Keeping pictures of an ex partner may seem to some like a desperate attempt at holding on to the past. I have a couple of pictures of a couple of my ex boyfriends in a box with a pile of other old photos of people I may or may not still be in contact with. People who I’ve lost contact with, fallen out with or still see today.
In these pictures, I am only reminded of what good memories I have and I have no intention of rekindling any of my old flames. I am extremely happy in my relationship with Jack but when we were flicking through some photos to find a photo of my dog Rosie to put in a dog themed frame, Jack found himself holding a picture of me and my previous partner.
“Why do you still have this?” He asked.
Because I have no reason to throw it away? Because I’m not a spiteful ex who rips and burns old photos after a difficult breakup? I still have it because every time I look at those smiles on our faces, it reminds me that our breakup doesn’t define us. The end doesn’t sum up those months of ups and downs, smiles and frowns. That relationship wasn’t perfect, but that photo of me and he smiling into the camera reminds me that there were some really good times.
Now, I’ll never purposefully pick out the picture and mourn the inevitability of the end that came, but I will stumble across it when looking through all the others photos in that box of friends, family and ex-boyfriends and I will smile.
I’ll smile of what was.
I’ll smile of what it has made me become.
And I’ll smile, looking forward to many photos of good memories with Jack, thinking about how great life is.