Everything happened so fast. It was late at night, and we’d both been drinking.
I felt completely blindsided by the information he revealed and his reasons for the breakup.
Granted, it hadn’t been going that well lately.
I was acting out and taking out my own issues and problems on the relationship.
I was in a terrible place in my mind and my life.
I had screwed up yet again, and he had enough.
Still, I didn’t feel we got closure.
Here is my timeline for getting over an ex:
1. It wasn’t the day we talked about it, a week later.
He remained firm on his stance, and I had no way to argue.
I’d sabotaged the relationship enough to feel guilty and regretful, but it was too late.
He told me he loved me, but that we wanted different things.
I had nothing to say to that. We left it on good, albeit sad, terms.
2. It wasn’t the day I asked him to go to dinner with me, a month later.
I was hurting badly.
I knew I needed big changes in my life, and I was working on it.
But, I was also riddled with regret.
Only in hindsight do you see your mistakes so clearly.
I was blaming myself entirely, and I missed him to the point of desperation.
I asked him to come to a special dinner with me, arguing that there was no one else I felt would appreciate it like him.
I foolishly took this as some sort of hope, feeling that if I didn’t keep hope alive for us, then I would completely lose myself.
It was so good to see him and spend time with him. It still felt like the most natural thing in the world to be with him.
There was no hatred between us, and there was no awkwardness, either.
It was as if we had seen each other just the day before.
That had to count for something, right?
Nothing romantic happened, but I had opened the door to the gateway to my own insanity.
Knowing that I needed to make changes and grow, I began going to therapy and practicing meditation.
As I improved and worked on myself, I knew I was also doing it for him.
What I should have been doing while in the relationship was happening too late, but I kept hoping I could show him I was different.
I wanted to believe he would get back with me, if I changed my mind about certain issues.
However, he told me he didn’t want that at all.
Denial is a powerful drug, and so is love. I was addicted to my past, no matter how painful.
3. It wasn’t any of the other days when I asked him to hang out, and he accepted.
Yes, I wish he hadn’t agreed and kept agreeing.
I’m a little angry about that, but honestly, I know he only did it because he still cared about me and missed my company.
Was it right? No, but I was pushing.
He gave me an inch, and I ran with it.
I took every bit of kindness, every note of sympathy and every moment of weakness on his part and made it mean more than it was.
Neither of us is perfect. He also messed up, but I can’t hate him for that.
By this point, I felt like my heart had broken wide open.
I became open to all sorts of possibilities for myself that I always denied wanting so fiercely.
Everything he needed in a relationship I suddenly felt ready for, but as usual, my timing was way off.
The breakup was a catalyst for great change, so I understood that it was necessary.
We couldn’t continue the way we were going. It never would’ve worked.
Still, I hoped that because of my perspective shift, there would be a chance for us.
He didn’t do much to encourage that, but he didn’t do much to dispel the idea, either.
He told me multiple times that he missed me, that he still thought about us, that he worried he would realize he made a huge mistake and that I would be with someone new.
That was all I needed to keep my hope alive.
I was the one initiating all the contact.
I left him a super thoughtful birthday gift at his front door, knowing he was hurt and cooped up in the house.
I did everything I could think of to win his heart back.
For a little while, it seemed I was succeeding.
Still, I should’ve known better.
Deep down, I knew if I stopped talking to him, he would never contact me.
I hated that, yet I still kept reaching out to him.
4. It wasn’t even the day he told me he didn’t want to be with me.
I had let myself go on this way for five months.
The last time I saw him, he was so different with me. It gave me renewed hope.
We still got along as well as before, and at the end of the night when I hugged him, he didn’t let go.
He knew exactly how I felt.
I told him clearly I wanted to be with him, and I asked him if my personal changes would change anything about us.
He told me that he didn’t know and felt lost, but we would talk when he got back from vacation.
I thought that meant there was actually something to talk about.
He brushed my hair away from my face in that sweet way he always did, stroking my cheek.
He told me I was cute.
He took my hand, said, “Come here" and held me tightly against his chest for a long time.
He let out this little sigh, the way he always used to do when we were together, and I crawled into his arms.
I told him it was OK and that he didn’t need to feel obligated to talk to me.
He said he didn’t.
Then, a month later, he was so strange and different.
He told me he didn’t think that we should get back together, and it wasn’t the right thing for him.
I knew it wasn't right for me, either.
I knew that the whole time, I suppose.
I was growing, changing and working on my issues, and he wasn’t doing any of that for himself.
He wouldn’t suddenly be the man I needed.
Still, I was hurt, stung and frustrated that he gave me hope for the last four weeks.
I repeatedly asked him why we were talking when there was nothing to talk about.
He had no answer.
I felt my heart breaking all over again.
I hadn’t come into the night with much hope, but no one has ever told me he didn’t love me anymore.
I asked for it.
I instigated, but I also told him we didn’t have to talk if there was nothing to say.
He insisted that we should, and then there was no conversation to be had.
I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why he did that.
It would've hurt less to just not see him again.
5. It was the day I found out he was seeing someone else.
That was when I finally let go.
Suddenly, everything that happened when I saw him that awful night made sense.
I felt angry and frustrated that even then, he couldn’t just man up and tell me the truth.
I wasn’t begging for his love anymore, but it still hurt.
I suppose I just didn't expect that to happen for a long time.
But, it did.
It has nothing to do with me, and I have to remember that.
Regardless of what happens or how the rest of his life turns out, none of that has anything to do with me.
And I hate that.
I hate that I’m no longer a part of the life of someone who meant the world to me.
I hate that I still love someone who doesn’t love me anymore.
Healing has no set timeline, and mine is longer than his.
That’s OK, but it doesn’t feel OK right now.
The good news is, I have enough self-respect to no longer reach out to him or talk to him.
I may sound pathetic, but I do have my limits.
I just wish I had let myself heal in the first place.
I wish I had cut the cord and not made any contact.
I've always been terrible at it, but never has a guy allowed me to take it this far before.
I deluded myself into believing there was hope when there wasn't.
It’s frustrating to feel that I delayed my progress for so much longer than I could have.
It can’t be helped.
I’m actually doing OK, despite everything.
During these long few months of confusion and misled hope, I constantly worked on my own life.
It hasn’t been entirely lost time.
I’m in a much better place now than I was a year ago.
The important thing is that I recognize that all this dysfunctional behavior comes from me, not him.
My issues are deep-seated and hard to shake, but I want to change.
I want to be the person I need to be for myself so that I don’t make the same mistakes in my next relationship.
I want to pick the right guy, someone with whom I’m truly compatible.
I don’t want to hurt another man for reasons that only have to do with my own insecurities.
One of the hardest choices in life is to let go of the familiar, even though it causes you great pain.
The pain you know seems more comforting than a scary future that you don’t.
I’m making that choice because I have to move forward.
It’s the only way.