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(Almost) Over You

September 29, 2011

There it was, at the bottom of the tan purse I never wear: a grocery list from another life.


Frozen dinners

Diet Coke

Ice cream


Oatmeal cookies

I haven’t thought of buying Cheez-Its or oatmeal cookies since the day I moved out of your house. This list was pre-breakup.

A year ago, finding this list would have been devastating. Alongside this list would have come tears, regret and hurt. This slip of paper would have been a painful window into a world where I was part of a “we” who were planning to get married and live happily ever after.

Today, this list is simply a reminder of my past. I feel nostalgic, but not sad. Pensive, but not overwhelmed. And I throw the list away.

I’m (almost) over you.

I’ve created this timeline of my life. There’s pre you – the years until I was 18. There’s you – 18-25. And then there’s post-you, my life after cancelling our wedding.

I’m realizing that post-you are some of the best times of my life. I like who I am post-you more than I’ve ever liked myself before.

I’m (almost) over you.

I don’t think of you as often as I used to. In fact, this is probably the least in my adult life I’ve thought about you. Since we started dating when I was 18, it was all you, you, you. I liked you. I loved you. I worried about you. I cared for you. I thought about you. With you, I had some of the most romantic moments of my life. You, you, you.

And then it all came crashing down. You hurt me. You lied to me. You caused me pain. I was angry with you. I couldn’t bring myself to forgive you. I missed you. I yearned for you. I wanted you back. But I didn’t want you back. I wanted my old life with you back. You, you, you.

I don’t think of you every morning. I don’t dwell on the pain. It still hurts sometimes, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t allow myself to be swallowed up in the sadness. I no longer go swimming in the memories, hoping for an escape from my new life. I no longer close my eyes and conjure your eyes, your lips, the way I felt in your arms. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I cried over you. I can’t promise I won’t shed another tear over you, or our relationship, but it’s nice to know that my tears are my own again.

I’m (almost) over you.

When I think about a relationship with another man, I don’t think about whether or not I am ready. I do not consider if I’ve moved on too fast or if I’m on the rebound. I think about whether this person is right for me – regardless of what happened with you and me. I try not to compare him to you. I mostly succeed.

I’m (almost) over you.

Sometimes I still wonder how you are doing. I wonder if you are happy. I wonder what you think about me, and I can almost imagine you reading this, shaking your head. You always told me that I care too much what people think of me.

I wonder if you’re proud, or what you think of my new car, and I know that you hate my blog, but what about my writing? Do you think I have potential? What do you think of who I’ve become?

If I close my eyes tight, I can still feel myself dancing with you in the pool in Jamaica. The cool water splashes around us as you dip me. I watch the people gazing at us as the moon rises in the sky. I’d never been more in love. I’ve never experienced such romance.

I listen to the sounds of the lake, and I can faintly hear us talking. “Let’s buy a cabin,” you say excitedly as I float lazily in the water. Maybe we can buy a cabin after all; we had been looking at rings …

I glance at the hallway in my apartment, and I can see us kissing. You had just helped me move out of your house, into my new apartment. My sister and Dawn left us to be alone, to say goodbye, and I kissed you for the last time. I can see myself hugging you, watching you get in the U-Haul, and then I see you driving away. I saw you a few times after that, but I will never forget watching you drive that truck away. Suddenly, you were gone. It was really over.

I’ve thought for months that these memories are unhealthy, signs that I am not over you. I’ve worried that if these thoughts haunt me forever, I will never be able to move on.

But then I close my eyes and I can remember exactly how I felt the day I was offered my job at the agency. My heart beats faster when I imagine the moment I realized I had been Freshly Pressed. I can summon the pain of losing my uncle. All those experiences feel like they were yesterday, as well.

They are memories. They are part of me. The culmination of these memories, experiences, feelings and thoughts are all part of me. Good and bad. Pre-you, you and post-you.

I’m (almost) over you.

Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

71 Comments leave one →
  1. Caroline permalink
    September 29, 2011 11:28 am

    This is great, Catherine! You are such an inspiration to me! My boyfriend of over 2 years broke up with me last Saturday and it’s been an emotional rollercoaster. But having this blog makes it a little easier 🙂 I think you are such a strong woman who is going to take the world by storm! I hope one day I will be able to look at my past relationship as you are looking at yours! Thanks again for this blog!

    • October 4, 2011 8:21 pm

      I’m sorry to hear all you’ve been going through – that’s really tough. I know exactly what you mean by the emotional rollercoaster. Just know with time, it will get better. Promise. I really appreciate your kind words… your comment is exactly why I started the blog. I wanted to be a resource for other people (women) going through a tough time. So thanks for taking the time to comment. Take care of yourself and please do keep me updated on how you are doing!!

  2. September 29, 2011 11:31 am

    ah girl! as always, love love love it

  3. Emily permalink
    September 29, 2011 11:37 am

    so good, exactly how I feel at moments. Then I realize I am better off! Good for you!

    • October 4, 2011 8:19 pm

      “Then I realize I am better off!” AMEN! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Mari permalink
    September 29, 2011 11:41 am

    I absolutely love your perspective!! We all hurt, we all have made mistakes but not all of us can look back at past relationships with as much grace as you do! As always, thank you so much for sharing, Catherine!! ((:

    • October 4, 2011 8:18 pm

      Aww, that’s so sweet Mari. Thank you. I’m a work in progress here, and I’m not always so.. err… graceful. 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment and for reading.

  5. September 29, 2011 11:52 am

    Ooooof. Terrific blog today, girl. This hits home! It can be so haunting at times but you’re totally right. In my best, most exciting moments ‘post-you,’ I didn’t think about him. That’s what gives me the fire to live in a purposeful way. Great writing, too. 🙂

    • October 4, 2011 8:17 pm

      Thanks so much, mandi 🙂 Glad this resonated with you (as so many of your posts do for me!!). I love not thinking about him. It’s like the best present I’ve ever gotten myself.

  6. Jes permalink
    September 29, 2011 12:13 pm

    Reading this at work.. and i just literally started crying.. (HOpefully nobody is watching me!) Catherine.. sometimes i think that you ARE me. When you wrote about your new car, i laughed because i too told the dealership that i needed 4 doors for my future children, and it got awkward when He asked if i was “expecting” and i said No… 🙂 And today when i read this.. i think you reallllly are me!! (my ex-boyfriend and i even danced in a pool in Jamaica…) And this described exactly how i feel about him… I am over him, i dont want him back, i dont think of him every morning, it doesnt HUrt… I am Proud of the ME that i have become in the past year, i like who i am with out him…
    But the memories dont go away, and they were amazing memories. .. And wanting to be a part of a “WE” doesnt go away either.. Especially when the “we” lasted so long and had so many plans together… I dont think it’s is unhealthy to have those memories or those thoughts.. cause it is a part of who we are.
    I think the “almost” will always be there… I dont think you ever Completely GEt OveR those that you once loved. And i think that is Okay..

    • October 4, 2011 8:16 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your story!! It is funny how much we have in common. Or maybe there are people dancing in pools in Jamaica all the time? LOL. It sounds like you’ve come a really long way as well. Congrats on that. I like how you said that you think the “almost” will always be there… I tend to agree. I just want to make sure the “almost” isn’t a negative force in my life.
      Hope you got your 4-door car, are enjoying it, and thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate your support!!

  7. natasha permalink
    September 29, 2011 12:16 pm

    Fantastic 🙂 Once again, you made me cry. With each memory you spoke of, I was brought back in time to that exact moment. Wow. It’s amazing how much time has passed and how much you have changed! Congratulations on another great post!

