I love you. But you aren’t mine.
I’ve been in love before, the kind of all encompassing love that straddles the line between infatuation and obsession. The kind of love that keeps you up at night, that steals your breath when your lover walks into the room and when your lover smiles. I’ve been in the kind of love that demands grand dramatic gestures and painful sacrifice. Love can sometimes be the thing that drains you dry of resources and self beyond that love.
Love can be unhealthy. Love can be lying awake at night wondering where your partner is. Love can be having sex with your partner and wondering where they are, in their head. Love can be arguing over peanut butter and jelly, over how your process the daily news, over their ability to empathize. This sort of love isn’t always lasting. It’s never been lasting in my experience. Making your home so completely in someone else, in one person’s heart, almost inevitably leads to eviction. When you pour the entirety of yourself into one person, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
In all of that mess, you come in. I love you dearly and you are quite honestly the most important person in my life. We will never kiss, never fuck, and never use the word partners. And that’s okay.
I was left empty and devastated after several unhealthy attachments. You helped me learn to trust people again. Or start to anyways. My walls still exist. You however managed to carve out some secret passage through those walls. You taught me how to be vulnerable again. I poured a little bit of my soul into you. Just a bit. Just enough. You’ve poured a bit of yourself into mine. We aren’t each other’s everything. I no longer believe that one person can be everything for another.
What you are is different. You aren’t afraid to call out my self destructive tendencies. You lay next to me at night, holding my hand, as I fall asleep listening to you talk about the future. We are there for the other in bad mental health days, panic attacks, crisis, and in victories. You are much needed stability and grounding when my life feels like it’s spiraling out of control.
You have a partner. They make you happy and express no jealousy or concern on the nature of our friendship. They trust you. They make you happy. I smile and feel such joy when you talk about the little things they do for you, to show how much they care. It fills my heart to see you happy. There’s no bittersweet sheen to it.
See, if we were to continue forever like this, I would be perfectly content. There’s no long con of hope and anticipation for a future where you are mine. I love you and I like to believe you love me too. Not in that needy, all encompassing feeling of my past. This is something quieter.
Something less and something more. This is lasting. I don’t believe in soul mates, true love, destiny, or fate anymore. I do believe that we are defined by the people in our lives and I’m overjoyed to count you as one of them.
You’re my best friend and I am eternally grateful to have you in my life, however that may be. Love is far more complicated and beautiful than former lovers would have had me believe. Love comes in all shapes, sizes, and moments. Let’s make the best of the moments we share.