Just Because You Love Me Doesn’t Mean I Feel Loved By You

Just because you say “I love you” doesn’t mean I feel loved by you. It seems like a phrase you say to shut me up, alleviate my worries, and keep me distracted for a little while longer. To be fair, I’m sure in your own way you mean it. You mean that you care for me and that should be enough. I have to ask for what I want, precisely how you want to hear it, so it doesn’t come across as nagging. I guard my emotions inside, and it’s a slow death of my carcass rotting. If this is love, I don’t want it, though all my heart aches for you.

Your love is hollow, and it bears no action. Your love is pressed for time. Your love is preoccupied. Your love has surface-level conversations. It doesn’t want to waste too much time getting to know me. Your love has no romance, and your love has no intimacy. Your love is absent. Your love has no problem remaining silent for weeks on end. Maybe I’m just fooling myself. I never did ask what you meant when you said, “I love you.”

I’ve learned a lot about love over the years. I’ve learned that love isn’t all about butterflies and living in our own private bubble. I’ve discovered that love requires effort. I’ve learned that love takes time to develop. I’ve learned that love isn’t enough to keep people together and keep them from tearing each other apart. I’ve learned about all the ways I need to look at myself. I’ve discovered how my trauma expresses itself as a desperate need to attach myself to you. 

I’ve learned that you can’t look to one person to give you everything. I’ve learned that deep longing doesn’t equal love. So here I am, feeling unloved by you, not knowing where to go from here. I’m absolutely gutted. I don’t have you to love me the way I imagined. I’m left with what I suspected the whole time: Myself. I’m struggling to love myself.

Just because you love me doesn’t mean I feel loved by you. Soon, I’ll stop caring like you want me to. Of course, you don’t really want me to; all you want is for me to be someone other than myself. You want less talking, less time together, sex but not intimacy. A slow death of me. If this is your love, I don’t want it.