    • October 4, 2011 8:13 pm

      Thanks, Natasha. It is funny, as I was writing this, I thought about how you and Dawn would probably feel the most connected to some of these memories. And you guys were an important part of me surviving the hard times. So thank you. And stop crying at work. 🙂

  8. September 29, 2011 12:16 pm

    A few weeks ago I was cleaning out an old wallet and found a paper where my husband showed me how to write my name in Arabic when we first met 8 years ago. I of course lost it, but this post gives me hope that someday I can look at that slip of paper and keept it together. Great post, Catherine!

    • October 4, 2011 8:12 pm

      I believe that eventually, we will all get to a place where these reminders aren’t a gateway to tears and depression. I don’t know if it’s numbing with time, simply accepting and becoming accustomed to your new life, or truly getting “over” someone, or maybe all these things together, but I think we all get here. You just have to believe it and put in the time/work to get there. I’m really enjoying following your journey 🙂

  9. Just Saying permalink
    September 29, 2011 12:49 pm

    Hugs. But yay you for moving forward and growing!! woot woot!!!
    Great Post!

  10. Farrah permalink
    September 29, 2011 1:27 pm

    Isn’t it amazing the power a little scrap of paper can have. I was cleaning in my room on Monday night, and found a little pink post it note that I had made when when I first met my ex. I had listed a few details that he had mentioned in our early conversations, his birthdate, a few songs he liked, and that he had played soccer in high school. It did bring a tear to my eye, but more like you said, nostalgia not total pain. It made me think of how hopeful I had been when I first met him. I moped a little, then reminded myself that someday, I will feel like that at the start of a new relationship, excited to learn all those little details about someone new. Just kind of wish that someday was here already!

    • October 4, 2011 8:10 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experiences! It is such a relief, for me, to not feel awful pain when I find these momentos of our relationship. As early as 6 months ago, a situation like this could sidetrack an entire afternoon for me. I would feel blue for hours. Now I can much more easily handle it. I love your first date list — would be a great idea if you are looking for Christmas ideas later! But, I would get too bummed out if I made this list every time I went on a first date! LOL

  11. September 29, 2011 2:06 pm

    I have tears. Happy tears.Triumphant tears. Nostalgic tears. Thank you for sharing how all those tears co-exist. You’re so beautiful and strong. Great post.

    • October 4, 2011 8:07 pm

      Aww, thank you KD! You are an inspiration in yourself! Thanks for being such a supporter of mine… you are the best.

  12. September 29, 2011 2:35 pm

    Beautiful post. I went through similar stages with my most recent ex, and I’m glad that I too can think of him or find mementos of our relationship without breaking down.

    • October 4, 2011 8:06 pm

      Solitary Diner,
      Thanks so much. Glad to hear I’m not alone in this 🙂

  13. September 29, 2011 2:55 pm

    This is literally the most beautiful piece of writing that I have read in months (And I read a lot!!!) You are incredibly beautiful and talented.

    And I agree with what Jes says “I think the “almost” will always be there… I dont think you ever Completely GEt OveR those that you once loved. And i think that is Okay..”

    • October 4, 2011 8:06 pm

      Thank you so much! That means so much to me (I can’t even tell you). I agree with you and Jes… a little bit of the “almost” will probably always be there. As long as it isn’t something that holds me back from moving on and starting anew, I can live with it!

  14. mom permalink
    September 29, 2011 5:32 pm

    Great writing again Catherine I am so proud of you
    love mom

  15. Random Cook permalink
    September 29, 2011 6:40 pm

    That was a really good post and I am sure it was hard to write. You always have my support and my love. Good luck with getting (completely) over him. Or maybe you never will, but that’s OK because something that special that almost led to marriage isn’t something you may ever want or need to (completely) get over. Love you.

    • October 4, 2011 8:04 pm

      Thank you so much. Hard to write – and hard to put out there in a public forum for sure. As always, I appreciate your support. You are a wonderful man 🙂

  16. September 29, 2011 8:38 pm

    Beautiful. I felt like I was walking beside you and living those memories. You brought the scenes to life. I only know you as a blog friend, but I can see how far you’ve come in your writing and your strength. Sending you wonderful thoughts. May you one day have the nostalgia without any tears, the way my friends and i share memories of guys from our early days and laugh at each other over the heartaches we felt.

