Awhile back, I met a friend of a friend. I don’t actually remember her name, so let’s call her Sally. I knew her for all of the ten minute conversation my friend had with her at an Applebee’s, and couldn’t actually tell you a single thing about her except for this – she was getting married. And my friend asked her all sorts of questions about the wedding, but Sally kept bringing up one fact over and over again. Her ex-boyfriend was going to absolutely die when he heard she was getting married. Her ex-boyfriend (and his presumed anger/jealousy/rage over her wedding) was brought up more than her fiance himself in the conversation, and I found that very odd. It seemed as though the wedding was more about getting back at her ex than being in love with the guy she was marrying.
Now, this is all assumption on my part. Hopefully it had nothing at all to do with her ex. But it got me thinking. How do you know you’re really over someone?
Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with how much you care about them knowing certain things. It’s a tough truth to face, but when you’re posting pictures of you and your new boyfriend on facebook while thinking about how jealous your ex is going to be, it’s probably a sign that you’re not over him. Or when you go certain places with your significant other where you know your ex will be, just to run into him. “For no particular reason” you tell yourself – but we all know that’s not really true.
I’m not saying that you’re still in love with someone if you kind of want to rub your happiness in their face – it’s just that you’re not over them. But “getting over” someone doesn’t just mean the romantic stuff. It means truly not caring what that person does, or what they think of you and your current life. You can be over someone romantically, yet still want them to see how happy your are without them. Because damn it, they dumped you, and they should see what they’re missing!
As terrible as it sounds, sometimes it isn’t the romantic feelings that keep us holding on, it’s the spite and anger we feel if we’ve been wronged. Sometimes it’s not that you would want a guy back, it’s just that you don’t want to see him with anyone else. Maybe you think he deserves to be miserable. Maybe you’re just coming to terms with lingering ideas of possession (see my earlier post “Shiny Toy Syndrome”).
Regardless of what it is, the hardest part of moving on is always going from caring, to being angry, to being … well, nothing. In my experience, I’ve always known that I’m truly over someone when learning that he is happy simply makes me say “oh really? good for him”, and – here’s the trick – actually meaning those words. When a person’s misery no longer makes you feel joy, and when their joy no longer makes you feel misery, then you’re well on your way. Because we can’t go on letting the happiness of every person who’s ever wronged us affect whether or not we ourselves are happy.
You have your own life to live. No one – especially someone who isn’t part of your life anymore – should dictate the happiness in it.
And believe me, I know full well that getting to that point is a far cry from easy street.