To My Boyfriend's Parents, Thank You For Raising The Best Man I Have Ever Met

To My Boyfriend's Parents, Thank You For Raising The Best Man I Have Ever Met

It's so important to have good relationships with your significant other's family.

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Most couples who start dating as young as we did don't last. That's not me trying to be negative, that's just a simple fact.

When I met your son, he was 16 and a sophomore in high school. I was 17, about to graduate and go away to college. Logistically, most couples like us don't last.

When I met you, though, I was still hoping you'd like me.

I was still hoping that we would connect and whatever amount of time I ended up spending with him, and with you, would be a positive experience for all of us.

There were two things I didn't count on happening. The first was our relationship surviving as long as it has. Don't get me wrong, I adore your son and he's my favorite person on the planet, but I was unsure how well we would do while I was in college and he was still in high school (hold the cougar jokes, please). The second was the love you embraced me with.

To his mother and his stepfather:

Over the past two and a half years, you have given me so much, taught me so much, and loved me so much. Considering how young we were and how temporary I could've been, you didn't have to accept me and include me as you did. You could've kept your distance, like a lot of people would, so it wouldn't be as sad if we did break up. But that's not what you did.

I was nervous for probably the first month I started coming around. I was so anxious for you to like me. I really didn't need to be, though, because you welcomed me into your home as if I'd been around forever. You invited me to come to church with you, and therefore into your spiritual lives. You invited me around for the holidays and family dinners. You brought me on vacations. I got birthday and Christmas gifts, Valentine's cards; you name it, I was included.

Before long I realized how much I looked forward to being around you. I love being a part of this family. I can't thank you enough for bringing me in and loving me like one of your own kids. Your love and everything you've done for me means more than you could ever know, especially considering you didn't have to do any of it. You could have kept your distance, but you didn't.

You've taken me to your favorite place in the world. You stood with me while I was baptized. You've watched me jump around jobs and try to figure my life out, and have always been supportive. You've trusted me with your dogs, and your home. Most importantly, you've trusted me with the happiness of your son.

You are two of the most caring, loving, and wonderful people I've ever met in my life. I've learned so much from you both. I'm blessed to have met your son, and I'm blessed that he came with parents like you.

To his father:

I was almost more nervous to meet you than anyone else. I didn't meet you until after a few months of seeing your son, and by then, I'd already gotten pretty comfortable with the rest of the family. He spoke so highly of you and told me he couldn't wait for me to meet you. I was afraid I wouldn't get your approval.

You made it so easy. You're fun to talk to, and there's never any awkward silences. You've gone out of your way to invite me along as much as possible. I appreciate you always trying to include me, and I can't express how much it meant to me when you invited me to spend the holidays with your family, too. They're all just as warm to me as you are.

You're one of his favorite people. I'm very thankful for the bond we've formed. I'm always up for a hike, no matter how much I complain. I know we haven't gotten to spend as much time together as I have with the other side of the family, but you mean just as much to me as they do.

Thank you all for raising the best man I've ever met, and for welcoming me into your family.

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What To Do When Your Ex Who's Always In Your DMs Gets Engaged

A helpful guide for those of us who can't seem to shake the ones we least want to keep around.

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We all have that ex, the one that never leaves us alone even though the relationship ended years ago. And if you don't have that ex, consider yourself to be very lucky because some of us could only dream of being freed from that burden.

As for me, my ex is persistent, to say the least. We dated in high school, and as I pointed out in a previous article, the relationship was not exactly sunshine and rainbows. And now, even though we've been over for a little over four years now, it seems like I'm just way too great to forget because he doesn't seem to get the message.

But I do—get the message, that is. In fact, I get tons of them, from him.

You'd think after a while of trying to communicate with me, he would grow tired of making the attempt. Maybe he'd realize it's not worth it and there are better things to do with his life (like literally anything else) than continue to bother me. Sadly, though, this is not the case.

Despite the rough ending to a rocky relationship, I tried to be on good terms afterward. I tried to maintain somewhat of a friendship, and even when that failed, I tried to remain as cordial as possible. This means I never blocked him and didn't plan on ever having to block him because I thought we were both moving on with our lives and not dwelling on what once was.

Clearly, I was so, so wrong.

A couple of Facebook messages, some Instagram DMs and a few Snapchats later piled on top of many unwarranted and un-responded-to texts, the blocking ensued, and for good reason.

It probably would have been fine if certain things hadn't gone the way they did while I tried to be OK with him (let me redirect you to another previous article of mine which details exactly what I'm referencing) but that wasn't the case here. In this situation, I wanted nothing to do with him anymore and I thought it was made clear by my avoidance of all communication.

Apparently, though, the metaphorical message was never received because his attempts kept coming in, and eventually, there was nothing else I could do but block him entirely from having any contact with me.

So why, you may ask, does it matter to me that he is now engaged?

The truth is, it doesn't. Not in the way you might think, anyway.

