This Is Why I Had To Leave You

image - Flickr / Katrina DeFrancesco
image – Flickr / Katrina DeFrancesco

It all started on a summer vacation – beaches and booze will do that to you. We were both recently single following long term relationships in college and ended up on the same post-college trip. One thing led to another and before we knew it, it was the next morning and I was leaving to return to Georgia. Did I mention you live in Maine? Because you do, and that’s far. And that, at least, is something I could understand.

I need to emphasize that I never expected a relationship. I actually never really even expected to hear from you. Yes, the thought of not hearing from you drove me crazy on that 10 hour drive home, but I assumed it was just something that happened out of necessity. We both needed something that night and we found it in each other. It was a wonderful night that I would never take it back, but maybe it should have ended there.

I received a Facebook message from you the next day while I was at work. Nothing special, just a “hey beautiful.” But I got butterflies. That was a feeling I hardly remembered at the time. I sent you my number and you texted me that night. We talked all day long for the next several weeks. I fell hard. You could practically hear me hitting the concrete. I tried to stop myself but you somehow convinced me it was okay, I was safe, you’d never lie to me. I don’t want to say that what you said was a lie, but I don’t feel safe anymore.

The next several months were a roller coaster of extreme highs and extreme lows. We flew to see each other every 3 weeks, we splurged on expensive flights and I lost myself deeper in our relationship even as I started to feel you pull away. I stuck around when you told me you weren’t comfortable with long distance, when you said you couldn’t be exclusive, when you told me not to move to be with you even though you made me happier than I could ever remember feeling. But you also made me sadder than anyone has made me since my first real heartbreak. I cried when you were in bad moods and shut me out – but you worked to fix it and that gave me hope. It felt like we were in it together, even if you only had one foot on board.

I met your father. You met my parents. Neither of us were sure how to react since we weren’t even sure what we were. I was constantly questioning my sanity, my self-respect, your motives. Still, we continued to talk every day in spite of everything. I cried more than I care to admit during those months. But regardless of how many times I watched 500 Days of Summer and convinced myself I was Tom and you were Summer, I stuck around to make sure someone was there when you were having a bad day and when you tried too hard to fix other people’s problems because I saw so much potential in us.

The thing is that I was willing to do a lot of things for you that would seem crazy to onlookers. And my friends all told me so. The problem is that I’m impulsive and you’re logical. I wear my heart on my sleeve and you keep yours hidden under so many walls that you had practically built a fortress around it. I know you were just afraid, but in being so afraid, you doomed us from the start.

Next week, we will have been doing this long distance, open relationship dance for 8 months. I humored you because I care about you more than I can probably ever emphasize over Skype. And I know you care about me too, but at this point, that’s just not enough. I need more than you’re willing to give me and you want more than what I’m physically capable of giving you right now.

I’m writing this not to bash you, but more as a parting gift to myself to explain why I’m ending it. Why I can’t do this anymore. We both made some mistakes, but I’m not angry, I’m not resentful. I’m only sad. I know this was new territory for both of us. I’m not sorry it happened, I’m mostly just sorry that we couldn’t make it work. To quote Robin Scherbatsky, “You got chemistry, you only need one other thing. Timing. But timing’s a bitch.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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