I told him.
He texted, “I miss your kisses” and I replied, “Honey, I need to talk to you.”
Right before I wrote those words, I felt a surge of panic, as though I might regret it the minute I hit send.
But I sat in the panic, let it be, and thought of the reasons why I had gotten to the point of wanting to send those words in the first place.
The panic settled and after remembering that I don’t desire him, that I don’t love him, that I don’t see myself being with him, I knew I was making the right choice.
Immediately after I sent it, he called.
I knew he knew it was coming.
He answered the phone like it was nothing, a, “what’s up” type of thing.
I knew what he was doing.
His guard is to act like I’m just like all the others, not different or special in how he feels about me, that things don’t affect him, that he’s over it as soon as the words are said.
I had no idea how to ease into such a topic.
So I told him I want to be alone.
“What does that mean?” he asked, which is a fair question.
I hesitated because how does one answer that, really?
So I just said it, “It means I need to let you go.”
His response was too casual, “Okay, thank you for letting me know.”
I knew he would pretend like it didn’t hurt. But I didn’t expect him to act like this was a business transaction.
Unsure of how to handle the silence of things that we both wanted to say but weren’t saying, I told him I was sorry and that I had wanted things to work out between us.
He started talking faster than usual and saying that we gave it a shot and he knows I tried and he tried and it just didn’t work out for whatever reason.
He said that he’s used to women coming and going in his life and he sorta figured it wouldn’t work out between us and so he had already started to move on.
I told him, “It sounds like you’ve been expecting this”
He said, “I know you a little better than you think.”
I replied, “I haven’t tried to hide.”
He told me that he likes to have fun and if I wanted to date other guys that was fine. That I could do whatever I wanted. Then he asked if there was someone else I was interested in dating.
I told him no, that I wasn’t interested in dating anyone else. He said he felt the same.
Then he told me that we could stay friends, if I wanted to because he enjoys my company and now he knows nothing is going to come of us being together. Plus, he’s friends with his ex and they are good just as friends.
I told him I didn’t think that would be the best idea.
He sounded irritated when he said he didn’t understand why.
What do you say when you know more about what the person is feeling than they are willing to admit to?
I told him, “I know you better than you think I do.”
“What does that mean? ” he asked.
I struggled with what I wanted to say without coming across conceited or arrogant, but I know what I know.
“That I’m not just like all the other women who have been in your life. That you had different hopes with me than with the others.”
What I didn’t say is that I knew he had fallen in love with me and I could see it in his eyes that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me if he could. That everything he’s told me and every interaction we’ve had has further solidified this suspicion I’ve carried. That he’s come within an inch of saying it out right but has stopped for fear of scaring me away.
I didn’t dare say that.
Again, the rapid speech. “Well, yeah, I told you I care about you. Everything I said was true. And maybe I cared about you more than I’ve cared about any other woman in a long time, but I accept it. We tried and for whatever reason, I don’t do it for you. I’m not mad.”
I told him I knew he wouldn’t be.
He offered friendship again.
I told him I didn’t trust myself to hold to a strict boundary with him. I told him that because we had been intimate and because I have feelings for him, I could not trust myself not to struggle with blurring the lines whenever I was feeling vulnerable or really enjoying his company.
He said that we could continue things as they are, being intimate and dating until we found whoever else we wanted.
I told him I did not want that.
I explained that I did not want to date anyone right now, which is one of the reasons why I was making this decision, and the other reason was that I do have feelings for him, just not enough.
I told him that it didn’t feel right to keep him from finding the woman who is right for him by trying to make it work with me.
He did not like this.
I could tell from the irritation in his voice.
I was refusing to fit into his neat box of pretending like it was all okay and I wasn’t breaking his heart.
He said he was okay. That he accepts it. How he had hoped that I would be that woman but he’s accepted that women come and go in his life and that’s why he just enjoys wonderful people as they come. He said he didn’t think there was one woman out there for him and he’s accepted it.
I told him, “I believe there is. But then again, I have more faith than you do.”
He said well I guess this is goodbye.
I hesitated and then told him, “For now, maybe not forever.”
He reminded me (again) how once he has closed the door on a romance, he doesn’t open it back up again and all he could offer was friendship after this.
I interrupted him and said, “Yes, that’s what I meant. Friendship. Not now but maybe in the future.”
I also told him, “I do wish you all the happiness.”
I meant it with all my heart.
He said he wished me the same.
And we said goodbye.
The new chapter of my journey begins now.