To: The Love of My Life
I’ve already written an open letter to you earlier this year and I called you my university boyfriend but we both know that’s not fair. You always have been much more than that to me. You are The Love of My Life. You were my first love and the biggest love I’ve ever had. We were young when we first started dating. In fact, I met you during Frosh Week and we were inseparable ever since until our relationship finally ended just before our fourth year.
Even though it was “over” I still saw you a lot. We had a lot of the same friends, and our school wasn’t very big. It was hard. Not to mention, you would always find a way to pull me back in. We would talk, try to work things out, and then in public or in front of our friends you would act like I didn’t even exist. It was during that time that my love for you turned to hate. It was the only way I could protect myself from you. Our relationship was toxic. It always was, but it never changed the fact that I loved you and you loved me. I loved you with all my heart, I guess that’s why I could hate you so much too. I hated you for a very long time. I thought if I hated you, you would just go away… But you never did. In fact, you never left. I just kept dating versions of you over and over again.
I even went as far as dating someone who looked, and even acted so much like you. I overheard my sister and mom talk about how much this guy reminded them of you, then I proceeded to meet up with him and call him by your name… But let me be clear, it’s not like I called him by your name once. I called him by your name THREE TIMES IN ONE CONVERSATION!!! I called him by your name, tried to apologize to him and called him by your name twice in my apology. I mean who the fuck was I kidding?! This guy was trying to tell me that I still had feelings for you, but all I kept saying was that I didn’t, and that I hated you. Hate is still a very strong feeling that I had towards you, so yes, in fact I did still have feelings for you. I was most definitely not over you. We eventually broke up, but I still chose to live in denial. Pretending that I wasn’t hurt, and just relived our toxic relationship over and over again. Each time I would feel more and more depleted. So much so, I made a conscious effort to not date at all for the past 9 months. I just knew that there was a lot of pain and hurt that I needed to finally acknowledge and let go of. Not all of it was caused by you.
When we started dating, I was going through a lot of shit with my family back home in Mississauga. Things were really hard with my Dad’s side of the family, and you were always there for me during that time. Even after we broke up, there was a huge fight that happened on Christmas Eve between myself and my sister, against my father’s side of the family. I called you that Christmas Eve because I didn’t know who else to call. You picked up. Thank you. I was so scared and alone that night.
I’m writing you this second letter because I learned a lot about love this year by loving myself really and truly. I’ve also been listening to a lot of beautiful music by Frank Ocean, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Alanis Morissette, and so on. I realized that I hated you so much because I loved you so much. I also learned that my love for you will always be there no matter how much I try to deny it and hate you instead. The difference now is that I’m finally ready to accept my love for you and let it go. When it was good it was beautiful what we had, and so I will forever cherish the good times. But I need to say my final goodbyes to you. You will always have a place in my heart, but I’m willing to let go of the pain so I can finally move on. Goodbye to the Love of My Life. I’m making more room in my heart for myself and for the Man of My Dreams. I know he exists. I just know now that I would never be able to meet him until I forgive you (check) and let go of our past (check). Our love wasn’t perfect but it was very real. I’m done pretending that nothing can hurt me, that you didn’t hurt me, and that I didn’t love you. It has only kept me stuck on you, and no matter how many times I’ve tried (and I’ve tried many, many times) I will never be able to move on properly until I let go. I love you, but I love me more. So goodbye finally, I wish you well.
Alexandra Rinaldo ❤