I once heard a song called “Dedication to My Ex” and as someone who constantly reflects on past experiences, it always made me think. Much of my reflection is about romantic relationships, particularly those that didn’t end well. As an Artist myself I’ve often wondered if I would ever create something similar, but I have decided not to.
I could write about how unfortunate it is things didn’t work out between us, how I wanted it to work. I might write how I much missed them…or how I didn’t miss them as much as I thought I would. I’d explain to my high school boyfriend that I should have been more mature…but he could’ve been, too. If I were to dedicate anything to my college fling I’d tell him if he’d acted more serious about me sooner maybe he’d still have a shot today. To the ones who “ghosted” and then “zombied” me, I’d brag about how much better than them I’m doing now. I would tell the ex I’m still not quite over that I’m sorry. And for my worst relationship of all, one final time I’d simply ask ‘How could you?’
But again, I have decided not to.
The common denominator with all of my exes was that I gave them too much power. I gave them the power to influence what I did and ultimately who I was. I did this by being so insecure that I was terrified of rejection. Even after being committed to a person, I remained afraid of rejection in any form. I feared being told “no,” “maybe” and “later”. I was frightened I didn’t have all of their attention and of course that others would receive too much of their attention. Most of all, I was always petrified they would leave.
I was scared to ask for what I wanted and assert what I needed so I just dropped hints. When my intended targets didn’t catch those hints, I played the victim. Furthermore, I let wrongdoers slide instead of sticking up for myself. After they left, I stayed, begging them to come back. Once they returned for all of the wrong reasons, I let them in.
Now that those relationships have ended, I am choosing to no longer give them that power. I’m choosing not to dedicate any more energy to them because it’s over now. I dedicate my thoughts and feelings to the present day instead of my past. I “reclaim my time” by dedicating some of it to someone better, but most of it to myself. So here’s to me,
- The teenage girl who was afraid to be herself because she wasn’t sure her new boyfriend would embrace it: Be yourself, he’ll like it and even if he doesn’t-you’ll be fine.
- The college girl who couldn’t recognize the difference between a fling and relationship material: No answer is your answer.
- The young lady who kept getting knocked down and getting back up for more: If he walks away, let him go.
- And to the young woman who’s still apologizing for not being good enough: If he couldn’t handle you at your worst, he wouldn’t deserve your best anyway.
To my ex, I dedicate nothing more.