On September 17, 2016, we had our first date.
On June 21, 2017, he asked me to marry him and put a ring on my finger.
On November 22, 2017, I returned the ring to him.
And that was it. The one I thought I would spend the rest of my life with ended up being someone I’d share my life with for just over a year. I never thought this could happen to me.
I’m not sure what to share about this experience, except that I have no regrets. I made a lot of mistakes, learned from them, and learned a lot about myself – what I really want and need in someone I’d marry. If I hadn’t gone through this relationship, I would never know what I want and need, and I would not have as deep of an appreciation of “the one” when he does come along.
Was I heartbroken? Yes. Did I cry? Of course. Feeling all the grief and crying it all out was necessary for me to heal. It has only been five days since we broke up, so I do expect more tears to come every now and then in the weeks, or months to come.
But right now, I am surprised by myself, because I am doing very okay. Actually, I am much happier today than I was in the past month when things began to really fall apart. It’s very mysterious, this whole process. I am still trying to understand what just happened in the past year.
I thought my happy ending would look like me wearing a white dress, and exchanging vows and rings. Ironically, my happy ending turned out to be quite the opposite – canceling all of our wedding and marriage preparations, then getting out of the relationship and realizing that marrying this guy would have been one of the biggest mistakes in my life. I believe it was the Lord’s mercy that this ended before it was too late.
I could play the blame game but I won’t. Whose fault was it? You can probably argue for both sides and be convincing either way. But to me, I realized it’s not about who did what wrong, but rather, when it comes down to it, we just were not a match. If two people match, you can’t argue about it. But when two people do not match, many things can go wrong even when there is the best of intentions.
I believe that was my exact experience. We both did our best to make it work, because we wanted to make it work. But in the end it just didn’t work, and it was a miserable, heartbreaking reality for us both.
Did we love each other? Yes, we did. But towards the end and after the break up, it would probably be hard for us to answer this question. In any case, we definitely still care about each other. And I am happy that we ended on the best of terms, knowing that we’ve had the joy of sharing our lives together in this time that was given to us.
So my happy ending is not your conventional happy ending. It is a happy one because I am happier now than I was when I was engaged and in a rocky relationship that was tearing my heart apart. Now I am finally released, with many (hard) lessons learned, and with a clearer understanding of what I actually want and need in a relationship. I would never have known what these things were if my time with him never happened. I am forever grateful.
In one week I move back to sunny California to restart my life. I am so happy that I can be with my family again, and that I don’t have to go through another painfully snowy winter in Massachusetts.
In the meantime, I reeeeally need to start packing and getting rid of furniture…