From afar, if you need to.
Removing dangerous, manipulative, or abusive exes from the list, how do you love an ex that is an ex for no glaring fault?
Allow yourself to remember that there was a reason you fell for them in the first place. It might make no sense to your older heart. But there was a time when their name on your screen made your heart race, the sound of their voice brought on giddy giggles. You don’t need to invalidate your younger self by pretending that wasn’t the case.
There was a time you said I love you and meant it—even if now that sounds like the most ridiculous thing in the world. But you said it. And you may have even believed it with everything in you. You don’t now and that’s okay. But you did. And that’s okay too.
You loved who you were with them. So maybe you can love who you were with them from here too. With more years and distance behind you. With more space. Beyond that, you can learn to love who you are without them.
How do you love an ex?
You love yourself.
You fall in love with the way your name sounds leaving your own lips.
You hear the song you used to share and smile about how it used to feel like ecstasy. Think about a couple who still shares that song. It never belonged to only the ex and you. It belonged to love. It belonged to all of us.
So how do you love an ex?
Wholeheartedly. With patience and understanding. With grace. Kindness. Acceptance.
I’ve had this question on my white board for weeks. And as I’ve been drafting out thoughts over the course of the morning, I think I’ve found my answer. The way you love an ex is the way you love yourself. May it be honest and kind.