We ran in these same circles for years. The appearing and vanishing act like it wasn’t such a big deal. And every time he entered my life I listened to my heart instead of my head holding onto hope that maybe this time would be different. Maybe this time we’d get it right.
I held onto the one day and the maybe and the promises I wanted to be real. But I think in my heart I knew it would never end the way I envisioned it.
Still, every few months I’d wake up and look at my phone. “Hey.” As if months didn’t pass since the last time we spoke and conversations that went from talking to screaming to swearing we hated each other. To another ending to a relationship that wasn’t one.
But every time I caved.
A conversation turned into likes and follows even though we blocked each other.
It was a vicious toxic cycle and I hate how much I loved it.
Pinning after someone who was so close but kept me at arm’s length like love was something to be won over.
I swore it was love but what it really was, was infatuation for something I wanted but he was also the last thing I needed.
And every night I swore I wouldn’t answer but the text or call would come in late and I’d whisper into the darkness. We each said everything we wanted to hear as if we were in a play we didn’t need to practice.
It was almost a relationship but only the bad parts. The parts where I’d stare at my phone when I’m out and I pretended it wasn’t fazing me that he wasn’t answering. But in my mind, I wondered who he was with.
Moments where he’d switch the read receipt on an off just to fuck with me.
Moments when he knew I was out and who I was with and he knew exactly what to say to stop me in my tracks. And I’d stare at the guy in front of me then look back at my phone, every night ended alone.
Blowing up my newsfeed and looking at every story just to remind me he was there.
The coming and going as he chose as if I was some choice he got to make.
And every time he left I was the one hurt and mourning a pain I grew so used to.
And when it finally ends, like really ends and you look at each other and you realize you can’t keep doing this. There are two emotions you are overcome with, sad because it didn’t work out the way you wanted. And relief that it’s over.
But the after-effects of an almost relationship impact every future relationship you have.
It’s the little things.
Texting shouldn’t leave you so paranoid but it does.
You shouldn’t go into a date expecting them to cancel but you do.
Ghosting shouldn’t be what you expect but you suddenly do.
You shouldn’t have to try so hard but you are. Because the past taught you love was something you had to prove you earned.
Love and relationships shouldn’t be something you fear but you do.
Expecting the worst of someone shouldn’t be where your head is at but it is.
Milestones shouldn’t leave you taking a deep breath but you do just that.
And someone treating you well all the time shouldn’t be so foreign but it is.
It’s needing that reassurance in someone and you feel guilty for it.
It’s not trusting someone even though they’ve given you no reason to.
It’s wanting to explain to someone new I continued to choose someone who did nothing but hurt me.
In making that choice it turned into a pattern of going after people who were emotionally unavailable.
And instead of walking away with self-respect you tried to find validation in others like their approval and a relationship label would heal you.
It’s the fear of a relationship ending that hasn’t even begun yet.
It’s your inability to take things slow because someone taught you in the past, it’s not about who you are but rather what you can do for them.
You think all guys want is something from you and begin to not only not trust them but you don’t trust yourself either.
It’s the social media games you let them play and you fall into it even though you know that game better than anyone.
It’s subconsciously messing things up because endings and relationships not going your way are what you’re used to.
It’s that moment someone says something genuine and they don’t have motives and you are questioning everything about them.
It’s crossing paths with really great guys and growing so afraid of it.
It’s looking at yourself in the mirror and doubting what you see. That someone could want you the same way because all you knew in the past were series of people who made it all about the chase.
Almost relationships aren’t a step towards getting actual relationships it puts you a thousand steps in the wrong direction when you finally meet someone good and decent because you doubt them.
Getting out of the cycle of an almost relationship isn’t the hard part. The hard part is when you have to recover from it.
It’s an old habit that dies hard.
It’s realizing yeah you chose someone you shouldn’t and part of that is on you.
But it’s also walking away from that realizing what you actually deserve and being brave enough to let someone in and give that to you.