For the lonely nights when you need this reminder, which I hope will be less often than you feared. And for the drawn-out boring weekends when you feel the pang of not having anyone around but yourself for entertainment. And you will remind yourself that, though there will be many nights and days when you feel this way, your reasons for having them justify their existence and you are proud of yourself for having the confidence to carry it through.
You did it because you realized you needed to grow. And grow into something else that’s more than just someone’s wife or someone’s girlfriend. Because you understood that, after years of growing up with the other person, you learnt to depend on them far more than you learned to depend on yourself. Because it became just too easy to run to him and have him instantly understand your every need and whim. You became one of those vampire plants, pleasantly enjoying the sunlight whilst intertwined around something much stronger and hardier than yourself. And you hated how weak and reliant you were, because you knew that, as much as you enjoyed being entwined around him, you could be so much tougher, so much greater, if you had learned to prop your own weight up instead. Because you knew that, if you really pushed yourself, you would be able to reach the sunlight through your own efforts without anyone else’s help.
You did it because you weren’t ready to become someone’s wife. Not this year. Or the year after. Or perhaps even the year after that. And you weren’t ready to date for another 5 years on top of the 5 you had already accumulated. You didn’t want to get married for the sake of getting married. You didn’t want to get married because it was the next logical step and everyone else was doing it. No – you knew that when you got married, you wanted to be wholeheartedly ready to take it on as a full responsibility. With him you will always continue to be the childish, curious person you are now, because he was kind enough to let you grow up to be such whilst accepting all your responsibilities. You take this step knowing full well that he who might have turned out to be the love of your life may step out into the world and find that someone else is the love of his life. And you are willing to forego it, because you will possibly never realize how important he was to you unless you took this step. And you are too considerate and too clever to hurt either of you that way.
Do not expect other guys to treat and understand you the way he did. Do not be disappointed with them when they misread you or when they don’t care whether or not you got home safely or if they don’t understand your family dynamics the way he did. They owe you nothing. Do not expect them to come flooding in with declarations of love and endless amounts of attention. No one has been waiting for you to break up and discover life outside your relationship, no one but yourself. Make the most of it. Rediscover what it means to be you and how different you are from your 17 year old self, the last time you were single. Apply for your dream job. Go solo travel. Learn those new skills. And importantly, don’t be afraid to feel the pain of the breakup.
In the end you did it because you wanted to throw yourself in the deep water, make yourself feel the fear of submerging and sinking just a little, only to come out happily swimming in the end. Now just give yourself a little bit more time to do just that.