Dear Ex

It’s the end of December and that means there are only a few days left until January. It’s been years, but every time this time of year rolls around it brings back a painful memory.

The Background

Many years ago, I was working in the medical field, and I met a lady close to the age of my mother. She was warm, personable, and had a good head on her shoulders.

She felt like a familiar soul to me and I looked at her more like family than I did a friend. I thought so highly of her that I was thrilled when she told me that she wanted me to meet her son who was almost the same age as me.

It Happened 

We picked a local coffee shop just to see how things went and to take the pressure off. I remember being incredibly nervous partly because of my personality and partly because I have been in the strangest situations when it comes to relationships, which is very unsettling to me. 

Ryan (name has been changed) was also very nervous. He had been in two long-term relationships and wasn’t used to dating much because of this.

We nervously glanced at each other while we enjoyed a hot cup of coffee and some delicious freshly-baked chocolate chip muffins. We tried to keep the sense of humor going by commenting on random things that caught our eye in this little coffee shop.

We Were Okay

Small talk started to fade as we casually brought up slightly deeper topics. It was a nice feeling to feel “okay.” We felt safe and the vibe was just right. To say I was pleased is an understatement!

There was a definite connection between us. Having had a close connection with Ryan’s mom, I felt even closer to Ryan than I typically would just starting.

We decided that there was potential there and we thought of some really fun date ideas.

Time Went On

Things went smoothly for a while, over a year, and then slowly by slowly I started noticing things that made me realize that Ryan was not who l thought he was.

I was in denial about some of the behavior that I saw. He started to become rude, he would try to show off, even at my expense. Ryan no longer looked after me and he didn’t communicate very well, sadly neither did I because I didn’t know how to approach this situation.

Ryan became very pushy which only pushed me away… far, away. He became easily upset and angry over the smallest things. I started to worry; I knew this was over.

No Way

The way this relationship ended was and still is extremely upsetting for me. I think about it almost every single day. Ryan was an amazing person until he wasn’t. I wish the old Ryan would come back…perhaps he never existed, and it was all for show.

I can’t get into many details about this story as I currently write anonymously, but I wanted to write a letter to him, one that I will never send, but I would love to get it off of my chest. Thank you in advance for allowing me to express these feelings and for being here with me.

My Letter to You

Dear Ryan,

If I could go back to the last day that we saw each other, I would in a heartbeat. Neither of us was an adult about the situation. We didn’t communicate our thoughts and feelings, instead, we sat in silence pretending that everything was okay, when it was not. 

I don’t know why I saw a big change in you, but it was very surprising. I didn’t want to disturb the peace and end up losing you and your mom, so instead I sat quiet, which is not like me because I always stick up for myself, often too much. 

It is clear to me that we were not meant to be together, but the fact that we don’t have any closure with this situation makes me wonder how I can move past it. You may not even think of what happened anymore, or possibly you do. Maybe you are longing for closure as well. 

One thing is for certain, we live, and we learn. I am sorry for the pain that you have caused me and the pain that I have caused you. Maybe we could have settled everything if we spoke our minds, but that opportunity is gone now. Though not easy, I will choose to reflect on this situation as a life lesson that I was meant to learn from. 



A Reflection

Thank you so much for letting me write out the feelings in my heart and mind. I appreciate you being here to listen.

We cannot go back in time, so the only way to move is forward. I know that I will not allow myself to be in a similar situation again because I am committed to openly communicating. I saw what a lack of communication can do to a relationship. Fear of losing someone is not a good reason to let your thoughts go unspoken, because in the end most likely you will lose them anyway for this very reason.

It helps to express these locked-up feelings in my heart, but I also still long to have closure on something that I most likely never will have. It is up to me to create closure and I will try my hardest to work through it.


Subconscious Relationship Expectations

Take a moment to think of your friendship circle, family, or even the ones that you hold dear. These relationships probably come with the expectation that you will care for them, and they will care for you. After all, this is what a relationship is about, two or more people who mutually respect and care for each other.

While this is true, sometimes we may not realize that we are placing certain expectations on other people that only end up harming ourselves and our relationships.

Closest Relationships

Think about the people that are closest to you at the moment. This could be your parents, siblings, best friend, significant other, or spouse. These are probably the individuals that you turn to when going through a hard time and to share your happiest news. You may have one or two people that you rely on.

While it is wonderful and necessary to rely on others for support, it is important to remember that one person cannot fulfill all of our needs. That’s the beautiful side of having multiple people in our lives, we can draw strength from them. Each person can bring something to the table.


It is normal to turn to your best friend or significant other and we may lovingly look at them as if they have all of the answers and that they can fill every void that lives within us. These are unfair expectations for both the other person and ourselves.

Each person that we know brings something to our lives. One person is only one person and as hard as they try, no one can take on the role of making us happy 100% of the time. We can look to others and most importantly ourselves for that sense of fulfillment.


The beauty of life is helping and also being helped. Returning the love and respect that is given to us is very important.

Just as one person cannot be our complete source of happiness, we also cannot be that for other people.

As human beings, we are capable of so much. We often have the strength and power to move mountains, but we also have our limits. Giving and receiving makes the world go round. We must remember, however, that we are not superheroes!

Missing Someone

We have all felt that familiar feeling of missing someone dear to us. What causes us to miss particular people? It’s not a very comfortable feeling, yet thinking of the memories that you have with them brings about so many happy thoughts and emotions.

There are so many levels in which we miss people. We can miss a loved one that has departed from us in this life, miss someone in which we had a romantic relationship with, miss our friends, coworkers, really anyone that we have built a connection with. It’s human nature to miss attachments that we have had, or still do have, but have changed in some way.

So, what causes us to miss someone? Many reasons in fact. Our brains get used to the way someone makes us feel. We miss that “high” that someone gives us, the way their positivity, humor, good-hearted nature makes us feel. Our brains are very keen on people and experiences that elicit a strong sense of emotion, or connection, it is if they almost stay etched there. We miss people that bring us happiness, make us feel good about ourselves, the ones who supported us, and loved us. Sometimes we may miss certain people because they filled a void, or fulfilled our needs and when they are gone, or distant, we feel a part of us is missing.


There are things that we can do if we miss someone. If our loved one is no longer with us, we can pray (if you do) to them, talk to them out loud as if they were still here, visit some place that reminds you of them, look through pictures, anything to keep you connected to that person. If you are missing someone that you haven’t seen in a while, reach out to them, chances are they probably miss you too. If you miss someone who you have grown distant with, try to touch base and see if there is anything that can be done to resolve any issues, or reasons that you two became distant. You could even write them a text, e-mail, or letter just to get your feelings out, whether you actually send it or not is up to you.

If you are missing someone today, reach out to them to see how they are doing and what they are up to. You will know that you did all that you could do and that the ball is in the other person’s court. As hard as it can be, remember what is meant for you in life will always find its way.