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21st Century Dating: An Open Letter to Exes

It is a truth universally acknowledged: a single college student in possession of free time must be in want of a date.

The solution, or so I’m told, is to join a dating app. But which one? That is the unsolvable mystery I set out to solve. I went through the torture of joining five dating apps so you don’t have to. You can thank me later.

And here I am on the other side, relatively unscathed. Combine that with the reality that I am a senior 8 days (8 days?!?!?) from graduation, and you have a perfect recipe for nostalgia. Here’s an open letter to my exes. 

Dear ex-major, 

I’m so glad I left you and changed my majors. I only wish that people reading this who are contemplating changing majors and are afraid will see you as an example of why to take the leap. You were great, really. I loved working with kids and learning how to teach but now I know I was meant to create and write and communicate and this knowledge makes me not miss you. It’s not you, it’s me. 

Dear ex #1,

I knew going into these dating app reviews that I wouldn’t find a one true love, but I can only hope that one day, somehow, I find a love like you have with your wife. When I saw her last, she seemed like she felt it necessary to make sure I knew there was no overlap between you dating me and you dating her. For the record- I knew there was no overlap. I also knew as soon as I met her all those years ago that she was perfect for you. You two are beautiful. I’m so glad we broke up. Stay happy and adorable- this world deserves a love story like yours. 

Dear soon-to-be ex-college,

I’ve loved you like I didn’t know was possible to love an institution. You’ve taught me so much about life and purpose and procrastination. Thank you for opening your doors two years ago and for guiding me to this day of graduation. I’m going to miss you but I can’t wait to leave you. I’ll stay in touch, and not in the way that most people say they’ll stay in touch with exes. I really mean it. Just don’t pester me for money too often, that’s just not cool.

Dear ex #2.

Wounds are still a bit too fresh to write much on this one. When I see you with her on campus, I see how happy you are. I’m not at the point where I can be happy that you’re happy, but I’m at the point where I want to be. You deserve the best. Thank you for breaking up with me. Because of you, I’ve realized that 1) I’m stronger than I ever thought 2) I’m a freaking amazing human being and 3) I can be healthier and treat my body with the respect it deserves. Without you I would not have gotten into shape. I wouldn’t have applied for jobs as early as I did. And I would have never had the guts to join dating apps. I know you’ll never read this but if you do- thank you. I miss you and wish you the best. When Facebook gives me memories to look back on, the ones with you are always beautifully bittersweet. You treated me well. For the record though, your loss. 

Dear ex dating apps,

Thanks for the entertainment. You’ve given me a pretty good boost to the esteem. I loved looking at all the eye candy and trying to craft the best opening lines. I also realize that the best way to meet guys is in person, doing things I love to do. I hope girls reading this that are still in college will learn from my dating app adventures and skip you- go straight for the clubs on campus. They want to meet a boy that likes baseball? Join intramural baseball. Want to meet someone who loves numbers and business? Head on over to DSP. Seriously, way better than you, dating apps. You kind of suck at establishing any sort of connection. Maybe you work for some people, but I’m glad to delete you from my phone. 

To all my exes, human and otherwise:

I want to end with a quote from CS Lewis: “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” I’m not afraid of the future because of all that I’ve conquered in the past. I have loved well and I will love even more in the future. That’s exciting and terrifying. Here’s to many more exes!

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Eliza Roemisch

Cal Lutheran

Writer, designer, adult brace-face, and reluctant healthy eater. Eliza ia a CLU senior excited for graduation and what lays beyond the cap and gown. Check me out at elizaroemisch.com
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