Letter to My Ex-Lover

I’m a writer. I’ve been journaling my entire life.

I also write letters. To you. My ex-lovers.

(You know who you are.) (Yes, you.) (All of you.) (Not like there are a lot of you.) (…)

It’s been an invaluable part of the post-breakup healing process — putting thoughts on paper — whether one sends the letter (ahem, email) or not.

But usually, I send it. I just can’t help myself. I need to get my emotions out; my words need to be heard by someone other than myself (and my besties — let’s be honest). I feel them, I think them, I write them, and then I release them.  I just want you to see, hear, feel my point of view… I shoot straight. Knowing that I’ve said my piece is very therapeutic. Sometimes I want a response, an explanation; closure. Other times, I just wanna drop the mic.

It’s always totally obvious to the reader which situation is which. 

At the time, sending it feels right; sometimes, I regret it. 

But what I never regret is the core of the message. Just the length (I’m long-winded) or the sentiment (I am a sentimental person). No matter how large the sin, I tend to over-emphasize the positive.

In this letter, I say the things I didn’t get to say during the actual breakup (if there even was a proper breakup). I treat it as if it is the last conversation I’ll ever have with you, and I tend to touch on all the bases: the good, the bad, and the end. I reminisce on the experiences we shared and the depth of my feeling for you. I call you out on your broken promises and tell you I deserve better. I wonder what might have been and I wish you the best. I try to be objective of the situation while taking a stand for myself.

Afterwards, if you text me, I will ignore it. If you call me, I won’t answer.

At least… not the first time.

Because the truth is… I’m pining for you.

I’ll never tell you this, and if my friends ask, I’ll tell them there’s not a chance in hell I’d ever be with you again…. but truthfully, it will only take a minuscule amount of effort  for my facade to crumble.

I daydream of you showing up on my doorstep or pouring out your heart in a return letter. Of providing me with that much-longed-for rationale for what went wrong. Of telling me you made a mistake and want another shot. I desperately want a reason to forgive you.

I really, really, really don’t want all of this to be for nothing.

Has it ever worked?

Yes… once, and I got back together with him. (But clearly, I’m still single, so it didn’t really “work”).

And another time, I did get a response, but it was a polite — “It must have been hard to reach out like this, and I admire that, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to get back in touch.”

(Props to this guy for showing me the respect of an honest reply.)

But mostly, no. Mostly, my letters have been met with silence. It hurts to get ignored… but what do I learn? Silence is a response in itself. It tells me all I need to know.

I may have forced your hand with my letter email, but by exposing your lack of desire-slash-effort for reparation, I can cut through the bullshit: I.E., the meaningless texts you would’ve sent me / until you got bored / that would’ve only led me on indefinitely. It means the realization that we are really and truly over can sink in.

Unrequited love belongs in fiction, not in my life. In the end, revealing my word vomit to my ex-lover (thanks for the visual, Mean Girls) makes me understand… there’s nothing at all to regret about shooting straight.

Ladies, the person who wants back in… will actually try to get back in. Will admit he made a mistake. Will show up on our doorsteps. Will. Not. Stop. Trying.

Remember that.

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