Well, in the race to see who moved on first, I came in last. But, I always knew I would. I have lived my life as more of a tortoise as opposed to a hare. I waited 21 years to open my heart to someone; it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t going to be the one that bounced back quicker. That found someone new to fall in love with.
A lot can be said for the feeling you get when someone you once loved moves on. There is sadness, of course. You’re sad because, if you entered the relationship idealistic and hopeful, you never thought it would get to this place. You thought you would be “the one.” You didn’t foresee a time when you and he wouldn’t be a we.
There is embarrassment. Does everyone think you are a loser because you cannot find someone new? Are you branded with a scarlet letter that no one told you about? Why is he happy and you’re stuck watching Mike and Molly in bed, alone? Are you a human plague?
There is anger. Going off of the feelings that come with sadness, if you’re the type of person that gave your all to someone, witnessing your ex move on really grinds your gears. You want to scream “fuck you- you fucking liar. You cold-hearted prick. Everything you said was fake.” You want to punch things because you feel betrayed. You feel so hurt.
But there are good things that come with an ex moving on first.
There is relief. You’ve been dreading this day since you broke up. The day that brings all of your darkest fears to fruition. The day that proves that YOU were the one that loved more (and unfortunately, there always has to be that person). And now that day is here. So now you can stop waiting for the blow that comes with the harsh reality and breathe. It happened. You can move on.
There is strength. You survived. Your heart was crushed and now the final step has been completed. The book is truly closed. And guess what? You’re alive. And not only are you alive, you are stronger and wiser and braver and smarter.
And, surprisingly, there is pride. Pride that you gave your all. You didn’t stop caring. You didn’t stop dreaming. You didn’t stop being hopeful. In a cold, tough world, this shitty situation didn’t make you give up on love. This shitty situation might have cracked you, but you persevered. And now, it is a closed chapter. A distant memory. But something else that has shaped you into who you should be.
So be proud of yourself.
I’m proud of myself.
I did come in second to the rebound race. I don’t have a new beau yet. I am spending weekends eating peanut butter in bed and browsing Buzzfeed for hours, all by myself.
But I did win at something…
When it comes to who cared more and loved deeper, I came in first place.
Guess what? THAT is the actual race worth winning. That is a gold medal I’m forever happy to show off.