My friends all think I’m crazy. Not for leaving — that, they’ve been encouraging me to do for a long time — but for having stayed with you for so long before doing so. They could see that you were good looking, a good dancer, charming enough in conversation. Everyone could see the superficial qualities you possessed. But for me to have given so much of myself to you over such an important chunk of my youth, that was insane. When I told them that I was finally going to cut it off, my friend brought out a bottle of champagne.
You’ll ask me if I love you, and I do. You’ll give me all of these big, overdone speeches about how no one will ever love me like you do — and that’s probably true, actually. People won’t love me the same. They will love me more wholly, more healthily, more meaningfully. Our love will become an unfortunate blip on a timeline, something that I look back on and shake my head. You will be a cautionary tale, and you know it. Even as you throw a dish and tell me that I will be nothing without you.
The truth is that I do love you. I am consumed by you, and partially by how badly you treat me. I have grown accustomed to always being told that what I do is wrong, that I should be doing this instead. It’s almost comforting to have someone there to dictate your life, like your mother laying out your school clothes the night before so you don’t have to think about it. But there is only so far I can get with that kind of love, so much I can allow it to take over my life before I realize that I am only doing myself a disservice. My parents would have never embraced you. My girlfriends would have never forgiven you. And I am not interested in torturing myself with questions of “What if he meets someone else?” I’m sure you will. And maybe you’ll manage to fool her for even longer than you did me.
Because I know that my love for you is something fundamentally unhealthy, something that chips away at my ego and saps at my self-confidence in order to grow something which we all know isn’t going to last. It is an addiction like any other, something that I am paying for with my personality and autonomy and future. And yes, being in bed with you gets me high. Hearing you call me your girlfriend still gives me that thrill. But it comes at far too high a cost. I picture myself staying in this relationship for another year, another three years, the rest of my life — I hate what I see. I hate how many parts of me I allow you to take with you when you walk out of the room, how many opportunities I give up on so that you will believe I really love you.
I love me more. I love the idea of growing into someone who has her own apartment, her own career, her own future that only she dictates. I want to meet the woman I become when I free myself of shitty men like you, when I allow myself to make mistakes and have flings and do all of the things that I would never be able to do with you. You tell me what to do every day because I think you are afraid of what I’ll be without you. Maybe you think I’ll realize that I could do better, or that I simply deserve better. Maybe you think I’ll look in the mirror and notice that I’m beautiful.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that is already the case. Goodbye.