relationships

To the Girl who is His Next

Over the years I’ve seen a ton of posts on Facebook or Tumblr that are letters written by one person addressed to their ex’s current significant other. In light of recent events I thought I would try it.

To the girl who is his next-

You do not know me, and I may not know of you for quite some time. If he is the same person he was months ago then I would imagine his habits are unchanged and he has a list of spiteful stories about me. I don’t care for what he says about me nor do I care if you believe them. That’s not the purpose behind my intentions. You can ignore this letter if you wish. Tear it in two, burn it, laugh about it with your friends, present it to him as you slide into his car. It doesn’t bother me. 

He’s charming, isn’t he? The depth in his eyes and the way he searched for my touch melted me from the start and I’d imagine he works the same magic on you. He made me feel noticed. I was an apple on a tree. Crowded among hundreds and hidden beneath boughs and boughs of leaves. He climbed the branches and reached for me. Me! I was the one who caught his eye when I didn’t think a trace of sunlight could find me.

I won’t tell you that he’s a terrible person because that’s not the case. I’m not here to list the number of fights we had or tally who caused them. Yes I am the one who ended things but it wasn’t because of anything he did. In the simplest explanation, I felt unhappy and unfulfilled. The feeling that I didn’t belong with him crept into me over the course of months and it was something I couldn’t wash away. I tried to let him know how I felt but it’s clear that my efforts weren’t enough. I thought I was doing the kind thing by waiting to have that conversation with him. I knew that if I confessed to him my doubts he would suffer from that moment until it was over. I was trying to save his happiness and sanity. He probably doesn’t understand that I never meant to be malicious or keep him in the dark, and I really did try everything I could to keep us together. I’m sure he’s probably very suspicious and distrusting of your true feelings for him and I bet if you’re anything like me you put a lot of work into reassuring him. I guess that’s my fault he’s paranoid although I can’t hold responsibility for his current actions. I didn’t bring a single burden of my past to our present even though it would’ve been so easy to do.

He needs a lot of love. Do your best to be patient and understanding, never take too long to text him back and make sure your plans together are your top priority. It’ll save you so much unnecessary trouble later on. I met his nearly his entire family except for his mother. Don’t be afraid to meet her, he always told me she wouldn’t judge me to my face. He’ll never get tired of holding your hand and he loves when you unexpectedly tell him something sweet. But he hates surprises so don’t expect him to wait long before opening presents or letters. He drives fast but he knows what he’s doing and won’t purposefully put you in danger. Don’t fret over wearing makeup around him, he’ll still tell you you’re beautiful and chances are he won’t even detect a difference. His eyes are bigger than his stomach so it’ll very helpful to just share meals with him at restaurants. He boxed for years and loved it but it left him with awful back pain. Rub his back near his shoulders when it gets really bad. Take plenty of photos and text him old ones when he’s having a bad day. It makes him feel better every time. Hold his face in your hand and let him fall asleep on you.

Above all, be honest with him. Even though he might get upset initially, after a while he’ll come to his senses and begin to do whatever it takes to fix a problem. Meet him halfway and appreciate all that he does. He’ll give you everything he’s capable of if you let him. He’ll remember every moment with you and cherish even the horrible ones. I wish you both well. I hope you get to know each other better than he and I allowed us to. I hope he is happy, and I hope you are happy being with him. I hope you love each other and I hope fate doesn’t ask to tear you apart. I hope he is what you have waited for and more.

Sincerely,

His last

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Thatgirlwhoalwayssmiles has changed her relationship status

A year ago I wanted a boyfriend. It’s not something I talked about excessively or wore myself out trying to find. I would mention to my friends or sisters every now and then about a person I had met and how I wondered why they hadn’t texted me back in two days. It wasn’t something I wanted to be superficial about. I’d met countless girls who would refer to their significant other as “my boyfriend” more often than actually stating his name in a sentence. It wouldn’t be a trophy won or experience gained, it was simply something that made me wonder if my life could be shaped differently by having one.

I imagined meeting someone in a coffee shop. He would approach me of course because I would be far too shy to talk to him first. Perhaps we’d have a conversation about a band sticker he noticed on my laptop, and just before he left he’d jot down his number on a scrap of paper so we could talk more about local bands. I would text my best friend in all caps immediately, “YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED” and she would get excited for me and ask me what he looked like and how tall he was and whether he seemed intelligent or not.

I wanted someone to hold my hand and ask about each of my rings, where they came from and why I never took them off. I wanted someone to pay attention to the minuscule things about me- the way I purposefully wore mismatched earrings or how I always sat with my backpack in my lap because I felt more secure holding onto something. I wanted to take someone to art museums and not have to feel rushed, we would actually bask in each artwork and point out tiny details together.

Well one day I actually did meet someone in a coffee shop and he actually did approach me first. We didn’t listen to the same bands but we still texted each other later. He held my hand but was always adjusting because my rings were uncomfortable between his fingers. We went to an art museum together but he was never interested in any of the renaissance paintings. I liked him a lot and he liked me a lot. That was enough for us until it wasn’t.

He didn’t like it when I didn’t text him back quickly and he really didn’t like it when I had to cancel our plans. I found myself apologizing constantly because we were fighting constantly. He always wanted more of my time -more of me- and I began to schedule my weeks around him. Well I’ll get out of school around this time, and I’ll be seeing him a couple hours after that. Wait, I have a test in a couple days. How long will we see each other for? I’ll need time to study but there’s no way I can change our plans now, he’ll flip out. I guess I’ll just have to study before he gets here. And stay up later when he brings me back home. My friends missed me and would ask me to hang out but 9 times out of 10 my reply would be “Sorry, I totally would but he and I already have plans. We’ll find time though.” Except I didn’t find time for them.

We sat so close to each other in restaurant booths but my thoughts were always so far away. My throat felt tight and air was so thin. I stopped doing the things that used to make me happy and I isolated myself from the people who loved me because they didn’t like who I was dating and told me to find someone else. I couldn’t. I wasn’t allowed to. The minute I ended it he would fall apart because I was the thing keeping him together. He needed me around for my sunshine when he had a lamp that worked perfectly fine, he just preferred that I be his light. I felt like a hypocrite for teaching him about optimism when it became impossible for me to remain positive. I was no longer resilient and things that were bad, felt bad. I lost my armor.

Perhaps it was the advice from my therapist, or my mother’s sleepless nights, or my friends’ genuine concern, or the prayers I said to angels, or maybe I had just finally had enough. Whatever the reason was it helped me decide to end it. It was brutal, excruciating, and torturous. I cried for days and forgot to eat which caused me to lose 6 pounds in under a week. He blamed me mercilessly, then turned the tables and insisted that it was all his fault but he was sorry and promised to do whatever it took to keep us together. If he had kept his promises that he made months ago I might have believed him.

We don’t talk much anymore and it’s strange to not be in constant communication with him all day. I’m not used to my schedule being so relatively open but I finally have time to clean my room and paint landscapes. I’ve decided to stop finding blame. If I had better communication with him maybe we could’ve worked things out, but then again he shouldn’t have been treating me poorly in the first place. The bottom line was that I was unhappy and postponed my own well being for far too long. I still have my ups and downs but the lows aren’t quite so crushing anymore. I’ll simply feel a sinking pain in my chest that subsides after a moment or two. Even with everything that’s happened I don’t regret being with him. I grew from an unpleasant experience but at least I grew. I’m not thinking about relationships right now. I just want to be a college student that finds extreme happiness in simplicity once again.

If you’re reading this please remember that you’re valued beyond belief and you deserve to be with someone that proves that to you each day. Love shouldn’t hurt.

-Jessie

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