1. Because we’re college sweethearts. And “sweetheart” sounds so 1956 that it makes me cringe with horror.
2. Because you’re bitter that you were never accepted to an Ivy, while I spent the entirety of my teenage years working a part-time barista job to help my parents pay for my college degree.
3. Because you didn’t want to go to the National Gallery of Art with me, and you were surprised when you found out my favorite song was Van Morrison’s Moondance.
4. Because you compared pressure against introverts to institutionalized racism towards the black community.
5. Because sometimes you forget to treat me like your girlfriend of exactly one year, until you remember and perfectly perform the part of the gentleman.
6. Because I was the first girl you ever made love to. I still giggle to think about it, how clumsy and worried you were.
7. Because you reassured me that all great couples are different. Opposites attract. Which was exactly how my last boyfriend tried to convince me.
8. Because I was taught to be independent and curious as a little girl, and you are an anchor. Wild hearts don’t do well with anchors.
9. Because you’re a hard-ass, Machiavelli-worshipping political animal whose soft side is even riddled with ambition.
10. Because when I said I was tired of my own passivity, you said that it was ok for one of us to be more passive than the other. And then you insisted I wasn’t passive. And then you said I was insecure.
11. Because you can’t grasp when I’m angry. To you, it’s the quirky side effect of a rather vulnerable young girl. I am a woman, dammit. I am a human being. I am capable of sadness, anxiety, happiness, and, when the occasion calls for it, anger.
12. Because you know that I am intelligent and capable. Because you ask my opinion. Because you ask what I think, but it will never change your mind.
13. Because the concept of drone warfare doesn’t scare you.
14. Because you think it would be more convenient if our global population—all 7 billion—spoke one, singular language. Just not German.
15. Because when I told you how many boys I had kissed, you were uncomfortably silent.
16. Because there will always be cheap wine.
17. Because I was told to call your parents Maggie and Richard. I told you to call my parents Mister and Misses.
18. Because you wrote me poetry.
19. Because you tried to convince me to change my senior thesis from something “no one cares about.”
20. Because you want what’s best for me.
21. Because I’ve settled for safe.
22. Because you couldn’t understand why I was unhappy with my decisions and myself and wanted change.
23. Because I am not looking to you for saving.
24. Because we’re both stubborn.
25. Because, as you once told me, girlfriends and boyfriends are people who eventually become mere acquaintances with time. Then they will fade, ever so slowly, into shadows that remind us of who we once were.
26. Because life goes on.