congratulations, I think… (coping with your ex's new life)

With all our ways of keeping connected, you can generally find out all sort of interesting bits about people’s lives through facebook and twitter.  Recently, facebook decided to share an interesting bit of information with me.  My ex is engaged.

Yep.  This would be the ex.  It seems everyone has one.  Sean’s mine.  We dated for two years, a bit off and on, during college.  It was my first two years and his last two.  And though I’ve had a lot of boyfriends, I think Sean was number 13, he was really the first truly serious relationship.  I was only 19 when we started dating.  I was smitten immediately.  Something about this quirky guy with the blue mohawk and awesome chops.

Sean was my first for a few other things as well.  First college relationship.  First serious relationship.  First love.  And first *ahem*… yeah.  (I did make him wait over a year… and I was his first as well…)

It was young love.  Training wheels as one friend put it.  It was.  They say hindsight is 20/20, and I agree.  Our relationship wasn’t perfect.  But I couldn’t see that.  I was in love.  Or well, what I thought was love.  Sean was really all that mattered to me in those two years.  My needs came second to what I saw as his needs.  Sean noticed this, and he didn’t like it.  He wanted me to take care of myself.  A lot of my friends didn’t see all the amazing quality that I did in Sean.  A handful of them really wanted me to break up with him.  My late stepmom really wanted me to break up with him.  I wouldn’t have it.  Yeah, we had a few breaks… but we ended back together.

Sean ultimately could never return my love.  Shortly after my 21st birthday, just before I was due to leave for China, Sean ended our relationship.  I was destroyed.  Being able to go to China and leave the country, leave all of my problems behind — that helped in more ways that I could know.  I wasn’t avoiding my issues, but it was good to be removed from them.  When I came home, Sean was already in the Netherlands (where he’d be living for a year).  I called on Thanksgiving, seeing if there was any way we could get back together.  However, it was over.  It hurt, but not as badly as I thought it would.

It’s been four years now, and Sean and I have actually been able to stay friends.  We’re no where near as close as we once were — he was my best friend those two years.  I do miss him some; I miss that companionship — but I’m no where near the same person I was when we were dating.  I think the one thing that’s been surprising is that he’s been dating a lot.  I haven’t had a boyfriend since.  Sean was definitely surprised by that.  He just assumed I’d be in a relationship right away.  Now I find that Sean is getting married.  I won’t say it doesn’t sting.  I am indeed happy for him, but yeah, it does make me think about my situation.  I honestly thought that I was going to be marrying him.  But here I am, 25, single, yet still enjoying my life pretty damn well.

It’s hard to swallow the news, but I know there’s something great out there for me.  Be it a person to share my life with, or just an amazing journey (or yes, both)…  Anyway, congrats Sean & Ashley.  I do wish you the best.  But I also wish myself the best as I continue on my way.

I’m also going to add this for recommended additional reading from DShan: Forward Steps.  There have been a lot of great bloggers openly discussing their relationships and here’s to us all as we persevere through the search and through our commitments.