To The Girls He Dated Before Me

Courtney Clayton

I hate you – and I don’t even know you.

When a relationship is fresh, it’s understandable that I hate you. You had so much more time with him than I’ve had. You know him better, he knows you better. He’s more used to you than me. You were the ones he was with before me – and that’s difficult to wrap my mind around.

As our relationship grows stronger, you come up less and less, but the insecurity is still there. For some reason, I can’t shake the thought that perhaps he preferred you to me. Perhaps the things he now says to me, he once said to you. Perhaps he never wanted your relationship to end at all.
Okay, I know I sound crazy. He’s with ME. You broke up with him, or he broke up with you, and you’ve both moved on. But what if that’s not really what he wants?

Is this all about sex? Thinking of the hands that so routinely touch me, once stroking you? Or the lips I now kiss, whispering your name? That’s part of it. I hate you, because you had him before I did. You’ve seen parts of him that I don’t know; part of a life before me. It pains me to think that, at one point, YOU were the one he cared most about. YOU were the one he would call. YOU were the one he slept next to.

It doesn’t help that there’s so many of you. It seems like there’s a different girl for every month out of the year – and then some. How is it possible for him to have had such a connection with all of you, and with me? Is that even possible?

That insecurity turned into hate – because I don’t see the flaws in you. When I look at you, I see perfection. Why on Earth would he want ME over YOU? You’re prettier than I am. Your Instagram is better than mine. You’re more his type: easygoing, and fun. You and I are in no way similar.

Thinking down this rabbit hole leads me to the verdict that he and I are nowhere near meant to be. That’s where the problem lies: insecurity. I hate you, because the boy I now love, once loved (or liked) you. I’ve become a monster, fueled on jealousy, insecurity, and of course, self-loathing.

But I’ve really only gotten a snapshot of your relationship. Those perfect social media pictures don’t tell me who you are, or what you two were together.
He and I are in a different relationship. He loves me, because I am different than you are. His long list of partners compared to mine only shows the long and twisted road it took him to finally reach me. You are the path that paved the way for our relationship to exist.

I’m sorry I made such a rash decision to hate you. Honestly, you’re probably a great girl. You know how it is – no one likes to think there was someone before them.

I hope I don’t see you, and I hope he doesn’t either. I hope the connection between our lives ends here. But before that, I want to thank you.
If you hadn’t broken his heart, I never would have had him at all. If your relationship had worked out, there’s no way he would be focusing on me. The breakup you may or may not have cried over has made my life so much better.

As terrible as that sounds, I am so thankful that it’s over.

I hope you’re not plagued with the ghosts of exes like I am, but if you are, think of it like this: we’re not thinking about the good times we had with our exes. Our boyfriends aren’t thinking that either. They’re invested in the relationship they’re in now, and so should we be. TC mark

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