To The One I’ll Always Love But Can’t Be With,
In an ideal world, being in love would be enough for two people to stay together for life. However, in a time full of divorces, I know that this is not true.
Life seemed easier when I was new to dating and first falling in love. I had no experience with heartache. I thought that the two of us would have a fairy tale ending, first loves who stayed together through it all. We were never that lucky like others though.
I have a weakness for nostalgia, and I tend to solely relive the good memories of my past relationships. It’s not until I crack open a bottle of wine and wonder what went wrong that I truly dissect the relationship. As humans, we love to reminisce about the good times but we shy away from the bad parts (for a good reason). We tend to gloss over the negative memories by continuously reminding ourselves of the beginning of the relationship and the times that were great.
For me, you will always be that person – the one that I will inevitably compare every partner to. You were my first love, the one who showed me that there was more to life than what I was experiencing in my little bubble. No matter how hard I’ve tried to bury them, I still remember all the feelings you evoked in me and all the cherished memories. I wish I could bottle up the entire relationship so that it no longer hurts. I wish we were one of the lucky pairs to survive, but seeing other couples who are in love struggle the same way we did to keep their relationship together, I know we made the right choice.
It makes me so happy to see that you have moved on and to see that you’re truly happy with someone else. Even though I swore that I would never be able to let go of us, I have made peace with what happened and I have truly moved on.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped loving you.
You’ll always have a special place in my heart but it was time to move on and let go. I wish I could tell you all of this in person but we both know what would happen if we started to talk again. A vicious cycle of us starting off as friends, taking it slow, and “seeing where things go” would start back up again only to lead to lots of fights. While I love you, in the end, the two of us talking only leads to heartache. Loving one another was never the issue, it was dealing with everything that life threw at us.
It used to be us against the world and while I wish this attitude was enough to stay together, the universe thought otherwise. In our own little bubble, we were perfect. But we weren’t a fairy tale and when reality hit, we just weren’t strong enough to handle it. We could blame it on numerous factors stemming from my insecurities, your jealous tendencies, our families, different social groups, or simply that our lives were heading in different directions. While I wish that you would have fit in the direction my life was going, or that I would have had a place in your new life, neither option seemed to exist anymore.
Maybe we were destined to be star-crossed lovers, the ones you read about in Shakespeare stories.
One day, I’ll tell my kids the stories of us; I’ll them about the one who got away. I’m sure by then, the two of us will have built new lives. Just because this is the case doesn’t mean that you’ll ever be forgotten.
While we will never be able to have a proper friendship, I will always cherish our time together. I always thought that for me to move on from someone, there would have to be finality feeling or “closure”. Maybe this is the proper way to move on but I’ve realized that just because we didn’t have that, it doesn’t mean that I need to resent you or wonder about all the what ifs. Mind you, we never did play by the rules, did we?
Forever (not) Yours,
Your First Love
Feature Image via Lauren Bullen.