Ex-boyfriend/ex-tenant reached out for a rental application reference


Recently, an ex-boyfriend of mine reached out to me and asked me to be a reference for him on a rental application. This brought up a lot of difficult thoughts and feelings for me. When we were together, I bought a rental home for him to live in, because I wanted to get into real estate investment and he needed a place to live. I thought he and I would ultimately get married and own the house together. That didn’t happen, and he and I did not create a workable relationship together. He did not always pay his rent on time. When I decided to ask him to leave so I could sell the house and move forward into a future without him, he didn’t give me a firm agreement to leave when the lease was terminated. I consulted with an attorney and prepared for eviction proceedings. This man ended up leaving my rental house a week after the official termination of the lease. It was a very stressful time. Even after that I stayed with him and kept sleeping with him, even though he was already officially seeing someone else. It took me a long time to get over him. That was over two years ago, and since then I feel I have really progressed in my life, no small thanks to The Life Coaching School!
I am not sure how I should approach the difficult thoughts and feelings I have around his reaching out to me. I see the circumstance is “a man I used to rent a house to reached out to me for a rental application reference.” Then from there the thoughts and feelings spin out in all directions.

I feel grief, regret, and shame over all that happened with him, but also triumph, happiness, satisfaction, and pride that I moved on and have grown so much since that time.

Part of me wants to respond to the request for a rental reference with a factual statement of what happened: “I rented to him for 2.5 years. He did not always pay his rent on time. I served him legal notices to pay rent or be evicted more than once. I had to consult an attorney about starting eviction proceedings. Ultimately he left a week after the lease was terminated. He didn’t take care of the lawn as he was supposed to per the lease. I would not rent to him again.”

Another part of me thinks I should simply not respond to his emails and to the email from the property manager. I don’t owe him anything. I want him out of my life. I didn’t ask to hear from him. I didn’t reach out to him.

I see his reaching out is a circumstance. But I don’t know what thoughts and feelings and actions to work on to respond to this circumstance that I don’t want in my life. I want to have my own back in this situation when in the past I did not have my own back in my relationship with him. I want to look to my future, which is so bright. I don’t want it dimmed by the shadow of my memories of him, and the rental house, and my once broken but now healed heart.