It starts when you see them with someone else and it doesn’t bother you. It doesn’t hurt you. It doesn’t make you suddenly want to go home so you can cry in bed. If anything, it makes you feel relieved. Relieved that it’s not you. Relieved that you’re not part of their story anymore. Relieved that you let go of someone who wasn’t right for you and somehow you see it even more clearly when you step away. You see it more clearly when you see them with someone who doesn’t resemble you at all. It all starts to make sense. They were wrong for you.
And then you go to their favorite restaurant and you don’t miss them. You look back on your memories and smile because at that time, they made you happy but you’re happier now. Without them. You’re happier now because at least you can enjoy your meal without wondering if they care as much you do, if they want you in their life just as much as you do, if they actually mean all the wonderful things they say. At least now, you know you’re whole and complete without them making you feel like you’re not enough and the food has never tasted better.
Then you start running into them everywhere you go, as if the universe wants you to reconsider and you can get lost in the moment and wonder if there’s a deeper meaning to it all. If this is fate tricking you or if this is an invitation to start over but then you find yourself shoving that thought away because the universe also reminds you of how you were once so close yet so far, back when you weren’t strangers but being with them felt even stranger and it reminds you that somewhere along the way, they didn’t give you what they promised you and they didn’t show up for you when you needed them. Because the universe also reminds you of who you were when you were with them and you weren’t yourself and it reminds you that even though they look different now, they’re still very much the same.
And then you meet someone who doesn’t look like them at all, someone who promises to show you a new world, someone who offers you a different kind of love and even though it’s tempting to jump right back in, even though it’s tempting to go for someone who can make you forget that you were broken or mistreated or betrayed, you don’t go for it.
You don’t take their offer, not because you haven’t healed but because they still don’t move your heart the way it wants to be moved and while people are telling you that they could be good for you, that’s not the kind of love you’re looking for. You’re not looking for someone who’s just good for you, you’re looking for someone to love fiercely and someone who can love you back with the same intensity. And you’re okay with waiting rather than settling.
And when you see them with someone else, you don’t care if they see you alone. You see them with someone else and you’re not trying to retaliate and make them jealous. You see them with someone else and you focus even more on yourself. And somehow it never felt better. You’re happier without them. You’re happier alone. They no longer have a place in your heart. And this is where it ends.