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.