*I have previously shared this story with friends and family before, as I have actually written this specific article over a year ago. I am re-sharing it now on the blog as a reminder of how impactful relationships can be on our lives and who we are as people. My hope is that those of you who read this blog can relate to what I have been through and hopefully will find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. The battles that I have gone through with my previous relationship has truly made me realize that I am blessed to have such tremendous friends and family in my life, and knowing this has given me comfort in my life.
I met my ex on March 28, 2005 when a girlfriend of mine and I went to his apartment to booze, instead of joining some of our friends on a senior high school trip to Myrtle Beach. On that night, I kept saying to my ex, “You look like that guy from that movie!” He responded with, “Yeah, I know. I get that a lot. You mean Noah, from The Notebook, right?” I, however, was not referring to Noah from The Notebook, but rather the tall gangly guy, Spike, from the movie Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts. My ex was walking around his apartment readjusting himself because all he could be bothered to wear was a pair of boxers, just like Spike. Ironically though, my ex did resemble Noah from the movie The Notebook, but only when sporting a full beard. Truthfully, I believe that if I would have joined my friends on the Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach that my ex and I would have never began the greatest love affair I have ever had. Our meeting was total serendipity, or fate if you will.
Later that summer fate would be on our side again when my ex and I realized that we would both be attending Kent State University together in the fall of 2005. He would be entering the university as a junior, while I was entering as a freshman. The two of us just so happened to have applied and had been accepted to Kent State before either of us were ever officially introduced to each other in March. Once my ex learned that he and I would both be attending Kent, in the fall of 2005, he made our relationship official and I began wearing my Irish Claddagh ring the correct way to let everyone know that I was taken. After the two of us made our commitment to one another, we spent the remainder of the summer and into the school year falling deeply in love with each other.
The two of us would take long walks, go out for ice cream, spend time with our friends, watch movies together, and make love to one another. To this day, I tell people that my ex was the first person who I had intercourse with, even though this is not an entirely accurate statement. I did choose to give my virginity away to my first boyfriend from high school, however, my ex was the first person, and only person, with whom I have ever made love with. At the time, I know he felt the same way about me. Our love for one another grew even stronger throughout the fall months while we were in college. Now we were spending our time mixing old friends with new ones, studying together in our free time, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on our lunch breaks in my dorm, swimming together at the gym, and all the while just having fun and happy to be with one another. Our love was simple and easy then.
It was not until April that my ex and I had suffered from any real relationship issues. I had discovered that my ex had recently begun talking to his ex from high school. Naturally, I was devastated. My devastation grew stronger when my ex called it quits with me on April 14, 2006 and a month later was officially seeing his ex. The two were “Facebook official”. That relationship continued for almost a year, which was the longest my ex and I had ever gone without speaking to one another, that is, until this last year. After my ex ended his relationship with his other ex, we immediately began talking, but only as friends. My last two years of college were spent hanging out with my ex on random occasions, either at the bar or getting lunch. Occasionally, he and I would “hook-up” or spend the afternoons randomly cuddling with each other, which always made me insanely happy, but left me feeling a deep void in my heart.
He and I both knew that we still loved each other, but the timing for us was not written in the stars. However, our friendship and understanding of one another did continue to grow throughout the years. After I graduated from college and moved back home, I reached out to my ex and told him that if he wanted to get together sometime and hang out that I would be open to doing something, as almost all of my friends were continuing their education at Kent State getting their masters. In reflection, I should have joined them. Days later, my ex and I went to the zoo and we picked up exactly where we had left off in 2006. Immediately, we were holding hands, making gentle touches on each other’s available skin, and stealing kisses from one another when no one was looking. The magic was back and the timing could not have been more perfect.
Over the next two years, my ex and I spent as much time together as we could. I was blissful and I believed that he was too. At the time, I had never been so happy in my life than when I was with my ex. Just being in his presence brought a feeling of peace to my life. He made me feel happy just by being himself-fun, reasonable, and giving. His sense of consciousness and his willingness to volunteer were qualities that made me proud to be by his side. The two of us were a dynamic pair, but like all great things, everything must come to an end. Truly, I believe that our love was probably so great and so tragic because we knew it would be short lived, so every minute together had only been that much more special.
