The note I really wanted to send to the man who broke up with me via text.
Dear former lover,
Wow. This text really comes out of left field. I am sorry you had a sleepless night last night and that you are feeling bad for hurting me. Oh wait, no I am not.
I am not sorry for anything.
You say you have come to the sad realization that I am not your person.
The thing is, I have known from almost the beginning that you were not my person either.
But I do not treat every date, boyfriend, or love interest as my possible lifetime love. I treat it as what it is.
A chance to know someone.
A chance to learn.
A chance to grow.
A chance to find intimacy.
A chance to be known.
A chance to be loved.
A chance for hope.
While sharing my feelings about you and your text breakup, I said, “He was careless with my feelings.” But as I said it, I realized I may have been careless with yours.
You see, even though I knew you were not my person, I kept seeing you. Because someone does not have to be my end-all, for me to enjoy spending time with them. I enjoyed spending time with you.
In this COVID-19 year of loneliness and isolation, I was happy to have a dinner companion. Even though you never offered to clean up after I cooked.
I was happy to have someone to cuddle on the couch with. Physical touch felt like such a luxury in this world of distance. Even though I was bored to death with the eat dinner, then watch TV thing you always wanted to do.
I was happy to have sex and intimacy. Even though you were pretty selfish.
I was happy to share myself, my kindness, and my generosity because that is who I am. Even though you did not earn it.
I didn’t speak up about things that bothered me because, frankly, I knew they weren’t going to be a long-term bother. You were not my person.
Not to say I didn’t like you. I did. I liked a lot about you. The things I liked made me temporarily settle for less than I deserved.
In your well-thought-out breakup text, you also said you felt trapped, which made you disinterested in me.
Thanks for your honesty.
I actually kind of get what you meant. Kind of.
I was very available to you. I did not play hard to get. I did not calculate every move or think about every text. I did not wait to respond so I didn’t seem too eager. I just reached out when I wanted to. I figured if we were both making dinner, why not make it together? I thought if we could hug each other for a while, maybe we should do just that.
We are adults. I am past the games that are played. I thought, at your age, you would be too.
Another thing that may have made you feel “trapped” is that I was so goddamned bored.
Before Covid, I traveled nearly 200 days a year. I was always busy. Not only with work, but with friendships. A busy social butterfly.
But you didn’t meet that girl.
You met the Covid me.
Grounded for the first time in my life.
No social engagements.
My quick mind, lacking stimulation.
My always-moving being suddenly at a standstill.
Winter making a slow pace feel even more unnerving.
You came into my life at a time when I was craving a companion. I guess that may have made you feel “trapped.”
I love and give love easily. I mean love with a small l, not Love with a capital L.
I loved you by wanting to be close to you. I loved you by doing thoughtful things for you. I loved you by being free and comfortable with myself. I loved you by giving you my body. I loved you by giving you my trust that you would honor me. I loved you by believing that you respected me.
None of these things were the big Love. The Love with a capital L. They were just me. Genuine. Authentic. Heart open. Loving—because the world could always use more love.
I almost said sorry that this made you feel trapped and disinterested. But I am not sorry. I will always choose love. I will continue to choose to live with my heart open. I will choose generosity and thoughtfulness. Not for you or someone else, but for me—because that is who I am.
I may have been too much for you, but that is because you were not enough for me.