If I Loved You Less, You'd Probably Love Me

Believe me when I say that I never intended for any of this to happen. What I mean to say is, back when we first started seeing each other, and you waited 30 minutes before responding to my texts and I got nervous speaking to you without the help of external substances, I couldn’t picture any of this happening. Perhaps I could have imagined us kissing in some restaurant, or maybe even holding hands in line at the movie theatre, but the rest of it? Well, that I could not have imagined.

I guess at this point it’s embarrassing, right? Not embarrassing like when think your lecture class starts at three, but it actually starts at two and you run in an hour late and everyone stares at you. It doesn’t make me red in the face or anything like that. It’s just humiliating. I know the way I sound when I talk about you: silly, young, a character from a Sarah Dessen novel, but mostly like someone I would make fun of. That’s the thing that embarrasses me the most — that this thing (I’d call it “this love,” but that’s precisely the type of jejune thing I despise) has turned me into someone else.

It’s that other person — that needy, grabby salesman of a person — that you don’t love, right? Is that the thing you hate about me? That neediness? That itchiness? The way I look at you, the way I change my plans for you? How I become one of those women who work at a department store and follow you from rack to rack. “Do you need anything?” “Can I help you with anything?” “Is there anything in particular today that you’re looking for?” If I cared less, would you care more? At first I was going to ask “would you care at all,” but that’s not right, is it? You care about me, you do. You value me. Probably. I mean, if someone asked you if you value me, you would say yes. You just don’t actively value me. It seems like that wouldn’t make a difference, but it makes a huge difference.

I’ve manicured my hands and dyed my hair and perfumed my skin for you and, the whole while, I’ve told myself that it would make you love me. I’ve made sure I was the funniest in the room, the wittiest in the conversation, convincing myself that it would make you change your mind. It should be noted that these are precisely the kind of facts that humiliate me. It didn’t work. None of it worked. Isn’t that funny? I mean, not ha-ha-funny, but you have to admit — there is something laugh-worthy about it. I mean, I once spent the whole day getting my hair cut and blown out because you said you’d be at a party and you didn’t even show up. HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

I have told you so much, but there are pieces I have learned to keep hidden from you over these years. Perhaps, these are the parts I will eventually learn to compartmentalize and keep hidden from myself, as well. It’s no question in my mind: When a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, it does not make a sound, it did not fall.

I don’t move on well. I sit in a box labeled “Past Things.” One of those boxes that you shove in the attic or basement and you keep your childhood dolls and high school awards in it. I do not know why this is. Maybe I don’t want to move on. Do you think that’s it? I’m sorry; that’s an unfair question, isn’t it? Well, while I’m at it, can I ask more unfair questions? Is there anything I can do? I can be more honest or less harsh or less anxious or more quiet. Do you like quiet girls? I could be a quiet girl. Yes, I could certainly be one of those quiet girls. Just tell me what to do it and I’ll do it.

I’m sorry. I’m doing it again, aren’t I? The thing you don’t love about me isn’t my hair color or my laugh that’s a bit too loud or anything like that. It’s the questions. It’s the constant questions, isn’t it? TC mark

image – jd.echenard

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://twitter.com/RantingOwl The Owl

    This made me sigh. I know what you mean.

  • http://twitter.com/uncleyussof Ivan Lee

    You poor girl

  • guest

    this, this, a thousand times this. this was my relationship that just ended. i cared so much about someone who cared so little, and i convinced myself that if i acted like i cared less, they would care more.

    they didn’t.

    so it goes.

    • Sophia

      same here. reading this made me feel less alone, but also sort of like a cliché.
      so it goes.

  • Amber

    Good post! 

    There are some typos/grammar mistakes. I only say that because I enjoyed the post and not because I am one of those people who always have to find something wrong with everything :)

  • http://www.myperfectline.com/ WarmSunshine

    You seriously need to move on girlie. You can always tell when a guy has that fake I-love-you-baby shit up his sleeve.

  • http://twitter.com/Amandemic Amandemic

    This is crazy good.

  • Puspa

    I’m doing this too to my bf. I love him so much. I know how you feel.

  • Skinnypignyc

    great read and so profoundly sad…but true.  #lesigh 

  • Guest

    Maybe its not the constant questions… perhaps it’s your willingness to change yourself to fit the mold of what you think he wants you to be? I feel your pain though, and I’ve found myself feeling similarly… but sometimes feeling just don’t reciprocate… and after awhile you may find that what you were lusting after for so long wasn’t necessarily this person, but the idea of what could be, if only they wanted you.  I think we will all find something real eventually, but only if we are real with ourselves.

    • Amber

      Yes, being so readily willing to become a person you are not is not an attractive feature to someone that knows who they are and what they want. 

    • http://twitter.com/scruzz Shawn

      So true. Good point. Turns out that whole “be yourself” spiel was kinda right?

  • http://twitter.com/scruzz Shawn

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. One thing I’ve learned though… and I know it’s cliche… but he (whether its a specific person, or crushes in general) just might not be that into you.

