There are so many girls out there whose family, friends, sorority sisters, plastic surgeon, brother’s ex-girlfriend, first-grade teacher, ex-boyfriends, third cousin’s prom date, wacky aunt, hot stepbrother, job, diet, workout regime, dog, cat, etc. I used to know. And when I say “I used to know,” I mean that if the SAT was a standardized test of their lives, I’d be working on my second doctorate at Stanford right now.
I knew these girls better than I knew myself. I actually got to know some of them so well, I exhausted myself trying to get to know them any better.
So why don’t we have a single memory or photo together? Because they don’t actually know me. They might know of me, but they don’t know me. At all.
How might they know of me? If they came across a photo of their boyfriend and me together and asked him who I was… then they would know.
I was the ex and they were the girls that I could never be. The ones that even though I knew deep down, I shouldn’t compare myself to, I couldn’t help but do so. He had chosen her and she was now with him – the him that I deserved, the him that I did everything for, and the him that suddenly wanted a committed relationship and everything that I was only good enough to experience the promise of but never the actuality. And now, she was.
I was alone, picking up the pieces and couldn’t stop social media stalking. I wanted to know everything about my ex’s new girlfriend. Why couldn’t I ever be the chosen one? Why was it always “her” and not me? How could he say that he wasn’t ready for a relationship and then all of a sudden give her the relationship that I wanted with him? And how could two hours have just gone by and I’m now on her Mom’s boss’s daughter’s prom date’s Instagram profile?
Why did I even care?! I couldn’t stop the obsessive thoughts and behavior.
With some exes, I couldn’t say for certain that I even wanted them back. I knew deep down that he wasn’t right for me and that it could never work. I knew that there was nothing he could ever say that would justify what he did and give me the closure I deserved. I knew he was emotionally unavailable. But that didn’t make it any easier or less heartbreaking when I found out he was dating someone new.
The only way I can explain it is that I didn’t really want him back, but I also didn’t want him to be dating someone new.
I wanted him to suffer the way I had and regret what he lost.