I was young. In the beginning, I was very young, and maybe not ready to understand what a “healthy” relationship should entail. Everyone warned me, and tried to make me cautious of what I was about to embark on for the next couple of years. “A man who didn’t commit to someone they were with for several years? You should really consider what you’re getting yourself into.” I decided to give you a chance because A. I liked you, and B. I generally try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Or maybe I was just naïve.
You didn’t want to date me. You admitted it one night a month or two in, that you weren’t ready for a relationship when you met me. You had recently broken up with your girlfriend of multiple years, and weren’t ready to be “tied down” again. You said you met me and you couldn’t help but want to spend time with me, so you forged a relationship with me anyway. Since I hadn’t been in a serious relationship before, every charming and romantic word you said to me felt fantastic. Yet, every single day felt like struggle. Those initial days with a new love that are supposed to feel lighthearted and carefree, instead felt confusing and unstable. I suppose this is where I should have seen a “red flag,” but I was experiencing something that had never happened to me before: Infatuation disguised as love.
There were good days. There were amazing days, and some that I still remember as some of the best days of my life. But these days were never meant to last. In return, there were horrible days. Days that I remember feeling miserable, as if I was suffocating under something that was too heavy to survive.
We broke up for the first time at the end of an especially rough couple of weeks. I lied to you, and I lost your trust, but I had a feeling you were always lying to me too. I was trying to escape, but so were you. We were both unhappy and unsure of why we were hanging on to something that was clearly not working. In your car that day, I told you that I knew you were never ready for our relationship and you agreed. I told you that I lied about spending time with someone else because I needed to know that I would be okay without you in my life once you realized one day that you didn’t want me anymore. You said it would be best for both of us this way. And it was…for a while. Then one day, after having no contact for weeks. I called you.
We met up the same day, and (at the time) it was one of the best feelings I had ever had in my human experience. To reunite with someone who knew me so well, whose absence was so apparent for the past month, was finally with me again. It was comfort after grief.
And so our story continued, not so different from the beginning. I knew you weren’t one hundred percent into restarting a failed relationship, but we let it continue anyway. It’s hard to fit broken pieces back together as whole, because usually a small piece is lost along the way.
We finally broke up for the last time, just a year from the initial demise of our relationship. When you walked out of my door for the last time that day, I asked you when I would see you again. You said, “I don’t know” and I watched you walk away and out of my life. I haven’t seen you since. I have never felt more heartbroken than I felt that day. For months, I didn’t know how I would move on, or how my life could ever be the same. We hold on to things sometimes for the comfort of memories. I spent some of the best days of my life with you but also some of the worst. It was an intense, all-consuming relationship that took away my sense of self. I had slipped away from the person I had been, and transformed into what I thought you wanted me to be. I hated myself for that.
But finally, something changed. In me, and in the way I remember our relationship. I finally understood all of those nights that revolved around your plans, he text messages to other girls I saw in your phone. the days that felt unhappy for seemingly unknown reasons, the conversations that never led to a discussion about our future, the times you put so many other things or people as a priority instead of me or our relationship, and when you moved away “to find yourself.” All of these things were there to finally make me realize how much of myself I had lost. It taught me exactly what I wanted from another person, or at least how someone should treat you when they love you and want to make you a priority in their life.
I am happily getting married to the love of my life, and I could not feel more loved and appreciated by another person.
So, what I am really here to say to you is thank you. Thank you for showing me how I did not want my life to end up. How to understand that some relationships are not meant to last forever, but the ones that are should be the most important things in your life. I learned how to realize when you really love someone or when someone loves you with everything they have and to never have to question that love.
I am not sure I would have figured these things out if I had not had you.
People are always saying that they wasted so much of their time in certain relationships or situations, but I don’t regret our time together. It taught me how to become a stronger person. Someone who is capable of standing up for themselves when something isn’t right, and someone who simply knows when something isn’t meant to be. I’ve learned how to move on and let go.
Thank you for leaving, and leading me to the rest of my life. I finally understand what real love feels like.