March 9, 2020

Dear Lover who Pulls Away: Thank You.

At first, it hurts.

I can’t help but feel as if I’ve done something wrong. What is it about me that makes you say you don’t want more of, you want less?

I go over our interactions in my mind, wondering if there’s a moment I can pinpoint when you started to have your doubts.

Did I text back too quickly? Did I message too often? Did me wanting to keep our conversations interesting come across as clingy?

And so you pulled back. I could feel it in the one-word answers. I could feel it in the days gone between texts. The excitement you had for me when we first met seems to have suddenly faded.

Isn’t a relationship supposed to blossom and grow, especially in the early stages? Why instead have you started to lose interest?

In this space between, I pause. I feel myself wanting to shove away the hurt. I want to get defensive, angry. I want to send you a message asking what the hell is going on. But I wait. I think of all the things I’ve learned over the past few years:

If they like you, they will show you.

Aggression only creates more division.

Do not assume their intent.

Have your own full life away from the other person.

Do not put them on a pedestal.

Do not forget to ask if you really do like them.

So, I wait. I go to a hot yoga flow class and let my thoughts dissipate. My mind and body thank me for this.

I call my sister and later, a good friend, and I tell her about you, and she tells me about her dating woes and together, we laugh. Because isn’t it all just part of it?

And I go to an all-female comedy show for International Women’s Day and I feel inspired by them. Their passion and performance. And I think about all that I have away from a relationship. I feel distracted—but in the good, healthy kind of way.

I go back home and fall asleep early, feeling full. And not once have I checked to see if you’ve messaged.

I imagine in a few days I will get a text from you. You will likely not apologize and you will likely say something vague and I realize, in this space, I’m not hurt anymore or angry. I know instead that I do not deserve this.

I think about the times pulling away only made me want to reach out even more. I remember the anxiety I would feel when texts went unanswered. But this time is different. Because these last few months, I’ve been relearning what it means to know myself, to respect myself enough to not put up with this.

Dear lover: if you are no longer interested, communicate. If you need space, learn how to ask for it.

So, thank you, lover. For reminding me that life is too short to get hung up on someone who doesn’t care enough to be honest.

Life is too short to wait around and get worked up over someone who can’t text back.


“If someone is not going to offer us a moment of their time to let us know if they need space or whether the relationship is over or not, we really should not be wallowing in our insecurities wondering whether we are ‘good enough’ or what we should or shouldn’t have done differently.” ~ Alex Myles, What to Do if a Guy Suddenly Stops Communicating.






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