I was heartbroken when my previous boyfriend broke up with me, but more than that, I was pissed off. Not because he broke up with me (which was probably what he would have thought) but because of the way he did it. Life happens and people don’t want to be in relationships with other people and I think that’s completely fair and normal. But what’s not fair is giving severely mixed messages, ignoring all agreements as if they didn’t exist and your girlfriend is being delusional and clingy, and then ignoring all requests for clarification, not even an “I changed my mind, and it won’t work.” That’s just being an asshole.
Eleven months ago I didn’t want to think of my ex as an asshole. This was someone I had dated for a year and a half, almost two years, and I didn’t want my memories of the relationship to be of something I thought I had wasted my time and energy on. Because it wasn’t wasted. The relationship was mostly good for me while it lasted. It wasn’t perfect, but no relationships are. And while from a distance I can recognize that there was more bad than good (exemplified by the relationship having ended), there was still good. I also didn’t want to hold a grudge, because I know from experience that those can take more out of the person holding them than the person they’re directed at.
Now I am far enough removed from the relationship that I can recognize that my ex was an asshole, or at the very least did a very asshole-type thing, which would probably categorize him as a jerk in the “worst names to call people” list. But at the same time I can remember the relationship as being good, and I don’t feel like I wasted a chunk of time on this guy that I could have put elsewhere. I had fun, I learned a lot about other people and myself, and the relationship ended.
Now, eleven months from the ending, I can look back and see that I possible dodged a bullet in that relationship. Had I not gone away to another country for a year, we probably would have stayed together. And we might have broken up or we might not have. And not breaking up would probably have been the wrong decision.
There are many directions life could have gone had I stayed in the country to get my master’s. I could have realized, once I was out of my parents’ house, that the relationship was not the best thing for me. I could have stuck in the relationship, thinking it was as good as any relationship was going to get. He could have still broken up with me. Or he could have stuck in the relationship for whatever reason. And had we both stuck in the relationship, we might even have gotten married. And that would have been the wrong decision.
So even though I was dumped – or perhaps because of it – I prefer to say that I dodged a bullet on that relationship. The manner of the dumping showed me that the relationship was worse than I thought – that something was profoundly wrong in our communication, and probably in our respect for each other (or at least his respect for me). Given more time, I probably would have figured this out some other way – but it’s possible that I wouldn’t have. So I would like to thank my ex for dumping me, because if he hadn’t, I might still be in a relationship with him.