You Don’t Like Me

It must be so hard being you. It’s always trying to be decisive, to say what you know deep down is right even at the risk of coming off less-than-perfect, to cut a cord when you’re not entirely sure what you want.

We’re together. Or we’re not. Or maybe we’ll get together. Or maybe we’re somewhere in between. I like you. I think about you constantly. I want to know everything about you. I want to be around you.

Though you haven’t said anything directly, it seems obvious that you’re not as on board. You’re vague. You’re flakey. I could forget about it. I could be delusional. I could hear what I want to hear and ignore my gut. You tell me you’re in it, but you seem really out of it. Maybe you think I don’t realize. Maybe you think you’re fooling me. I hate to go all Greg Behrendt on you but I know: if you were into me, you would act like you were into me.

So what’s going on here is: You don’t like me.

Okay, whoa. Whoa. Don’t get defensive. Don’t shush me. Don’t start countering my point. You do like me. You do. You like me a lot. You just…have some issues, some things to work out, some dilemmas Nelly-And-Kelly-style. You’re just an aloof person. You’re just bad at showing love. You just feel awkward about intimacy. You’re just not always present. You don’t mean to be that way. That’s just what you’re like. You can’t help it. It says nothing about me.

Your distance is palpable. It’s disappointing and expected. It’s this weird elephant in the room that is our relationship, whatever it is. I can sit here all day and make excuses for you. I could say things like: “He had a really hard family life so he just doesn’t do affection.” “He hates answering text messages during the daylight hours.” “He’s just grumpy around people with faces and hair so he doesn’t want to meet any of my friends.” “He’s really busy with his skateboarding business right now.”

No. Nope. Uh uh. If you like someone, you find a way. If you like someone, they invade your thoughts and actions involuntarily. If you like someone, you’re on fire. If you like someone, you make room for them in your brain and in your life — no matter what else is going on. (Or even better, you don’t have to make room. You just feel like they fit.)

So let me help you out, dude, because you want to say anything about our situation but the most basic truth.

You don’t like me. You. Do Not. Like. Me.

Sure, I’m fun. I’m easy to be around. I seem great. I like you. But I don’t make you crazy. I don’t make you sweat. I don’t make you interested. You don’t think about me when you’re in bed at night. You don’t need to see me, to touch me, to talk to me. You don’t wonder what I’m up to or what I’ll do in the future. You like me fine, but you don’t like me.

You’re a nice person so you don’t want to say it so bluntly; Either you think it’s mean or you’re noncommittally trying to keep me around for rainy day boredom. You’re full of excuses and you never take action, but you’re not an outright d-ck.

You just don’t like me. Doesn’t that feel better?

I’m taking the burden off your shoulders. I’m alleviating your tension, your obligation, your pain. (I mean, never mind my own, right?)

No more growing anxiety wondering if you should wait 24 hours to call me back. No more coming up with elaborate excuses for why you can’t meet me and my friends at the bar. No more pushing yourself to feel about me the way I feel about you. Let me just wipe those stressors right out of your life. Must have been such a difficult time for you.

I hope I could eliminate your guilt. I know it must have been hard, all this time, bandying back and forth between wanting to keep me or not hurt me and facing up to your non-feelings. No more looking at your phone and sighing instead of answering flirty texts. No more leaving me in your bed while you go do work on your computer. No more talking about “slowing down.” I’m not a dope. I get it.

You’re free. More importantly, I’m free.

You don’t like me — so today, I set us both free. TC Mark

image – Helga Weber

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.

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