An Open Letter to the Man Who Jilted Me

Boo! Yeah, that’s right. I was just recently ghosted, big time. It was a hard sucker punch to the gut that came out of nowhere. It left me absolutely blindsided and reeling as if the ground had just caved in underneath me and I was free falling into a black, bottomless abyss. (Dramatic, much? Maybe, but dude. That sh*t hurts.)

I was left asking so many questions, all of which will forever go unanswered. (Is five minutes of closure too much to ask?) I called family, listened to podcasts, texted friends, and watched countless YouTube videos fervently searching for answers. (Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures here, people.)

After countless tears, lots of lyrics from sad songs constantly playing on repeat, and numerous pints of ice cream, I came up for air and wrote this.

To all of the women (and men) who’ve ever been ghosted, I dedicate this one to you. And to the ones who do the ghosting, you know who you are — this one’s for you too.

person by river

An open letter to the man who jilted me…thank you.

Thank you for the anticipation of our very first date and for the butterflies I had as you held my hand walking down the street. Thank you for the flirtatious glances, the elicit exchanges, and the sultry smiles. Thank you for the witty banter over a bottle of wine and a delicious dinner. Thank you for the walk home under the twinkling city lights of a cool summer night.

Thank you for the big bear hug, the cute cuddles, and the warm embrace. Thank you for making me feel protected and safe. Thank you for the excitement of a first kiss. Thank you for making me feel loved, special, and wanted. You reminded me what it’s like to love again.

You found me at the right time, and I saw a future with you from that first night. I bet everything on what we had, but I should have known better than that. 1

You see, in the end, it’s not what you did, it’s what you didn’t do. The devil is in the details — and I won’t share the hell you put me through. But as I try to find beauty in the breakdown, I’ll thank you.

I know I’ll be better off alone if I just give it some time. After all, broken hearts have a mind of their own. I wish I knew a way to skip over the pain. There’s no way to say how long it will take until all of the damage comes undone, so all I can do is try to get through. But as I do, I wanted to say it again: thank you. 2

Thank you for helping me realize how truly amazing I really am. Thank you for nudging me to listen to the timid and tiny voice, though silent and strong, that resides deep within every cell and fiber of my being. The one who whispered to me in the dead of the night, “This isn’t right.”

Thank you for showing me who you really are. Thank you for teaching me that actions speak louder than words. Thank you for letting me down because you showed me how you could never be the man I needed you to be. Thank you for reminding me to look past your good looks and to tap into how you really made me feel.

Thank you for reminding me to trust my better judgment when I saw the red flags. Thank you for the anxiety, confusion, and frustration — because they were all signs screaming you weren’t the one and that I should run. Now I know for next time.

Thank you for allowing me to come completely undone. This allowed me to complete a chapter, end a season, and let go of what was and what potentially could have been so I could open up space for someone else that isn’t you.

Thank you for the freedom that comes from lightening the load I no longer needed to carry. Thank you for all of the time I now have that isn’t filled with constantly asking questions, being left waiting, and wondering why.

Thank you for the release and the surrender. Thank you for allowing me to lean into my faith and a higher power. Thank you for making me stronger — even though I really didn’t want to be. I’m better off for it.

Thank you for the unexpected kindness, love, and support that came from friends and total strangers. Thank you for that first morning I didn’t wake up crying. That sunrise was beautiful without you. Thank you for the first smile and laugh I had after you left — boy, did that feel good again. 

Thank you for the inner strength I knew I had but had long ago since forgotten. Thank you for forcing me to see my own worth even when I failed to see it within myself. Thank you for the grief and the pain that comes from the release of trappings from a relationship I didn’t really love. Thank you for allowing me to recognize my own beauty, which I had done a great job of hiding for years from my own eyes.

Thank you for not making me feel at home in your arms — you redirected me back to my north star, which shines ever-so-brightly and is always waiting to welcome me back with an inviting and open embrace. A path that’s well-trodden but so often times forgotten. A soft spot to land where I feel centered, grounded, and who I truly am. Thank you for reminding me of what I want and want I don’t want.

Thank you for closing — no, slamming — the door on my heart. Although it hurts like hell, you left no room for any hope for you and me. There’s no doubt in my mind we were never meant to be.

I’m no longer crying on the floor and am already halfway over you. I’m not taking the time to turn around because you can never heal by going back to the very thing (or person) that broke you.

I gave you a part of my heart and you let it go to waste. You did the leaving but left me with the blame. Does it make you feel good to make me feel bad? You should’ve known better. Why did you go and do what you can’t take back? Boy, what a shame all you’re going to miss. 3

When I give my love, I know what it’s worth — and although I haven’t met the right one yet, when I do, I know he sure as hell won’t be you. I thank the good Lord above that it wasn’t — and never will be — you.

Writer’s note

We talk about different chapters and seasons of our lives, but we usually prefer certain parts of them while we blatantly ignore and disregard others.

The parts we wish to discount, overlook, and neglect—those are the death and decay parts. The letting go part. The messy part. The painful part. The part where we fade into nothing. The shadow part. The unraveled part. The uncomfortable part. The part where we come unglued. 

The part where we find ourselves crying incessantly, curled up in a ball on our closet floor like a crumpled piece of laundry frantically searching the mirror for the reflection of a best friend we once recognized within ourselves—only to find a complete stranger, utterly unrecognizable through the torrent of tears that won’t cease.

It’s this coming undone part that scares many of us, myself included. This is the part that can paralyze us if we let it — but it’s a sacred space filled with silent opportunities that are so vast they’re incomprehensible.

If you currently find yourself in a moment of change as you transition from one season of your life to the next, the part where you aren’t quite yet to the black and white of it all and instead remain wandering around aimlessly in the gray, one of those heavy, intense moments where everything you once deemed comforting and familiar has left you confused, dazed, dizzy, helpless, mad, trembling, sad, and ultimately wondering if you’ll ever feel safe again let go so bravely, so confidently, and so courageously that the Universe shudders at the very power of your surrender. 

Sending so much love to you all.


1 Inspired by Carly Pearce, “Should’ve Known Better”

2 Inspired by Carly Pearce, “Day One”

3  Inspired by Carly Pearce, “Should’ve Known Better”

Mental Health Think & Feel

About Ashley Martens

Ashley Martens is a Wellness Writer based in Chicago, Illinois. With a lifelong passion for all things health and wellness, Ashley enjoys writing about topics to help people live happier and healthier lives. With a foundation in fitness, food, and nutrition, Ashley covers it all including sexual health and travel topics.