On last Sunday’s episode of Girls, Hannah comes to the startling realization that her ex-boyfriend is now dating one of her recently-estranged friends. She, in true Hannah form, does not process this information well…and behaves badly.
Must we be upset or feel betrayed when an ex moves on?
And today, Facebook reminded me of a post from exactly two years ago that I wanted to share.
While the story definitely went in a different direction just months after this post, my love for my ex-husband is a constant. He is a terrific guy for whom I wish nothing but happiness. My love for him transitioned to a deep platonic love, and in my mind, he will always be family to me.
I hope you enjoy.
April 5, 2014: My good friend is dating my ex-husband and they just recently started to live together. I get looks of incredulity on how this can be OK with me and how we can all maintain a friendship. I’ve even got a “That’s gross!” thrown in. Mostly, people just want to try to understand it, I think.
The best example I can give is this: While visiting their place for the first time after hanging out with my friend and Mazzy, I had to use their bathroom. I walk in and flip on the light, naturally. On the mirror is a heart-shaped Post It, with “I love you, Ashley!” written on it in my ex-husbands writing.
My very first and overwhelming feeling?
Happiness. That gushy kind of happiness that makes you go Awww.
Why? Because I love my friend. I am so glad for her happiness. I love my ex. And I am glad for his happiness and that he allows himself to express it in these little ways that mean so much. They contribute to each other’s lives in ways that he and I never could. It doesn’t make me sad for me. Not in the slightest. Every emotion that I’ve felt, truly felt about that note has been positive.
So, how can I stay friends with them, you ask? Because I know that together they make each other happier individually. And how I felt instantly when I looked at that sweet, heart-shaped note confirmed that love can and does transition if happiness for a friend is what the core goal and emotion is.
So forget what society tells you that you should do. Love who you love. Let love transition to other places. Don’t feel like there is a path that you must follow in order to arrive at someone else’s definition of happiness. Blaze your own path and love openly.