Thought Catalog

Reasons Why I Cannot Love You

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Don’t get me wrong—I think you’re great. I like to eat dinner across from you, quickly glancing down at the fork idly fondling my food when you catch my eye. I like the coy smiles that pass between us, and the way that once we’re both drunk you become brave enough to hold my hand, and I become excited enough to hold it back. I like it when my phone vibrates in the night and it’s you saying something completely irrelevant, just so you could text me. I like that you like me; I like what we have.

But I can’t love you. I can’t love you because I couldn’t love the one before you, and I wont be able to love the one after you. It’s not because you’re not wonderful, or because you don’t deserve to be loved. It’s because you’ve melted into those other ones—you’re all the same. None of the dinners, the lazy days spent in bed cradling each other’s naked bodies, the little things you whisper to me, none of it is new. I’ve heard and done these things before, the motions are repetitive, and my responses are habitual. I can’t love you because we don’t have that special… thing… that makes every one of these practiced encounters seem brand new.

I can’t love you because I’m measuring you against a yard-stick from long ago, and you keep falling short. Every movement you make, every tiny word you utter, I pick up and hold towards the sun to see if you’ll turn transparent and I’ll see him inside your skin. When he’s not there—and he never is—I know I’ll never be able to love you. I haven’t and I can’t move on; it’s not your fault. I know I’m being entirely ridiculous, but when he haunts my sleep and I awaken in the morning only to see your resting eyes and your mouth agape on the pillow next to me, I feel disappointed, and I hate that I feel that way. I can’t love you because I’m entangled in the past, and I’m still not ready for the future.

I can’t love you because you adore me too much. Every time I wish for you to stop flattering me, to stop agreeing with me on every little thing, to stop fucking doing every completely nonsensical thing I ask of you, it makes me feel sick, ungrateful and mean. You’re wonderful for thinking I’m wonderful, but I can’t love you because you don’t love me for my flaws—you love me in spite of them. You don’t see me, you don’t even want to see me, for what I am—the ugly, pungent parts of my guts. You can’t and don’t want to tear these parts out of me while I scream. I can’t love you because you won’t defy me, because you won’t fight me when I’m wrong. I can’t love you because you don’t stand eye to eye with me and challenge me, demand of me, to be a better person.

I can’t love you because it’s too hard and I’m too busy. I’m so busy all the time; I barely have time to see my friends, the people I know I’ll be 80 with, if we all (God/ universe/ Mother Nature willing) make it that far. I keep trying to convince myself that you’re just not right for me but half the problem is I simply don’t have the time for you, and I didn’t realize my mental process was making these ludicrous deductions until a friend casually pointed out that I was a New Yorker now, and that New York was what was ‘happening’ to me. And here I was thinking I was just holding out for Mr. Right. I can’t love you because logically or illogically, my brain doesn’t compute having you any higher on my list of priorities.

I can’t love you because I’m happy on my own. It’s been almost a year now, and I’ve healed from the destructive force of a previous relationship. I’ve learned how to enjoy my own company and laugh at my own jokes. I can’t love you because if I do you’ll be in my bed with me at night, or worse, I’ll be at yours without my things around me. I wont be able to sleep spread-eagled, to eat crispy fried bacon in my underpants, to make plans to go out whenever I want, or to make plans to stay in whenever I want. I can’t love you because, right now, I’m enjoying my ‘me’ time far too much—I’m like a pig in shit. I can’t love you because for the first time in my life, I’m being selfish.

I can’t love you because I’m scared. Because I’ve been broken hearted and I know the pain of losing something I love all too well. I don’t have another heartbreak in me, and sometimes when I look at you I imagine myself as a younger girl and I know I would have ridden into the sunset with you, had you asked, even if you were entirely wrong for me. I can’t love you because I’m so tired of love; its commitments and risks. I can’t love you because I don’t know if you’re worth the commitment or the risk and I’m not willing to find out the hard way, although I sincerely hope that one day I will be. I can’t love you because I don’t want to, and sometimes I’m afraid that makes me a bad person. TC mark

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    • Jessie

      i love this. brilliant.

