Yesterday I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. As we did our quick five-minute catch-up, she asked me how my ex was doing. After I did my well rehearsed polite response, “Actually we aren’t together anymore, so I am not entirely sure,” she gave me the immediate look of sadness and sympathy that I always get. I’m well used to that look, I guess that’s what happens when the man you thought you were going to marry breaks up with you, but after giving me “the look,” she told me that she knows I’ll find someone new and I will love him just as much, if not more. Her words, meant to make me feel better about being single, really got me thinking. I hope she is wrong. I hope I never find someone I love as much as him. I don’t say that because I am a cynic, and I don’t say that because I hope we get back together. I say that simply because the love I shared with him was too much for me. It was raw, it was passionate, it was all-encompassing, it was emotional, it was everything. He was the first thing I thought about in the morning and the last thing I thought about at night. I felt incomplete when I wasn’t around him, and when he was near it was like everything was right in the world again. He was my other half, and what I considered the best part of myself. He made me crazy and emotional. It was like our entire time together was a roller coaster of missing him, loving him, hating him, and needing him. And I pray to God I never ever feel that way again. I hope my ex was the love of my life because I never want to feel that kind of love again. I had it for three years. It changed my life and it is something that I will cherish for the rest of forever. I found that kind of love young and I loved every minute of being in it. Even when we were fighting and I hated him, I loved it. But I never want to feel it again. That kind of pain and hurt mixed in with such passionate love was too much for me. It was too much for my heart to handle and when he decided to leave me, I didn’t understand how the world would keep turning. But it did keep turning, and one day the ache in my chest stopped hurting and all the broken little pieces of my heart and soul seemed to be put back together. That’s when I realized I don’t need that kind of love or that kind of life. It’s not that I don’t want to fall in love again. I can’t wait to fall in love again, but I hope and pray it is a very different kind of love. I don’t want someone to be my other half, I want someone who makes me feel whole on my own. I don’t want to miss someone so much it hurts, I want to know that even when I am apart from him I can trust him and know that he is coming home to me. I don’t want him to be my last thought when I go to bed at night because I want him to be beside me when I go to bed at night. I don’t want him to be the best part of me, I want him to encourage me and push me to be the best self I can be on my own. I want a partner. I want someone I can rely on 24 hours out of the day, seven days a week. I want a love that makes me smile and go to bed completely content with my life, not one that keeps me up at night. I don’t want a man who treats me like a princess and the most precious thing in the world, I want him to treat our daughter like that. I don’t want to be the love of his life because I want our family to be. My ex taught me more about love and life than he will never know. After the break up my friends always told me that he would never find someone who loved him quite like I did. They said it to make me feel better, but I hope the same is true for him, too. We were young and naive and loved being in love, but it was the wrong kind of love. I hope it was a once in a lifetime kind of love for the both of us, and I hope one day we both find a better, more whole kind of love.