To the boy who broke my heart,

I want to thank you so much for doing what you did.

Thank you for blatantly ignoring me, especially when I needed you the most. Thank you for canceling our plans nearly every weekend at the last possible minute. Thank you for lying to me about your thoughts and feelings pertaining to "us." Thank you for not making an effort to understand my struggles or to lift my spirits when I was going through a rough patch in my life.

I really appreciate how you left me at the time in my life where I really needed a support system. You were more than a significant other to me. You were much more than a Facebook status or an Instagram picture. You were a shoulder to cry on. Someone to talk to when the demons dancing through my mind kept me up at night.

Thank you for saying how much you loved me, but I'd like to thank you even more for teaching me what the word really means. Thank you for helping me find my true friends because they were here for me when you weren't.

I look back on the nights where we talked about the future. I am a person who generally thinks ahead, fiercely attempting to predict what's next and plan accordingly. Thank you for teaching me to slow down a bit and to savor the present moment. Thank you for showing me your idea of "forever" and helping me find mine.

I went to my young relative's First Holy Communion not long ago, and the topic of the mass related to the potential of such a beautiful world if only adults loved like children do. It made me think of when I went to your family gatherings and when you came to mine. I remember you playing with my cousins just as much as I recall interacting with yours. I'm sure they really appreciated the big kids playing with them. Thank you for welcoming me into your family for the time we were together. I hope you all are doing well.

I remember every time we would go out to eat, and we could never decide on a place. Thank you for showing me some new places I would have never tried otherwise. Furthermore, thank you for the bitter aftertaste that will forever remain deeply engrained on my tongue and in my throat after eating at some of the places we found on a whim, where we made some of our many memories. I can't even look at them sometimes without feeling my heart sink.

I look back at our old photos and think about what could have been. However, I am so fortunate that you didn't love me like a child would. Thank you for breaking my heart. I may have just been a chapter in your story, but you were a volume in my saga. Regardless, I hope I made your story more interesting. You played a major role in mine.

I promise I will tell my kids about you someday, and I will recall our late-night talks with a feeling of reflection in my heart. However, I will also smile and look at the man across the room who loved me in the way you couldn't. Thank you for leaving when you realized we weren't meant to be.

Thank you for making me strong. Thank you for not loving me like we were children. Adults have obligations and responsibilities. I know we both did.

Thank you for taking this wild ride with me. Thank you for making it slightly obvious that you didn't want to kiss me or hold my hand anymore. I feel very lucky to know that I could see where the look of love had left your crystal eyes. Thank you for falling out of love with me.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what I deserve. Thank you for teaching me to be my own hero. Our ship may not have sailed smoothly, but you taught me how to be a captain.

One day, I will find a man that will love me like a child, regardless of the associated obligations and responsibilities, and I wish all the same for you. Just because you couldn't love me that way doesn't mean no one else will.