A couple weeks ago I was walking out of church, and as I usually do, I surveyed the area. I saw my ex-girlfriend there off to my right in the midst of four other people, which was not quite so usual. I thought I’d go over and say hello since I hadn’t seen her several months and we’re still on good terms, though no longer very close. I smiled and greeted her and we hugged and started talking about where her life was going (transferring to a different university) and how I was doing (getting promoted again at work).
During the middle of the conversation, she motioned to a guy standing just to her right talking to the deacon, and looked kind of embarrassed, blushing and pausing before explaining that he was going to law school several hours away and that transferring schools was going to mean having a long distance relationship. I think she felt guilty for not telling me before that she had a new boyfriend, as if she had sprung it on me like a trap. But she had no need to worry about making things awkward for me.
When you meet the ex’s new boyfriend, you expect to feel a twinge of jealousy, a hint of regret, some kind of feeling left over from what you had with that person. I didn’t. No sense of loss, no regret, no jealous yearnings to break all his critical joints. I have to wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Shouldn’t I have felt something about it? Or is it just that I’m healthy in the way I deal with my feelings?
I just have this nagging sense that I should be far more emotional about it, that I should have the same kinds of feelings other human beings do in that situation.