A Thank You Letter To The Man Who Taught Me What Love Could Feel Like

It’s only been days since I looked at your face when you told me that you couldn’t do this anymore. “I need to tell you something.”

It felt so unfair. You could walk away, and I was left with all the lingering memories. 

I couldn’t sleep in my bed because it had only been a few days since you were wrapped in the sheets. I couldn’t open my freezer because the dozen bagels you bought to make sure I was well fed were still in there. I couldn’t walk past my fridge without crying because the magnet with the polaroid of me kissing your cheek was front and center. I couldn’t brush my teeth without breaking down because you were no longer on my phone brushing yours. 

I really wanted to hate you for leaving me like this after you immersed yourself so quickly and deeply into my life. But as Taylor Swift said, “I can’t make it go away by making you the villain.”

So instead, I laid on the couch, played the most painful Taylor Swift songs, and reflected on our time together. The tears were endless, but I needed to get myself to understand. I needed to understand why you would end something so good so suddenly. 

The sudden decision really took me apart. It had been less than a week since you were holding me in your arms and telling me that you wanted this. That your will to see me and be with me superseded the doubt over the distance.

Yet, within four days, you had decided that you did not want me in your life anymore. I know that you said it wasn’t a lack of want, and that you just could not handle it.  But we knew that distance would be hard. We knew that it would take work. 

It broke me when you told me that every time you got home from visiting me, you would get sad. I never wanted to be the reason for your sadness. Hearing you say that broke me.

You kept telling me that it was taking a toll on you, and I would hear it but hoped that you could brush those feelings under the rug. You would tell me that it was hard on you to not be able to pick me up when I was sad to hold me, or to just take me out for ice cream. I would try to rationalize those concerns away and plead with you to fight through the present hardship for the possible long-term gratification of being completely and truly together in one city. 

Although I can’t blame you. I had told you that we shouldn’t waste our time. We both deserved to be in a loving serious relationship that had legs, and I knew that it would only be harder months down the line if we realized we had no future. I had put those thoughts in your mind, and you listened to me. You looked at our future, and you knew that you couldn’t handle the possibility that we would have to wait years to be together. 

It felt selfish at first – that you put your short-term frustrations ahead of our future and my feelings for you. It broke me to think that you did not want me enough to fight for us. It killed me that maybe I just wasn’t good enough for you to want to stay. I know that you told me that this had nothing to do with me – and that I did nothing wrong. But how could I believe that when you were telling me that it was over? 

You were gone, and I had to sit with the loss, and the more I sat with it, the more I realized that this was the right decision. It might break me, but this was best for us in the grander scheme of our lives. Worst of all, I know that if I care enough about you – I have to accept what’s best for you, even if that means accepting the fact that being with me is not right for you.

What’s that saying? If you love something, let it go?

My heart might feel like it’s in pieces, and that my chest hurts too much to breathe, but I realized that this decision was made from caring for me and us. You were protecting us from the heartache and pain of a future breakup filled with potential hate and resentment. 

I wish I could have told you something though. Maybe you didn’t feel this way, but I was falling in love with you.  

How could I not?

You made me feel so beautiful. It was the little cute growls when we would get ready for bed and you would see my curves. It was that big goofy smile as you stared at me while I ranted on Facetime, followed by you telling me that I look fantastic. It was that intoxicating look in your eyes when we would be together and you would look at me in awe. It was you telling me that I looked cute to you, even when I was wearing a face sheet with no makeup and my hair was up in a messy bun. You made me feel beautiful in my own skin, whether with your words or the way you touched me. 

You made me feel like I could conquer the world. Your texts, even when I felt like I was facing failure, always reminded me that I could do it. That I was amazing. That I was the best. That you had no doubt in your mind that I would succeed.

You made me feel like I was safe. I could always feel at ease and calm with you because you were always there. You were always ready to listen. When you held me in your arms, with my head on your chest, I was at my calmest. I even remember calling you one night with tears streaming down my face because I felt so insecure and scared for you to see my insecurities. You calmly listened and thanked me for my vulnerability and honesty. You told me that you hoped you could always make me feel safe enough to share with you. 

You made me feel like I could be my true self – the loud, dramatic, energizer bunny that I could be. You just accepted me for who I was and didn’t want me to hide parts of myself. 

You made me feel cared for. I never felt alone knowing that I would get a call from you after work or on a way to a friend’s or even just a check in Snapchat during the day. I always knew you would pick up when I called. I was secure in the thought that I would get to see your smiling face on FaceTime before going to sleep every single night. I knew that you listened when I told you about everything from my dreams, my friends, or even just a mundane day. There was the consistency of being truly cared for and not some girl you were seeing. 

You treated me like a priority – like the first person you wanted to call when something good, bad, exciting, or boring would happen. I was an actual consideration when you made decisions. You genuinely wanted to know my opinion.

It breaks me that all of this is gone. It breaks me that I now have to wake up every morning knowing that I won’t hear from you or see your smile or your little goofy dance after a shower or be in your arms in a few days.

My heart hurts, and it pains me that you took it all away with one sudden move. 

But I have to thank you for teaching me what love could feel like. 

Before I met you, I was willing to accept the bare minimum. I was willing to accept someone’s words at face value, even when their actions spoke volumes as to how little they cared for me, simply because they said otherwise. Before I met you, I dreamed about the way I wanted to be treated but did not think that existed. 

But after having you in my life, I won’t be able to accept anything less anymore. You’ve made me feel like love is possible – real, true, ever-growing and healthy love. 

I can’t thank you enough for bringing so much joy and happiness into my life.

If I had to go back in time, I would do it all over – even knowing that I would sit here today in so much pain.

I just hope that I brought even a fraction of the same happiness to you.