It has been a few weeks, months, years since we spoke last. I know we said that we could keep in touch and “stay friends” after we broke up. We went from talking every day to once a week to once a month to every six months if I’m lucky. Time is a weird thing, isn’t it?
There was once a time that we meant so much to each other. We were everything. I wonder what you’re doing now. I wonder who you’re with. I wonder if you’re happy. I used to have the answer to those questions. Now I get to live with the questions. Time is a weird thing, isn’t it?
Every once in a while, your name pops up in my news feed and wistfulness winds itself through my body. I hope the winter is nice. I hope the summer is treating you well. I hope she makes you happy.
I came here with the intention of spilling my guts to you and all of the internet. Yet, I am here and I am frozen. I don’t know what I can say to make those secret afternoons and evenings sound as magical as they were. I don’t know what I can say to make people understand why I took the leap when I knew there was going to be no happy ending. I don’t know how I can describe the perfect insanity that was our relationship.
So, instead I want to say thank you.
Dear ex-boyfriend, thank you for giving me the memories. We mightn’t have done anything “special” or “date-worthy”, but we didn’t have to do anything for them to be priceless. I want to thank you for all the big and small moments. I still remember the look on your face when you talked about your passions. I still remember you sneaking into my room in the middle of the night. I still remember the look on your face when I almost told you that I loved you. It was like you already knew. Most of all, I still remember the look on your face as I dropped you off at the bus station. Driving away was hard. You undoubtedly set the standard for every man who walked into my life.
Dear ex-boyfriend, thank you for teaching me when to walk away. It feels a bit ironic saying that because you were the one that kept drawing me back to you. You know the cliché about the moth and the flame? That was me and you. I knew that I shouldn’t get too close, but I did anyway. It was good…for a while. Time passed, and I didn’t see you. More time passed and I still didn’t see you. We had an instant connection. When we were together it was good, easy. When we were apart it was, well, bad
somewhere between ‘bad’ and ‘meh, expected. It was hard to walk away from you because you made me so incredibly happy when we were together. It truly felt like I was the only person in the room at times. You were like a drug to me and I was getting too close for it to be healthy. Did you know how hard it is to break up with someone when your reasoning is “You make me too happy and I like you too much”? Damn hard.
Dear ex-boyfriend, thank you for teaching me how to stand my ground. There were times that I did something that you didn’t like. Maybe I drank too much. Maybe I didn’t see you for a while. Maybe I prioritized my study or my friends over you. Maybe I was studying something that you didn’t approve of. Thank you for questioning my intentions and pushing me for an answer that was more than “because”. It taught me to really look at my life and take in everything I was doing. It made me think about where my actions would lead in the future. It made me stand up for myself and fight for what I wanted, even though I knew you wouldn’t approve of it.
Dear ex-boyfriend, thank you for being patient with me. I know it must have been hard. I am not a patient person at the best of times, so I know how torturous waiting can be. The way you waited until I was ready meant everything. It made me feel respected and, in turn, my respect grew for you, too. I have my weird quirks and terrible mental blocks, but you let me share them with you and helped me work through them. So, thank you for respecting the fact that sometimes I just need more time.
Dear ex-boyfriend, thank you for making me happy. You were good at it. It would only take one smile or look and I would break out into a smile of my own. It was infectious. Even now, I’m smiling as I type this. Being with you was like a breath of fresh air. Nothing was too small or too difficult to accomplish. You made the everyday routine fun. Heck, you made me realise that I could be around someone all day, every day and not want to murder them. I tend to like a lot of space and freedom when I’m in a relationship, so that means a lot. When you were around, I was excited for the day. I felt like I had won the Lotto every time I looked at you and realised that you wanted to be with me. Out of everyone. You chose me. And I chose you.
Dear ex-boyfriend, thank you for being silly with me. It was nice to see that you did have a goofy side. I would see a glimpse of it every now and then, but it took a while before I fully recognised and understood your sense of humour. Once I “got it”, it was hard to ignore. Ultimately, you were a man-child, but it was endearing. You showed me that xyz isn’t the end of the world. You showed me another way to look at a crisis. You showed me another way to look at life. Period. You made me smile at the smallest of things. Most importantly, you taught me how to laugh at myself and how to let things ‘roll off my back’. It was one crazy, silly ride, and I loved it.
Dear ex-boyfriend, thank you for being there for me. I know there were times that you probably thought “Oh holy hell, what have I signed up for?” as I talked to you through my tears. All I really needed was a shoulder to lean on, and fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) you were that shoulder. I spilled secrets when I was drunk. I whispered secrets when we were cocooned in bed. I talked to you about my life and you didn’t run. I did catch the odd “uh oh” look on your face, but you just held me and let me talk. That means everything. Really.
Dear ex-boyfriend, thank you. For everything.