    I know this is ripped from that terrible RomCom, but if he wants to be with you, he will go out of his way to be with you. Accepting that fact is probably one of the most liberating gifts you can give yourself.

    • Guest

      lol. if you saw the ending of that movie, that’s not exactly the entire message. at the end, the dude that says that “if a guy is acting like he doesn’t give a shit, he doesn’t give a shit”, acts like he doesn’t care towards the girl. then at the end he finally realizes he does and tells the girl. but the girl is confused because she thought “he’s just not that into me” the whole time. so, some cases are different. but i guess i agree in most cases, it means they just doesn’t like you enough.

    • Guest

      long story short, some people are not good at expressing themselves/are scared to be intimate and therefore it seems like they aren’t into you

    • Anonymous

      What if he’s always texting you, always asking you to come out, buying you drinks, paying for your taxi to go across town with him to other bars, then hitting on every girl that’s not you, and finally ending one night by telling you “You know I really like you. You’re like a sister to me.”

      That was not a night that ended well for me, or my liver.

  • http://www.brennanknotts.com Brennan Knotts

    It’s always a turnoff when a girl starts changing who she is for you. No one worth falling in love with falls in love with a panderer.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll sit in the “past things” box with you. Or I could just sit next to you in my own. Sigh.

    • http://twitter.com/teresaelectro teresaelectro

      Can I have two ‘past things’ boxes? One for past things that make me sad and others that make me angry?

  • http://www.facebook.com/visakanv Visakan Veerasamy

    This is typically where I mock you for being a spineless dirtbag, but I’ve been there before, and it’s tragic. You will get over it one day though, and perhaps one day you’ll even laugh about it. Especially when one day you encounter someone who treats you the same way you treated the person YOU fell for.

    Incidentally, you didn’t love him or her so much as what he or she represented to you, don’t you think? You might not think so now. Let me know what ya think in a couple of years. (I’ll check back.)

    Hang in there, kiddo. You’ll make it.

    • Sophia

      I needed to read this, thanks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/visakanv Visakan Veerasamy

        We gotta carry each other. :)

    • Vaishnavi

      Definitely what he represented, yes. Thanks for posting this.

  • hannah

    i don’t think i’ve ever related to an article on TC so much as this one here. tragically beautiful read.

  • http://www.facebook.com/visakanv Visakan Veerasamy

    The most tragic thing is that we all relate to the persona when we read it, yet we’re all creeped out by them when we encounter them in real life. (They’re rarely cute and sweet and adorably dorky- they usually smell funny.)

  • http://twitter.com/teresaelectro teresaelectro

    I agree, but what’s hard after an unrequited love/like/lust situation is believing there will be someone who is so-called ‘into you’…

  • Move on, already

    Oh, Thought Catalog. You really must stop posting these pieces that continue to allow me to wallow in the 
    post-heart-wrenching-break-up singledom in which I currently find myself. I must move on. But how can I do that when your similarly broken writing staff constantly reminds me just how sad and pathetic I am?!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYDVROKY4PUBOKUHB3QF42FH2Y Paul S

    Proof reading can make a different.

  • LeTronique

    This is the Thought Catalog, it’s the Facebook of literature. Proofreading is often ignored.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GB3XCGFZ745AZ4R36ZKYO5F4CM Jennifer

    this is me, exactly, to a T…sadly the questions never get a satisying answer just answers that lead to more questions.

  • Guest

    it’s sad when someone doesn’t like/love you in return, but it is life.  it happens often. the first time it happened to me, it felt terrible, but when i look back on that, i am glad that the person was honest.  it’s when people lie about love, that really hurts in the end. i moved on, but I’ll never forgot what it felt like to be lied to.

  • Guest

    “love humiliates you, hatred cradles you”
    -white oleander

  • Adam Detzner

    thank you for this!

  • Kate

    Wow. Yep.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.lendi Jessica Lendi Dickson

    Good God, this is me. 
     I’ve been spending the past four days letting the tears flow, exploring the corners of my mind of “What’s wrong with me?” Even now as my tears tap the keys, the empty resolution that nothing can be done. Even moreso, if you can’t love me more, why can’t you hurt the way I do? You love me, sure. More than Jesus, less than beef jerky. I want my sadness to astound you and make you feel guilty, ashamed, unworthy of all that I’ve already given you. I want you to feel like a thief. I want you to shoulder the blame, let me pity myself. Hell, pity me! I deserve it, after all the affection and attention I gave it all, I at least need some sort of sorrowful regconition. 
    No, it’s my fault for letting my passion flow so freely. It makes me feel poisoned, and you’re too pretty of a rose. Dear me, all you did was prick it.

    Wow, sorry, TC. Thanks for being a sweet virtual dog I can always come home to. You get me, you always do. <3

    • Aditiprabhaker

      WOW. I’m going through this too. Eloquently written my friend; written with more strength than you think you have. Bless you!

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