else’s.

But you don’t really miss him.

No, it’s just nostalgia. You’re nostalgic for the familiar, for the way things felt, for the way you felt—comfortable, understood, steady. You’re nostalgic for the way life was simple, safe, stuck.

You didn’t have to think in those days. You weren’t worried about finding love, you weren’t worried about being alone, you weren’t thinking about the hundreds of things you’d have to do on your own. But you’ve found your way just fine, haven’t you? And doesn’t it feel better to stand on your own two feet?

You don’t miss him, it’s just nostalgia.

You’re wishing for the things you used to have, for the way life used to be, but that’s the past and the past is tainted with faulty memories. You’re only looking at the positives in the rearview mirror. Hindsight’s twenty-twenty isn’t it? You’ve forgotten the heartbreak, the tears, the frustration, the nights you slept on your side of the bed, the pillows making a wall between the two of you.

No, you don’t miss him.

You miss the idea of how he was, how he used to be, who you were when the two of you were good. But that’s not the way it is anymore, is it?

You’re nostalgic for the days when love didn’t drift, didn’t fade, didn’t die out with the change of seasons. But it’s summertime now and the flowers are in full bloom. Your hair has grown long and your smile isn’t forced. You spend afternoons in the sunshine, breathing in the late August breeze.

You’re doing just fine without him, aren’t you?
And you don’t miss him. Not at all. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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