To the last guy I dated before I met my husband

I’ll never forget the day you popped into my Facebook inbox. You and I had this funny back and forth going on online, we had a bunch of mutual friends, and it just seemed right to strike up a friendship of our own. Things went a little farther than they should have, and I take responsibility for that. Now that you and I have moved on and I’m getting married this summer, there are a few things I’d like to say.

1. You said all the right things.

I was in a tough spot when you and I started seeing each other. I’d just come off of a seriously rough relationship followed by a self-destructive few months. You were smart enough to pick up on how fragile I was and you really did know exactly what to say when I needed to hear it. Unfortunately, your kind words were a band-aid placed over a spot that needed stitches. I moved quickly with you because you made me feel good in the moment.

2. I think you knew you were my rebound.

You were aware of my past and let me vent to you about things that a typical guy wouldn’t want to hear about. It was easy to see I wasn’t quite ready to move on, but you moved in on me anyway. I couldn’t help but relish the attention you gave me.

3. You were just what I needed at the time.

You knew how to play the game. Sometimes the things you said didn’t feel entirely genuine, but I appreciated it all the same. I needed someone in my life, I wasn’t exactly sure what for, and you were a willing participant. I didn’t need a boyfriend or a life partner, I just needed a special someone.

4. You helped me through a seriously rough time.

Although we were never totally serious, there were some deep conversations and important moments that I’ll never forget. You pulled me back to reality when I let my past get the best of me.

5. You and I tried too hard to make it work.

I could see from the beginning that you were an awesome guy. We had a bunch of mutual friends that were thrilled at the prospect of us being together. I think the pressure from our friends to give it a go moved things forward a little too quickly. We had a lot in common and we had plenty of fun, but you and I never clicked in a way that would’ve made me consider staying with you for the long haul. Just because you were able to say and do the right things didn’t necessarily mean your heart was totally in it. I think you were single long enough before we met that you were ready to mold your likes and dislikes to the next decent girl that knocked on your door and that just happened to be me.

6. You made me believe that I deserved better.

Things may have been a little forced between us romantically, but I know for a fact that the friendship we forged was real. You’d listen to me talk about my regretful past and you would look me in the eyes and tell me how strong I was for moving on. You told me I’d push forward and I believed you. Thanks to you, I started to recognize my self-worth.

7. I know how much I frustrated you.

Looking back now, I think you may have liked me more than I liked you. It sounds harsh, I know, but it’s the truth. You were always the one to text me first and set up dates. You were always the one to initiate the physical aspects of our relationship. I knew you and I didn’t have a romantic future and I tried not to give you that impression. When I met my future husband, I started to cut off communication with you. I think you knew it would always end this way, but I knew you were hurting all the same.

8. You made me realize what I didn’t want.

Everything that was slightly off about our relationship was what I loved the most about my relationship with my future husband. There were never any doubts or forced social cues, it was just fluid and natural with him. You and I had a good time, but I believe it was pretty obvious from the start that we weren’t forever material.

9. Your friendship meant the world to me.

I know it sounds cliche, but I appreciated your friendship more than anything. I still do. If it weren’t for you, I would have kept feeling sorry for myself and turning down opportunities for real love connections. I can honestly say, if it weren’t for you, I probably never would’ve given my future husband the time of day because I would’ve been too afraid of fucking everything up. You instilled confidence in me that I thought I’d never get back.

10. I love how happy you are now.

Despite our somewhat rocky past, you remain one of my closest friends. I’m not sure what I did to deserve a guy like you in my life, but it brings me the most sincere joy to see how happy you are now in your relationship. I’m so thrilled that you found the type of love that feels just right. You deserve it.

Jessica Grace is a proud Pittsburgher that loves to drink tea and adopt cats in her spare time. She is a self-proclaimed Slytherin and would like to visit Harry Potter World as soon as possible!

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