A few days ago I made a decision to stop holding onto someone that I have been romantically involved with for the past three years. Although I know that I cannot just simply “forget” them, I have been actively changing my habits to transition him into the category of just “a friend”. Along with this process, I began to see other people. I went on dates. Met various types of people. But the part I struggle with most is at the end of the day, i would still compare them to him.
I’ve heard advice from friends that mainly categorize into two main points:
1. Be completely over him before you start anything new
2. Use someone else to replace them in your heart
While I sort of agree with both of these, I feel like your last love will always remain in your heart until a new person replaces that said spot. And even after that, they may still occupy a tiny spot. As much as I know how jealous I will be if my future boyfriend tells me that he still thinks of his ex sometimes, I know that without past relationships, we cannot grow to become who we are today. And for that I am thankful for the exes. I learned that you have to be ready to accept something new if you are to move on. One cannot cast the shadow of an ex onto a new interest and expect for them to have the same traits (good or bad). So let us put aside prejudice and enjoy life’s opportunities to move on.
As a child, I remembered watching TV shows and wondering if every “true love” relationship has to involve the main character having a broken heart, crying for days, and then find a new person to be with. If the whole world were to have that happen, then wouldn’t that involve a lot of tears and emotional distress? A few years after that, I encountered my first “crush”. A boy in the same class as me that – at the time – I felt like should be my boyfriend. At age 7, who knew what true love was? To be honest, I guess I randomly choose someone when my friend asked me because it seemed like it was the “cool” thing to do.
In grade six was when I experienced my first, real crush. At the time, I felt like I had legitimate feelings for the boy. He was going to be my husband, we would have two kids together, a pet dog, and live in a small house that looked much like the one Snow White and her seven dwarfs lived in. How naive was I? Of course, it didn’t work out and I eventually moved onto high school and had my first real boyfriend. Someone whom – although we ended on not-so-good terms – should really say thank you to. He taught me that loving someone means you have to put up with their strengths, weaknesses as well as everything else in between. He showed me that when you love someone, there can be no envy, no hatred, and you must have full complete trust in the other person. He made me appreciate sacrificing my time and efforts for someone else’s gain, and not my own. He really brought so much joy into my life. After this relationship ended, I had written a letter to myself.
This letter told the then sad me that it was okay to cry. Tears and emotions meant that I cared. The physical pain I would feel in my heart meant my feelings for him were real. Re-reading that letter allowed me to realize how much I’ve grown and matured since then. It’s now that I appreciate every relationship I’ve had, as each relationship has allowed me to grow and mature just a little more.