The Ex Factor

Everybody has that ex, right? The one who – you don’t want to be with anymore – but you don’t want to know they’re with someone else either. Especially not before YOU’RE with someone else.

I spent a good portion of my 20s in love with someone. It didn’t end well. (Understatement.)

And as I sat there crying on the phone to my mom about the last straw – a straw that pulled the proverbial camel’s legs right out from under her before breaking her back – I lamented wishing he would have punched me. Physically left a mark for the damage he had done. I thought that would make it easier to walk away. My mom responded with a phrase not only have I never forgotten, but one I’ve reminded myself of several times in the years since. “He did punch you. He punched you in the heart.”

Ok, it sounds kind of cheesy. But it was exactly what I needed to hear then. And what I remembered in the subsequent months when he thought reconciliation was a possibility and I had to remember why missing the good times wasn’t enough.

I remember the ecstatic feeling of closure I felt the last time I saw him, when I knew I was really done and there was someone better for me out there. Somewhere. I told him we had too much history to ever try again. And I meant it. I couldn’t just erase things from memory. There was nothing left to fight for. I told him he needed to find someone new so he could have a clean slate. A fresh start.

Well, because social media is both poison and wine, I see he has finally met someone. Like the kind of someone you go on vacations with. And while initially I had the strong taste of bile in the back of my throat, it only took a couple minutes for me to realize it means he did exactly what I told him to. All the sudden I was actually happy for him.

And I will be…unless he has a baby before me. Ok, I’ll still be happy then because he’s a lot older than me.

It scares me how well therapy works, you guys.

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