It’s an old scar. Why bring it up? 
Everyone has forgotten. 
I have forgiven daily 
I have forgiven myself for getting caught in the middle 
I have forgiven them
For they did not know what they were doing.
For a year I did not rush into healing
Nor tried to cover it up.
I went away to nurse my broken heart
And it has served me as a solid foundation 
For who I am today:
Clear boundaries 
Kind and firm 
If I know it’s not going anywhere
Stop and turn back 
No shame in not letting yourself be courted 
if you have doubts,
If your heart is definitely not in it.
Courtship is not an altruistic act
It is wide-eyed self-aware and clear-headed
Something that moves both people deeply within.
Both people choose.

Ask boldly: who, why and how. 

I am grateful for that vivid pain 
of naïveté
because it provided me 
With unforgettable clarity.
The man who pursued my heart 
When I was innocent and naive 
Accepting his attention 
Allowing him to woo me,
Who broke up with me 3 months later  (because, as he said, the infatuation passed. But what he doesn’t know is the relief I felt when our relationship ended, because I didn’t feel quite myself in it)
He broke up with me
to soon pursue my roommate shorty after
(but that is another story in itself)
He came on this very challenging hike, 
With his nearly adult son.
He is a good-hearted man.
Who has been shaped by grace and I hold no grudges.
We share good friends 
But I never cared to maintain a friendship with him. 
I did not find it appropriate or necessary,
But the context of life crosses our paths often enough. 

It is not just about me. It’s about how my husband feels as well. 
If the tables were turn, how would I feel if an old girlfriend was with us on the hike.
I guess depends on how the strings would tug at his heart. What do I know?
Some say to get over it,
It was a long time ago.
And I did. And I feel quite free.
But if they were in my shoes, 
Would the company of a passed romantic connection make them feel just slightly uncomfortable? 
The best way to deal with it is humor.
The irony was bizarre. We ended up sharing a trio bed in those alpine huts, my husband in the middle. 
It’s like diving on the deep end and see if we survive. I am so grateful for the humor. 
And the knowledge that I am free of any past feelings, positive or negative. 
Is there room for real friendship between people who have dated? The jury is still out. 
But we are definitely on the steady path to reconciliation beyond civility. In ways that only Brian’s style of vulnerability would bring about. 

I find it unnecessary to revisit, to discuss, to even express my opinions or feelings on the matter. And yet here I am processing in writing. Maybe nobody cares about something that happened two decades ago. But I bet I’m not the only one who dated someone that they didn’t end up marrying. I am also pretty sure that there are not as many people who share the same circle of close friends. 

I guess the best take-away would be for the young generation: treat any girlfriend or boyfriend with such respect that you could look each other in the eye decades later without any trace of shame. People part ways. It is best to suffer the pain of a timely breakup than to enter a lifetime covenant with the wrong partner. And I trust we were all well guided in our life and family decisions.