It Wasn’t You I Loved, It Was The Space You Took Up In My Life

sad girl standing in the forest

This is how I felt when I was with you: I really liked you. I liked the way you looked at me, like I was special and pretty, like I was just what you wanted, just what you were looking for. I liked the way you took me to your favorite places and told me stories of your friends and all the memories you made there. I liked the way you texted me and the way you made me laugh. I liked all of these very generic things about you and in the moment, yes I liked you, I liked you a lot, but looking back, I’m not really sure that any of these things were specific to you and who you were.

I think what made me like you was the simple fact of being admired, receiving texts, laughing and sharing a moment with someone, and that’s just it, you were only ever someone. And I know that sounds pathetic, that I fell for a person purely out of my own loneliness and insecurities, but I think part of moving on from you, was admitting that I only liked you because you made time pass with me rather than making me pass it alone.

That’s what made me realize, it wasn’t you I loved, it was the space you took up in my life.

That’s what you were, a space filler. Someone who would fill my days and nights. Someone who would text me good morning and good night, someone who would call whenever they had good news. Someone who would come to dinner with my friends who were all coupled-up. Someone who would temporarily cure that lingering sting of loneliness.

And it sounds so cruel, like I was using you for relief, but honestly it felt good. It felt great. It felt comforting to know I wouldn’t have to do these things alone. I wouldn’t have to lay in bed at night wishing I had someone who’d text me. I wouldn’t have to be the fifth wheel when my friends asked me to come to dinner, promising it wouldn’t be weird if it was just me and them, just me with couples who’ve found the love I couldn’t. I wouldn’t have to worry about any of those things because I had someone.

And that someone was you. And the most unfortunate part about that is, my someone ended up leaving. You left and you took a chunk of my happiness with you, because suddenly all of those things I didn’t have to worry about came back. Suddenly I had to worry about navigating this world on my own. Suddenly I had to go to bed at night without a goodnight text. Suddenly I had to reply to my coupled up friends asking if it’s okay that it’s just me coming along for dinner, seeking permission to be a third or fifth wheel. Suddenly I had to be thrown back out into this world alone. Suddenly I found myself hating everything about love because no one loved me.

And that’s so very sad, because I look back now and think about how stupid it is to be worried or anxious or afraid of something as ordinary as being on my own. My life wasn’t anything to be sad about when I lived it alone, when I lived it before and after you. There was so much discovering that happened after you left, about myself, about others, about what love really is, and I’m really glad you left me when you did.

After you left I realized I’ll be okay on my own, that you can’t just be with someone because you’re scared to be alone. After you left I realized it wasn’t you I loved it was the space you took up in my life. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Writer based in the Philadelphia area. Person who really loves her dog and watching cooking shows. Check out my writing on Thought Catalog and follow me on Facebook! Connect with me and submit your work on Collective World.

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