I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
We constantly hear people talk about how they always tell the truth or how they just want to hear the truth but the real truth is – no you don’t. Telling the whole truth doesn’t make you some moral hero all the time and I’ll tell you why.
I would like to think that the large majority of women I have dated over the years is a pretty impressive lot. I like to date people who I believe are better people than I see myself because I like to feel inspired by their humanity and brilliance. I like dating smart women. Women who can teach me something I don’t know. Confident women who will call me on my shit but be able to take constructive criticism. Women with opinions and foresight. Goals and positivity. Like I said, women that are better than me.
For some reason or another we simply couldn’t make it work. For a laundry list of varying reasons, things ended. Surprisingly, quite amicably – well, for the most part. Meaning, I still talk to most of my exs as friends. They were great people and just because we are no longer having sex or in a committed relationship doesn’t mean that I still don’t care about their lives. Because they were and are amazing women. Women who were generous and sympathetic and warm. And truthfully, I ended most of my relationships because I never felt like I could give them what they deserved. Sure, I should probably go see someone to talk about the mountain of guilt I carry around with me but I’ll save that for another post or when I get health insurance.
What I’m getting at is that I hold these women up higher than I see myself. I respect them and if I ever feel like I’m holding them back or dragging them down, I walk away. Because there is nothing worse than seeing a person you love so much, sometimes even more than you love yourself, and knowing that you are responsible for slowly ruining their future. But sometimes the reasons are easier to see. Sometimes I realize that I was never truly in love with them in the first place and like so many others – when I figure that out, I subconsciously stop putting effort back into the relationship. I just bob at the surface and go along with daily life because I know that I already have one foot out the door and like a coward, I’m just waiting for you to pull the trigger. That maybe if I get complacent enough you will make this easier for both of us and just end it. That was how I operated. Since then, I have realized that wasting a person’s time is the most evil thing you can do to them. So now I do my best to walk away because I love them and if I love them the last thing I would want to do is waste their time… but because I love them, I rarely tell them the whole truth.
I was dating this exquisite woman miles out of my league. After a while I realized that I wasn’t in love with her and that she had gotten increasingly invested in our relationship. I knew it would never last so I gently let her know that I was going to have to make the decision to walk away. But she got furious, demanding to know the REAL reason. I told her that I just didn’t see a future together and she asked me what she could do to make it work and I responded with, “Nothing.” She asked if there was someone else and I assured her there wasn’t. She said that if I really loved her I wouldn’t give up on us. I just shook my head and hugged her and told her that the timing wasn’t right, we were heading in different directions, and it was just time for us to part ways and begin a new chapter. I wished her the best and walked out of her apartment forever.
What I told her wasn’t a lie – but it also wasn’t the whole truth. And I didn’t tell her the whole truth because I know it would have crushed her. She was a good woman and was already going to have to deal with the pain of a break up. I asked myself did she really need to know the deep dark reasons why? Would it have changed the outcome? Would knowing that I wasn’t truly in love with her help her sleep easier at night? The answer is no. And I didn’t tell her the whole truth because I felt like it would have been driving the dagger in even deeper and twisting it around to the benefit of no one.
I wasn’t in love with her. While she slept I thought about other women. I desired a deeper connection with someone who could understand my crazy brain a little clearer. I never thought about her when we weren’t together and I looked forward to my “days off” when I didn’t have to spend the night at her place. “Have to” – that is really telling. And if it was me, hearing those reasons would have crushed me. It would have pulverized by already cracked heart into a million pieces. Hell no I would never want to hear those words… so I didn’t say them to her. I never told her the whole truth and I still maintain that the whole truth isn’t always the best option. And sure, you could call it dishonest all you like, but I feel a little better knowing I saved her from a few more sleepless nights… simply by leaving out the brutality.