Getting over a vanilla ex

Ring shopping. We went ring shopping.

Well, ring browsing, to be exact. But is there really any difference?

I’d blocked it out completely – like a PTSD-stricken combat victim – but looking through old photos during a recent iPhone update, the whole day came screaming back in a torrent of choppy memories.

First, the excitement, the giddiness, the odd thrill of commitment. Then, the nausea. The claustrophobia. The hot shame.

You’d think, after a few hours spent browsing jewelry stores for engagement rings, you’d actually want to end up with the person you’re shopping with. But that knot in the pit of my stomach on that otherwise lovely spring day told me otherwise. I faked a headache, mumbled something about my period, and dragged him out of the store.

Everything was wrong. What were we thinking? What had I done.

Was I stuck?

Once you shop for a diamond it’s pretty hard to turn around and say “oh wait, I actually think we should break up now.”

But I couldn’t not. I couldn’t stay.

No one should ever let themselves get roped into something so… vanilla. Just because it’s safe, doesn’t mean it’s right.

But still. I made a mockery of him. I left him to be devoured by my overly-protective parents; my doubting sister.

He did everything I asked. He listened, followed instructions diligently, abided by the artificial timeline I had imposed, accepted my Pinterest hints.

He jumped through all the hoops I’d flung at him over the 18 months we were together, never realizing I was setting him up for failure.

My actions and seemingly seesawing desires were self-serving and hurtful, but, as we both came to understand, entirely human. You can’t make yourself feel something you don’t. Even if you fake it convincingly.

He never deserved anything but kindness. I really hope he finds it. I hope he finds her.

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