    • October 4, 2011 8:02 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment. You have been a blog friend for the long haul for sure, so it means a lot to me to hear you say I’ve come a far way. I have the same hopes as you — and I think I’m well on my way. Thanks for joining me on this journey 🙂

  17. September 29, 2011 8:54 pm

    Yay!!!! I know exactly how it feels. You are further down the path than I, I am still at the stage of not wanting to forget. Good for you 🙂

    • October 4, 2011 8:01 pm

      Thank you, The Edmonton Tourist. We’ll all get there – I’m still working on it, but recognizing how far I’ve come (and how far you’ve come) is an important part of the process. You say “I am still at the stage of not wanting to forget.” That is one of my biggest fears, actually. Letting the end of the relationship (and how terrible it was) make me forget the entire relationship. There were so many good times that I want to always remember. I just need to know that those times are memories, like any other memory, and I can create new memories moving forward. Not sure if that helps you… but you should know, I think you are doing great! 🙂

  18. Miss Sunshine permalink
    September 30, 2011 8:06 am

    Catherine, wow, this is the best post you have written. Touching, precise, sensitive and honest. It made me cry. He hurt you, but he inspired you and in a way, he still inspires you.

    • October 4, 2011 7:58 pm

      Miss Sunshine,
      Thank you so much for your positive comments. I really appreciate it – I think this is one of my favorites too (ha, if I do say so myself – that sounds so terrible!). This post was sort of living in me for a while, so I’m glad I finally found the courage to write it. It’s funny – this relationship, this loss, has inspired me creatively more than anything in my life. In a way, I should be forever grateful – this situation got me writing again. I can’t believe I ever stopped.

  19. September 30, 2011 9:57 am

    Change is happening It’s sounds like you are well on your way to dropping the almost 🙂

    • October 4, 2011 7:55 pm

      Thank you, Tori. I tend to think of changes as big moments – a Christmas without him, our wedding day passing. But you are right, a lot happens day to day. And it can be surprising when you look back – wow, I really am doing well! 🙂

  20. September 30, 2011 10:27 am

    I’ve worried this about myself. Still thinking back on some fond and not so fond memories from an old relationship. I like the perspective you put on this. It makes it easier when dealing with those memories that seems to come on their own.

    • October 4, 2011 7:54 pm

      I don’t know how far removed you are from your relationship, but it does get easier with time. Your mind creates little filing cabinets for memories (or mine did anyway)…. good memories, bad memories, just plain old memories that don’t really evoke emotion… and if you are really self aware, you can physically feel a memory coming on that will bother you, and you can file it away. Maybe for later, maybe not at all. Don’t forget that you do have some control over your mind – and should you ever find yourself agonizing over a memory, you just need to tell yourself to stop. Enough is enough. Self torture doesn’t help anyone!

  21. September 30, 2011 2:35 pm

    Beautiful. I love this. Thank you for your vulnerability and openness, as always. I think most of us can identify with the sentiment.

    Those damn grocery lists. heh. And bless them, too, for reminding us of all this. Of how far we’ve come, and of who we are now.

    • October 4, 2011 7:50 pm

      You know, I hadn’t thought of it like that. Maybe these lists (or other physical remains of a relationship past) aren’t nuisances… maybe they are really important parts of this process. Maybe we need these moments to remind us what we’ve achieved. I like looking at it like that, thanks 🙂

  22. October 1, 2011 3:40 am


    That’s all I have to say….

  23. October 1, 2011 1:15 pm

    This is great. Good for you! Keep it up until the “almost” is gone!

    • October 4, 2011 7:48 pm

      Muchas gracias, utahstateaggiegirl! Part of me thinks a little bit of the “almost” will linger forever. Like my mom says that she will always love my dad – even more than 20 years after the divorce. Maybe it isn’t so bad that he will always have a little piece of my heart – as long as it doesn’t keep me from moving on. Appreciate your reading and commenting!

