• Alyssa Piperis

What It Means to Me to Be Happy for My Ex + Having Great Guy Friends

It’s been a while sit I’ve sat down to write a blog post and just let my feelings out. I’m constantly thinking through and processing what goes on in this head of mine, but the thought of getting it all out in a way that I feel does it justice can be overwhelming. I guess that’s why I don’t do it as often as I’d like to, which is a poopy excuse.

There’s so much I’ve wanted to write about over the last handful of months— guys that have been there for me, guys that have let me down, and guys I’ve dated. Other things, too, but the juicy guy stuff is fun to write about and look back on later.

I guess I’ll just start by sharing something that’s huge for me. I looked at my ex-boyfriend’s Instagram last night for the first time in a little over six months, and it proved that I’m in as good of a place as I thought I was. Part of me feels like that might sound silly to some people, but a bigger part of me knows that anyone who’s been through a breakup in the last 10 years understands how devastating it can be to have a photo of your ex with someone else pop up. Or something like that. Social media is both great and awful. I think that I tried too hard to be the “cool ex-girlfriend” and make sure my ex and I were on good terms and could be friends, but I got to this point about six months ago in which I had to block him from everything for my own well-being. And that was a year and a half after I had ended the relationship. I’d say it took me a full two years to get over that 11-month relationship. Timing is a strange thing. But, yeah, six-ish months ago, around the year and a half point post-breakup and right before my 24th birthday, I had a drunken night in which a guy friend let me down because he was dealing with his own shit, and I ended up in a lyft ride from a local dive bar (where my coworkers and I are regulars) looking at my ex’s Instagram page. There were comments under a post that signaled he might be seeing someone, and let me tell you… I. Lost. My. Shit. Not in some angry way. I was simply overcome by this intense grief I hadn’t felt since right after the breakup.

I blocked him on everything in the 5-minute lyft ride from the bar to my apartment, walked up to my room, tossed and turned in my bed in my going out clothes and makeup (before I eventually changed and took my makeup off, because I wouldn’t dare sleep in my makeup, thank you very much), and I balled my eyes out and couldn’t catch my breath. I distinctly remember how low I felt. It was a low I hadn’t experienced in a long time, and it felt like I was never going to come out of it. I knew I would, but it was this pure misery. I had this thought, like, “What about people who get locked in this sad space and can’t get out?” I guess that’s a whole other conversation about depression, but I was thankfully able to find my way back to happy. But damn, I felt so low.

Sometimes you just have to block your ex and stop worrying about being “the cool girl” who can be friends with all the guys you’ve dated and had relationships with. Blocking him helped me so much, and I no longer had to cringe every time I opened Instagram or Facebook. It took five or six months after that (aka really recently) for my ex to randomly pop up in a photo on Instagram, and that’s because he, as a comedian, became friends with comedians we were both fans of. So, that happened…he popped up just recently, and I (maybe stupidly) unfollowed a comedian I like because he’s homies with my ex. But, even though I blocked a comedian I like to avoid seeing my ex, it took seeing that photo for me to realize I didn’t feel devastated seeing my ex’s face. And that’s a testament to the work I’ve put in over the last two years.

I’ve worked on myself and built this incredible independence I hold so near and dear. And last night, I randomly felt like I could finally look at my ex’s Instagram. So I did. I looked him up on my phone browser (because I don’t feel the need to unblock him on social media at this point), knowing I’d likely see pictures of him with the girlfriend I’ve been pretty sure he has, especially since he moved into some of my best friends’ apartment building a while back (small friggen world!) and they had told me they’ve seen him with a girl. And ya know what? I FELT OKAY.

That shit is huuuuge. I don’t think I would have been able to check his social media even just a month ago, but I’m finally past the point of being devastated by a photo of him moved on. I'm the one who ended the relationship, so one might think I would have been over this ages ago, but it took me a really long time for whatever reason. Not only was I okay seeing photos of him with his girlfriend and the interactions between her and his friends in the comments section, but I genuinely felt happy for him and them. I care about him and miss him sometimes, but I want him to be happy. I want him to be happy, because I care about him. I have no doubt this girl is lovely. There’s a little part of me that feels envious that she gets to be with him as he’s seeing success, because I feel like I helped him get to that point and was there for him through so much. I also feel like I missed out on knowing his now-best friends and mentors, because I was there through the beginning of his comedy journey and he started killing it towards the very end of our relationship. And this girl will probably (if she hasn't already) get to meet his sister, brother-in-law, and nephews that live in another state...important family members I never got to meet but thought I eventually would and was excited about. Buuut, I was there through some fun and difficult and building block-y times, and he deserves to be happy in general and with someone else.

I’m so good being single right now and exploring myself and truly getting out there and dating tons of people, and that’s my path right now. It’s so nice to know I have this weird boulder lifted off of me. I don’t have to have this worry in the back of my mind of, “What if he pops up?” Or, “What if I see him with another girl in person or on social media?” I’ve seen him and his girlfriend by my own choosing, and I am A-ok! Gosh dangit, that feels good to say and actually mean.

I’m happily single, and I have some of the most wonderful guy friends. A few years ago, I was so focused on my ex and our relationship and I hadn’t established strong friendships, but now I have so many with awesome women and men. I craved close friendships with guys after my relationship ended, and I can now say that I have guys that are there for me when I need them. I have big brother figures and father figures.

I had a guy friend drive my car when I got a little tipsy during our mutual friends’ wedding weekend recently, and he took me out for ice cream, talked to my mom on the phone when she called, helped me take my makeup off and put my jammies on, and he tucked me into the couch I was staying on in my friend’s Airbnb, and he read me poetry. He did all this, even though we dated months prior (this blog post was actually about him) and I let it fizzle out, kinda against his desire. But he’s a good dude and a good friend. He was able to be there for me when I needed him, even though I don’t return his feelings, and that’s a real man. And I have so many good dudes like that in my life. I had a shitty date recently 40 minutes from home, and one of my good guy friends was randomly next to me in traffic as I was getting on the highway after this bad date, and he opened his window, asked me if I was okay, I said I had a “poopy” date, and he yelled back, “We’ll talk about it later!” I instantly felt better after a date I was excited for but let down by. Once again, it’s because of the great guys in my life. This post is all over the place now, sooooo long story long, I’m very lucky and happy and continuing to move the f forward!

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