Eventually, Your Love for Them Will Die
A year ago, he was everything to me. He wasn’t even my boyfriend, though. He didn’t refer to me as his girlfriend. It didn’t stop me from becoming completely wrapped up in him.
He led me through a year of torture. Pushing me away. Pulling me back in. Gaslighting me. Giving me just enough to want more and never giving me the more. Nevertheless, I was dumb enough to love this man who I didn’t call my boyfriend. He said he loved me too but I don’t know about that. I think he loved the idea of me.
Our relationship was such a non-thing that I once told him that if anything ever happened to him, he would be dead and gone and long-buried before I ever found out. No one knew about me.
I expressed my concern to him. We weren’t connected on social media. He made sure of that. I had never met his friends. His family had heard about me once or twice when we first started seeing each other. They wouldn’t know my name. No one would call me and tell me if he were in an accident. He seemed unphased by this.
That was when I knew I wasn’t going to ever be the first person to know if something happened to him. I wouldn’t even be one of the people to know.
A few weeks later, I realized it finally had to be over after I found out he took another woman on a work cruise. He spent a whole week island hopping and entertaining clients in the Caribbean with a woman who wasn’t me.
He made me feel like I had no right to be mad. He wasn’t my boyfriend, remember? We weren’t tied down.
When I found out about the cruise, I spent the whole afternoon working in my garage just to stay moving. If I stopped, the sadness and anger would hit me. I’d clean and then cry. My heart was broken.
I had to cut ties completely so I could move on. I deleted him from my phone so there would be no way to reach out even if I wanted to. This has become a regular practice now when anything comes to an end. I have become good at walking away.
I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to stop loving him. The hurt would linger there, just above my head, ready to fall on me without a moment’s notice.
I did whatever I could to move on. Some things were good ideas. I started to learn another language and took tango lessons. Some were bad ideas that could play a bass guitar and talk about physics.
Eventually, after months had passed, we talked. I was cautious. I was afraid he’d pull me right back in. After a few texts, something occurred to me. I. Felt. Nothing. Not a damn thing. I was a little taken aback. It was a hard time getting to that place where the love was gone but it felt good.
We’re friends. At least we try. We talk from time to time. He is still very charming and does many of the things that would have let me be pulled right back in. It doesn’t work. None of it. It gets no response.
I had to sit with the loss and figure out the hurt. Anger, betrayal, and rejection all had to be felt but I had to let go of them, too. I’ve learned boundaries and bolstered my self-worth. With this came peace and strength.
The love I once thought would ruin me for the rest of my life was gone. Dead. I just needed time. I had to be patient. Everything happens in due time.