My friend called to tell me that she and a buddy hitch hiked home after backpacking this weekend and got a ride, by chance, from my ex-boyfriend. Later that day, he emailed to tell me he’d picked up some friends of mine.
…And it made me wonder, at what point does someone stop being your ex-boyfriend and start just being your good friend? Furthermore, if I’d been the hitch-hiker and had never met him before, what light would I have seen him in, this tall, handsome, friendly man picking me up for no reason other than to help out? The thought made me wish, in some ways, that I could see him again as though we’d had no past. As if starting over might somehow be more meaningful.
The answer is clear. Someone stops being your ex-boyfriend when you finally meet someone else who you love more than the ex. It’s been so many years and I’ve been with other people, but I still know that—for both of us—we haven’t met anybody else we’ve loved more than we loved each other. And even though that will change for us both, it’s an interesting position to find yourself in…knowing what someone was, and not yet knowing where you’ll be.