An Open Letter to the Guy Who Loves Me … But I Don’t Love Back

Once Upon a time, I made a list of qualities I wanted my future boyfriend to have: cute, generous, kindhearted, a gentleman, someone who treats me like a princess.

When you came into my life, you surprised me with your caring words and sweet gestures. I noticed how your eyes light up and your smile widens when I enter a room. How you jump out of your seat and offer it to me in a crowded table. How you shower me with gifts you know I’ll love—red roses, a mixtape with songs of my favorite bands, a graphic tee made by an artist I admire.

You’re never shy about declaring your love for me. And as I got to know you, I realized that you possessed every quality on my list. You’re perfect on paper, but why doesn’t it translate to real life? Why is it that when you do all those things I thought I would love, my heart doesn’t flutter? Why do I feel annoyed when you send me a stream of text messages asking about my day? Why don’t I feel happy or thrilled when you leave sweet notes in my locker?

I wish I could give back just a fraction of the love you’ve given me. I wish I didn’t have to fall for the guy who couldn’t care less about my feelings, the guy who already has a girlfriend, or the guy who doesn’t even know I exist. I wish I could tell my heart to open itself up to you. I wish it were that easy to force my heart to love you instead.

But love doesn’t work that way. And I don’t think you’d want to be with someone who has to force herself to love you. You deserve to be with a girl who appreciates all your kind gestures and who wants to do the same things for you. You deserve someone who will be proud to walk arm in arm with you and tell everybody that she’s yours. You deserve to be with someone who loves you for who you truly are— and not just because you fulfill some requirements in a list she wrote a long time ago.

I know you’ve told me several times how much you like me— and I just hate seeing the look on your face when I tell you again and again that I don’t feel the same way. That I can only be your friend. You tell me that you’re willing to wait, that you’re willing to cross the ocean for me. But how can I let you do that when I can’t promise that I’ll be waiting on the other side?

Maybe now is not the right time for us. Maybe there isn’t a right time for us at all. Or maybe I’m just too scared to open my heart and let myself fall. But I don’t want you to wait for me because you deserve more than I can ever give you. I just hope that when that day comes— when you’ve gotten over me and found someone who truly loves you— I won’t look back at this time and regret letting you go.

 

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