“Hey Rach, I think we should stop talking.”
I almost choked on my piece of pizza as I read the text message in a local pizza joint after being out on a Friday night.
“Reply why, just ask why,” my roommate commanded me. My slightly buzzed fingers just typed the single word why and my phone lit up with his reply minutes later.
“I think you are getting too attached and I don’t want to lead you on. Plus I think we should just talk to other people.”
That was the text that ended my one-semester-long fling. I left the pizza joint that night feeling crushed and confused, but in the days after, I felt more angry at the whole ordeal than actually upset that it happened.
Attached? Really? I racked my brain for times that I could have come off as “attached.” I’d told him I liked him last weekend, but that wasn’t something we didn’t both already know. I told him I missed him once over Christmas break, but that was only after he’d repeatedly told me missed me first. I invited him to come watch a movie with me, but that was only after he had been suggesting we watch one the past week.
He hadn’t replied to my texts in the past three days, but once I realized he wasn’t answering, I stopped bugging him. We were never anything serious, and for me, that had always been okay.
At this point in my life, I’m more concerned about structuring my day around the interviews I’m working on for our college newspaper than I am with structuring it around a boy. I tell myself I don’t have time for a boyfriend, I don’t want one, but I know deep down I always thought that if someone special were to come along, that could change.
My friends had always told me maybe I should have expected more from him. Maybe I should have demanded that after a semester filled with late-night dorm talks and goodnight kisses and sweet texts that he put a title on it, or at the very least, take me to the movie theater up the street.
The words “attached” echoed in my head for a few days after that late-night text and I couldn’t help but think: isn’t that the point of talking in the first place? If he could acknowledge that our status was indeed “talking,” then what’s so wrong with getting a little “attached?” (And when was “attached” defined as suggesting a tangible time to his lets-watch-a-movie-together idea and doing my own thing with my friends pretty much every weekend?)
Urban Dictionary defines talking as “the stage in which you are still single but interested in another person and vice versa. This ends when the dating stage begins.”
Hence, we start to “talk” to get to know each other. We continue to “talk” because we care about each other. And we turn this talking into dating when we decide we like this particular human enough to commit to him or her.
So to him, I’d like to say I’m so sorry that after months and months of hanging out, you were stuck somewhere in between still-getting-to-know-me and maybe-starting-to-care-about-me. I’m sorry that reciprocating the signals I got from you made you feel as if I was attached to you.
Maybe I did read too much into your “I miss you” texts. But you can’t ask me to hide my feelings, or pretend to erase our “whatever” relationship. Because, to me, it wasn’t just “whatever.” To me, you meant something. “Something” doesn’t mean I was committed to you. “Something” doesn’t mean I wanted you to be my boyfriend or was asking you to show me off. “Something” means that I cared about you. “Something” means that I enjoyed our conversations, “something” means that losing you hurt, because I certainly wish that to you, I had been something more.
I’m sorry if I was expecting something to come out of nothing.