An Open Letter To My Ex

To my ex-partner,

 

When I first met you in the summer of 2015, it was meant to be a casual encounter and nothing more. I was never the committing type. I was in the prime of my life, looking for companionship rather than relationships. It all changed when we saw each other every consecutive day ever since our first date. It was truly beautiful. Maybe it was just us, but we truly believed that our first date belonged in the movies. What followed was a whirlwind romance that took the form of a committed relationship with a lot of planning for our future together. I was genuinely shocked that I even let myself jump head in.

But before we did do what was unimaginable to me at that time, we talked through some ground rules. I told you I was very independent and do not do well with clingy. I told you that I am very sure of the person I was and would not change for anyone, not even for you. You agreed at that time, but you confessed later on in the relationship that you hoped that I would change. You were convinced that I just hadn’t experienced being in a relationship and I would change as the relationship matured. And you were right—I did change. I devoted my entire life to you, as you did yours. The dynamics in our relationship drastically changed for the worse after. You have told me multiple times how you missed the confident me. I’ve told you many times how happy I was that you had gained so much self-confidence compared to the first time I met you. Perhaps this was the start of the end, which did eventually come in the winter of 2017.

When I found out that you hooked up with a stranger you met in the club three days (10th Feb) after we broke up, it broke me. When I found out that it was not just some meaningless hook up, but someone you were sort of seeing, it completely ruined me. How could you? How were you able to touch someone else and not think about what we had? Did our relationship mean so little? I was shattered and I acted out the only way I knew how: unbridled rage. I burned everything that reminded me of you; I deleted all the photos I had of us; I had to rid you out of my existence. I had to feed the flames of my burning soul. I harbored so much hatred and anger for days. That was the only way I knew how to cope with my overwhelming emotions. I have never felt so betrayed and small in my life.

In retrospect, I shouldn’t have taken it out on you. Technically, we were broken up. You were free to do whatever you needed to do. Deep down, I knew it made perfect sense. I have always known that you don’t do too well with being alone; it was a part of your personality that I had long accepted. It was a textbook case. You did the same with your previous ex, you found solace in other people. I mean we did get into a serious relationship merely three weeks after your heartbreak. If this was your coping mechanism, I had known it all along. Why did I get so mad?

Perhaps you did still love me and this was the only way you knew how to move on. Perhaps you did not mean to devalue the beautiful thing we created. Perhaps I wasn’t really angry with you; I was taking out my self-loathing on you. I am angry that I had lost a huge part of me. Over the course of our relationship, I sacrificed parts of me and became a shell of the person I was. You knew this. All my friends knew this. I knew this, but couldn’t do anything about it. I was trapped. I couldn’t love myself any longer and the only thing that held me together was the fact that you could still love me. My self-esteem was dependent on you. When you slept with someone else so soon after the break up, it made me feel small because any semblance of my esteem was gone. How did this happen to me? How could I have let this happen to myself? All the outrage, it was meant to be directed at me and not you.

So, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have reacted so badly; I shouldn’t have projected on you. Recognizing this is perhaps the most important step I have taken thus far, because I now know what I have to do to be at peace with myself. Being hung up over what I consider to be a betrayal is not helping me any more than you. You deserve to move on and find your happiness, and so do I. The way forward for me is to find myself again. I know this sounds cliché, but by finding myself I really mean loving myself again. I need to rebuild my self-esteem. I need to go back to the point in my life when I was content just by being me. I need to go back to the time when I loved myself enough to never feel dependent on anyone else but me. And I truly am looking forward to meeting me again.

I wish you luck in your future relationships. I’m not here to tell you how I think you should act or move on; I don’t have a degree in psych. But if and when we do meet again, I hope you will be meeting the old me—the confident man you met in the summer of 2015.

 

With love,

Jeff

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