I Could Have Really Loved You

What is the catalyst that causes someone to finally let go?

For me, it wasn’t some huge incident or final blow that made me reach my breaking point. I just ran out of energy. Telling him that I was tired and couldn’t do it anymore was hard. Finally having the courage to tell him I was letting go was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I said it out loud and immediately wanted to take it back. I wanted to say never mind, we can carry on. I felt gutted and itchy in my own skin.

But the truth is I held on for so long; hoping one of these times I would get a different result. One of these times he would say he wanted the same thing as me. Our “almost relationship” was long distance and I had asked him on multiple occasions to visit me. He always had a reason why he couldn’t come. After my last invite was turned down, I realized my well of patience had run dry. I could not put any more energy toward holding the door open for him, waiting to have him in my life.

I realized I had been swimming upstream against the current and I was literally stuck in the same place. I was exhausted. So I stopped paddling and just let the current take me away.

Two months after I floated away, he attempted to throw me a life buoy; he wanted to come visit.
I reached for it but then hesitated and asked him if he was ready to think about a relationship? He did not reply. He just said he wanted to see me. A.K.A he wanted to bounce into my life, so we could spend a couple of days together and my heart would surge with joy from being around him and then he would leave me again. I would be in the same place but certainly regressed from all the progress I had made toward letting go of him.

This had been our pattern for years, and I had deceived myself in the past into thinking I could make these encounters work, that I could inhale as much of him as I could and then go on with my life.

But I was never quite able to pull that off, as much as I told myself I could. Every time I said goodbye was devastating, and it would take me weeks to recover. Then I would return to carrying on my life without him. Every time I got the beep notification of a text message, I would secretly hope it was him, telling me he was ready to stay. I stumbled through life in this fog. I fended off all other men, who approached, with the same zest that I fought for my relationship with him. Subconsciously, I had settled on the idea that if I couldn’t have him, I didn’t want anyone.

As time went on and the pages of my 20s quickly flipped by, I started to question why I was doing this. What was the point? Was this worth fighting for anymore?

So when he reached out, this time, I knew it had to be different. I had to push his life buoy away. I had to tell him not to come. I told him we wanted different things. I told him I had to draw a line in the sand. What I wanted was him. And I had wanted to figure out a way to make this relationship work. Meanwhile, he just wanted to do a drive-by and say Hi.

If we weren’t working toward the same end goal of ending up together, what was the point?

So in a shaky voice, I told him my truth. I wept as I told him this was not what I wanted, and that I cared about him deeply. But sometimes things don’t work out the way you desperately want them to.

I had to come to terms with the fact that this relationship was never going to give me what I wanted. It was actually just wounding me over and over again, and leaving me bruised and aching.

And so, even though I could have really loved him, I decided I finally had to let him go.

Logan Ebbets

My name is Logan and I am a mountain loving millennial from the East Coast. After graduating from the University of Vermont, I drove to Colorado, to work at a ski resort, and stayed for five years. I had the time of my life and considered that my post-graduate education in life. This Fall I am pursuing a real Master's degree in Organizational Leadership. Writing has always been my form of therapy and I hope anyone who takes the time to read my essays can feel a little better about their own struggles.

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