On Letting Go Of My Exes

It’s time to close the door on this act of masochistic nostalgia.

There’s this one running loop in D.C. that I find myself jogging along from time to time.

It’s a doozy.

The seven-mile route takes me into three of the four quadrants in Washington and then across the bridge into Virginia for a bit as well.

I call it: “The Ex-Boyfriend Loop.”

In as non-stalkerish a way as possible, I like to just kind of… reminisce. It might sound strange, but think of it as a fitness buff’s trip down memory lane.

Most of the guys I’ve dated seriously have moved away at this point, so now there’s no chance of bumping into anyone unexpectedly.

It might not put me in the healthiest head space to re-trace the path of happier times, but it’s nice to go jogging by that three-story house in Eastern Market and remember snow days snuggled up in front of the crackling fire. And then there was the English basement on Quincy Road where weekend mornings were spent grabbing iced coffees and bagels from the market around the corner. I miss the fitness center and lazy summer afternoons lounging at the rooftop pool in Pentagon City, and now—now it looks like I’ll be adding another stop to my route.

The little house with the purple door that was home.

I remember that door was the first thing I noticed when my Uber dropped me off for our first date—when I still had no idea if anything was going to happen between us.

And 10 months later, when he kissed me goodbye on our very last morning, my knees wobbled and my eyes welled and I just focused in on that purple door and what it had come to represent.

Every time that door swung open, a guest was transported to something better. Behind that purple barrier was food and friends and loud conversation and passionate debate and raucous laughter and smoke and song.

He was the kind of host who could make everyone feel like they’d just stepped into a Gatsby-esque version of reality. Forever relatable and welcoming and cheerful and magnetic—anyone lucky enough to step over the threshold got to experience all that he had to offer. It was a kind of magic.

And I got it in spades.

But after he left—discarding D.C. like a snake discards his skin—I felt compelled to hold onto what memories we had. I needed to go chugging past that little house with the purple door, glance through those windows, and re-live a year of moments with him…

But today, with temperatures soaring, I finally said, enough.

It’s time to close the door on this act of masochistic nostalgia.

Because you know what? This running loop has officially become ridiculous. Ex-boyfriend after ex-boyfriend has turned what started as a 5K route into something approaching a half marathon. And that’s absurd! Haven’t I suffered enough?

When I really want the cardio, I’ll just book a spin class or something.

I never liked running all that much, anyway.

Kat Haselkorn is a blogger and Director of Content with a boutique marketing agency in the Washington, D.C. area. A longtime D.C. resident, Kat blogs about life and love as a Washington millennial at www.unemployedkat.com. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and Buzzfeed, and her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Yahoo!, and Jezebel.

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