I found out yesterday afternoon that my Long Term Ex is getting married.
I had always assumed that hearing the news that he was engaged would be very, very odd, and it was a bit odd, mainly because he’s the oldest of old-school Debretts types, and therefore the last person on the planet I would expect to announce that sort of news by text message.
Because you’re meant to find it a bit weird, aren’t you? Hearing that the first guy you fell love with is getting married to someone else – not because you think you should still be together, but just, well, because. Because he played an enormous part in your life and your emotional growing up. Because there was a point, way back when, when you assumed that it would be the two of you walking down the aisle. Because you assumed you’d be a part of that family, with its quirks and foibles. And now, you won’t be.
Even after LTE and I split up, there were occasional flashes when I thought we’d get back together – the text messages that suggested there was a lingering sense of something, or that scene at his father’s funeral. And then there was the weekend in 2006 when it looked like it would happen, only for the whole thing to come crashing down and the heart made to feel a bit wobbly all over again. And there were those few months in 2008 when - yet again - things were heading in a back-together direction only for it to fall apart in spectacular fashion.
So the assumption was that when the time and the news came that he was finally getting married to someone else – no matter how far I’d moved on, or who I was with – that it would pinch at the heart a bit.
And if I’m being honest, the text did surprise me a bit. It came through in the middle of the afternoon, and I was knee-deep in a report for a client; given the enormous out of the blueness of it all, it’s no wonder it made me pause for a second before going back to re-read it.
As I re-read it, I waited for the weirdness to kick in, the sense of adrenaline-like tingling and faint nausea that goes hand in hand with hearing news of a romantic interest’s current romantic state. And I waited. And waited a bit more. And the feeling never came. Instead, just a sense of surprise that he’d told me by text message, and an intense sense of relief that all I felt was genuine happiness.
“I had a text from my ex-boyfriend today,” I told The Writer later that night.
“Oh yes?” He looked up from his iPad, eyebrow raised.
“He’s getting married.”
“Oh. Well, good.”
Which is, surprisingly, how I feel about it as well.