There’s that horrible word again, but it’s so important when it comes to moving on. I didn’t get it, so…this…

It was never love. If you couldn’t say the word, it wasn’t love. The emojis that replaced it, childlike, sweet, but not love.

It was never love when there was no respect. Putting me on hold without asking, insisting it wasn’t what you wanted when I asked for a break, then taking it anyway. Leaving me to work it out after hours of silence or excuses, no attempt to explain when I did, no apology for it. I still feel the humiliation from that day, waiting for hours, after 2 days of being fobbed off before realisation dawned. Heightened anxiety from not knowing. Needing me to say the words because it eased your conscience. Only ever giving out crumbs of affection. Demoting from love, to attraction, to a virtual friend and eventually, a potentially bad Tinder date, “not real life”. It was even worse this time, all the warmth gone and no remorse, a simmering resentment beneath the surface. A need to explain everything away as my issues and no accounting for causality. Messages ignored without explanation, never knowing if I ever would get a reply. Humiliated again, feeling anxious because that’s what the silent treatment has always done to me, which you were aware of, one of the reasons why I don’t do it to anyone and the ultimate reason for needing to let go, because that uncertainty would always be there and you’d never understand or care how it made me feel. I had said all along that you needed hand holding while you got used to not speaking to me, leaving it longer every time. You denied it, said it wouldn’t happen again, it always did. If I hadn’t got in touch both times, that would’ve been it. I made it easy, convenient. There was no respect, so it wasn’t love.

It was never love because I didn’t come first, or second, third, fourth, fifth. I was forgotten in favour of sleep when others weren’t. I was pushed aside for events and hobbies. You asked me once if I ever gave anything up or cancelled anything for you. I did, more than once. I just never told you because it wasn’t about scoring points or making you feel bad, but because I cared. On one such occasion, you disappeared. I was made to watch while you did things for others that you wouldn’t for me. It was drummed into me that it came easily for them, but took effort for me. It was learned behavior, never natural, never a desire, merely following orders. I didn’t matter.

It was never love because there were always other options. Doing just enough to keep them interested, but not so much you couldn’t deny that it was inappropriate. Only just within the boundaries. Seemingly friendly, but more than for me. There was no interest in blasts from the past, but enough to offer a sympathetic ear when there wasn’t one for me. Enough to meet them without telling me. Insisting it meant nothing, then doing it again while I was “put on hold”. Enough to physically look a certain way. The gifts, the flirting, always justified, with no thought for me.

It was never love when there was no pride. I was hidden away, a dirty secret. Not fit to be even polite or friendly to in public, because what would people think? Compartmentalised and separated from real life. Knowing how that felt, had felt in the past, but there was no consideration, so it didn’t matter. Compassion was limited to those within touching distance.

It was never love because there was no communication. There were only ever two options. Silence, or a discussion that would be invalid the next day. Remorse for something one day, would be justifies the next. An apology would be rescinded the next time there was a disagreement, until I started to doubt what was real, heartfelt, meant, and what wasn’t. No communication vs empty communication. Never listening or trying to understand why, only defending and excusing or repeating my words back to me. Throwing things out there, then taking them back and making me feel foolish for believing them. Faux concern when I was gone for a day while there was none when I was gone for weeks. It wasn’t love.

It was never love because it was spread too thin. The things I was told were proof of that love, were shared with others. The gift that was supposed to be special, unlike the others, was then bettered for someone else. The things that were acknowledged when others did them, but not me. Even one of the last things you said to me, about not realising the effect they’d have on me at the time was untrue. You’d told me previously you had considered it, but disregarded and sent them anyway. Just one of many daggers. The other things, the ones I can’t mention, which were removed because of your insecurities, were done for everyone straight after we stopped. Without a thought for me, how it would look or feel. Or as with that one thing, there was a thought for me, but ultimately, my feelings weren’t important. It was just me after all.

It was never love because there was no honesty. Knowing how I felt about it, saying how terrible it was that I hadn’t had it in the past, then lying to me. Then doing it again and again. The mountain of lies building and building until nothing felt real. Nothing felt solid. I questioned everything until I went out of my mind and I was told or it was suggested that I needed help or it was all in my mind, when I knew it wasn’t. I doubted myself until I thought I was going mad. There was no remorse for sneaking around, going behind other people’s backs, everything was justified until the trust was gone. That wasn’t love.

