An Open Letter To My Ex

Dear Ex-Boyfriend,

It’s only been one short month since we called it quits. While I tell everyone it was mutual, we both know that’s not entirely the truth. If it had been my decision I wouldn’t have been able to go through with it, so I gave that power to you and you made the final call. That’s not to say the breakup wasn’t amicable, it was the best a breakup could go really. Even with tears streaming down our faces, we knew it was the right decision. Even as I said my last “I love you” and bittersweet goodbye, I didn’t want to stop it from happening. Something wasn’t right with what we had turned into, it was time.

We had been walking a dangerous tightrope for the past year, maybe more. I was too dependent and no longer the confident individual you’d fallen in love with. Your temper shortened and your patience thinned. That’s just skimming the surface of the problems that nobody else saw. I’m glad we ended things when we did because now I can still treasure our time together and look back on what we had fondly.

You made me laugh harder than anyone else and taught me skills that I will always be grateful for. You helped me grow into a better person and had one of the most enriching and positive impacts on me. While we haven’t spoken since we ended things, I truly hope you will continue to be present in my life, a figure I can count on and look up to. You were my best friend and I can’t bear the thought of losing you entirely.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping we could one day be together again. I still see you as this inventor extraordinaire with all the answers. But after stepping back, I also know you’ve got problems too, ones that sit deep down and need to be worked through. Ones that scare you and make you lash out at others. Ones that make me relieved we’re no longer together, but terrified that I’m no longer there to help you.

The main reason for this letter was to give us both a bit of closure and I hope I’m brave enough to send you a copy when it’s through. Here’s what I really wanted you to know.

One. You are more than your fears and doubts. Be the backbone that you were for me and build yourself up. You are a force to be reckoned with and will leave a mark on this earth if you set your mind to it.

Two. Don’t beat yourself up about our breakup. Don’t regret it and don’t look back on it. Yes, you hurt me but you also did me a massive favour. You helped me take a step I couldn’t take myself.

I have cried twice since we broke up. First on the phone with you, tears were on both of our faces and I drowned in mine for the rest of that day. Then again when I drafted this letter, when I truly accepted that what we had is over. It wasn’t as hard as I had imagined it would be. It gets easier as I’m realising I can take everything our relationship equipt me with and put it into some incredible endeavours of my own.

So I wanted to thank you for having the strength to let me go.

Sincerely,
Your Ex-Girlfriend

Cover by Annie Spratt

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