Dear Nice Guy I Let Go,
I know I disappointed you.
We had a connection. You complimented my brain more than my body. You spoke in articulated and calculated sentences, just like me.
You were a kindred spirit, one who’d already taken the chances that at the time, I’d only dreamt about.
But you weren’t perfect, and neither was I. You made plans and broke them when I was almost done getting ready. You changed your mind to revert back to initial plans after my makeup came off and sweatpants came on.
Things with us moved slowly -- really slowly. Then suddenly, there was an escalation that left me with more questions than answers. I knew so much about you, as you did about me.
What you didn’t know is that I’d spent my entire life being kept at arm’s length. I feared we were heading down that path and just taking our time to get there.
I definitely wasn’t your girlfriend. We didn’t talk every day, and didn’t see each other often enough for me to think that.
You met a few of my friends who were important to me. They really liked you, and I watched as you fit right into our group of people from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds.
But I couldn’t do it anymore; I couldn’t be a phantom girlfriend who melts at your smile but has nothing to hang onto.
You were special and important to me, but I couldn’t get any closer to an indefinite nothing after months of pacing in circles.
As the “shy, nice girl,” I figured that if you liked me enough, you’d bring up the “what are we” conversation yourself. But those words were never spoken. Truthfully, I was embarrassed.
We were suspended in a foggy circle of dating purgatory, and for some reason, it infuriated me. I'm typically easy going and laid back about dating, but with you I found myself antsy and restless.
Part of this was because it had been several months of confusion, and part of this was because I made the mistake of not being bold enough to ask what was going on.
However, an undeniable part of the problem was that I was losing grasp of what had drawn me to you, and all of the things that kept me curious about your heart and your brain. It just wasn’t working for me anymore.
I did something I resent in others; I childishly allowed myself to get fed up without voicing my frustrations and I pushed myself over the edge.
I couldn’t find anything to differentiate myself from your guy friends in the final days, and I was done.
What’s funny is that I’ve always been comfortable as “one of the guys.” I pair my dresses with combat boots, I get excited about sports and beer and I’ll quote "South Park" and "Entourage" more than is probably appropriate. But with you, I felt stuck. I felt as though the flirtation was dead, and I was just a bro with eyelashes.
We were two nice, smart people who got together, and neither of us stepped up to be the bold one. If neither party at least is willing to get the courage to ask the uncomfortable and awkward, but necessary questions, the dynamic is doomed to fail.
Our metaphorical hourglass had few grains of sand to spare, regardless of what might have been, had we addressed my concerns earlier. There’s no use playing “what if”; there are only lessons to learn.
Maybe our snail's pace involved too much anticipation and not enough action, or maybe the spark just burned out. Our energy had been off for weeks by the time our flame extinguished entirely.
The fact that our flirtationship ended doesn’t make either of us a bad person or undesirable, and it doesn't mean we should stop being nice.
We just didn’t work for each other.
The only regret I have was not giving you an explanation -- not that I had one at the time. I didn’t understand my anger or frustration, which was masking the underlying humiliation that made me feel like I wasn't worthy of you bringing up the status of “us.”
There was never one, solitary reason; it was a culmination of things. Ultimately, we just didn’t work.
It was immature of me, but that doesn’t mean my feelings weren’t real and genuine. Ending it wasn’t an assh*le move, but the way I handled it was.
Verbal communication is so important, and for a writer, I sure was able to vocally restrain myself.
I always meant to tell you that I was sorry, but after a family emergency that changed my home life forever, I was out of sync with the outside world at a time when it would have made sense to repair the damage.
You’d been a bewildered witness to a crime scene: a robbery of closure and the truth. Under any other circumstances, we would have been able to stay friends, to reconvene and salvage some groundwork beneath the rubble.
Sometimes, sh*t happens. It’s not a slight against you or me; it’s just that it didn’t work out, romantically or otherwise.
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you find something and someone who does work out for you. We both deserve it.
Wishing you the best,
The Ghost of Flirtations Past
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