It was roughly 4 years ago that we spent our last happy week together. You spent an awful lot of time texting a strange man, but I thought nothing of it. I was certainly, and rightfully suspicious, but I wanted to believe that I could trust you. It was a decision that backfired in the way that I am forever grateful for.
We had a very intense love. People frequently pointed out how we were perfect for each other. Unapologetically goofy, raucously funny, and most of all, intensely compatible, we tore through our final years of college. To this day, I look fondly upon these memories as something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I graduated in 2009 into the worst economy our generation has had the pleasure of witnessing. As I was trying to find my way in a very confusing world, you were reveling in your final year at school. I admit that my struggles would get the best of me on some nights, and I would turn to you for comfort. I understand now that I was often selfish, and that I was forcing my negative emotions on you.
I started the fight that began our downfall. I got drunk at a bar with a friend from work, and a cute bartender asked me when I was going to pop the question. It freaked me out. I wasn’t totally ready for a lifetime commitment, and I know for sure that you weren’t either. I let slip a concern that had been mounting for a few weeks, as social media alerted me to a friendship that was starting to look too close for comfort. It sort of sealed the deal when I called you at 3 AM and heard his voice in your bedroom when you accidentally answered.
I’ll never know what actually happened that night, and to assume your guilt is only to prove my mistrust. We struggled through the next couple of months until you came home after your graduation. Despite an awkward beginning, we slowly began to fall back into a happy place. I had the sinking feeling we were on borrowed time. I couldn’t have been more correct.
I drove you away from me, there’s no questioning the veracity of that. The way you handled it, however, betrayed my trust so severely that I’ve driven away every woman I’ve dated until I found the wonderful woman I’m with now. Your actions were the carelessly discarded cigarette that left the pile of ashes where my soul once lived. It takes hard work to rebuild, but its structure remains an empty shell until enough time has passed to make a house a home. I was screaming for help, a drop of water just to keep my hope alive, but you turned your back and watched me burn. I was left with nothing, just empty lungs and a fractured heart.
Despite your betrayal, you’ve forced me to become who I am today. I spent three and a half years single. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, but I just couldn’t get into it after what I had gone through with you. During this time, I’ve done lots of traveling, rekindled old friendships, and experienced things I never would have had we stayed together. You never wanted to do anything other than go shopping, or out to eat or drink. I’ve had the chance to hike the woods in Vermont, see hundreds of shows, spend countless nights tearing up my own hometown, and play in two different bands. I’ve dated, or at least had some similar interaction with quite a few different women, and had the opportunity to explore romance in a non-traditional sense. I’ve also found my career, and a woman who has completely changed my perspective on what a relationship can be.
So I sort of owe you one for saving me from a life of outlet malls, crappy romantic comedies, and your atrocious taste in basically everything. You also saved me from settling. No longer do I have to worry about a lifetime of mediocrity with a woman who had no interest in personal development.
To be fair, we haven’t spoken a word to each other since I (not so) kindly asked you to stay out of my life shortly after our split. You blocked me from just about everything, so I have no idea what your life entails, what you do for a living, or what you even look like anymore. That, while helping me move on, has also spoken volumes about the type of person you actually are. I have since reconciled with each of my exes to one degree or another, and am very happy that I have. It’s nice to know that we wish each other well, and despite the curiosities that have developed over the years, know that sequels are never quite as good as the original. The fact of the matter is, I haven’t heard a word from you. We spent every possible moment together for two years of our lives, exchanged “I love you”, and were extraordinarily affectionate, and you instantly wrote me off like I never even mattered to you. I wish I could say that I am upset about this, but I’m glad it went the way it did. I know you were probably nervous that my impulsivity might have led to some nasty messages, and it may have, but in all honesty, I didn’t have the desire to contact you.
It has been a long time since all of this happened, and I am writing this to say that I forgive you. I forgive myself for letting you slip away, and despite all of the negative emotions that the end of our relationship conjures up, I do wish you well. I want you to know that I will always consider the times we enjoyed together as special, and am putting in a conscious effort to remember you solely for them. I have said some irrevocably nasty things about you since that day, but I assure you they were in anger and frustration. I try to remember that there was once a part of you that I found irresistible. That being said, I never want to see you again. I never really want to speak to you again. I’m not necessarily interested in your thoughts about me; you’ve made those fairly apparent with your deafening silence.
Finally, and, most importantly, you’ve allowed me to meet a woman I’ve mentioned before. She’s everything that you’ll never be: driven, intellectual, adventurous, and most importantly, caring. She challenges me to be the best version of myself, and likewise, she accepts my challenges to become the best version of her self. She doesn’t just wallow in everything she hates, but instead, dares to improve. We have a healthy relationship, and we solve our problems with intelligent discourse instead of liquor soaked shouting and name-calling.
I hope you’ve found someone like that, but I doubt you’d be open to it.