Falling in love is up there with some of the greatest feelings anyone can have in the world. Falling out of love can leave you with some of the worst feelings you'll ever have. When a relationship ends, it's easy to resent the relationship in its entirety or conversely, to romanticise it so much that it's more reminiscent of a Nicholas Sparks novel than what it actually was. I wrote a letter to every boy I loved because I felt it was a final parting gift to both people, the ability to step back and say, "it didn't work, but I loved you and there are so many things I have learned from this. Thank you."
So thank you to each of the recipients of these letters because I wouldn't be who I am today without each and every one of you.
2. The "I'm just not that into you anymore," Love
G. I know it’s been an incredibly long time since I reached out to you, and for that I am truly sorry. I know that when I broke up with you I left you without your girlfriend and your best friend, and I didn’t even glance back.
It probably doesn’t help to hear these words, but I wanted you to know that I believed, and still believe, it was the right thing to do. We were both slightly broken inside and although we helped each other in many ways, I feel like we also both would’ve stayed the same- struggling. But, I want you to know that I really did cherish our relationship. In your words, you were my first love and my best friend which is all any of us can really hope for in a relationship. But somewhere along the line, I thought you took me for granted and whilst this may have been true, I failed to realise that I was taking you for granted too. For that, I am sorry.
Don’t think that I don’t wonder about you and how you’re doing because I most certainly do. Sometimes I still don’t like to listen to songs that remind me of you because they remind me of how much pain I caused you when I ended it. I can’t imagine how it’d feel to find out that your girlfriend was falling for somebody else while you were still in love with her two hundred miles away. I would’ve been heartbroken, and I suppose all I can really hope is that your next love won’t ever do the same to you. You deserved to be loved by someone wholly and fully without worrying they’re not committed to you. You have so much to give and I know that you only look to make the other person feel happy about themselves and about this mystery we call life. Even though you had your down days, you gave me many happy days too.
I don’t think we’re the right people for one another, but at seventeen we needed each other. We both felt like we had the weight of the world on our shoulders and we helped each other with the burden which is admirable and beautiful in its own right, but we’ve grown up since then and learned to take care of ourselves better (I hope).
Please don’t feel like you weren’t good enough for me, or that Sam was better than you. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I fell out of love with you for a million reasons and no, it’s not reassuring or pleasant to hear that either but it was about my life at the time. I know that doesn’t seem like a real reason, but I promise you I would’ve done more bad than good by staying with you.
We’re both at a hugely transitional time in our lives, and maybe if we meet again we’ll be good friends, though I understand if you never want that given how much I hurt you. But don’t take this as a letter coming out of my guilt, it’s coming out of a love I know I once had for you. Although I don’t know you anymore or love you, I will forever remember how it felt to be with you, and I will always be grateful for your love as well.
All the best,
2. The "you left my heart in pieces," Love
It’s been a long time now since we broke up, and now nearly a year later I can say with confidence that we’ve both come out of it alright. I remember the butterflies in my stomach and my heart racing in my chest the first time it was real between us. And it was real, if anything it was real. We didn’t always have the smoothest times and although I was going through a tough time, I know that I neglected the fact that you were also going through hard times as well. I guess it doesn’t help that your first girlfriend was bipolar and confused about everything in her life, but she loved you for sure. All I can hope is that our relationship taught you important lessons about love, friendship and life. One thing I learned is that love sometimes just isn’t enough for something to be sustainable, and it took me a long time to truly accept that this was the right thing for us, but now I’ve had so much time away from it all, you were right.
You were a very special love, because I was so incredibly in love with you, and I envisioned a future with you like I never had before. You were like a breath of fresh air in a polluted city, and I cannot thank you enough for showing me what it’s like to be really loved, even through hard times. We shared everything with one another, and we trusted each other implicitly which is rare to find during your first year of university, or in general adult life. There was a childhood innocence to our relationship, endlessly talking about what were like as children during our winter walks, it was like something out of a classic movie.
But, just as movies do…. they come to an end. Sometimes the ending feels all too abrupt, or like there are still things left to say, which is how the breakup felt. However, what I’ve learned is that sometimes you have to let it go, because our mind will always find something left unsaid, one final conversation. This is one of the reasons I’m proud of you for ending it when you did, I bet you never thought I’d say that, but I mean it.
I was incredibly wrapped up in my own pain afterwards that I completely vilified you for all the wrong reasons. You’re human, and you had every right to do what you did, even if it hurt like hell. I hope that you received all the support you needed after that time, and that you are happy now.
All of this being said, I don’t think we can be friends. This isn’t coming from a place of spite, but harsh realism. It would be all too easy to fall back in love with you, even after everything; all I want is for you to be happy, without me. I want you to find the girl who cherishes you and appreciates everything you do, and who you feel the exact same about.
Good luck S,
3. The "we're no good for each other," Love
You were the one I never even saw coming, and I’ve got to say it was a thrilling ride whilst it lasted. Nobody would ever have put us together, and that’s what made it so great. It was one of those super intense and emotional (although I know you dislike overly emotional things) loves. You might be taken aback and scared by the word love, but don’t be…I really did love you. I didn’t care that you were 100 miles away, or on the brink of leaving Bath for good, or that you have a drinking and drug problem- I loved you for every part of you.
That’s what makes it such a perfect disaster. There was every sign in the universe telling me not to fall for you, but I fell in head first anyway. We would argue about miniscule problems, and wave away larger red flags because we filled the void in the other person. Don’t say that’s not true, because that’s exactly what we did. I was still in slight limbo over Sam, and I think you were missing the familiarity of being with someone, without actually wanting to be committed. So, we found each other and clung on for a while.
But, the problem with these fast-paced, intense (almost) relationships is that they have the full capability to burn out as quickly as they set alight.
It terrified me to feel how much I loved you and cared about you, even though we weren’t technically together. I felt so disgustingly vulnerable and scared, that I pushed you away in every sense. I did not want to get close to you, and part of me wanted you to let me down so that I could tell myself I was right this whole time. It sounds really fucked up, because it is. I could not believe someone who I cared so much about could ever hurt me, and once that realisation set in that they could, things just never felt the same.
It felt like waiting for a train you knew would never come, but being disappointed all the same when the ‘cancelled’ sign glowed on the screen. It was the thrill and the eventual pain of the ‘push-pull’ game which got all too much for me, and for you too I think.
I don’t deny that you liked me, because I don’t want to take you for a liar, but as I already knew, simply having those raw feelings doesn’t automatically make things fall into place. The time and many other conditions need to be right as well, which they just weren’t.
I’m sorry for how much confusion and stress I put in your head over the course of this almost-relationship (yes, it was one of those). I don’t hate you either, and I never want you to think that I do, but for now it’s best if we don’t really remain friends either.
I want you to have a good and exciting life, filled with colourful stories that make people’s eyes beam wide, and have tears flowing from laughter too. You deserve that. Also, you’re not a broken man, you just haven’t found your path yet, you shouldn’t berate yourself for that too much, because the majority of us are in the exact same boat…
I honestly wish you all the best on the next stage of your life, Goldfish.