Thank You For Being In My Life, Because You Will Never Be Just An Ex
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A Thank You Letter To All Of The Exes I Met, And Lost, Along The Way

Even though we might not have worked out in the long run, the things you have shown and taught me will last.

A Thank You Letter To All Of The Exes I Met, And Lost, Along The Way
Reid Dolyniuk

To my Ex, I hope you are doing well.

I really do. I hope you have found love and have grown in ways that you never felt possible.

Depending on how we parted ways this might seem odd to you. Did we part with screaming or fighting? Did we part with tears? Or did we just fade out as some things do? To me, it doesn't really matter, and that is due to a couple of key reasons. The first being that at one point in our lives, we did have feelings for each other. Now it may have not been love, but it was enough where the presence of each other made us smile. The second reason is you have taught me so much about myself, and, for better or for worse, I learned from you. The third and final reason I can never wish you ill is this, I want whatever person you end up being with to be as happy as we might have been.

So to my high school flings, hi.

I will probably see you in Fred Myers when I come home for the weekend and we will either make eye contact and smile or avoid each other completely and that is ok. Some of you are married now, congratulations! I mean that sincerely, I wish you and her the best of luck, and you guys seem so cute together. I still follow you on Facebook by the way, along with everyone else from our senior class so I promise it is not weird. Thank for helping me learn that you should never date other people after your friends have. It's never a good idea even if they say it's ok. It's just not, so thanks.

To my first real high school boyfriend, I also heard you got engaged, and I really hope you are happy and she is too.

Our relationship was one that contained too much hardship for how old we were. We were too passionate and had a lot to learn about how to explain our feelings. So often they came out in unhealthy ways that left one of us hurt and broken. I hope your fiancé and you can communicate healthily so that every conversation doesn't end in tears. I thank you for teaching me that my parents are not always wrong and want the best for me. They see things that I am often blind to and I should trust them more, so thank you.

To my first real college boyfriend, it's weird cause we still see each other often and have mutual friends.

Our situation is not unlike most, we get to college for the first time and are meeting so many new people that we rush into a relationship just because we can. I want to thank you for being someone who I could also count as a friend while we were together. I want to thank you for teaching me to be sure of what I want and being bold enough to take it. You brought me out of my shell. You introduced me to some of the realities of the world. We both are in separate relationships now and seem to be thriving. I hope you guys are happy together and fulfill each other needs the way we didn't.

To the college boyfriend that I wanted so badly to work out.

Oh how badly I wanted this one to work. In my head, it seemed perfect and checked every box off my list. You were older and in a frat and I got along with your brothers. To be honest I was probably so caught up in being the Barbie and Ken of fsl (fraternity-sorority life for all the independents out there) I didn't really see that that was not what you wanted. You were so nice when you wanted to be and so I ran with the good times. I held onto them so tight that when you would do things that would tell me you didn't want to do this anymore, I would ignore them. You taught me many things, probably too many to count, but the main one was that you taught me that I deserved someone who made me a priority. You were a good person but at that point in time, you were an awful boyfriend. You taught me that I shouldn't always be the one initiating time to hang out. I shouldn't always be the one going the extra mile. You helped me learn to value myself.

To those who came after, you might not qualify as an ex, but deserve a segment just the same.

You all came into my life when I needed you. A time when I felt dejected and lonely. I want to thank you for doing what you did for me. Whether it was just a one-time coffee date or maybe we are still friends, all of you in little ways helped repair me by showing me I was worth being interested in, that I was funny and not gonna die alone if I put myself out there. As kind as all of you were, you also taught me that my worth is not defined by who I am with at that given moment. That I am fine by myself and I am capable of living my own life without someone next to me.

So to all of you, thank you.

Even though we might not have worked out in the long run, the things you have shown and taught me will last. They will continue to make me who I am and continue to feed what I believe about how relationships should function and work.

Thank you for being you and I really hope you are happy in every way possible because you will never just be an ex.

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