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A Letter to the Woman Who Took my Place

To the woman who took my place,

It’s so strange to know that someone is lying on my side of that bed. I imagine the scene all like I was in it just a moment ago — smiling while my thumb brushes against the stubble on his face, listening to birds chirping outside the window on summer Sunday mornings, feeling the softness of his white tee against my skin. That place next to him felt like home. We’d roll out of bed and laugh the whole way to breakfast down the road; the waitress probably still knows our order by heart. I never pictured him with anyone but myself. I don’t want to, and I’ve never had to until now.

I’m sure it isn’t news to you that I’m not completely over him, or I wouldn’t spend time thinking like this. I’ll skip the obvious, “I hope you treat him well and love him like I couldn’t” cliché. I don’t care about how you love him, and I don’t want to know. However, I do still care for him, so I have a couple words to say…

Push him. Support him. Be on him like you’re his coach because sometimes he really needs it. He likes to spend his money on stupid things, and sometimes he likes to drink himself into trouble. Keep him on track with his professional goals.

Be a woman, not a girl. Be a queen, not an accessory. Be active in his life, not just a passive sidekick. Challenge him, do your own thing and make him want to be a better man.

Listen to him; he always has a story from work. Do things with him; he loves adventures. Do little things for him, even if it means watching him play Madden. He appreciates little things like that.

Learn from my mistakes. If he talks about me — about how I hurt him — don’t make the same mistakes that I did. I never gave much thought to the minor conflicts we had during our relationship until I looked back in hindsight. Breaking up was like getting diagnosed with a terminal disease that stemmed from all the seemingly small problems that viciously spread. We ignored so many red flags because our love ignorantly blinded us from the obvious. We kept trying to water the flowers and keep them alive, but we refused to acknowledge the fact that the soil was contaminated. We kept fixing surface level issues without realizing our foundation was no longer stable. Please don’t do what I did to him. He really deserves another chance at a love that won’t hurt him.

Seeing your ex with someone new is never easy, especially when not much time has passed. With us, I’m not sure enough time could ever pass. He was my whole world for years, my best friend and other half. I don’t mean to be lingering in the shadows — the jealous ex-girlfriend — but sometimes it’s still difficult. I have good days and bad days. Sometimes the memories hit me like bullets, ricocheting like a cinematic montage in my mind.

Every now and then I’ll see a stranger with his same walk or kiss someone with a similar cologne, and suddenly my stomach flips. I don’t want to be bitter about it, but since I still care so much, how can’t I? I don’t expect you to understand; I wouldn’t if I was in your position. At one point in my life, I really thought I’d marry the person you now call yours. I’ve already accepted that he’s gone, and I won’t bother him anymore. Just please don’t take him for granted like I did.

 

Sincerely,

The ex-girlfriend

Former production and media intern for ESPN, Joan, 23, gained a wide variety of experience working in on-set production, event coordination, behind-the-scenes business and marketing, and brand representation. In both office and remote location settings, she's enabled herself to adapt to any environment with focus and efficiency. She graduated from University of Wisconsin in 2019, earning her B.A. in Communication Arts with a focus in Radio/TV/Film. She's demonstrated a dedicated work ethic in her various part-time bartending jobs during her college years. Proving that she can juggle multiple projects at once, Joan's experience, success and drive is sure to be an excellent relief of unusual and effective helpfulness to any prospective employer. In her free time, Joan enjoys reading books on psychology, self-improvement, and the world of the film & entertainment industry. She also enjoys writing poetry, fashion-blogging, running, singing and attending various sports events. 
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