Thank you to … my ex-boyfriend, who is kind to his very core

Dear Nick,

People teach us all the time, if we’re willing to listen. Someone once taught me that Debbie Harry and Blondie were the same person – what a day! A man called Sven taught me I wasn’t as cute as I thought I was – well, he was Scandinavian, so the man’s been spoilt. And science taught me that if you pour boiling water on your arm, it really hurts.

And you taught me even more than the above (if you can get your head around that). When we were in a relationship together, you were endlessly compassionate and made me an infinitely better person; it just took a long time to transform. Sometimes I feel bad that you didn’t get to fully experience the changes. I guess we wanted different things: me to focus on my career and you, a nicer girlfriend. But a romantic relationship isn’t a failure if it ends. Nothing stays the same. That’s the beauty of life.

When I met you I wasn’t fulfilled or happy and I could be selfish and bratty. You were more Buddhist in nature. Actually you were a Buddhist, come to think of it. Which was brave, because no one really suits orange.

You made me realise that you have to switch off from work, make an effort with the shy ones and that sometimes making sacrifices is the right thing to do. You oozed patience, fun and love, and didn’t even have to try – it was second nature to you. My nephews preferred you to me. Of course they did – I preferred you to me.

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When you’re a kind person at your core it comes out in the little ways. If you bought the best cake you had ever tasted, you would save half, so I could have some too. But that was just the tip of the iced bun. You taught me to put family first, read better books, and about the importance of forgiveness. These are the things that can change and enrich not just other people’s lives, but one’s own (and as a selfish brute, that really appealed).

As we grow older, our priorities change and people can be catalysts for that. I now value kindness over status, I value fun over intelligence, and I value connection over money, though I will also take the money, thank you. Now I realise that you actually feel better when you act with integrity, you become happier when you make time for others, and you are actually better off sharing the cake – or at least buying two cakes.

Thank you for making not just my world, but the world better.

Love from Lou x


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