When you said you wanted to be in a relationship, I panicked. When you made it sound like there was a near-future, I was internally screaming. I was in a burning building and all I could see were the little green lit up exit signs. Then I bolted.
I was cruel to you. It was mean to say “can we just keep things casual?” when you’d just put yourself on the line. You’d come too close for comfort, so I put you back in your place, at arm’s length. The funny thing is, that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I like you, I really, really like you. I might even be falling for you, hard. So I should want to be in a committed relationship with you. I should want to be your girlfriend, and change my relationship status on Facebook and tell all my friends.
I won’t, though. I’m terrified of commitment. I’m terrified of being vulnerable, and commitment is practically a synonym for vulnerability. I don’t believe in marriage and true love and happily ever afters – I’m a cynic, a rough diamond (if that) from a very bitterly broken home. Maybe that’s why I’m so good at running away from people. If I run away, I can’t get attached and I can’t get hurt. That’s no way to live, you’re thinking, and you’re right. It’s just the way I am. I’ve always run from boys who didn’t stay 2 feet away at all times, and I usually do it with nary a backward glance.
Then there’s you. You’re so polite, you’re not just a nice guy, you’re the nicest guy. You’re unbelievably lovely and kind, and that terrifies me, because it’s easy to walk away from someone who isn’t. If you’d just come out and said, you want a long term relationship, I could walk away, run for the hills and never look back. But you didn’t, and that’s worse. Do you like me that much? Do you want me that badly that you’re willing to settle for whatever I’m willing to give? Are you afraid of losing me? Because I’ll always feel guilty. I’ll always think, “Should I be doing more for you? Should I be giving you more?”
I knew I couldn’t run forever. I just didn’t think I’d be 20, and I’d have to let someone in quite so quickly. I thought I could spend a few more years in therapy, work out the kaleidoscope of issues afflicting me and spend thousands of dollars sitting in a plump armchair telling my problems to a middle aged lady (Dr F, I love you and you’re the best!).
I’m afraid of letting you in and letting you into my life. I’m afraid of letting you see me weak and vulnerable. I’m afraid of getting attached then losing you. I know how quickly things can change, when I was a kid my father went AWOL on me for a few years. It’s such a cliche, being afraid of abandonment. I’m just so afraid of getting hurt. I know it’ll happen, with you, or with someone else, but I’m still terrified.
You’re leaving soon, and that makes me sad. I always knew you were, but I’ve only realized now. I don’t know how I’ll feel in 6 months. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to get my shit together enough to be in a grown-up relationship with you. You seem to think that we’ll still be together in 6 months. I’d like that.
If when you go home, we’re still together, that will be a long-distance relationship. An intercontinental, overseas, other side of the world and opposite time zone relationship. It’s not that I’ll cheat on you, find someone else, or won’t be able to handle it. That’s not the problem. I don’t know if I’ll be able to overcome my dysfunction and just let myself be in a relationship with you. I don’t know if I can break down those walls I’ve spent my whole life building before you go. If I can be enough for you.
I don’t think I’ll ever be the girl who talks about falling in love, draws love hearts on her books and has heart shaped pupils in her eyes. I’ll probably never be the girl who talks about lovesickness being a real disease. I will never be the girl who will cling to a relationship like a life ring. Is that okay with you?