A Post for my Ex, a Year After

Almost a year ago, I wrote a public, heartfelt letter to who was then my boyfriend, Ryan. I broke up with him in the end of July 2016, and after having a good amount of time to think things through, I wish to write a follow-up on my blog- a collection of thoughts I have.

Although I know he used to read my blog, I do not expect him to read this. And if he does, I hope it will be during a time when he no longer feels attached to me at all. This post is for me, a letter to myself.

I can’t believe I stayed with him for nearly 4 years. Nearly 4 years of trying to breakup every now and then. A relationship only held by sex, bashing my first ex, and trying to figure out ourselves.

I never had the butterflies in my stomach feeling for him. I never had a crush phase for him. It was always just “well, I could see myself making out with him, and he’s nice to me, so he must make a good boyfriend”. I now see why everyone was confused as to why we were together. We didn’t click. We didn’t have much common ground.

But he was my best friend. And he was there for me. He always had my best interest in mind, especially when I was not concerned with his. He stuck with me when my friends left me and my interests changed.

I always felt the need to babysit him and his feelings. At parties, I stayed by his side so he could be entertained. I wish I hadn’t. My brother’s bar mitzvah, my house parties, my friends’ parties. He didn’t fit with my friends who were a reflection of me. It was not that they did not like me, but they didn’t like him. I’m so glad I don’t need to care for anyone’s feelings but my own.

No matter what I tell myself, I always conclude that he was a good person. I could never paint him as a bad boyfriend, friend, or person. I don’t resent him because of how he was. I resent myself for trying to make it work for so long.

As much as I hate to admit it, I only cried once over our breakup, and that was during our closure talk. I never felt the need to go back into a relationship with him. I felt free. The only guilt I felt was for making him sad, but I didn’t need to be responsible for his feelings any longer.

I didn’t break up with him to be with someone else. I broke up with him for freedom. And it was my choice. Not my mother trying to taint my judgment of him. Not my friends and teachers giving me a confused look. I was gone for two weeks, and I loved it.

The reasons I loved him could be summed up as “he was a decent human being”. But we had nothing in common. He was clinging to me, and I did not feel the same attraction to him. We are not compatible. I feel like the bad one because to him, it was a relationship, but to me, it was friends with benefits disguised as a relationship.

I felt bad when I liked other people after breaking up with him. After being together for years, it was force of habit that caused me to feel like I belonged to him. But I am my own person. My body and my self are mine. I can love who I want, and it feels wonderful. Of course, I felt immediate relief when I found out he found a new girlfriend. The responsibility of handling his feelings was absolutely not mine any longer. And I hope she provides him all the love I couldn’t.

But all those times I said “I love you”, I meant it. I defined love differently back then. And the time we spent together was worth it. We grew together as people and learned more about the world and ourselves. But we can only learn so much about each other.

And to my first ex, who I have held a grudge against. I hope you become respectful to women one day. Now that my second ex is not in my life anymore, I don’t feel traumatized by any mention of you anymore. I dare you to cross paths with me.

I am still upset about all the things you did to me. The racist, sexist, hurtful things you said and did. But I realized there was a time where you made me really happy. I forgive you because we once liked each other. And I’m ready to forget you so I never need to think about you seriously again. As a joke, definitely. As a traumatizing part of my life, I’ve already forgotten you.

So now, as I begin the Jewish new year, I am absolutely ready to move on. I have been ready. I hope I’ve written everything I wanted in this post so I don’t need to tell people anymore. I don’t want my future relationships to be defined by how they compare to my past boyfriends.

And the next person who holds such a special place in my life will be worth all the butterflies in my stomach.

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