Sunday, 19 August 2018

Dear Past Loves

Dear Past Loves
After reading Caroline Flack's feature in August Cosmopolitan, I was so inspired and thought it was about time I wrote open letters detailing the loves I've found, lessons I've learnt and experiences I've had along the way.

Dear First Crush Weren't you just the sweetest. I'm pretty sure we'd never spoken before but between classes one day, you caught my eye and I spent my whole science lesson talking about you. Fast forward a few weeks and in true twelve-year-old style, my friend asked your friend if you'd go out with me. The summer holiday soon followed and we spent almost everyday hanging out with friends and rope swinging into the river. When my parents told me we were heading to Devon for a couple of days, I was devastated at the thought of leaving you for a weekend with just £5 credit left on my phone. We dated for a couple of months afterwards until some kids in school thought they'd interfere. They teased us for dating each other just because they could and eventually it ended when people deliberately told us that the other wanted to break up. Neither of us knew that it was a lie they'd made up and despite me hoping we'd remain friends afterwards, you never said another word to me. I still think you thought it was me that wanted to end things, not just mean kids who stepped in between us. It was fairly dramatic considering we were so young but it's so nice to see that you're happy now we've grown up and I certainly learnt about kids I didn't want to associate with.

Dear Not So Nice A classic case of someone I hope to never see again. You made me feel absolutely terrible on a daily basis. You were 18, working and rented your own place, I was 16, sitting my GCSE's with just my pocket money to fund the 60 minute bus ride to you. You constantly compared me to other girls you knew and made me feel bad for leaving on your day off because I had an exam to sit. You never showed compassion or empathy towards me but if I were to say one thing 'out of line', you'd ghost me for weeks. Looking back, I don't quite know how or why I even continued to date you but back then, I guess having a boyfriend was cool and crying myself to sleep at night seemed normal. I've never been happier than the day I finally plucked up the courage to tell you I never wanted to see you again and though your little chuckle down the phone suggested you thought I would be back one day, I'm so glad to say that I never was. 

Dear Ready For A Baby We met bizarrely through a bartender I'd gotten to know after far too many midweek wines.  My friend and I had planned on walking home but it started raining and you offered to give us a lift. Before I knew it, you'd asked the bartender for my number and it wasn't long before we were heading out on dates and spending weekends away. You were older than me though it never really felt like it and for the first time, in my life, I felt like I was in a real relationship. It was all so grown up, having dinner with your family and deciding which car to take out for a day in the countryside. At one point I really did see us going somewhere but after having 'the chat' a few months in, you told me that you were ready for a baby. I could completely see your perspective but at 18, it wasn't something I was ready or prepared to do for the sake of saving a relationship. After things ended I bumped into you in a club and though I was happy to see you, you weren't so pleased to see me - Being engaged and now a Dad suggested to me that you were in a good place but it still didn't stop you giving me hell for not wanting to start a family just to make you happy. Though I could see a future with you at the time, I'm happy that I walked away. 

Dear Older Guy We met in a bar one Tuesday night and though your friend wasn't shy about hitting on me, you and I hit it off right away. I was working as an admin apprentice and you were a pathologist 10 years older. On paper, you had it all worked out but the reality was so much different. A constant stream of nights out and ex-girlfriend drama coupled with an unhealthy drug habit meant that it was never going to work between us but nevertheless we had fun and hung out for a few months. Just when I thought it was a waste of time, I learnt some valuable things from you - The biggest? How much I didn't want my life to pan out like yours. I'd never really thought of it until then but it was almost as if I'd learnt what not to do in life. I swore that at 30 I wouldn't be doing anything nearly as stupid as you but as far as I know, you're almost back on track. It's a long, hard road but I really hope you keep going.

Dear Never Going To Work Where do I begin with you? I honestly think I could write a novel. We met online, through mutual friends when I was 15, you were 17. You were the coolest guy I'd ever hung out with and though we were never officially dating, we saw each other almost every weekend. I quickly started liking the same music as you and bought my first leather jacket because you told me it would look good. Despite me thinking we could make it work, you always told me we couldn't be together - You thought I was too young and soon enough it came to an end. I was hung up on you for years and truthfully, you effected every relationship I had afterwards. Whenever you'd creep into my inbox, I'd jump at the chance to chat, hoping there was something there but you were quickly engaged to a woman 20 years older and married a year or so later. A few years ago, despite receiving numerous emails claiming you'd made a mistake, I was in a happily committed relationship and so I swore I'd never speak to you again - Realistically after the ups, downs and heartache of it all, I just didn't need or want to hear it 6 years too late. In June this year, after hearing you were going through a tough time, I was mature and wanted to be there for you after initially having reservations. I never let my feelings for you come back but you did. From then on it became clear that we could never form any kind of relationship. 

From the moment I read Caroline's article I was inspired to explore the past loves of my own and the things each one of them have taught me. If you have 5 minutes, be sure to read her letters. I'd love to know if you recreate this post!

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