Everything I Want To Say To The Man Who Didn't Love Me, But Refused To Let Go

by Stepfanie Nicole

I can't tell you how many times I've sat down and tried to put these words on paper. Trying to write about you reopened all the wounds I tried relentlessly to heal -- to escape.

I thought writing about it would allow me to cope with what was and then move on, but every time I opened my laptop and started to type, anger would rise up and my eyes would fill with tears.

I'd open a bottle of wine to help ease the pain and provoke words to flow, but I'd end up angry and drunk in my bathtub with no poetic justice to show for another night wasted dwelling over the lack of your presence.

One morning I woke up and felt an indescribable sense of relief. After a year of torturing myself and refusing to remove you from my life, I woke up and felt nothing.

I grabbed my laptop and my notebook and began going through all my half-written drunken “letters” about you. Letters I kept stored in a folder titled “broken paragraphs."

All that was broken built this ...

We're both in pursuit of chasing dreams larger than life; you're busy building this self-proclaimed empire and I'm so full of wanderlust and an insatiable desire to explore, learn and create. You're a star at what you do, and I would never argue that, but I failed to recognize how much your ego was dulling my own shine.

I let you sideline me because you had me convinced your dreams and your ambitions were more relevant than mine. You kept me at bay, saying just the right things at all the right times. Typically, these were the times where the pain of loving you felt so unbearable that I'd tell you we should move on from one another.

I don't even know what to call this kind of heartbreak. I felt pathetic for so long because I let you break my heart, but that means I gave it to you in the first place. I trusted you with my heart and you wouldn't even give me the time of day when it wasn't completely convenient for you.

At first, I think you felt refreshed by the fact that I just wanted to come over, order sushi and turn on the football game by the fireplace. But eventually, I think it became a little intimidating for you, which is why coping with this now is easier for me.

You couldn't handle being with a woman who didn't need you, but wanted you. A woman who wasn't impressed by your $1,200 dinner dates and your fancy cars. A woman who craved genuine connection. I can now so clearly see why you couldn't handle it; you don't have a genuine connection to offer. You've been parading around with this mask on, this façade everyone recognizes you as, and you've forgotten who you really are.

In a few weak, drunken moments of accidental full disclosure, you shared how lonely you truly are. At first, this was just another reason for me to hang on to you. I would tell myself you must care about me if you trusted me enough to share those weaknesses.

I eventually realized, these were nothing more than 35-year-old, grown-man temper tantrums. I'm sure you'll deny they ever happened, but I'm grateful for experiencing those moments with you. They showed me this is not a flaw on my behalf, these are flaws that lie deeply rooted within yourself and nothing I could have done would have changed that.

I bent over backwards for you. I went out of my way to do everything in my power to make your life easier -- happier. Any stresses you carried, I would have gladly carried for you, without question. And what did you do for me?

You lied about your feelings towards me. You knew how much I cared for you, but you chose to deceive me because you couldn't risk jeopardizing your roster. I'd given you multiple opportunities to be upfront and honest with me about the nature of our relationship.

What pisses me off the most isn't the fact that you didn't want a relationship with me. No. What pisses me off the most is the fact that in the beginning, I didn't want a relationship with you and you constantly questioned my reasoning behind that. You pursued me until I was wrapped so tightly around your finger that you didn't have to try anymore. And just like that, I was benched.

I literally asked you to tell me that you didn't give a shit about me. I begged you to tell me that we were nothing, to tell me to let go and move on. Instead, you turned into the charming man who suddenly remembered what romance was and told me I deserved so much more. You always knew how to keep me hanging on by a thread.

It's like you could feel when I'd start moving on. We'd go a few weeks without talking – which was torture for me – and I'd get a “hey stranger, I miss you” text. Each chapter would end exactly the same. I'd wind up at your place, in your sheets and wake up feeling lonely and ashamed, driving home wondering why I couldn't tell you "no."

I tried to distract myself by dating other people, but no one compared to you. I take that back; no one compared to the version of you I wanted to believe you were. Nonetheless, dates felt empty and pointless. I wasn't interested in other men, and I was still sad about missing you.

I think this is what Kurt Cobain was talking about when he wrote about sadness and pain. I became so used to feeling hurt, I didn't recognize myself when I wasn't sad. In fact, if I wasn't feeling sadness, I'm not sure I was feeling anything at all. I have to wonder how many potentially great guys I missed out on while I was busy justifying all your fucked up actions.

All the times I tried to impress you and be who I thought you wanted me to be were a waste. All I did was set myself back from the person who would love the real me. I lost a part of her in this chaos, and although I feel like I'm finally moving on from you, I'm still searching frantically to find the pieces of myself that have been in hiding.

I've thought of countless ways to say "goodbye" to you. What I know now is that I didn't need to say goodbye to you; I needed to say goodbye to who I thought you were. I needed to tell myself I deserved better, and I needed to let you go without any words, because in all honesty, you aren't owed a goodbye, nor do you deserve one.

Contrary to what you may think, I have a heart; probably a bigger heart than all the other women you've been with, because you've given me nothing, absolutely no reason to stay, but I stayed anyway. I loved you anyway. I invested so much time and energy into you, I saw something so worthwhile, and you gave me zero. After an entire year, we don't have one f*cking thing to show for us.

Hearing your name no longer leaves me in pieces. Bumping into you while we're out with friends no longer ruins my night. Acting like complete strangers will not shatter my existence. The “almosts” and “what ifs” still make me cringe, but mostly because I feel pathetic for holding on to them for so long.

I think the saddest part of this for me is the fact that I feel "crazy" for having these emotions. If I owe an apology to anyone, it's owed to myself. I apologize for giving myself to someone who did little to deserve me. I apologize for turning so many amazing men away, without even giving them an opportunity to show me they weren't as cruel as you.

My mistake was not in giving you my heart (although I liked to think that it was for a while). My mistake was waiting for you to tell me that I needed to move on. My mistake was thinking you respected me enough to allow me to be with someone who would treat me the way I deserve to be treated.

Maybe it's “crazy” in your eyes, but I did love you. Luckily for both of us, I love myself more. I hope by the time this reaches you, you'll still be vain enough to know it's a story of us.

Your passion for business, money and success is admirable, and necessary to sustain life, but that will never be what keeps me interested. Poetry, beauty, romance and love are where my heart lies. They aren't necessary to sustain life, but they're what we stay alive for. You reminded me of this, and for that, I'd not only like to say "goodbye," I'd also like to say "thank you."