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Love Lab


To the woman before me

I have never met you and you don’t know me. We’ve never spoken before and it’s unlikely that our paths are ever going to cross. Strangers in nearly every way and yet, so very significantly – we share something in common. You see, we have both fallen in love with the same man. Although, your love came many years before mine and offered stability and a promising future, it never came to be and you fell short of making it to the stage of ‘forever’. Only time will determine if my love will go further, last longer, delve deeper. But one thing is for certain – though we’ve loved the same man as fate has seen it, we have each loved him differently. I guess this is the story of how that happens.

We are the typical scenario. Your relationship with him fails and you move on, you meet someone else and start your life over. What happens in his life now becomes a distant interest and naturally, you will have not even the slightest idea of my existence. Unless of course, it’s through the Chinese whispers of mutual friends between you both. “Hey, you know… that guy you were dating is seeing someone else now.” You hear about it on the grapevine but that’s about as far as your knowledge of me goes – I am just somebody else.

But to me – you are more. Because while I may never have met you, I know quite a lot about you and you are not just a faceless name – instead, you are a fragment of his life before me – a piece of his past that leaves a lingering presence. This is both the beautiful and ugly side of love. It is an emotion that remains. It never leaves a heart, it simply changes, evolves, transforms.

I know how your relationship ended, how after seven solid years you both agreed to close that specific united chapter of your lives. An evolvement of time saw your feelings for him slowly diminish while you invested your interest in someone new, letting go of your attachment to the man you loved  for so long – until in the end, you separated yourself from being in love with him. Eventually, his own heart followed suit and he let go of the many ways he loved you to free himself to be appreciated by somebody else. Both of you – claiming back your hearts in an attempt to find something even more fulfilling than you’d already experienced together.

It is true, that in past moments, I have occasionally bad-mouthed you, predominantly for your acts of unfaithfulness but honestly, perhaps equally through my own feelings of frustration and insecurity too. But hoarding negative feeling is like breathing poison – and all that the same time, it does  not change the choices you made or make me a better person than you are and so I am done with that. In many ways, I am thankful for your exit from your years-long relationship for you left the door open for me to come into his world and love him as fiercely as I do. But frustration is an ever present emotion because close as I get to his heart, I am pushed back by a barrier only you had the control to the place there. You see, he has moved on from you – taken back his love and redefined it and it many ways, it is probably more profound than it has ever been but we seem forever caught up in a battle of trust. He does not trust me like I’d hoped he would have, because instead, he’d trusted you more than he should have and now, I am left helplessly feeling that often there are times I pay the price for your mistakes.

Reassurance comes in the forms of telling him that just maybe my heart carries more sense than yours did. My love is more sincere and my morals placed quite some levels above yours, for I know I would never break his heart the same way. But of course, you’d have told him these same very words. The only difference being – the unseen weight of truth between your sentiments of commitment and mine. I get angry with you – a person I have never met nor will ever have the desire to, because I feel while you have moved on with your life, you have taken a piece of the man I love with you, blissfully unaware of his shred of broken trust locked tightly in the confines of your relationship memory box. It is there, sat amongst the fierce rows that likely exploded between you like empty, un-pretty fireworks when  the secret of your infidelity poured out around him and he saw the lies in a love he believed was true. It is harboured in the stash of memories you have, of sneaking away from him to share the bed with someone else, in the untruths you spoke of where you’d been and who with. You still have the smithereens of the trust you effortlessly broke down but you are unaware and he is unconvinced.

I am told he has moved on though, even this came some time after being the rebound of your relationship melt-down. I believe him. I know he keeps no significant feeling toward you now, you are a piece of the past always – but he has focused his love, attention and energy into building something uniquely special with me. All those hopes and dreams of families and future, are coming together now and every day we are creating something that grows more exquisite and beautiful by the day. He also tells me that I have his complete trust but this bit, I know isn’t quite so deep in truth. Though I must remind myself that he may not truly realise this himself yet and he may never until the day comes that he truly does trust again. I am learning that recovering from having your trust smashed takes quite some time…

Be rest assured of this though, the story of how we have loved him differently – will end differently; because my unwavering commitment will eventually win over his trust while you lost that completely on the day you let him go.

And so I end this, in a tangle of words of frustration, anger, sadness and gratitude. I am sorry, on your behalf for the mistakes you’ve made and the hurt you’ve caused but I am equally thankful – for what has been your biggest loss, has swiftly become my strongest love.


  • This is a great piece. Possibly made more so by the fact that I genuinely feel every once of your frustration myself having been or I suppose still being in a situation where life is still, in a way, dictated to by damage that’s been done in the past.x

    • Amy Tocknell says:

      I can relate to that! being punished for the mistakes of someone before you can be very cruel. xx

      • Amy, it is an unfair justice that we end up paying for another’s mistakes before us. It seems too many of us ladies have been in this place before. Thanks for stopping by :) xx

    • Thank you, Rebecca; for the read and comment. Sorry you’re at the same stage, just knowing we are capable of loving better is always a comfort though xx

  • Dani Mountain Dani Mountain says:

    I’ve been dealing with this very situation. I was also considering writing a similar piece until I read this and you took the words right out my mouth!

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