Post- Magazine

ex no ex no [narrative]

i love me best

The last time I was supposed to write for post-, I got dumped. Just as I was about to start my piece, my world shattered, the future I imagined for myself came crumbling down, and the person I thought was the love of my life no longer wished to be in mine at all. Thoughts of writing or school work were lost amid my suffocating grief. 

To those in my life who did not know about my breakup, let alone my then-boyfriend’s existence, this is probably a bit confusing. If I never mentioned him, it is because I did not wish to introduce someone who might not be in my life for the long haul. I now feel that I made the right choice, but I do wish for you to know me as a result of my recent experiences.

I do not write this with any ill will against my now ex-boyfriend, which is why I will refer to him as X instead of using his name. X, if you are reading this, hi. Thank you for everything, including breaking my heart.

Normally I am very good at coping with loss, especially because I like myself and am pretty damn good at cheering myself up. The problem with this breakup, though, was I felt like X was my perfect match. We are both nerdy, silly, obsessed with food and music and dogs, and we never failed to have the best time in each other’s presence. In six months of dating, we never even got into a single fight. When he ended things, I could not comprehend why someone so seemingly right for me was brought into my life just to be ripped away. I did not want our time together to come to an end; I never really thought it would. From my perspective, the signs were not there, and I still cannot really find them (other than him being a Saggittarius; his flighty and noncommittal nature was written in the stars—if you are a Saggittarius reading this, no, I will not consider dating another Sag in the future). Unable to rationalize the breakup, I was in shambles, hoping for everything to somehow make sense so I could find peace and move on. It did help to realize that our seemingly “great communication” was one-sided—he never really communicated any of his worries, doubts, or changing feelings.


The hardest part of it all was knowing that while my world came to a screeching halt, life kept on going and I was expected to keep up. I am grateful to all of the understanding people in my life who helped me get back on track. I am grateful for their support as I focus on myself right now and on feeling better. I have spent the last month and a half doing everything I can to heal. I journal every morning and night, and have become quite the gym rat. Doing whatever I can for me has allowed me to feel like all the pain will be worthwhile in the end. Plus, the enjoyment and fulfillment I have recently found in exercise, especially weight lifting, has allowed me to discover a new part of myself. It feels liberating to learn new things about myself, because it means I am growing past him, and past the version of me that he knew. 

I feel lucky that I never dealt with thoughts of being unlovable, not being good enough, or feeling incomplete without X. I had put so much effort into fostering a loving relationship with myself before I ever met him, so I never ceased to love myself even as he ceased to love me. I am beyond proud of myself for even writing that without sobbing. Time is healing me, my friends and family are healing me, and most importantly, I am healing me. I am glad X broke me and shattered my heart, so that I could build myself back up with an even higher sense of self-worth. I realize my selfless love has been awarded too generously—to those who accepted my love but didn’t value its worth. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for the people I love, and right now I am making sure I am at the top of my own list. Nobody deserves my love more than I do.

Upon a great deal of reflection, I realized that while I was sad to lose X for all the good times we shared, I would have grown apart from him at one point or another. Being with him, I was so willing to live a life that would have been safe. I would stay in New England, settle down in my early 20s, and live happily ever after with X. But “safe” has never been never the prime descriptor of how I make my life choices. I like knowing that I can throw away my whole life’s plans on a whim, get on a one-way flight to who-knows-where, and follow whichever opportunities come my way to live, and to love. I am really glad X was one of those opportunities, but a lifetime together would have meant surrendering my maybe impulsive, but ever-alive self. A future with him surely had no room for my dreams of living in a school bus and traveling the country with only the sweet company of myself and the beautiful mutt I intend to adopt. I am destined for adventure, and I will not wait around for someone to show me the world when I can do so myself. I plan to navigate life and all the wonders it has to offer as the magnificent solo act that I am. I have so much love to give, and even more life to live. And the best part? This time, it will all be mine.

It hit me the other day that there is no reality in which I want him back. Of course, part of me wishes he never ended things. But now that we are over, there are only two possibilities: 

  1. he realizes he made a huge mistake and wants me back, to which I say that anyone good enough for me would have realized far sooner what they missed out on; or 

  2. he never realizes his mistake and how good he had it, to which I say, clearly I deserve someone who believes losing me would be the greatest tragedy he could ever possibly suffer.

I know I am probably being melodramatic. But as someone who cried every day because I was overwhelmed by my love for X while we were dating, I need someone who feels that way about me—because I love me like that. Anyone in my life better love me the way I love myself, if they are to be entrusted with my heart.

There is something so beautiful about being broken. The fact that my pain comes from loving so hard and so naively with all my guards down is quite remarkable. Even better, I get to heal myself, and bounce back stronger, more confident, and with a better sense of self than ever before. I am grateful to experience all the highs and lows that come with being human. As the lyrical genius Taylor Swift once wrote, “If you never bleed you’re never gonna grow.” The universe is keeping me on my toes, so that I never get too comfortable that I stop striving to be better and find better for myself.

Dear X, I am so glad to have met you, loved you, and lost you. Somewhere along the way, I found myself again. Thank you for showing me just how much I have to give, and for reminding me that I am the most worthy recipient of my love.

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