I don't think you were a bad person.
I know there are many things I did wrong as well.
By all accounts, you were an amazing boyfriend. You listened to me and cared for me. You were very patient with my shortcomings. You were one of my very best friends. However, what we had together caused a vicious cycle of anxiety because I knew that I was compromising some of my morals, yet you were also a reprieve. It caused an unhealthy pattern that I never wanted to acknowledge or admit to.
People love to say that compromise is crucial in a relationship.
And I totally agree; compromise IS crucial. But "compromise" in this case means going out to dance because your significant other loves dancing, but only for a couple of hours because you don't share the same enthusiasm. Morals aren't meant to be compromised. They're meant to be upheld and honored.
I lost parts of myself while being with you. I'm not saying that it's entirely because of the relationship. Maybe I didn't know how to remain myself in addition to being emotionally invested in another person. Maybe I didn't know how to speak up about the things that bothered me. Maybe I should have listened to the voice in my head saying that college is now, and that I have the whole rest of my life to find the love of my life. In retrospect, I absolutely should have listened to that voice.
We still had many good memories; I can't deny that. There were times we made each other laugh, and times where we shared our deepest fears and worries. There were times where you felt like home.
But I think I also knew deep down that something didn't feel right, and that what we had was temporary.
It was the feeling that even at our best and happiest, there would always be something missing. It was a feeling that I had wished never belonged to me.
There were many reasons it could have gone wrong. It might have been a mix of all the different circumstances thrown at us. It might have been the fact that we were raised with different values.
It might have been the fact that I idealized you before I knew who you were.
Then found myself disappointed, but optimistic that the person whom I believed to have fallen in love with was still there.
I'm sorry that I didn't know how to handle things better. I'm sorry that my own mental health issues probably took a toll on you as well. I'm sorry that was too much of a coward to do what I needed to do and end things sooner.
But I also don't want to be with you again. The time we've spent apart has made me realize just how negatively the relationship had impacted me, and your reactions in the aftermath revealed qualities that I realized that I did not want in a long-term partner. All I've wanted to do since then is steamroll ahead, into the unknown.
This does not mean that I'm finished processing the loss by any means. Every so often, I need to allow myself to sit in the sadness and bittersweet memories. Sometimes I catch myself recalling my anger at things you had said or done.
I hope you're able to do the same in a healthy way.
I think in time we'll begin to fully understand why it wasn't supposed to work. I'm certain that you'll find someone more compatible with you than I was, someone more in-tune with your beliefs and love language.
I've been trying to learn more about love as well though.
It's recalling what my mom always says about how the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with should share the same values. It's coming to realize that I want to be able to say about my future significant other what my head-over-heels in love friend says about her boyfriend.
It's finally beginning to understand what my dad used to say, "the test of love is when you can enjoy someone's company completely without touching them at all."
It's relearning that I might have to relearn the same lessons over and over until I get it right.
But it's also remembering that every trial and error brings us one day closer to the person we're meant for.