First published on Thought Catalog 7 July 2017
Every time I think of you, I’ll remind myself of why you’re no longer in my life. I’ll remind myself of why I chose to walk away. Or rather, why you left me with no other choice than to walk away.
I’ll remind myself that I deserve to be with someone who is proud to introduce me to their friends, who wants me on their arm at engagement parties and Sunday afternoon BBQ’s and work functions. Not with someone who comes home drunk, reeking of alcohol and a good time they’ve had without me before passing out on the couch.
I’ll remind myself that I deserve to be with someone who wants to hold my hand in public, who isn’t afraid to be affectionate outside of the bedroom and who wraps me in their arms when I’m shivering and cold. Not someone who keeps me at arm’s lengths, always maintaining a few inches of safe distance between us.
I’ll remind myself that I deserve to be with someone who texts me during the day just to let me know they’re thinking about me and can’t wait to see me later. Not someone who texts me just to vent their frustrations at work and ask what the plan is for dinner.
I’ll remind myself that I deserve to be with someone who lets me know I’m valued by showing up to a date on time, or even better, showing up early. Not someone who allows me to sit alone at a table in the middle of a crowded restaurant having prioritised someone else’s time.
I’ll remind myself that I deserve to be with someone who wants to introduce me to his family, who is excited to invite me into his home and who isn’t afraid to admit to those he loves that I’m an important part of his life. Not someone who keeps me a secret and who changes the subject any time a family member asks whether he’s seeing anyone.
I’ll remind myself that I deserve to be with someone who wants to make a life with me, who imagines me as part of their future and who can envision us living a happy life together. Not someone who wants to explore the world alone and go on adventures without me.
I’ll remind myself that I deserve to be with someone who tells me they love me, who is capable of loving me and who wants to love me. Not someone who admits to falling out of love as quickly as they fall in love and can only go as far as admitting they care about me.
By reminding myself of the bad times, I won’t have to think about all the good times. I won’t think about the way you would wrap your warm body around me, holding me tight and close throughout the night. I won’t think about the morning laughs, the hello kisses, the smile on your face when I open the door, your happiness for me when I signed my first publishing deal, your curiousity about my life, your empathy for my pain, your kind eyes and they way would gaze deeply into mine. I won’t think about any of this or any of the other memorable moments that are burned, not only into my mind but my heart as well. Because there are so many more.
No, I need to remind myself of why you are no longer in my life, as much as I wish you were. I need to remind myself of what I am worth and deserving of in a romantic partner. Yet, more importantly, I need to remind myself of what I truly and deeply want from a love relationship. And it wasn’t what we had. I want someone who wants me in the same way I want them.
So now when I think of you, I'll remind myself again of why you're no longer in my life. Because remembering the good times can’t help me now.