It's been three months since you ended things. It’s been one day since I replied to your last message. I can’t say break up because we weren’t together. I hate that. I hate how no matter how many times I look back at it, we were not in a relationship. “Casual.” That’s what we were. Even though our friends knew about us, we went on dates, we held hands in public, we were exclusive—we agreed to not see anyone else. My friends were just as confused as I was back then.
“What do you mean you guys aren’t together?”
“What do you mean casual?”
When you ended things, I cried for a few minutes. Clearly upset, I remember not responding for almost 40 minutes after reading, “I think we should stop seeing each other.” I expected so much. So, so, so much. There are times I still do, but I’m working on it. This feels different compared to my last actual breakup with who would have been my fiancé. It was a gut-wrenching, emotionally draining, I-couldn’t-get-out-of-bed type of breakup. It was a toxic relationship, but at the time I knew at some point I did love him. Making it known that after trying all these years I just couldn’t do it anymore. And after a while I asked myself, do I like this guy as a person? Who did I fall in love with? How?
It was different with you though. I liked you a lot, but I don’t think I was in love with you. I’ve only dated horrible guys, emotionally abusive men. I can actually say I don’t think any guy I was emotionally invested in has ever treated me the way I should be treated. And then one day, you and I started talking again.
We met my freshman year in college; I had a crush on you. After that, we just didn’t keep in contact, not until five years later. I told you about that on our first date. I remember on that day, I was supposed to meet you for dinner. We ended up on the same bus, just like clockwork. Truthfully, I wasn’t mentally prepared to see you just yet, but there you were sitting right in front of the bus entrance.
I think I fell for your drawings. Do you remember when you replied in just animations? You actually drew me something I asked for. It was cute. I remember that it took three weeks for me to actually say yes to dinner, three whole weeks. We talked almost every day, but the timing for me wasn’t right. I was too busy, too scared.
From the first moment we started talking, we instantly clicked. That connection was just there. A month later I noticed that it didn’t really feel "casual." Not to me at least. We planned more things to do together in the nearby future, of course, none of those things happened. I didn’t get to try your burgers, we didn’t get a hotel, nor did we take a drive by the beach. This may be my fault I guess, I hoped for too much. I assumed it would be like a fairy tale despite what we discussed.
We both said, we didn’t want a relationship, it was too soon, let’s be casual, that you were too busy, and I wanted to focus on myself. Little naive me didn’t know what I was getting into. I’ve never been in a casual relationship. I silently hoped that this casual thing would become a serious thing, a long-term thing. I don’t know what kept me going, I guess it was you and me.
When we stopped seeing each other, we were still friends and every now and then we would still flirt. This stopped for a while. But after a month of no speaking, you messaged me. Our conversations are different now. They don’t flow as freely. On a whim, I asked you if you wanted to get dinner and a movie, but you said no. That day I found out that were actually seeing someone else.
I don’t know how my feelings lasted so long. We weren’t together. We only dated for a few months. I didn’t know how to respond, I didn’t know how to understand it. But I told you that I did. Was it wrong for me to confess that I still like you? Maybe, maybe not. Thinking about it now, we would have been good together. Would have, we were almost together. But neither us made the next step. We were both too scared.
It’s sad that it didn’t work out, I mean I guess we’re still friends?
I’m not pouring my heart out the way I did with my last break up, but this is a different feeling. I’m disappointed and I wish I wasn’t. I feel off, I miss talking to you. I’m distracted, still somewhat expecting a text. But I’m not wallowing. I’m not eating ice cream from the tub. I’m not drowning myself in tears. I do what I do every day. I still go out with my friends. I can go to both my jobs no problem. Every day is just like any other. There are just those times I wish I can tell you about my day like I used to.
You helped me realize so much about myself. You helped with my self-esteem, something I lacked greatly. I’m not sure if this is a different chapter or a book that is supposed to end, but I am sure of what I want. I want consistency, stability, someone I can grow with, someone who knows what they want, someone who isn’t scared.
After contemplating this entire situation, I realize that I was waiting. You were the first guy to treat me in a way that I wanted to be treated, but we stopped. I was upset after finding out you were dating someone else. But I realize this isn’t my problem to worry about. You made your decision and you chose to end things with me a while ago. Whether you’re a chapter or a book in my life, I’m not sure, but right now I have to keep reading. And maybe one day you’ll catch up, but I'm not waiting.