Why I left you

I know you liked me. I liked you too. But that’s not enough.

Look, I know you wanted to stay together.

I know this just like I knew all of your needs during our relationship — I know you wanted to be with me, I know you envisioned something closer to “never-ending.” I know you thought you could make me happy, and I know you thought you loved me.

I know all about you.

But I’m not sure you knew much about me beyond what you projected — the way you saw me, albeit good and bad, and the fact that it differed from the way I saw myself and what I needed.

I know you don’t agree. I know you think “loving” me is the same as seeing and knowing and satisfying me, but it’s not. You saw what you wanted and gave what you could get by giving within the parameters of your own needs, foremost being “love.” You would’ve done “anything” to stay together, and that’s the point: it still starts and ends with you.

You thought you loved me, sure, but that doesn’t mean you recognized that it was your definition of “love” and not mine. We couldn’t go on forever both focused on your needs and pretending that your needs are mine — that we will somehow want and think exactly the same things (those being yours) and that by satisfying you, we were somehow getting me, too.


You wanted the white picket fence and I didn’t. Frankly, there are tons of others who’d be happy to give it to you.

Or you didn’t want the white picket fence but didn’t want anything else, either. And I do.

You wanted things that were entirely different to what I wanted, and we couldn’t build a life that supported both.

You were willing to silence your dreams to support mine, and I wanted someone who wouldn’t have to.

You wanted a “girlfriend” (or “boyfriend” or “husband” or “wife”) and I just looked a lot like someone who fit that bill.

Or you didn’t know what you wanted, and I was a stand-in.

You liked to take things “the way people do them” and “as they are.” Pioneering excites me.

You have a timeline. I don’t.

You saw me differently than I see myself, and I didn’t want to be that person.

Or you saw me smaller than I see myself, and I knew I would do more. Called me things like “beautiful” like it was the end all be all of what I was.

You wanted regular reassurance and continuous communication. I wanted someone who could stand on their own.

You want to devote your life to a partner, and I don’t want to carry the weight of that role.

You didn’t care about my sexual needs, plain and simple, and instead prioritized your own libido over mine.

You violated the only 2.5 things I need in a partner, and dropped the ball on promises made.

You demanded I make myself vulnerable and open up, but then overrode or dismissed the things I shared.

You wanted what you wanted, and you wanted me to just want the same things.


You think your needs were “right” because they look and sound a lot like “love,” but fail to realize that love is internalizing your partner’s (real and actual) needs above your own.

In the end, you tried to hold on to me with pleas of “but I love you!” and all I could hear was “my interests matter more than yours!” Just like they always have and always would.

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