Gosh, we hate her, don’t we, that other girl? The one who loved him first, or the one who loved him after. The one who “took him” from us. Yeah we despise that one a lot, no matter how gone he was from us anyways. Whether it was the girl who swooped in and got him when we left, or the one who wrecked him for us to find, we do not like her.
Girls are so cruel to each other, especially when there is a man in the picture. We love deeply, and we don’t share. We shouldn’t have to, not with another girl in our role at least. The problem is: He’s going to have a past. He lived life before you, and there are memories, and moments, and love in that life that he shared with someone who was not you. And even worse, if he’s not the one, and if you’re not the one for him, he’s going to have a future without you. And odds are there’s going to be another girl in that future, as you will fade into the mere murky memories of his past, and she can hate you right back.
I’m sorry if these two truths break your heart. This is written by a heart with multiple breaks that may mirror your own. I think the most important part of this aching aspect of life is to find a way to not be consumed in this bitterness. We must find a way to love the girl who either loved or loves the man whom we either loved or love.
The girl he loves now
We love it when he downgrades. We make sure everyone knows. We let our friends know of all of her imperfections, of all the ways she could never measure up to what we were. We’re so petty. We love that she has a big nose, because we don’t, and we hope that every time he sees that honker on her face he’s missing our perfect little button nose. News flash: HE DOESN’T MISS YOUR NOSE! Honestly, when he’s with her he’s not thinking of you or anyone else of his past. He’s just happy.
See that. Look at his pictures on every social media site. (I know you’re doing it anyways, no matter how much you claim you don’t care.) Look at his smile. Look at the way she’s looking at him. Look at the way he’s looking at her, even if it hurts, even if you once thought he would never look at someone like that who wasn’t you.
Now find it. Find it in yourself to be happy for him. Find it in yourself to be happy for them.
The thing is, she loves him, and that’s okay. It’s okay, because you loved him. And no matter how much he hurt you, no matter how much you hoped you would never lose him, he’s gone now. Think back on how happy he once made you. Doesn’t someone deserve that? And doesn’t he deserve that from someone?
Stop wishing horrid things on them. Stop saying, “wait until she finds out about…” or “just wait until he does…to her.” Maybe they work. Maybe he’s fixed the problems that hurt your relationship, or maybe she has a different way of handling it. No matter the circumstance, as the girl who once loved him, you should find it in yourself to love her for loving him, and wish them happiness.
The One He Loved First
This one almost doesn’t make sense, but there is no denying that the bitterness is there. I guess, sometimes we have a reason to hate her. Sometimes she tries to stir up unnecessary trouble in the relationship. Sometimes she’s got her own issues from the previous section that she needs to work through. Or maybe she broke him, and you just can’t seem to love anyone who broke the man you love. Whatever the reason, it is important to see her as more than just “the ex.” I assure you, that no matter how insignificant he claims she is to him, he doesn’t really see her as nothing more than his ex-girlfriend. He shared a portion of life with her, and he might have even once seen further life with her. He had moments with her that you will never replace, and that’s okay. It sucks to hear that, but I promise, it’s okay. He’s allowed to hold onto memories as long as they remain nothing but memories.
The important thing is he is choosing to love you now. He is choosing to make memories and plans for future memories with you, and that is a big deal. Don’t force him to regret her. Neither of them should ever deserve to regret each other. Never make him feel guilty for the happiness he found in someone else before, instead be thankful for it.
I know, it sounds crazy. I’m sure you’re thinking up all kinds of bitterly sardonic responses right now. “Thank her for breaking my boyfriend’s heart?” “Thank her for making him so insecure that it took him THREE WHOLE DAYS to say he loves me?” “Thank her for causing unneeded stress in already fragile parts of my relationship?”
Thank her for loving him in a time you didn’t. Thank her for showing him an intimate happiness before he knew you. Thank her that the relationship she had with him helped to grow him into the man you love. Thank her for living her role in God’s plan for his life, influencing him in ways to help mold him into the man God foresaw that you would some day fall in love with.
Thank her for once loving the man you love.
Photography by: Madalynn Young