We Were Never Official, But You Still Hurt Me

Sam Burriss

There wasn’t a label for us. We were never official, never serious, never a commitment and never a sure plan.

And I know you’re not supposed to have feelings for someone who doesn’t want you. And I know you’re not supposed to develop a crush for someone who told you point blank that he didn’t want to be in a relationship. And I know you’re not supposed to fall for the guy who won’t ever fall for you.

Because he’s unavailable. He meets girls all the time. His smile makes any girl in the room look up from their phones. His charm would make any girl fall. Even if that girl is smart. Even if that girl isn’t naive. Even if that girl has a good head on her shoulders. Even if that girl promised herself she wouldn’t.

And I was that girl.

I told my sister I wasn’t looking for anything serious, just like he wanted. I told my best friends that this time, I would be able to do the ‘casual’ thing. That this time, I would be strong enough to not fall. To not think about his smile late at night. That I would be strong enough to not panic when he didn’t answer my string of texts. To not worry. To not feel anything. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

Except that’s not how it happened. That’s not how it panned out.

Because I cared. I cared for him and I wanted him to care for me. And I wanted to know every inch of him. I wanted to know his fears and his worries and his dreams. And I wanted him to know mine. I wanted so badly for him to make that effort I longed for. I wanted so badly for him to just care. Just a little.

But he didn’t.

And you could say it’s my fault. My fault for being naive. My fault for being dumb. My fault for being a silly little girl, a hopeless romantic, a dreamer. You could say it was my fault for hearing him tell me he didn’t want anything serious and ignoring it. You could say it’s my fault for thinking I could change his mind.

But that’s the thing. You can never change them. You can never turn a heartless person, and a tin man into someone with a beating and bleeding heart. You can never make someone want you, who has no intention of holding your heart. You can never turn a casual person into someone who cares.

I tried not to think about his beautiful smile when I was home alone with a bottle of wine. I tried not to think about his laugh and the way he kissed me at red lights when I was at a bar with my friends. I tried not to think of the way I made him smile when I cracked a joke.

I tried so hard to not fall for him. I tried so hard to be the person that he wanted me to be. The chill girl. the no strings attached girl. The cool one. The one who didn’t care.

But all I ever did was care.

My mistake. My mistake for putting my heart into something that died the second it started. TC mark

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You look back and you just feel stupid.
You can’t forgive yourself for falling
or believing all the lies.
You reread every text.
You relive every memory.
And it all starts making sense —
he never wanted love.
He only wanted attention.
He only wanted validation.

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