On December 1, 2011 my ex told me that he, again, needed time to figure out what he was doing with his life. And, to be honest, I did not blame him. I was ready to get married, move-in together, buy a house, or move to Chicago with him. I even told him before we broke up that I would be moving away, with or without him. In hind sight, I always thought my ex was the free spirit, but over time, I have come to realize that I am the one who is wild and daring, while he is the more stable and sturdy one, which is something I wish I realized earlier.
If I had realized this earlier, I probably would have moved to Chicago as soon as I could and my time spent in Chicago when I did finally move would have been much longer, rather than the short lived experience it had turned into. I probably would have done so many more interesting things with my life if I stopped regarding my ex as someone who was ready for new and exciting challenges because then I would have challenged myself so much more. I was, and am, always ready for new experiences. My ex, however, was still busy just being one of the guys. Our lives, although we had been together, had grown a part. He was not ready to grow up, and I had already been an adult. My ex and I decided we needed to stop seeing each other, even though we still loved each other very much.
That break-up was the hardest thing I have gone through to date. For me our separation was like mourning a death of a loved one. The death of our future. The death of my best friend. The death of the love of my life. The death of not being able to spend time with his amazing family. The death of us. We were no longer a “we”. I was in true mourning. I stopped eating. I couldn’t sleep. I got my first ever verbal warning at work because of my inability to adequately perform my job. I was inconsolable. I thought that my life would be over and I thought I would never be able to move on, but I was wrong.
The last time I spoke to my ex was in 2013 after I moved home from Chicago. After we broke up in December, he came back into my life two times with heartfelt attempts to make amends and recommit to our life together. He even moved many of his belonging into my apartment while I lived in The Windy City. His efforts were fruitless. He still had not grown up, even though he desperately wanted to, and I could not forgive him for all the hurt he had caused me over the years. I think he and I both knew that our novel, the story of our relationship, was over. If I am being honest, I think we both knew it was over long before either of us were able to admit it to anyone, but more importantly, we could not admit it to ourselves.
For years, my ex and I had been like two magnetic forces, drawn to each other so fluidly that it was like we were made for each other, but repelled each other so strongly that we would never be able to connect. On more than one occasion, he even told me, “Nichole, I can’t help myself, I feel drawn to you.” I have to admit, that I felt the same about him. However, since the two of us have not spoken in years, those feelings have changed. I have only seen him once, from a distance while at a bar, and even though my knees were shaking and my palms were sweaty and my eyes were welling up with tears, my pull to him, like it once was, had disappeared. My respect and fondness for our love remained, but the gravitational pull that I had felt for my ex was gone. I felt like I had finally been able to move on.
I am writing this blog because I recently heard through the grapevine, that my ex has been dating someone for quite some time and I would be lying if I said that I did not spend the remainder of the night crying deeply. Whale sized tears exited my eyes and red swelling overtook my cheeks, but I was not crying because I miss my ex, I was crying because I have yet to find someone to totally share my life with as it appears as he has. I am writing this blog because I can actually say that I am truly happy for him. The only thing I have ever wanted for my ex, while we were together, and even after we ended, and even though snide remarks still spew from my mouth from time-to-time (no girl could blame me) is for him to be as happy as he made me for so many years, even during our most challenging times. My hope for him is that his new girlfriend fills his heart with the love that I never could. If I am being honest, I wish the best for him and whomever he chooses to date because, he deserves the best, just as I do…and hopefully someday I will find another great love that fills my life with peace and bliss yet again.
(As a side note, I feel that it was insanely important for me to write this blog as my ex was a huge part of my life and changed me in many significant ways. Without him, I would not have known how great love could be. The relationship I had with him, indirectly, has taught me so much about myself and how grateful I am to have amazing friends and family. I have been so lucky to have people in my life who cared for me during the break-up, supported me during my move to Chicago and took time out of their lives to hold me up through some of the most challenging times in my life. The break-up with my ex may have been difficult, but through that experience my life has been made profoundly better. I have been blessed.)