What matters to me about this whole thing is not the fact that he's finally moving on with his life and leaving me in the past, the same way I left him. It's the fact that, even though he's making this commitment to someone else who probably expects to be with him forever, it hasn't seemed to convince him enough to leave me alone.

And therein lies my problem.

Some may call me "petty," and some might even say that I'm making way too big of a deal out of this than it needs to be. But all I'm saying is: If you're marrying someone else, you really need to leave your ex(s) alone. Period.

This may be common sense to a lot of people, because it really is, yet for some reason, here I am reiterating it for those who are like my ex and don't seem to fully grasp this concept.

Now, what is one to do when they're on the receiving end of this unnecessary attention? Simple: Don't respond. Ever.

Sending back any kind of message, whether it be an angry one explicitly stating how you feel with a few curse words thrown in, or a calm one where you kindly ask them to leave you alone, it's not worth it. They're not going to listen, because if they were willing to, they would have already (assuming this has happened multiple times, of course.)

And I know, it's so satisfying to be able to tell them off after all that they've put you through (assuming the relationship ended because of something they did) but really, it's not going to hold up in the end. Any kind of response to their persistence only shows them they still have some form of pull with you, and that's not what you want to do.

You don't want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that they've gotten to you in any way, remember that.

If you're like me, you've moved on. You've learned to live your life on your terms after being on someone else's for who knows how long, and you're finally able to do the things you want to do without feeling ashamed of them by this ex that once was your significant other.

If you're like me, you're finding yourself, and you're learning every single day what it means to be you again after losing that person in a relationship that suffocated you to no end. You've taken steps to be a new, improved version of who you once were before the relationship, and even though you know there's a lot left to be done still, you're ready to do it all.

If you're like me, you don't want to go back to that place. The place where you felt lost, alone, trapped, and like nothing could ever change for you. And the only way to stay away from there is to stay away from the person who put you there, in every conceivable way.

I know it's hard. I know there are times where all you want to do is ask certain questions that you never got answers to. I know there are days where you have had enough and want to lay it all out, not caring about anything anymore. And I know that, regardless of what I'm saying, it's still going to be a decision you have to make for yourself in the end.

But if there's one thing I know most of all, it's that they're not your problem anymore. You are free. You don't have to answer to them, literally or metaphorically.

You are your own boss now, be proud of that.

It doesn't matter how the relationship ended, what matters is that it's over now and you're the only person you have to listen to.

So don't give them what they're looking for. Don't let them win, even if it doesn't seem like a win to you because of what you're saying to them. As long as you're responding, it is their win and your loss.

Besides, you should be happy that they're someone else's responsibility now. The person they're engaged to? They're the ones that should be in charge of the reprimanding, not you. You don't owe anything to this person anymore.

If you're like me, your ex continues to message you in any way they can in order to weasel their way back into your life, and regain the control they once had. Even though they're apparently getting married to someone else and should be focusing on, I don't know, making a marriage work?

And if you're like me, you won't reply to anything they send you, because you know you're better than that, than them, and you don't need to prove yourself to anyone.

All you need to do is use that little "block" button that appears pretty much everywhere and pretend you never got the messages.

Because even if you did, it's not your problem. Let their fiancé handle it—it's what they're signing up for.

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To The Girl Telling Herself She Doesn't 'Catch Feelings,' Stop Lying To Yourself

"Catching feels" is not synonymous with a sickness, but with embracing the human capacity to feel that we all too often neglect.

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We're all guilty of it. We think we have this incredible Great Wall of China protecting our vulnerability; however, we tend to overestimate its security with defense mechanisms that could potentially hurt us in the long-term, concerning the formation of future relationships.

We must let others in to embrace the process of falling for someone

If you're like me, constantly busy and preoccupied with life's demands (sometimes going days without proper inhalation and exhalation), we become almost numb and ignorant of our emotions, mostly as a result from not putting ourselves out there. But this lack of experience is wrongly mistaken for the notion of attachment resistance. It's OK to focus on yourself, but after a while, it is necessary and fun to reawaken those feelings and jubilant moods associated with falling for someone, because in the midst of life's madness, we often forget how to feel.

Do not attempt to avoid to "catch feels" like it's the plague

We're consistently bombarded with false advice from society to avoid "catching feels," or falling for someone, no matter the costs. Why is it suddenly so frowned upon to actually like someone you met? Why should we feel shame in wanting to continue a relationship with this person? Dating is evidently complicated in the 21st century, but don't let this make you try to consciously repress those newly-formed feelings since repression essentially leads to escalation. Embrace the feels because it's the human thing to do.

Loosen your wall's bricks with vulnerability

Some of our jerk-alert senses are more activated than others, mostly due to past experiences, but it's important to hammer into our heads that they're not all the same.

Stop lying to yourself. No matter how much you repress it, you will feel, you will get attached, and you will allow yourself to do this, despite what the norm is for what "dating" is today. Break off from your defense mechanisms and your wall will slowly follow. Remember: "catching feels" is not synonymous with sickness, but with embracing the human capacity to feel that we all too often neglect.

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