When a relationship has long been over, the bittersweet cacophony of emotions that follows after seeing this person for the first time since the end is so complicated. Can you ever truly be platonically friendly with an Ex? Without gawking at them as they pass by… Without that seemingly obligatory awkward hug… Without expectation of more… Without that glimmer of hope in your eyes that you may end the night in their bed, like so many nights before?
A person who you bared your soul to in such a vulnerable way once; now just a stranger who knows all your secrets, weaknesses and strengths. How do you navigate it, without trying to reignite the potential flame that still lives on, smoldering, long after the relationship has gone?
Instead try to be reminded you were once two people full of hope, and possibly an idealized view of each other who flung themselves towards what they thought would bring them the ultimate happiness, but failed. Miserably.
Can you both look into each other in the eyes again with an unsure smile and giggle at the fact that you at least made it out, both with broken hearts, but alive.
And that that’s ok, right?
Even though you will never be able to tell the greatest love story together, you were brave. You sacrificed for a relationship you believed in. Even if it wasn’t either of your happily ever afters, that ability to forgo any doubt, and leap into love without fear of falling is what love is all about.
I dedicate this not to my first love, not to my only love, but to the love I’ll always remember- I wish you everything your heart desires. I will no longer turn the other way when I see you in the street, I will look into those beautiful brown puppy dog eyes and smile, knowing that you mattered, that I mattered, that we mattered, for a beautiful moment in time that has passed.