I know it’s been awhile, and that has been my choice, not yours. You seem to have taken it a little personally. I mean, I’m just saying. I’m glad you got a Grammy award out of it, though. And from Prince! *swoon*, am I right?
I, too, sometimes think about when we were together. I thought I was happy, and I thought I loved you. I was definitely in love with you. You were a nice enough guy, after all, we had a pretty good time together, and you never went out of your way to harm me. But I felt lonely, too. It just felt like we weren’t really pulling together.
I know I said that we could still be friends. But you seemed to think that that meant that I could be your fallback position whenever you wanted to hang out, and you also seemed to take it to mean “friends with benefits”, which is not what I intended. I know, we did have sex a few times after we broke up. I was lonely, too, and you were safe and known. And sex feels good. Until it’s over.
I knew if I didn’t stop that pattern, of hanging out, maybe having some drinks, talking like “old friends”, and then falling into bed together, it would just keep happening. And if it kept happening with you, it wasn’t going to start happening with someone else.
I needed to move on, find someone who loved me — because I am deserving of love. And I couldn’t move on when you still called me out of the blue. You knew all my weak points: Sunday afternoon, Thursday evenings, my love of Starbucks tea, Burn Notice marathons on USA, IPAs, and take-out Chinese.
I wanted someone else to learn those things about me too, though. Actually I wanted someone to learn my strengths, not my weaknesses. I wanted someone who valued the same things as I did, and someone who would challenge me to grow — not just accept me as I am. Someone who would let me challenge him, too, without taking it so damned personally. Would it really have killed you to take ballroom dancing lessons for six weeks? I wasn’t looking for Silver Linings Playbook. Just something to do that wasn’t hanging out on my couch watching cable, or playing pool at the local bar.
So, I did have to cut you off. I did have to pretend that I didn’t know you, had never cared for you. Because otherwise some little bird of hope stayed alive in my chest whenever I saw your name come up on my cell phone. And that little bird was killing me. I needed it to leave the nest.
Besides, it’s not like you were waiting around pining for me. I saw you in the grocery store with your new friend, after all. I remember shopping with you like that, for dinner ingredients. Breakfast ingredients, too, for that matter. It hurt a little. Okay, a lot. But you know what? It helped me a lot too. It clarified my position quite pointedly.
Don’t take this too hard, but to be frank, I realized I *didn’t* want to be friends with someone like you. You didn’t value me enough to treat me well when it didn’t suit you. You didn’t want to be part of my life, but you liked it that I was around. Sometimes you were mean. And after we broke up, you exploited my weaknesses instead of leaving me to develop my strengths. I don’t need that kind of person in my life.
Sorry that my friends were jerks when they came to get my stuff. They are very protective of me, and you were the bad guy who hurt me, you know?
By the way: Elliot Smith did it first.
Wishing you all the very best (really, I am),
Somebody That You Used to Know
This one goes out to a friend, who is suffering the same heartache I did when I was her age (26). Breakups clearly still suck.