  24. October 2, 2011 4:03 am

    Such a beautifully written and beautifully true piece. I love your blog. Thanks for sharing it with us all 🙂

  25. October 2, 2011 3:50 pm

    Great writing. The almost will never leave you because that is what has made you who you are today. Our past is always there, we can’t change that. Just keep holding your head up and know that it was HIS loss, he missed out on YOU :0

    • October 4, 2011 7:45 pm

      Thank you so much, dapeach. You are right – these things are all a very important part of who I am now. However it took me to get here… I really am liking myself much more these days.

  26. October 8, 2011 9:56 pm

    Absolutely brilliant and powerful writing!

  27. December 23, 2011 11:39 am

    awesome….:) keep it up..

  28. stephanie permalink
    January 2, 2012 1:53 am

    Oh my, I am so thankful I found your blog today. I have been on a roller coaster ride of emotions. My story is too long and complicated to put on here, but imagine him telling you that you are an amazing phenominal woman and he adores you, but is confused and scared(main issue is my family). Three weeks who he ran into a girl he knew years who and wants to date her. Wants to still be friends because he isn’t convinced we are truly over, texts and calls me when he misses me. Ugh!!!! It is so toxic…..all of this right at Christmastime. It is great to read your blog, though, it helps tremendously.

    • February 6, 2012 10:01 pm

      I’m sorry I missed this comment! That sounds like an awful situation… I hope that you are doing bettter now. You deserve so much, do not let one person make you discredit yourself!

  29. Sylmar permalink
    January 15, 2012 1:28 am

    This is a great post! Thank you for sharing. It’s very inspirational and I look forward to my new life, and the adventures that lay ahead. When I miss him, I just remind myself that he ruined our beautiful relationship and that he chose this for us, and it helps… I too am able to throw away my “box of momentos” that I’ve collected over the years… It’s got a new place…. the trash!!

    • February 6, 2012 9:50 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it and sorry for my delay in replying, I was out of town when your comment went through. It sounds like you are definitely on the road to recovery. Just keep your head up, you’ll be OK, promise!

  30. Evelin permalink
    March 29, 2012 12:17 am

    It’s good to know I’m not alone. My boyfriend ended our relationship of over 3 years the end of May of 2011. I know it’s been almost a year but I only just realized it this past sunday. Honestly in my head I was thinking all he needed was time and anyday he would realize he had made a mistake. The pain finally became to much and I have accepted and realized the relationship was over long before he actually ended it. You see about a year and a half earlier he told me I was his rebound. He took it back when he saw my tears. I am now realizing that he had checked out but only remained because he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. He wanted to love me the way I loved him but he just couldn’t bring himself to that point. He says he still loves me and I don’t doubt it, but it’s the way a friend loves another friend and not the way a man should love a woman, if that makes any sence at all. what hurt the most and is still hurting is the fact that he was my best friend and now that it’s over things are not the same and I doubt they will ever be. When he broke up with me he said it was because of him and not me. He had to “find” himself aso he could be a better boyfriend cause he was a horrible one. All I ever wanted from him was his love and I wanted to help him take over the world, but he wanted to take the world by storm all by himself. I find myself looking at his Facebook page just to look at his face. I love him so much and want him to be happy. I know with time I will get over him, but I know I won’t ever forget him. He changed me for ever.

    • March 31, 2012 9:58 pm

      I’m sorry to hear all you are going through :(. Just know that everything happens for a reason and you’ll understand this reason in time. I believe you’ll be better off long term. It just takes time to get there. Take care of yourself!

    • June 8, 2013 1:43 pm

      How are you now? I am asking because my boyfriend said the same exact things. I loved him more than he loved me. He was with me becos he thought it is better to be with someone who loves you instead of someone you love but doesn’t love back. Please tell me how you are. I want to know if I’l; be okay. 😦

  31. August 19, 2012 11:05 pm

    I LOVE this. You’re a great writer.

