An Open Letter To The Really Great Guy I Had To Say Goodbye To

Couple sitting closely together on a ledge overlooking a river
Tord Sollie / Unsplash

You walked me to my car. You walked me to my flipping car that was on the other side of campus from yours and you asked me out. I knew you were something special from the first day of class. I asked you if you had your book yet and honestly I can’t remember what you said after, “No,” but I knew you were something else. We talked all semester like we were good friends, and that sort of connection is rare especially for me because I simply don’t connect with people like I did with you. And maybe there’s something wrong with my chemistry, but I think finding someone you really click with isn’t easy. You click and it’s just like every word in the conversation is fire and you just can’t get the words out fast enough, like you’re two middle school girls gossiping about anything and everything and you can talk on the phone for hours and never run out of things to say.

You weren’t the first guy to ask me out, but you were the first that I was giddy to actually get to see. At 26, I had never been out on a date, never been kissed, and certainly never had a boyfriend, but where I had always assumed that facet of my life and non-existent experience would be a deal breaker on the dating scene you had no problem with it whatsoever. You surprised me. And you continued to surprise me with your generosity, kindness, with the things that you loved and your continued interest in me.

Before you, I was convinced that I would never be anything but alone. It’s just what happens, I thought, some people are just meant to be alone. But you were the “yes” that I had been waiting for. You were the thing that called me a liar. And I can’t tell you how grateful to God that I am because he gave you to me even if it was just for a little while.

For the first time in my life I felt wanted, cared for, admired, and more than that, I had a best friend again. And it was so, so nice. It was amazing. We talked every day and at every opportunity, and you helped me to grow into another person, someone who was more confident with herself and physically affectionate with others, a person who could give of herself and her time to another person when before it was just me and my imagination. I was selfish and suffering in my loneliness, but you changed that. But I just couldn’t stay.

As great as you are my feelings weren’t a match for yours. You thought that every disagreement or “discussion” was bringing us closer together, but it was only showing me how different we actually are. The sparks that I had felt at the beginning of our relationship faded and I didn’t know how to bring them back. I didn’t believe that I could, that we could do anything about that.

But how do you say goodbye to someone like you, someone who knows me better than some of my family members and in such a short period of time? Someone who has become my best friend when I haven’t known anyone deserving of that honor for years? The answer is that I had to. The answer is that we are just not compatible for the long run, and when I figured that out, I just couldn’t forget it.

I don’t regret anything or any time that we spent together. And I hope that you read this and know how much you changed me. And that you know that I am so, so sorry. TC mark

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