This is an open letter to the girl who thinks they should give the guy who hurt them a second chance.
I know what you’re thinking. “They’ve changed,” you tell yourself. “They have said sorry, and it seems like they miss me.”
Of course, they miss you. You’re a badass boss babe who can make it on her own – now say it out loud and believe it.
I know our memories deceive us. We look back on our relationship, and somehow our minds only remember the good times. Our thoughts dwell on holidays spent together, our first vacation or our first date. We fondly reminisce about the excitement and joyous moments we’ve shared side by side.
And that’s okay – I’m not saying you should live your life in a miserable state of regret and pity. No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. But let’s get real.
Things ended for a reason, and those reasons are obvious.
When he decided that his friends were more important than you, he made his choice.
When he snuck behind your back to meet up with his ex, he made his choice.
When he got drunk and put his hands on you, he made his choice.
And when you left him, you made your choice.
You knew in your heart that the relationship was over. You knew when he kissed you that things had changed – your body could feel it; your mind just had a habit of getting in the way. Instead of owning up to the bitter truth, you let things drag on, hoping and praying he would change, but he didn’t.
When he called you names or acted shadily, you tried to justify it, and now that he wants you back, you are attempting to defend it again.
That isn’t what a real, loving relationship is supposed to look like. You shouldn’t give up what you love because your partner is insecure. You shouldn’t have to make excuses as to why he never comes around your friends. And those bruises? You shouldn’t have to make up a fake story about how you fell down the stairs when you know damn well he put his hands on you.
Now I’m not telling you to sit and dwell on these painful memories. But these are valuable lessons that you have learned. When you got the courage to leave an unhealthy relationship, you saw a glimpse of yourself. When he begged you back a week later and sent a 2 A.M. booty call text, you resisted the urge to cave in. Remember how proud you were of yourself? Savor that feeling.
You will always know what is best for yourself; you just have to trust your heart.
When this guy eventually tries to win you back (and believe me, he will), instead of remembering what your brain initially shows you, force yourself to forget the whole memory.
Remember when he forgot to get you so much as a Christmas card, even though you went above and beyond to make the holiday a special one for him. Remember when he walked away from you after a fight on your first vacation together, just to end up drunk at the airport bar. Remember that only past that memory lies the truth of why things had to end.
It’s okay to recall the right times. Your relationship had its positives, of course. But the truth of the matter is that the relationship had run its course. Whatever you needed to learn from it and however you were meant to grow has passed, and those growing pains were a sign that the time had come.
When he sends you that random Facebook message a few weeks, months or maybe even a year later, remember what you’ve just read.
You’re a beautiful, talented, compassionate woman who deserves to be treated with love, respect, and grace.
When he reaches out to you and wants you to “forgive him,” remember your worth and how proud you were when you got a little bit of clarity after leaving.
You don’t have to be rude or condescending – in fact, I suggest that you not behave that way.
Instead, merely wish him well – and mean it – then move on, just like you did before.
Your future self and your prospective partner will be proud of you.