This Is What Tough Love Taught Me (And Why I’m Stronger Because Of It)

Couple's silhouette against sunset
Sabrina May

1. You’ll make me whole and break me, in no particular order. We’ll learn to treasure every moment together and hate our time apart. I’ll carefully divide major years of my life based on what we do together with important sections tracing our time together.

2. I’ll list everything down in my head, from giggling with you like a child at a music festival to gorging on our favourite food while polishing off a bottle of liqueur to the time I had to leave the city and you behind, my heart heavy and overflowing with sadness I couldn’t seem to stop.

3. We’ll write long angry emails for months and hate each other, wishing everything was simpler. I’ll cry and so will you, wondering where we stand and why long distance relationships have to be so hard.

4. You’ll break my heart enough to make me want to stop trying. We’ll disappear from each other’s lives for weeks, crawling back to each other when we least expect it because of an obscure online post or a disjointed memory.

5. I’ll let go of you when the time is right. You’ll fight with me, let me sob harder than I knew was possible and make me listen to Hallelujah on repeat.

6. We’ll stop talking completely and take refuge in private, stubbornly staying inside our heads. We’ll look back on it all, move on and wonder what happened to our stories.

7. You’ll write to me sometimes but let it linger in your drafts folder, hesitating. I’ll learn from the pain and fall in love with someone who will love everything broken about me, slowly making me forget about any kind of hurt that lingered.

8. I’ll wonder whether you found your peace after all and decided to lay off drugs and everything that caused you pain. I’ll look at the moon and imagine you can see it too, waving from a faraway land.

9. One day, we’ll be old and left with happier lives, content. We’ll forgive each other and laugh at our younger, naïve selves, knowing we were never meant to be companions for life.

10. We’ll write sad songs for no one in particular and hold onto our loved ones harder than ever before, learning and becoming better versions of ourselves. Godspeed, old friend. TC mark

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