For four years, from when Maddie was 3 to 7, I dated a wonderful guy. It was probably my most serious relationship to date and the only real relationship I had between Maddie and meeting Luke’s dad (though, to be honest, I wouldn’t really call that a real relationship; significant, but not real).
Anyway, as great as this guy was, we had a tumultuous and passionate relationship. We fought and we made up (and to be clear, it was never. ever abusive). We must have broken up at least 4 times during our time together. He didn’t understand how or why I worked so hard and had so little time for him, and I didn’t understand how he couldn’t understand that I wanted, no needed, to get a career going for myself. We also fought over how the toilet paper roll should be put on (for the record, I believe it should go with the paper being drawn under, and he believed it should roll over). But we also had amazing and fun times. I’m seriously a different person because of him. I have way better taste in music and culture than I ever did before meeting him.
And we both hurt each other. We were young and immature at times. We were, and probably still are in many respects, stubborn. We both made mistakes that, at least on my side, I clearly recognize and see how I behaved affected our relationship. I don’t necessarily think that if I could go back in time, I would change anything, though. I think we are two great people that probably should have stayed friends.
In the end, he left town and moved to the Bay area, which was probably the best thing that could have happened. We needed to separate ourselves by location. We needed distance.
And since he left, he found a girl, whom I heard is wonderful, and he has been happy as far as I can tell. And my life, well, it didn’t go exactly as I planned, though it’s working its way out to be great.
I’ve been nothing but happy for him. I honestly don’t harbor any terrible thoughts and though we don’t see each other (other than a few times in the past 3 years) nor talk, I do consider him a friend. And someone I respect. And someone I will always love in a certain way.
Unfortunately I had heard from his mom a few months ago that his relationship had ended. I felt for him. Break-ups are hard; we all know that. I didn’t send a text or an email or even call. I don’t think that’s in any way my place.
But today I received an email from him. It said: “Well, I’ll have you know, I never thought I’d be in a worse breakup than ours but this last one almost did me in! I’m apologizing for all the pain I caused you in our breakup.”
In all honesty, there is no need for this email. While in the past, especially in the thick of our relationship, I may have been incredibly angry at him, and while I will admit, our break-ups were terribly painful for both of us, I really only have fond memories of him. I never felt like I needed an apology. I felt like, in the end, we both did each other well. We loved and we hurt. We did it again. We moved on. We wish the best, sincerely, for each other.
But, I have to admit, it was a nice email to receive. I believe it was really, really thoughtful.
I’m thankful for his kind email.