My heart and head were pulling me in two different directions. My heart wanted him forever; my head knew that was a terrible idea.
When we first started talking some years back, it didn’t take long until I was hooked. I still couldn’t tell you what it was about him that had me at hello, but he sure had me. I thought he walked on water and was the best man I’d ever met. We had a few years in between us and that was obvious, but that did not matter to me.
We were together every night: fishing, hanging out with friends, having a blast. I still remember swimming almost every day that first summer with him and his brothers and sisters. I loved his family, too, and they accepted me from the start like I was their own. After my own mom died, they even opened their door for me to live with them. Throughout the first year we spent a lot of time together, and my heart grew bigger and my feelings stronger. We were never officially “together,” but my heart seemed to tell my head a different story.
During that time we had a physical relationship, but I started to notice signs that our relationship lacked mutual love. I knew he couldn’t possibly love me in the same way that I loved him. Sometimes he acted like he wanted to be in a relationship with me, but other times our physical relationship had to be hidden. He’d be really flirtatious, leading me on, sometimes act like he wanted to be in a relationship with me, but at other times treating me like a screw buddy. When we were alone he treated me differently, but if others showed up, he would make himself out to be something that he wasn’t, showing off. In those moments it was like I didn’t exist. It felt as if he was only there when it was beneficial for him.
It was a closeted relationship. As a result, I felt closest to him when we were on drugs or drunk together. He was a different person in those moments. He seemed to look out for me. It felt easier to have deep conversations high than sober. The way he treated me when he was sober hurt me, but I didn’t care about myself in the right way at the time, so I didn’t realize our behavior was unhealthy. His happiness mattered to me more than my own, to the point where I settled for much less than I deserved. I’d be sitting at home, knowing he was out with other girls, but when he’d come back I would act like nothing had happened–when in reality I was heartbroken.
Eventually I realized: something’s got to give. I couldn’t do this anymore. We were like fire and gasoline, and I deserved happiness. He apologized for using me. And I learned that if you love someone you forgive them. In the meantime, I came to the conclusion that he had been toying with my heart. No matter my feelings or our connection, I could not keep putting myself in that position. Something had to give.
I will always be grateful that our paths crossed, and I will always care for him as a person. But I decided that I needed to let my head help to guide my heart to true happiness.