“Sorry this is a bit random but I came across your page at the perfect time and omg you are my fairy godmother right now. Over the summer my then boyfriend now ex cheated on me and unfortunately also our whole friend group fell apart and chose him (they weren’t the best people in the first place so I’m ok with it but it’s going from having everyone to no one) I came across the not focusing on who he could be should be and would be as I feel I spent the last year with him doing exactly this. Everyone around me including myself knew it wasn’t right and he was not being a good guy for me but I was clinging in to who he was and who he could be after exams then after exams it was in 5 years etc but that point kept getting pushed back and never would’ve been met. Even though I’m very happy we aren’t together and have realised my worth, I miss the situation and that’s what’s difficult. Hearing someone say all this is helping me realise that the relationship I miss was myself because I did everything. Anyways thank you so much and sorry for the random message. Hope u are okay xx“
My Dearest Bad Biddie,
You’ve answered a lot of your own questions already, and for that you should be proud. But as usual, here are my two (or three) cents since I’m in the business of giving unsolicited advice. I recently told my husband about my Mr. Could Be. No, not for the first time, as I’ve been open (to a point) with him about my past, but for the first fully raw, brutal, cringeworthy time. While I was lucky my Mr. Could Be ended it with me nine months in rather than years later, I clung onto the “could be” for longer than I cared to admit, and well into my relationship with the man who is now my husband. I did this for two reasons. One, because Mr. Could Be ended our relationship by asking me to leave the door open for us in the future once he “got his act together,” and two, because I let him leave the door open for us because I really believed he needed to get his act together. And because of the above two reasons, I wrote him a letter (yes, the snail mail kind) after we broke up, at some ungodly hour, detailing all the ways he messed up and all the ways I believed he could be better. While I don’t have the letter anymore, I do remember the general gist of the end, which went something like this:
“I wrote the first draft of this letter on a separate piece of paper. It was messy, at times incoherent, and it didn’t look anything like the version of what you are reading now. But the thing is, this second, more composed draft wouldn’t have been possible without the first, messy, incoherent draft. Maybe one day, we can write a second draft together.”
And then I sent it, not realizing that, while this letter was the first time I discovered I could write something that I truly felt deep in my freaking soul, I had also screwed myself over by writing it. In many ways, this letter was indicative of my entire relationship with Mr. Could Be: a relationship based on a fantasy, a story, or a myth. I’ll never know if Mr. Could Be became the person that I thought he could be, but it doesn’t matter because by writing this letter, I fell in love all over again, not with Mr. Could Be, but with the possibility of Mr. Could Be. It took me a while to realize that last bit, and that realization has made all the difference, because now I’m writing a different story, and it’s so. much. damn. better.
What you miss is not who the person your Mr. Could Be actually was and is. What you miss is the camaraderie of a group of friends with a guy you loved and a situation you wanted. But trust me when I say, you don’t want friends who leave you when you break up with your boyfriend, and you definitely do not want a boyfriend who cheats on you. I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but by understanding that what you miss most is yourself and who you were in that relationship, you’ve already won, because even though your ex-boyfriend and his friends have left you, you will never leave you. You are the main character in your own story, so go out and write a different one. I promise, there are much better stories for you out there if you just keep going.
Your internet hype woman