Dear ex-boyfriend – or whatever it is we’re calling you

I was enjoying myself with family and friends at a wedding this past weekend, when it occurred to me that more and more people in my life are getting hitched, or at the very least coupling up for the long haul.

Well, I’m sitting over here giving them mega props, because I can’t even commit to what I want to eat for dinner, let alone the foreseeable eternity!

All joking aside, I’m happy for my friends and family who’ve found the people that make them happy. But if you’re like me and have people who badger you about the possibility of a significant other, you know the disappointment in their faces when you admit to the lack of such a person. Lately, however, I’ve dropped the guilt…I’m surely not in the same boat as my committed friends, but I’m not the least bit sorry about it. I’m having a grand old time getting there…

I mean, I can’t be the only one who feels that dating can be a hell of a lot of fun. You meet new people, try new things, and learn how to present yourself and ask good questions. Sometimes the person across from you intrigues you, excites you, or straight up bores you – it’s luck of the draw, really. Eventually, through each experience and interaction, you grow to know more about yourself and what it is that stands as the most important for you in a relationship.

I’ve learned that romance, affection, and attraction all present themselves in different ways: sometimes these people are crushes or boyfriends or guys-you-dated-for-a-month or first/second/third dates gone terribly wrong. Sometimes, chemistry and timing don’t see eye to eye and possibilities fall through the cracks.

I’m certainly not a romantic, and quotes about past romance have a tendency to activate my gag reflex…but I’m proud of person I’ve become due to and in spite of my love life, and I’m glad to have met these men along the way. As I reminisce, these are a collection of plain and simple things I’ve previously left unsaid that I’d like to get off my chest…

Dear ex-whatever-you-are,

  • Thanks for giving me my first kiss in an all-time recordly-hilarious fashion. The 100 people who saw it happen can recount it as vividly as I can, and I gained an incredible friend in the process.

  • You brightened my spirits by saying I looked bad-ass in a hospital gown, and that never got old – three times a week for 4 months, and I still waited for your pep-talk texts in the doctor’s office.

  • Showing up at a train station with cupcakes to see me off is maybe the most thoughtful and sweet thing anyone has ever done for me. I’m only sorry that I forgot to tell you I was taking the bus home instead! My bad…

  • For the longest time, I used to think we were made for each other. Now I read your Twitter feed and realize I don’t really know you, nor do I find the person you’ve become substantially interesting. Thanks, social media, for being the cure to a long-time crush!

  • Making remarks about my weight and physique while I have you suspended in mid-air was not the wisest move you’ve ever made. There’s a very good reason why your harness hurt you as you repelled down!

  • I am both excited and nervous to see how our relationship plays out when oceans no longer separate us – I hope we can remain friends.

  • I’m seriously bummed we never became more serious because I really wanted to meet your mum – she sounded like the most rad of matriarchs/ my future best friend.

  • Thanks for complimenting me on things besides my appearance, and recognizing that your appreciation of my smarts/drive/talents/compassion was way more important to me. Not only did it make me feel respected and valued, but I remember vividly every time you told me that I was beautiful. Those four instances were so special to me.

  • I’m sorry that 15 year old me didn’t realize we were on a date. I’m also sorry that by the time I did, my reaction was to high-five you goodbye! I wish I could say that I’m no longer that painfully awkward…

  • After our first (and subsequently last) date, I had such a good time I almost told the cab driver to turn around and take me back to you.

  • I’m quite concerned that you only keep spinach, a boiled egg, and vegetable shortening in your fridge. Did you not eat when I wasn’t around?!

  • I’m sorry that I was chicken and avoided you for a month before I broke things off – it hurt me to hurt you, because I wanted you for the all the wrong reasons and you deserved more than that.
  • I saw a picture of you and your fiancé, and my first reaction was “They are going to have the most beautiful blue-eyed babies this world has ever seen!” Congrats, future spawn – you won the genetic lottery!

  • The last time I saw you I tried to tell you that I loved you. While I’m glad that I didn’t (hey, I needed to keep a little bit of dignity), I do wonder if it would have changed things.

  • Your Drake-themed birthday card is still in my desk drawer. Though I never got to give it to you, the bottle of red wine it was attached to is how my roommate and I toasted our split!

  • To the best and worst kissers I’ve ever had: I want do-overs to see if my judgment still stands true.

  • While I’m not angry that we broke up over text, I’m disappointed that after such a long time, all you could muster was a feeble statement and months of silence. It made me sad to not say goodbye, and I hope one day you will own your feelings enough to not hide behind your iPhone 5.

  • Tell yourself whatever you need to, you’re still an inch shorter than me…I checked your license after you showed the bartender!

  • The next time you take a girl to her first Tarantino flick, you might want to warn her what she’s getting herself into, because not all girls find bloodbaths to be cozy atmospheres. Just a tip!

  • I know you think you’re smarter than me, and truthfully, you probably are. But I once had a dream that we were each the leader of opposing parties in a federal election. This Prime Minister won by a landslide and woke up with the biggest smile on her face.
  • Thanks for being a total riot. We were so wrong for each other, but we had so much fun…that’s probably why I forgave you for showing up more than 2 hours late for dinner.

________________________________

With dating, there is the inevitable fact that you and the person you are seeing will eventually a) part ways OR b) spend a long-a$$ time together.

DESPITE THAT TERRIFYING REALITY, we still soldier on – because human affection and romantic interaction top many of our lists’ of needs.

I’m sure I’ve still got a lot of experiences ahead of me – these surely aren’t the last stories I’ll tell. Besides, I really try not to take the dating game too seriously, otherwise I could get wrapped up in self-pity and overindulge in my emotions (I feel a lot of things, okay?). I’m not going to focus on finding Mr. Right – Mr. Right Now will do just fine.

However, I DO want to say thank you to anyone I’ve ever been involved with.

At the age of twenty-one, I’ve had some cool characters pass through my life, and I’m grateful for each one of them. They are all kind and interesting people in their own ways, and they have left a lot of memories – and lessons – in their wake. I wish you all nothing but the best!

…And for those poor suckers who might end up with me in the future? I look forward to making your acquaintance 😉

DFTBA,

– K

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4 thoughts on “Dear ex-boyfriend – or whatever it is we’re calling you

  1. Anon says:

    Stumbled over this post, very cool! It takes a lot to take past relationships for what they are worth, and move forward. Don’t speed through life though, it’s not a race! There is always that feeling that others are “leaving you behind” but life is precious and you are only 21, heading into the prime of your life. Worrying about “getting hitched” is perfectly normal, but Love Happens. You will find Mr Right when you least expect it!

  2. Sonia says:

    I’m so glad I’m finally reading this… it’s gold. Favourite part is definitely you winning the election — go Kiera 😉 ALSO I can’t stop thinking about this YA novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, have you read/heard of it?! Anyway, great post, Kiera! ❤

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