And the hits just keep on coming.

Over the weekend, I saw a post from the ex that I really thought I could build a life with. He’s never been much for Facebook (by which I mean that he has posted literally nothing since we broke up— I wasn’t even sure he was still on Facebook), so I wasn’t expecting to see it. Also, we dated more than six years ago, so I wasn’t thinking much about him at all.

So when his current someone tagged him as her “love” about a romantic getaway they shared, it didn’t register at first. “Oh, that’s nice. Wait— how do I know this person? Oh…”

It’s a fine thing that I haven’t encountered him more, online. Right after we broke up, that would have been really hard for me. And this, in particular, was what I dreaded.

But when I searched around inside myself for pain or a sense of betrayal or even jealousy, I couldn’t find it. The benefit of time, in this case, has been the certainty that, though I loved him then, when he let me go, I had to let him go. Because if he wasn’t investing in a relationship with me, there was no relationship with him to invest in. And the certainty that a relationship with me was an investment worth making.

Also, I took the time to see what the relationship was doing to me, longer term. To build a life with him, I’d have had to live a much smaller life than I desire for myself. I don’t need a big, flashy life, but this was a guy who ate the same couple of things all the time, listened to the same music again and again, who watched the same couple of movies on a near-constant loop, and who did not seek new horizons. He was very sure that he knew the ways of things in ways I could not yet appreciate. I am hugely motivated by discovery of new things— going somewhere I’ve never been before, learning something new. I don’t mind admitting, when it’s true, that I don’t have a ton of certainty about many things. I think my life would have gotten uncomfortably small for me, uncomfortably quickly. And so I shed my tears and walked away and looked for someone who would not make my life uncomfortably small.

So this thing that I dreaded? More of a whimper than a bang. For which I am very grateful.


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