In Which I Forgive, Learn, and Understand

We both learned a lot from our relationship, that’s for sure, and you have no idea how much I’ve grown. I’m at a point in my life where I can forgive you. I do forgive you. Of course, that doesn’t justify anything that happened between us, anything you did to me. That said, I also recognize how twisted and unhealthy our relationship was and how it drove us both to act insensitively and, often times, quite selfishly. I know I was incredibly selfish throughout much of our time together…

A few nights ago, I gathered the courage to write and send a message to my ex-boyfriend. This ex-boyfriend. Well, to be quite clear, the only ex-boyfriend. In my life, at least.

Above is an excerpt from my side of our exchange.

— — — —

We had crossed paths quite a few times during Commencement and the days leading up to it. I hadn’t really see him at all during the semester; even on a small campus like Morris, it’s easy to not see people on a day-to-day basis with differing schedules. Then, Commencement week hit…and it seemed like we were crossing paths constantly. We never spoke, of course. We would make eye contact and I always thought it was slightly awkward. But we never spoke.

In the days after Commencement, I found myself thinking about him a lot. I had seen him more in that last week of our respective undergraduate careers than I had in all of our short encounters since our break up put together…and the awkward moments of eye contact, the uncomfortable instances of “I’m pretending to not notice you even though I totally did,” really didn’t sit well with me. I got to thinking–we have graduated and I may never see him again…and even though he hurt me incredibly, it seems completely and utterly wrong to just leave things as they are. I had made him out to be a bit of a monster in my head for far too long, but he wasn’t. He isn’t. He’s a human being and he deserves to be treated like one. Besides, I could see it in the way he looked at me when we made eye contact that he was sorry. That he felt guilty.

So, I decided to do something about it. I firmly believe it’s always better late than never to do the right thing. I know reaching out to him was the right thing. It took me a long time to get to this point–after all, we broke up just under two years ago–but I know I will never regret it.

We had a rather nice, albeit short, conversation. Over Facebook, that is. He told me what I had known deep down for quite sometime. That he was sorry. So incredibly sorry. That he experienced incredible guilt while in my presence. That he, too, learned so much from our relationship…that he only wished he could have learned from it much earlier than he did.

He’s really not so bad after all. Well, I knew he never was. Bad, that is. Sometimes the most well-intentioned people can perform the most hurtful actions.

Of course, that doesn’t justify what he did to me.

That said, with time comes clarity. With clarity comes understanding and maturity.

I can forgive him because I now know that he was just as scared as I was. I can forgive him because I know he learned a lot from our relationship and I know he is a better person because of it.

I can forgive him because I’ve grown, too.

And I have never felt more at peace.

I can finally move on.

12 Replies to “In Which I Forgive, Learn, and Understand”

  1. I’ve decided to do this with a few old friends–clear the air, tie up loose ends. We don’t have to become besties again, but being mature enough to move on is important.


    1. Absolutely. I’m certainly not looking for a friendship with my ex and I told him that. It just felt like the right thing to do before saying goodbye to college completely, since he was an integral part of my college experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely wonderful to have experienced this moment of feeling able to move on… What a liberating emotion! And what courage!

    Liked by 1 person

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