April 26: Things I’d Say to an Ex (or, Post-Mortem on Relationships)

Last updated on April 12, 2016

twenty-sixOh, this is a doozy… I don’t think any one person knows my history well enough to adequately guess who this might be, or what it might be about, which is kind of cool… and if you think you know who this is (or you think it’s you), you could message me, I guess.  (Do it privately, you probably don’t want to out yourself.)  Relationships are weird, right?

Dear You:

This is going to sound weird, but you were one of the best relationships I ever had.  We were totally not meant for each other, we had very little in common, our priorities were completely unmatched, and yet when I think back over that long stretch of time, that brief shining moment we had together was really a pivotal time in my life, a time that put me to rights and got me looking at myself and my needs in a truly healthy way – and it was really all because of you.

Prior, I had such a terrible run of luck with relationships that I really did just want to lock the door and be done with humanity.  I was ready to “scratch an itch” with you, so to speak, and be done after a short time (one night?  a week?), but something a little deeper happened.  It wasn’t that mad “falling in love” sensation or that crazy “can’t live without you” thing – it was more real, more comfortable, and also known from the beginning on some level that it was temporary, and that was not just okay but best for everyone.

Don’t get me wrong!  I did love you (and still do), mostly because you showed me that people don’t have to be perfect to treat each other well.  You showed me that you could do and be for other people without expecting a pound of flesh in return, that there wasn’t a crime for every punishment.  This was the first relationship where the concept of “respect” wasn’t some weird abstract thing that I was required to guess from context:  it was a demonstrable thing, a tangible thing, and while I’m sure it didn’t seem like such a big deal to you, it was the world to me.

I knew that I wasn’t going to be good for you in the long run.  You were too squishy in some parts, inexperienced in others, and while I’m sure you would have done your best nursing me through my healing and recovery, I wouldn’t have wished that on you.  I wasn’t the best person back then.

So, odd as it was, I know we weren’t in love, but we did love each other deeply, and it was the first honest love I think I’d ever really had – honest from both sides.  It set the benchmark for “acceptable”, and that’s probably why I ended up with this ridiculously long list of rejections before I found someone comparable.  It took me a long time to really understand the true nature of the lessons you brought me, to understand what my mistakes were and how those mistakes pointed to the wounds I still had to heal, but I’m deeply grateful for the time and experience.

Sure, I wish I’d done some things differently (and who doesn’t when hindsight is 20/20?), but I also don’t regret a thing about it.  You seem like you’ve done damn well for yourself since then, and that makes me happy, too.

Thanks, you, for a great time.  <3

normfac Written by:

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