Saying these words doesn’t get “easier with time.”
I’ve tried to swallow them down—or just forget that they were trying to bloom in my heart all along—but it seems no matter what I have tried or done, I always find myself facing something that I never actually wanted to do: breaking your heart.
It won’t matter if I give you a decade more of memories—because, in the end, I will never be truly there. And so, I must do this. I must speak my truth—perhaps, for the first time—because not doing it, quite frankly, is beginning to kill me.
I understand that these words may seem empty to you—the “it’s not you, it’s me” cliché or halfhearted attempt to make you feel better. Yet, in this case, it’s none of that—it’s simply the truth.
See, I never thought that we would ever be here—in this place, where only one of us was happy.
Sometimes, we outgrow even our favorite pair of jeans—and I suppose that is the only way I can describe why, after everything we’ve been through, I’m making a choice to take my life in a different direction.
We met when we were so young; and with naive hope, we breathed “love” and “forevers” into one another’s hearts—not really knowing that we can’t promise ourselves to someone when we don’t even know who we are yet.
Yet, we did it anyway. Even when life drew us apart, we still came back together—and that’s why, even though the space that you occupy in my life will change, we will still forever be family.
Something about us always felt so good, because it seemed like the kind of life that I was supposed to be in; and so, it took a long time for me to understand that making other people happy wouldn’t necessarily make me happy. In so many ways, I have tried to make this life fit. Hell, I actually wanted it to work perhaps more than anyone else—and at so many different times, I thought that it would be your hand that I took when I pledged forever and said, “I do.”
Yet, even promising forever can’t make this life feel like one that fits the person I know I am becoming, and so, the only thing I can do now is to tell you that, whether you believe it or not, I will love you forever.
I know that it may feel like you are losing me, but that isn’t the case. I will always be there for you, because we are family, and we are meant to still go through life together. I know that you had hoped it would be in a romantic way, but just because it isn’t, doesn’t mean that it’s any less valuable or meaningful.
We can still be family without actually having to be together or be married.
These words simultaneously feel like a rush of release and a painful reminder that, sometimes, no matter how much we want to be with a particular person, it’s just not meant to work out. We have aged and grown so much since that first time we met, but the thing is—our love hasn’t.
Sometimes, it’s not that love dies, but that it simply stops growing.
I am not that same person that came into your life all those years ago—and, because of that, what I want and how I hope my life will go is different than the dreams that we shared together underneath a darkened sky. It’s not wrong that I changed, but it would be if I continued to pretend that I haven’t.
As I’ve grown and stretched my mind, the way in which I view relationships has changed. I don’t expect the same things from a partner that I once did; and while, in your head, perhaps you’re thinking teach me—that’s not something we can really do.
We can’t transform people into who we want them to be, just so they fit the type of lives we hope to live. And, just like I can’t fit into the role you’d hoped I would, it would be just as unfair to try to change who you are in order to somehow make you fit into mine.
At times, it feels like I have been boxed into a specific persona because of time, or perhaps, just because of the expectations from others about how my life should look—and from the tears in my eyes, you have to know how hard I have tried.
I tried to be that person—for them, for you, and even for me—but I can’t.
I’ve grown into a different person, and it’s not your fault—and honestly, it’s not mine either. It is simply what was meant to happen. Sometimes, when we trust God, it means we’re taken places that we never expected—and the longer I live, I see that sometimes he takes us on the harder paths. He does this not to mess up our lives, but instead, to mold us into the people that we are meant to be, so that we can fulfill our purpose in this life.
It’s not you.
There is nothing wrong with the amazing person you are or your huge heart. There’s nothing wrong with how you view this world or what you expect from a partner in this life. But, it’s also different than the life that I know I’m meant to lead.
Loving you means letting you go romantically—not just so that we can live our truths, but so that you will have space in your life for when you meet your “forever” person. And, I know that you may wonder if I’m saying this because someone else’s name is written in my heart, but the only person that I am doing this for is me.
I’ve outgrown the need to make everyone else happy—and while maybe I don’t know exactly who I am at the moment, I am beginning to become more clear about who I am not.
And that’s why it’s truly not because of you that our relationship has to change—it’s because of me.
Because, sometimes, we just outgrow the person we thought we were.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Danielle Beutell
Social Editor: Danielle Beutell