You Were Never the One

I got an unexpected (LONG) facebook message from an ex today. This is someone I haven't heard from in years. The message gave me almost every detail of his life, including the reason he was writing: he's getting divorced - for the 4th time. He's 39.

Apparently this 4th divorce has been a kind of wake-up call. He's decided to ask every woman who ever broke up with him what he could have done differently in the relationship. He asked me to "be brutally honest."

The thing is, I never thought of him as a long-term prospect. I liked him, but he was never the one. I knew that. When I broke up with him I told him that I didn't think we should see each other anymore because it would never be what I wanted and I didn't think it would be what he wanted. At the time, he agreed.

Today, he told me that he was head over heels in love with me and was devastated when I broke up with him. I had no idea. I guess because I knew I'd never love him, I couldn't believe he could be in love with me.

But you can't write that - "You were never the one." It's mean, right? Especially since he confessed his ardent love for me. It's also pointless - at least for his purposes. The thing is, I never lived with him and we dated for less than a year. I don't have any constructive criticism for him that will help him with his present quest for self-transformation.

My inclination was not to answer at all. After all the time he took to (unnecessarily) outline his entire life since last we met, though, I felt like some kind of response was in order.

This is what I wrote:

Dear Ex-Boyfriend (not his real name),

Sorry to hear you're in the middle of another divorce. I knew you'd gotten divorced from First Wife (not her real name), but didn't know you'd married again (and again and again).

I don't think I can (or want to) offer you any help with your request. There was no issue in our relationship that caused our breakup, it just wasn't what I wanted (and I was never that into you).

Take care,

Dorothy (not her real name)

A perfunctory reply, yes, but I have to confess, I was more than a little annoyed at the whole thing. I wasn't flattered or inclined to help him. The fact that he's on his 4th divorce only confirms that I was dead right in not wanting to be with him. I mean seriously? FOUR divorces? After 2 maybe you pump the breaks and reflect. After three, maybe you really take your time before marrying wife #4.

I don't remember him as the kind of guy who averages a new wife every two years, but maybe that's one of the things that I knew and never processed. Maybe I just didn't care since I thought of it as a mostly casual thing. I'm not sure.

What I wanted to write was:

Dear Ex-Boyfriend,

What's past is past. Let it go. I never loved you and never wanted more than regular sex and an occasional dinner companion from you. If you're in the middle of your 4th divorce in 9 years, you're probably an irredeemable dick. While this isn't how I remember you, I have to admit, I don't remember you well.

Please, please (pretty please) never contact me again.


Sometimes people are so dumb.


Dirty Kitten said...

I'm pretty sure I know who this is. Do I know? You should've sent the second email.

hannahjustbreathe said...

Wow... I admit, I'm torn. Part of me understands your frustration and WTF response. Him contacting you nearly a decade later is kind of annoying and hilarious...and very sad, because clearly he's just NOW reflecting on events and people long past.

But, another part of me kind of feels for the guy. I mean, hell, at least he's TRYING---however late---to understand how he's ended up where he is: in a not so great, unhappy place. And so if you don't feel any animosity toward him and he didn't break your heart and you were the one who up and moved on...well, then, what's the harm/big deal in writing him back and wishing him well?

It's a tough one indeed.

Dorothy said...

Kit - I'm pretty sure you don't know who this is. And no, I shouldn't have sent the secon one.

Hannah - You're right. He's trying. And my better instincts prevailed. I think a lot of my irritation was with myself for ever having been in a situation where I dated a guy I wasn't really interested in.