The Truth About Almost Lovers

Matthew Henry
Matthew Henry

Ernest Hemingway once said, “write hard and clear about what hurts.”

So, after quite the blog hiatus, I’m doing just that.

I’m tired. Really, truly, I’m tired and have been for some time. Tired of mindlessly dragging myself from one almost-lover to the next; the vicious cycle of lifting my hopes up only to watch them ruthlessly be pulled out from under me like a deflated parachute.

For years I let my romantic frustrations win. The anxiety of it all would envelop me in a thick haze of doubt and loneliness, clouding my judgment, provoking me to lash out. I have allowed myself to become riddled with embarrassment over my inability to be loved. As my lacking love life continued to feel more and more hopeless, I’d purse my lips, lower my head and convince myself that I’d done something wrong. “God, what is wrong with me?”

You’ve heard this narrative before.

However, on a recent flight to Los Angeles, I came to a new conclusion.

Playing past almost-romances in my head like a sickening highlight reel, I realized that by considering each extinguished flame to be a major loss, I have been severely discounting myself. While it’s cold, hard fact that I haven’t been entirely successful in the past few years with dating, I’m not continuing with life completely empty-handed. I haven’t lost entirely.

Whether they know it or not, each and every almost-lover has given me something: a lesson, a song, boldness, tenderness. I no longer wish to view the moments spent with these people as “lost time.” Listening to scratched vinyl, the moonlight glistening on bare skin, driving in his car without a destination, hair flapping in the ocean air… I refuse to label these precious moments that I’ve spent with almost-lovers as losses.

You leave a very small piece of you with each and every person you meet.

When the sinking feeling of “Shit. I guess whatever ‘this’ was is over now..” overcomes you, remember this:

You are more than just the number of people you’ve almost-loved.

He or she was not just a failed attempt at what you will eventually have with someone else.

Every potential relationship is either love or a lesson. Don’t look at it any other way. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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