I understand that crushes happen. But somehow you’ve constructed a completely fictional narrative in your head: one where you’re the nice guy, my boyfriend is an ass, and someday I’ll open my eyes and just choose you instead. And I regret not at all informing you that this will never come to pass.
You only know me from work, a place where I restrain my true personality due to a sense of professionalism. You know the bare minimum about me – my age, my college major. We make small talk about annoying customers and my schoolwork.
Yet you’ve projected an entire personality on me, one that isn’t mine, but someone you want me to be. You think that you and I agree on everything from political opinions to music. We don’t, but I refrain from saying so because I don’t want to argue with my coworkers.
In the same way, you make assumptions about my boyfriend. You asked once if I did anything for Valentine’s Day and when I said no, replied, “Why? Didn’t your boyfriend want to do something special for you?” You don’t know me well enough to know that I don’t like Valentine’s Day, and he was only respecting my wishes. You don’t realize that my boyfriend does special things for me all the time, like when he surprised me at work with a bouquet of flowers.
You declined to comment on the flowers, even though I know you saw them. You only comment on things you think he’s done wrong.
You think you could treat me like I’m special. You have fantasies of taking me on fancy dates, of telling me how beautiful I am every night. The truth is that I live with chronic pain, I am a full-time student and have a job. My boyfriend and I don’t go on dates because I don’t have the energy. Instead, he cooks for me every night.
He doesn’t always tell me I’m beautiful because he knows sometimes I need to hear that I’m strong, and brilliant, and capable.
And he does the non-special things, the everyday things that are part of a real partnership. When I am exhausted from work, he makes sure I have a clean house to come home to.
While you’re texting me for the fifth time when I’ve already said I’m studying, he’s making sure I have the quiet I need to get things done. When my body hurts too much to get out of bed, he’s on call to bring me everything I need. You don’t know what it takes to be my partner in everyday life. He understands that loving me means making sacrifices, and he wants to do it anyway.
My boyfriend is the man I want forever. He loves every part of me unconditionally, even the difficult parts. He and I aren’t breaking up.
But on the off chance we did, I would still not date you. I would remember how you were petty and manipulative. I would recall every time you pushed back against necessary boundaries I set, think of the instances when you tried to demand my time even though I clearly didn’t want to give it.
And if you ever had the nerve to ask me out, the answer would be hell no.