There’s nothing like looking through your ex-boyfriend’s wedding album on Facebook that can make you want to go buy a happy meal and take a long nap. There I was at work minding my own business, when in the feed of my homepage one photo after another kept coming up, album after album: “Rehearsal Dinner,” “Wedding,” “Honeymoon.”
Click, click, click.
I have to admit, he looked really good. She wasn’t too bad either. “Did I make the wrong choice?” I wondered inside as my heart sank to see him kiss the bride.
I mentally went through all the reasons that I had told him I didn’t want to date him anymore. I tried to go through all the weird and awkward moments we shared instead of dwelling on all of the fantastic and romantic ones flooding into my imagination like a scenic movie trailer.
I had to be honest with myself. I felt so sad to see that he had truly moved on. I wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) expect anymore emails or instant messages from him as if his head was poking around the corner of my computer screen to see if I was still willing to reconsider, to maybe give it another go.
I truly do want him to be happy, but sitting at my desk on a Thursday afternoon with the sunlight streaming in the window like a blinding reality, I felt jealous and melancholy. All the usual self-pep-talk inside of me fell silent as I clicked through the images and sat alone with my thoughts. I was missing him terribly as I read “Just Married,” on the back of their car in white paint.
I took a deep breath, turned off my Facebook page and tried to get back to the mound of email in my inbox. This work felt unforgiving in the midst of the emotions swirling in my stomach. You know what they say about checking your Facebook account at work: “Don’t!”
It was a common case of “wanting to be wanted,” but wanting celibacy for all of my ex-boyfriends? This is probably a little extreme. I wondered inwardly, is this my ego or some old feelings resurfacing for another round of the “what if” game?
I guess I have to let them all go – my ex-boyfriends that is. They are characters in the story of my life. I can page through all the moments I’ve shared with them, many that I treasure. They have given my life a depth of experiences and windows into the reality of another’s human experience. Dating hasn’t been all bad. If I’m honest, it’s brought more color to my life. I want to live a great life, and a great life is hardly filled with dwelling on all of your regrets and mistakes. It’s acknowledging them, letting go, and living in gratitude for the people that have come along the way to share their stories with our’s. That’s when a life of freedom and joy is found.
The letting go can be so hard, but it happens if we let it. Maybe in the past I haven’t let go because I’ve wanted to hang on to the idea that these men had called me beautiful and loved me. Perhaps with some I hoped they might change and return to me. Maybe I’ve just created the illusion of having many options in my life by holding onto them so that I don’t feel lonely.
Holding on is hardly connected to letting go. Freedom is found in knowing that I’m valuable not matter what he thinks of me, or if he still does at all.
I want to live in reality. In the present. I want to look forward at my life and not look back mourning and questioning all the relationships I’ve left behind. So, to my ex-boyfriend who just got married: Congratulations. Truly. I let you go. I surrender myself to this moment and I hope your life and future is as bright as I’m creating mine to be.
Have you let go of someone in the past in order to pave the way for your future? Are you living in a fantasy or are you willing to take the leap and live in a beautiful new reality for your life?
P.S. A few things to consider if you want to live a healthy life:
- Friends? Is it helping or hurting to remain “friends” with an ex on Facebook? Sometimes enough time has passed and the relationship is truly healthy enough that you can be friends. A lot of times this is not possible. I’d recommend digging really deep and getting honest with yourself. How many times do you prowl through their pictures? If you’re taking daily trips down memory lane, then it might be time to get off of that road.
- Closure? Is there an “I’m sorry” or a “thank you” letter or a conversation that needs to be had? If so, and it if it won’t hinder or hurt them and their current relationship, I recommend having those conversations. They are usually for your benefit. I’m the kind of person that likes to leave people better for knowing me. I have found most times that my ex-boyfriends say “oh geeze, I forgot about that…don’t worry!” but I walk away feeling free and lighter inside. So if you need to, have one closing conversation of gratitude or forgiveness and then be done with it. Move forward not backwards.
- Switch it up. Put yourself in your future boyfriend’s shoes. Would you want you to be friends with a certain person on facebook. Do a pre-emptive strike and clear these people out of your life if needed. Be free. Be open. Live your life now.