The other day, the ex-boyfriend sent me a text, asking me if I had plans that night. I said no, although I was sort of hoping I did because the most logical implication of that text wasn’t something I looked forward to.
When he said he wanted to have dinner with me, I considered lying to him and telling him I couldn’t make it, but three things stopped me. One, I figured if I bailed that night, he’d invite me again some other time and I’d have no choice but to go because, really, what kind friend would I be if I didn’t? Two, no matter how much of a douche he was during the last years of our relationship, he was and still is good to me so the least he deserves is my honesty. And three, I’m really really really trying to be a good person, and a good person doesn’t lie… especially in the smallest things like avoiding awkward situations with an ex.
So I agreed. We had dinner. We talked. I insisted on paying for my share of the bill but he wouldn’t have it. He paid. We left separately.
Now that it’s over, I’m glad I decided to go.
The conversation we had that night was the most honest one we’ve ever had, or I’ve ever had with him. I was able to sit there, look him in the eyes, and tell him why I chose to be distant.
In the past year or so, I’ve made very little effort to keep in touch with him, and it’s not because I harbor ill feelings toward him or I want to pretend like he never existed. Our relationship ended amicably and on friendly terms. There’s no bitterness on my part, just a lot of growing up.
But I guess in growing up, in truly growing up, this irrational need to have him as a constant in my life, as a means of elevating my self-worth, as an irreplaceable key to my happiness gradually disappeared like sand in a my hand. It sounds horribly selfish but life is so much better now because I choose me. I pick me to be the constant in my life, the means of elevating my self-worth and the irreplaceable key to my happiness.
At one point during dinner, he told me he got upset with me when I didn’t invite him to my graduation ceremony. He invited me to his last year.
“Because when you graduated, we were still close. We’re not close anymore,” I said.
“Who’s fault is that?” he asked playfully.
“Mine,” I said. “But it’s not a fault. It’s a choice.”