When Should You Stop Wishing Your Ex A "Happy Birthday"?

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They say, it takes half the time you were with someone to get over them. I wish there was such a formula, rule of thumb, something, with regard to exes and birthdays. Sadly, it’s just one of those grey areas in life, and some days, like today, I hate that.

 

Birthday Cake

Image:Will Clayton via Flickr

My ex boyfriend's birthday is coming up and I’m torn about whether or not I should wish him a happy birthday.  It’s not that we ended on bad terms, but rather that we never speak.  In fact, the only time we speak is on his or my birthday, otherwise nothing, just silence until the next year. Part of me wonders, "How long this will go on?" Do we just keep sending two word emails to each other ("Happy Birthday" and "Thank you") twice a year until we die?  Certainly not. So when does it end?

I never struggle when it comes to my other exes. I was so young back then, and while I cared for each of them very much, what we shared was less significant. Even though I’ve gotten over this particular break up, I don’t know if I’ll ever get over not having him in my life.

Something I don’t think I’ll ever understand about relationships is how someone so important can just fade into the background of your life. Why does moving on almost always have to mean losing touch?

“If two past lovers can remain friends, either they are still in love, or never were.”-Unknown

He and I didn’t date for very long. We never even said "I love you". Not that it matters.  I’ve had relationships where I’ve said things I didn’t mean or worse, didn’t say the things I should have said. Both accomplish the same end; we lose what we were trying to protect.  Still, I cried when I read his response to my break up letter.  It was one of the most beautiful things anyone’s ever written me.  

Maybe we never had love, but what we had was just as important: respect.  Even though I’m happy now with someone else and so is he, I’ll always wish that we could have remained friends.  Perhaps because I still and always will love him for what he taught me, or because I never did; it’s a bittersweet moment when you realize there’s nothing left, not even a happy birthday.

What is the statue of limitations on wishing your ex happy birthday? Tweet me.

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