This letter should thoroughly describe why we couldn’t work. You wanted raw honesty, here it is: you were my rebound.
I must have read that line a hundred times.
It was a turbulent Summer 2013. My ex at the time just broke up with me. After doing the most ridiculous thing I did to any ex, I finally received the breakup letter that explained everything. I was her rebound.
In retrospect the signs and my feelings all direct towards that epiphany. You were right, I may have denied my feelings for [my ex] and believed that they were nothing more than friendly sentiments.
EVEN IN THE BEGINNING, I had clear knowledge that she wasn’t over her ex. The chips were heavily stacked against my favor: they were together for four of her formative years, high school through college. He was considered part of her family, and vice versa. She relied heavily on him for everything from mental therapy to car maintenance.
Then I came into the picture. I saw all the red flags. I sought the counsel of my best friend.
Friend: So…you see all these red flags. What are you gonna do?
Me: This is trouble. But I think I’m going to do it anyway.*
*Delivered with a smirk that only a twenty-something with naive confidence can have.
At the end of the relationship, there was a weird solace in knowing that I chose to pursue the relationship, regardless of how well it was set up to fail.
She was an experience I wanted to experience and I experienced it.
That doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt.
I wanted to be over my ex; I wanted to move on. I didn’t know how, I also didn’t know that I hadn’t yet. When I was finally over him, my feelings for you seemed to have changed as well.
In the indie movie About Love, one of the vignettes was about a boy who develops unrequited interest in a girl.
The girl asks the boy for a favor: a ride to her ex-boyfriend’s place to get some closure. She comes back from the conversation, seemingly down.
It’s pouring rain as the boy gives the girl a ride back. They enter a long tunnel, giving the pair brief solace from the rain. In this moment, the boy realizes that he too was a tunnel for the girl. The rain represented the emotional turmoil she was processing, and the tunnel was a temporary haven that she would surely have to leave.
I was a tunnel too. And I have no regrets.
That relationship taught me a ridiculous amount about what I want, don’t want, and everything in between.
Thank you so much for writing the letter, I know it wasn’t easy.
I’ll try my hardest to learn from my mistakes and hope not to repeat them. I regret making you feel the negative things you felt, but I don’t regret the times we had together, good and bad…I wish you infinite happiness and joy.
Also published on Medium.