Dear Almost Good Enough Lover,
It’s not that I can’t make it on my own or pay my own way.
But frankly, I’d rather split the mortgage payment and have more money leftover at the end of the month to buy shoes. I don’t want to binge watch Empire alone. Sometimes I get so lonely in my house at night I think I’m scared when I’m not.
I can’t stand to be alone with myself and that scares me.
The bottom line is, I don’t want to be alone and you’re alright. I’m not compromising that much. I like you a lot. You’re pretty great. You’re good enough. In fact, I love you a little.
So, I’m going to open my heart wide and give you everything. I’m going pretend this is it. Eventually, I will become someone else or disappear entirely. It sounds sad or even a little desperate, but it’s okay. My fear of being alone has overridden my desire to have more. But it’s okay for now. Maybe for a long time.
In the beginning of our relationship, I will tell myself and everyone else how perfect you are. However, I probably won’t say it to you often enough or even ever.
It’s not a compliment—it’s a curtain that veils the real truth. You aren’t perfect for me.
I’ll decorate our house and make it look like a magazine. Everything will look good on the outside. I’ll keep myself busy enough not to notice we’re both lonely. In the beginning, I’ll like it when you hold my hand because it’s familiar, and you’re always warmer than I am.
I won’t hate making love to you.
In the middle of our relationship, I’ll withdraw into mourning the passion we didn’t lose because we never had it in the first place. I’ll war with myself—telling myself that my desires were childish and my dreams were unrealistic.
I might drink. I might overspend. I might put on weight. I might shrink into nothing. What I will do for sure is take my body and retreat somewhere where you no longer have access.
At the end of our relationship, I will blame you for not making me happy. I will resent everything you do to try to make me happy. If you leave me alone, I’ll resent that too. I will tell you that you’re not good enough until you believe it.
I will hate myself for what I’ve become—bone dry and bitter. I will hate myself for what I do to you.
I don’t know how long it will take to get to the end. Maybe it will be weeks. Maybe it will be years. Maybe we will get stuck here forever.
But if we do, at least, we won’t be alone and I’ll have plenty of shoes.
All of this will happen because I didn’t have the courage to be alone, to wait for someone who could truly match me. I didn’t have the courage to let you go and find the person for whom you would have been totally perfect.
But it’s okay. I love you a little. So I’ll open my heart and give you everything for awhile until there’s nothing left.
Author: Lisa Hayes
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/Gideon Wright