I have to talk to you about something, something difficult, that has been affecting our relationship for years, maybe even over a decade. Please don’t take this the wrong way, although there is no kind way to say this, know that I want to mitigate any confusion and future misunderstandings by being completely honest.
I don’t love you.
I can’t tell you when it happened. I cannot pinpoint when my love for you faded away and died. I am sure that I must have loved you at some point, but definitely by sixth grade I didn’t anymore. I don’t think I even liked you in sixth grade. I know for a fact that I hated you in high school. I can remember standing in that stupid circle and being told that the ice breaker was to say one thing I liked about Myself. I completely blanked. I couldn’t think about one piece of you I liked. My mind was a stark white canvas with “I hate Myself” painted in crisp, black letters.
So I lied to them and I lied to you. I came up with things about you that I knew other people liked and repeated them to whoever asked what I liked about Myself. I wrote dark, mean notes to you in notebooks that I hid in stacks of other papers and books, and I waited for other people to find them so I could finally confess this awful, horrible secret. But no one found them.
Freshman year of college it got really bad. Crying-on-the-phone-to-my-sister bad, and she told me I needed to see a therapist because I had self-esteem issues. My first therapist helped me with my anxiety, but she felt like a disapproving parent and I didn’t safe talking about all the parts of my relationship with you to her.
I know you remember when I got my first boyfriend because that was when we stopped talking for a while – about one and a half years. I hid you from him and made sure I was everything he wanted and needed because I knew he wouldn’t like you. I hated you, so there was no reason to believe he could ever like you. But that was one of the reasons I ultimately broke up with him. Because of you. Because as much as I didn’t like a lot of you, I can’t live without you.
I think that was when I started to come to terms with our relationship and let go of the last vestiges of my high school hatred. I spent the next year taking care of you and me, but then I got into another relationship. Instead of hiding you, I initially kept you out in the open and he seemed okay with that, but six months later I had to start shoving you back into the closet because he didn’t like you, and five months after that I broke up with him. Opening the door to let you back out was hard because he had reinforced my belief that I shouldn’t like you.
It has been over two years since I let you back into my life, and I want you to know that while I don’t love you, I am beginning to like you and I think I could someday come to love you. I am learning to be kinder to you and more understanding of your faults and shortcomings like I am with other people. I am trying to stop holding you up to unrealistic expectations, but it is hard for me. I am striving every day to celebrate the pieces of you that are wonderful and awesome and beautiful, but I can easily be overwhelmed by how fallible you are, how vulnerable and prone to mistakes you can be.
But I am trying. Will you be patient with me a little bit longer and work with me to make this a long-lasting, positive and fulfilling relationship?
Hopefully and dedicatedly yours,