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To The Man I'm Ready To Break Up With

I only have to look into your eyes to see that we've taken this as far as we can take it.

I never thought the day would come when our love would make me unhappy, but here it is.

It’s not that I don’t love you anymore, because I do. I love you with a love I didn’t know I was capable of before we met. When I fell in love with you, it was like I discovered myself in the process:  I discovered what I needed in a partner, how I wanted to be loved, and what kind of life I wanted in the future, because you gave me all the answers to these.

You made me more aware of my dreams and desires, made me feel beautiful by accepting all my strengths and faults, made me feel that my place in the world was by your side.

But along the way, we let things get between us. When you said you wanted to take that second job on top of your day job so you could save up and bring us closer to our dream of getting married someday, I supported your decision, even if it meant we could no longer spend as much time together as we used to. And as our communication was whittled away with each passing month, we let all these new, foreign things wedge themselves between us, eventually creating a distance that got harder and harder to cross: misunderstanding, resentment, anger, neglect, that pretty coworker you insisted was just that, but I sensed, and you admitted, was something more.

Because we do still love each other, we tried to bridge the gap. We tried to fill it with our things to make that space our own again: common interests, inside jokes, shared memories, old routines.

But somehow we both knew that the other stuff was still underneath, a sinister presence that continued to gnaw away at our bond, and we were just ignoring it, to no avail.

And you changed, you did. It was a mixture of stress, and guilt, and frustration that you had let our relationship down that was preventing you from being the man I once knew. And this new guy I’m now with seems alien to me. I want the old one back.

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I miss the old you, but I know he’s not there anymore. At least, he’s no longer there for me. Sooner or later, when you fall in love with someone new, the old you will emerge: sweet and caring and brimming with optimism for the future. But he won’t come out for me anymore. You and I have hurt each other far too much to be able to pretend that we are as head over heels in love as we were at the start. We can never erase all the times you shouted at me, all the times I broke down and cried, all the times we got this close to breaking up, only to change our minds and spew out a stream of apologies and tearful promises to try harder, yet still feeling, deep inside, that the words were hollow.

So I’m ready to do it now. Once we get in a fight again, I won’t resist it anymore. I will say, okay, let’s do it. Let’s let each other go.

I have played and replayed in my head what I’m going to say so often that it feels like I’ve already said it, and it has already happened, and I’m actually on my own now, and so are you. And I know that this time, you won’t try to make me stay anymore. I only have to look into your eyes to see that we’ve taken this as far as we can take it, and you know it, too.

It’s not that I don’t love you anymore, because I do. But our love has now made me—made us both—unhappy, and I’m not going to stand by and watch it tear us apart even more.

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