Thought Catalog

You Not Being Ready Was Just An Excuse To Protect Me From Feeling Hurt

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Christiana Rivers

It’s been some time since I looked at my phone and saw your name next to an unread message that wasn’t in response to something I had already said to you. That is, except for the time recently when you accidentally texted me the letter “H” at 5:30 in the morning.

Despite having come to realize and accept you aren’t able to give me what I am looking for, I briefly found myself hoping you were reaching out to drunkenly confess how much you missed me. When you answered back apologizing for the mistake, the small flicker of hope I thought I saw suddenly vanished.

I felt slightly foolish for even flattering the idea of you coming back to tell me you were struck with sudden clarity that allowed you to see I was what you wanted after all.

I know full and well you hold no regret in the decision you made, and you have every right not to. Deep down, I know you don’t catch yourself randomly thinking of me and wishing things could’ve been different. You made that clear as you laced together the rejection you handed me with the most beautiful delicacy.

I stared at it between my loose fingers as tears fell heavily onto my lap. And despite it not being what I wanted, you gave it to me in a way I couldn’t refuse accepting. Between each reason why you couldn’t be with me, you strung in how you also felt I was the most amazing woman you have yet to encounter… admitting you felt frustrated at how I was seemingly so perfect for you, yet you still couldn’t bring yourself to be in a relationship.

However, you also didn’t realize that in the small space between the compliments and rejection were your silent screams of the simplest and truly only reason why you couldn’t…

I was missing whatever it is that your soul is waiting for. And so, you didn’t want me enough to want to be with me.

While some of your reasonings may have been valid, the one reason that ultimately matters is the fact that you couldn’t envision yourself with me on a more intimate level. But, damn, you made the bitter rejection taste so sweet, that for a moment I let myself forget that if someone wants to be with you, they just will. It’s really that simple.

The day you admitted things between us weren’t going to go any further, you did all you could to ensure I felt if the timing were different, you’d pursue a relationship with me. And, believe me, I understand how crucial timing is when it comes to opportunities in life, but I also know to the very core of me that timing doesn’t mean shit when you undeniably want to be with someone.

I, too, have indulged in the company and affection of another. Part of me feeling as though maybe I could bring myself to eventually be ready to be with them… that maybe a little more time and I would get over whatever “fear” I felt. While the other, louder, stronger, part of me knew I wasn’t going to change my mind.

They, too, would make me feel the way you claim I did to you. I felt connected to them; I felt happy with them. I knew I had feelings for them that were fueled by more than basic physical attraction. I would lay in their arms and question why the hell I couldn’t bring myself to commit to them, knowing full and well that is what they were ready for and wanted from me.

There was absolutely no reason I could think of that was causing me to be unwilling to make things more serious… except for the only reason that truly mattered. Something was missing and that something wasn’t inside of them, but rather missing from me instead. I didn’t possess the uninhibited desire that drove me to want to be with them regardless of any seemingly opposing force.

Eventually, I would tell them I wasn’t ready for a relationship. And at that time, I fully believed that had to be the reason that wasn’t allowing me to give myself to them completely. But looking back now, I can see it’s only because I didn’t want to be with ONLY them.

While I held feelings for them that did develop stronger over time, the feeling of not wanting to be with them was ultimately stronger. And it’s hard admitting that. Not only to them, but to myself as well.

So when you tell me how incredible you think I am, how you wish you met me at a time when you were ready, how wonderful I make you feel but yet you can’t be with me… I understand.

I understand that while you hold me in higher regards than just any other other woman, something inside of you can’t seem to feel the undeniable need to be with me.

Because, you see, while I would look into the eyes of men who felt for me the way I felt for you… I was convinced it had to be my unreadiness to be in a relationship that was the cause of how I felt. But I can tell you today that I never was concerned about how ready I was when I did decide to commit in my previous relationships.


The uncertainty of “should I, or shouldn’t I?” was non-existent.
I held no doubt and felt no hesitation at the thought of being with them and only them. To be able to call myself theirs, and them mine without worrying I’m missing out on something by no longer being single.

And that’s how I know. That’s how I know reasons such as timing, or trust issues, or not being ready are nothing but excuses used to protect the other person from feeling hurt or at fault… and to protect yourself from the guilt of hurting them anyway because you truly felt something for them, just not enough.

That’s how I knew that if you want to be with someone, truly give yourself to them, you will despite any excuse or reason not to.

One time you told me rushing into something will only ruin it, and that undoubtedly holds validity.

But knowing you want to be with someone isn’t rushing. When the desire to want to be with someone is something you can’t deny, timing and preparedness become obsolete.

That doesn’t mean you still can’t take things slow, it just means you’re willing to put your full effort into cultivating something you want to pursue, and hope will become successful.

Because of this realization, I hold no anger or bitterness against you. I believe you do honestly possess feelings for me that developed beyond sexual chemistry, and I believe you are truthfully bothered that you can’t bring yourself to be with me.

I believe you see no reason as to why you shouldn’t be with me… but I know it all boils down to the fact that I’m not “it” for you. I know that even despite if we were in another time and place, you more than likely would still have uncertainties about committing to me. And I know that’s not my fault, or yours.

It’s simply life, and in life we should never settle for anything less than all that we want and feel we deserve. In time, I know I won’t feel the urge to want to change your mind, regardless of knowing the truth. In time, I won’t hold feelings for you more than respect and love for our friendship.

Because, in time, I know I will place my lips upon another man’s, and we will look each other in the eyes and dive without caution into the best damn thing we both refuse to let go. TC mark

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