Dear Ex-Boyfriend,

Today I saw you. I’m glad you’re doing better.

I appreciate that you had the courage to pull me aside the way you did. I didn’t have the courage to speak to you first.

I’ve avoided you for six months. I don’t know what happened, but I think it was mutual. Remember when you broke up with me, claiming to still be in love with your ex-girlfriend? Do you remember when I begged you to stay with me so we could try and figure it out together? I remember when you left, even after I begged you to stay. I think that was it for me. That day you didn’t just leave my apartment, you left my life.

That day was weird. You had been frustrating me for a long time. But you had helped me in so many ways… You changed my life. You helped me escape an emotionally destructive and abusive three-year relationship. You helped me stop using food and alcohol as an emotional filler. You forced me to feel real feelings for the first time in years. I was numb for a long time before you. I had gone through so much, as you know. My spirit was broken. You forced me to put everything back together, and held me every night as I lay crying in my bed.

You were the first man who forced me to take my makeup off in front of them, and look at me with uptmost sincerity and tell me I am beautiful. You helped me feel beautiful for the first time in my life. There are no words for how thankful I am for that simple gesture… I don’t know if there is any way I can ever repay you.

You forced me to start taking care of myself. You encouraged me to see my therapist regularly to sort through my past so that I could have a bright future. I was lucky you are a personal trainer. You took me to the gym diligently, always encouraging me and helping me even when you were exhausted yourself. I still go to that gym. And I still remember everything you taught me.

You introduced me to your wonderful family. They were first family I had been introduced to where I felt like I never needed to leave. I would always be welcome at their house, even if you and I were no longer a thing. Your parents are hippies, but amazing ones. I love them still to this day, and I hope they know I’m sorry I couldn’t take you back. I adopted many of their Buddhist ways so that I can be as kind and as peaceful as they are. I meditate every day and live as close as I can to the Buddhist Principles. Your dad taught me about kombucha and matcha, and I am still obsessed with both. Your mom taught me how to love someone regardless of their flaws. And that juicing and being vegan were the best ways to live. She also taught me not to take in oodles of cats…

You were the first man I could be sexually expressive with. You got me to admit things I had never admitted to anyone else… You got me out of a job that was emotionally exhausting AND abusive. Even when I quit that job with no other job in sight, you told me we would make it. We would do anything we could to get there. I still work at that awesome software company you encouraged me to persue.

What I don’t understand… Why you always told me you hated that I worked so much and cared so much about my job… I’m a hard worker. That’s how I operate… I don’t understand why you liked watching cartoons and laying on the couch so much instead of living life. You were perfectly content with relaxing all day when I thought there was living to be done. Your friends were pretty terrible. Always cheating on their girlfriends and saying horribly offensive things to me. They were half of why I couldn’t take you back. You are the company you keep after all… You always were in credit card debt. Or debt to me. You to this day still owe me hundreds of dollars. And I had to pay for everything… dinners, nights out, gas for your car, Christmas presents for your family… After a while that just becomes exhausting.

I’m really glad I saw you. My friend afterwards told me the way you looked at me said you missed me and still loved me. I told him I knew. I missed you too. I will always love you, but I think we are on different paths now. I hope you can figure everything out in life and finally graduate school. But thank you for changing my life. And I’m sorry I blocked your number. I couldn’t deal with the hurt of seeing your name on my phone. I hope you understand.

Those are the things I would never have the courage to tell you, so maybe somehow you’ll come across this.



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