    • I may not love him either.

      Wow, that was amazing.

    • Gerald

      Love, love this! All of it!

    • Gerald

      Love, love this! All of it!

    • Pipo

      Feels like it was written for me, I wonder how many persons will feel the same…

    • Pipo

      Feels like it was written for me, I wonder how many persons will feel the same…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612928768 Samie Rose

      I really didn’t like how you shifted from saying you’re caught up in the past to saying you’re healed from a past relationship. If this were more consistent, it’d be better.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1219112245 Lauren Bel

        I feel like the point of the whole thing was to show inconsistency. The writer can’t decide why, and doesn’t want to decide why.

    • Ashen1

      There should be a movie about a fantastic guy who falls in love with an amazing girl but the problem is the girl doesn’t love him in return. Oh wait there is, check out 500 Days of Summer.

    • Gdlp94

      I hope Mr. Right finds you eventually! I love sincere writing

    • Jack Andrew Martell

      You begin to demean your own existence when you tell yourself you’ve seen it all, especially when you haven’t.

      Also I think you’ve said the spread-eagled underpants crispy bacon thing before, unless that’s just, you know, habitual.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612928768 Samie Rose

        “unless that’s just, you know, habitual” – made me snort diet cola onto my computer.

    • Via

      I loved this except for that one little line where you said you were healed. In this article at least, you might be somewhat but not totally. Still, loved it!

    • Anonymous

      You’re not a bad person, being selfish is good sometimes and then bam! You randomly fall in love. Hopefully.

    • empathetic

      I recently wrote something similar to, though not quite as eloquent as, what you have here. It went something like this…

      He will always be the one you compare all others to, but
      he’s not the only one. Every time you love and lose, there will be someone else
      to put on the pedestal until your expectations have become so high that you may
      never be able to love again. How could you find someone good enough to compete
      with what they had as a whole? What makes it worse is that what you remember
      does not match reality. Your memories serve to deceive you, since they were
      muddled by love-struck eyes. No one will ever be good enough. 

    • douchegirl

      “I don’t have another heartbreak in me…”
      Although the whole article resonated with me, that line is what did it. I really do not have have the heart/guts/patience/time/tears/space for another one.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=42002098 Mage Baltes

        …wtf, you are me.

    • r3t0dd

      Kat, I see you for the ugly, pungent parts of your guts.

    • r3t0dd

      Kat, I see you for the ugly, pungent parts of your guts.

    • http://twitter.com/ninna_o Ninna O.

      I LOVE THIS TEXT!!
      Incredible.

    • Lupetastic

      real love is when you both can eat crispy fried bacon in your underpants together.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000135790951 Matt Schultz

      very thought provoking.
      time just gets away from us…
      it’s like rollins said: experience is a well dressed curse. maybe, maybe not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000135790951 Matt Schultz

      very thought provoking.
      time just gets away from us…
      it’s like rollins said: experience is a well dressed curse. maybe, maybe not.

    • http://twitter.com/KevinMcCutcheon Kevin McCutcheon

      Woah man.. fuck man.. that was an amazing read and i totally relate to that in my life right now. Expect I don’t have that other person, sometimes I question myself and wonder if I would be happier in your situation or my own. I would take yours.

    • http://twitter.com/KevinMcCutcheon Kevin McCutcheon

      Woah man.. fuck man.. that was an amazing read and i totally relate to that in my life right now. Expect I don’t have that other person, sometimes I question myself and wonder if I would be happier in your situation or my own. I would take yours.

    • Phil Major

      I can’t love you because I love the girl you used to be far too much. I wish I could.

    • Mary

      Love it!

    • lou

      that is the best piece of writing you have ever done.

      • Guest

        REALLY?

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