It was never love because you didn’t want to be there. Telling me repeatedly how much you missed me, then running away. Saying you didn’t want to stop, then going. Knowing how much I was struggling and not reaching out once. Saying you wouldn’t do it again, and taking every chance to disappear. That wasn’t love.

It was never love because there were no explanations. You couldn’t believe it yourself when I told you, you never explained about that note, and then you did it again, with Valentine’s Day. There was no explanation when something you did hurt. I was left to guess and agonise, analyse every word after your diversions and distractions. I guess this ties in with respect.

It was never love because there was uncertainty. Would I hear from you again? Was it over? Would I finally stop feeling that dread in the pit of my stomach, only to hear from you again, get my hopes up, find out nothing’s changed and retreat into the darkness again? Love takes away the insecurity, it doesn’t exacerbate it. I never once felt secure.

It was never love because love isn’t learned behaviour. It’s not about doing things because you’re told to or because it’s the right thing to do. It’s about wanting to. Needing to. Because their problems are your problems. Their hurt is your hurt. Making them happy, not smile, but happy, makes you happy. Being there for the good AND bad, something you insisted you wanted but never showed. It’s about wanting to pick up the phone, not finding it a chore. It’s having their back, being a team, not pretending to do those things, not belittling their insecurities, not rushing to say things that you have to take back, just because they sounded good and won you the argument. Love is selfless, not scoring points and winning. Love is fighting and trying, not making a show of fighting and trying. Love is understanding. Love is putting yourself in their shoes. Love is acknowledging and accepting blame. But above all, it’s accepting that it was never really love, just an infatuation built from association and boredom. Love is never letting go. Love is saying “We’re in this together,” not leaving my friends to pick u the pieces. Love isn’t grabbing at any chance to walk away.

So this is the final goodbye. An end to something that should never have gotten this far. A bit of fun with the wrong label stuck on that you were desperate to force into something more, when we both knew it wasn’t. Something childish and immature, when we should know better at our age. More said that wasn’t meant than was. More time spent apart than together. History repeating itself in the worst possible way, though you had been angry when others had done it. Allowances made, always allowances, when it was you. If we can learn something from this, let it be this. Don’t say things you mean until you’re brave enough to stick to them. Never spend time with someone you’re ashamed to acknowledge in public. Dont give it a false label. Try with those it wasn’t difficult with, the ones you turned to without over thinking. Make them happy and let them do the same for you. Treat them better. When it’s more than just attraction, you’ll stop caring about others more. That’s how you’ll know. Enjoy your distractions. I’ll miss you, but I wish you luck.

Me? I asked you to go because I couldn’t take the change or handle the daggers and because I knew you’d never say the words, that we needed to stop. It would always be left to me to work it out while you hid. It wasn’t what I wanted, but the only option left to me and since leaving me is the only thing you’ve ever been willing to do every time I’ve asked, I know it won’t be difficult for you. Nor do I blame you, because silence is all I’ve ever had from those I considered my dearest. I need to stop with the serious and stick to a bit of fun. Accept that communication won’t solve anything unless both sides are willing to try. Walk away sooner than I do. Know that no matter how much I want something to work, how badly I want someone to feel something for me, I can’t will it into happening. Understand that if I can’t be myself with someone without constantly worrying they’ll run away or distance themselves, or panic about what others will think, you are not important enough to them. You said I don’t ask for help and deal with everything alone. That’s because whenever I’ve asked, I haven’t got it, or I’ve been made to feel indebted for it. Those who have helped, have done so without my having to ask, so I know it was a want rather than any compulsion from me or worse, pity.

Love isn’t just about how you feel, but how they make you feel too. Stop considering the feelings of those who don’t consider mine, and accept that leaving the door open to those who hurt me won’t result in a different outcome. I wrongly believed that a second chance meant the opportunity to learn from our mistakes, but what I saw as something potentially beautiful, was destructive and repetitive until everything good about it was diminished. I cared, I felt and I tried, and at least there are memories of a lovely Summer. This hurts, but the lies hurt more. My only choices were feeling lonely with you, or being alone. I know now you’d never have stopped hurting me, so I chose the latter. It’s time for acceptance and to move on. This is closure, but I will always care.


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