  32. June 8, 2013 1:40 pm

    I wanna be where you are.. I want to fast forward to the time I don’t think about him and his promises to me.. He left me all of a sudden one day. It was out of the blue for me. But he had been planning it since quite sometime. I never saw it coming. Now I have no option but to pick up the pieces of my heart and live my life as normal as can be. And its terribly HARD. I want to be in a place happier than this. QUICKLY 😦

  33. July 25, 2013 9:45 pm

    such a beautiful piece. Thanks for writing it.

  34. Shah91 permalink
    February 3, 2014 3:12 am

    Ur blog helps me a lot!!… Broke up with my bf of two years 15 days ago and for my own good decided not to talk to him and it has been killing me!.. I just wish the pain would go away and i want to be happy again… I still love him and miss him, but that doesn’t mean i need him…
    It was a long distance with me in India and him in US…
    I want thank you for helping me get through… The pain is so excruciating that I am not even able to cry, just numbness… Your posts help me to accept the pain…
    Thank you Catherine

  35. Namra permalink
    April 2, 2014 4:44 am

    Love this! Indeed you are beautiful and so strong!!

    Sometimes its all about mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.
    Hugs ❤

  36. Ashley permalink
    May 13, 2014 3:42 am

    Wow. You have no idea how helpful your blog has been to me. My boyfriend of 4 years broke up with me in September. It’s been 9 months and I STILL am just as devastated as I was the day he left me. I often ask myself if ill ever move on and usually I convince myself ill never love again. Can you believe that? 21 years old and I’m convinced ill never love again? It almost sounds silly. But when you’re so heartbroken you believe it. Like the pain is actually in my heart I can feel my heart broken. Your blog is the only thing that has begun to convince me otherwise. Thank you so much

  37. May 15, 2014 12:21 am

    I know this was posted a few years ago, but this is so beautiful and so relevant to my life right now. I can’t say that the loss of my relationship was as devastating as yours… my ex and I were only together for a year. However, he was my first real love. He was my first everything. I am an intense, emotional person and it was an intense, emotional relationship. Four months later, I am still trying to weave my life back together again without him. But the good news is that it does get easier, as this post reflects. I know, deep down, that I am better off. So I am (almost) over my ex too. As a writer, I really admire this piece structurally. And obviously it has struck a chord with many of your readers. If you can arouse a reaction from your readers (tears on my part) you know you’re doing something right. I hope you continue to write. And I hope you found what you are looking for. Thank you for this.

  38. neri permalink
    December 4, 2014 9:06 pm

    me and my ex bf been together for almost 4 years but now he left me after 3 weeks i think im good but still sometimes hurt. when i read ur blog it makes me feel good. that like you’ve experience im now almost over him. thanks for this blog. 🙂

  39. Lexy permalink
    December 20, 2014 12:54 am

    My boyfriend of almost three years broke up with me almost a month ago and is already seeing someone new. Almost everyday is a struggle and the moments of happiness I experience always feel like they are fleeting. My only hope is that one day I can be at the point that I am almost over him. I do find some comfort in knowing so many people feel or have felt the way I do. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences I really appreciate it.

  40. Ann permalink
    March 28, 2015 4:09 pm

    It’s been about 6 months since my ex and I broke up (we were together for 4 and a half years but he couldn’t commit and didn’t see himself with me) and for the first four months I was really good about not talking to him and trying to move on with my life. Then a couple of months ago I broke down and we started talking and seeing each other and other things happened. Last night I was drunk and went over to his house which obviously was a huge mistake and he basically told me that he doesn’t want to be with me and he doesn’t see a future for us and that he only wants to be friends. I feel like we broke up all over again and I hate that I did this to myself… I feel disappointed and as I was trying to deal with all of that I found your blog and I’ve been reading it for over an hour and I just want to say that everything that you write is really speaking to me right now.. you seem like an strong person and I really appreciate you sharing your story.


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