Our flirtationship had its highs and lows, its good times and its bad… but it dragged out so long that it ended up being nothing more than yet another “almost.” Once things faded away between us, I expected to be filled with confusion and regret. What I found instead was the furthest thing from it, though — a wave of relief hit me so hard, I was actually glad that I’d washed my hands of him. In fact, I totally dodged a bullet.
At first, I was totally willing to ignore his flaws. Waiting hours on end for replies to my texts was nothing new — he was a player and I was admittedly kinda into it. I was so filled with hope and butterflies that I was willing to overlook crappy actions and sketchy behavior. In the early days, it was all just part of his charm.
If he’d moved things along faster, I would have been oblivious. Once you’re dating someone, you learn to forgive certain things out of love, but since his favorite actor was apparently Edward James Almost, things never moved past flirty texts. If he’d snatched me up like the catch I was, I wouldn’t have had the time to really consider what kind of person he was — and if that was the kind of person I even wanted or deserved.
We flirted our way through the honeymoon phase. Everyone knows that the “honeymoon phase” is one of the sweetest, most exciting parts of a new relationship. We blew through that part of our “getting to know each other” so fast, there was never even a stray whiff of that new relationship smell. Flirting was fun, but without the commitment, it just wasn’t sustainable to keep it up, which made it that much easier to walk out the door.
The more I got to know him, the less there was to like. I was taken with him from day one, but the more I learned, the less enamored I became. Getting to know someone you like should be an exciting experience that leads to falling in love. Instead, I slowly realized that this was a relationship doomed to fall apart.
There were so many red flags, you would’ve thought we were in China. He showed me his bad side long before he showed any sign of commitment, and I’m lucky he did. If his childish pouting, generic douchery and wicked temper were only the tip of the iceberg, I shudder to think what kind of BS he was hiding beneath the waves.
The best parts of our “relationship” were the ones I imagined. The fantasies I based around his charming side and more romantic behaviors were infinitely more satisfying than anything he actually gave me himself. He would have made the great foundations of a fictional boyfriend — but in reality, he never measured up and he never could have.
We weren’t right for each other, and we never would’ve been. I might have wanted to be with him for a short while, but in hindsight, it quickly became obvious how well that would have turned out. The things that initially drew us together were the beginning and end to what we had in common. Together, we wouldn’t have just been volatile — and if almost was all he could give me, I realized I didn’t want him at all.
He’ll always be my favorite what-could-have-been. Every girl has one, and if we’re lucky, they’re this satisfying. The fantasy of who I wanted him to be will always be an attractive possibility for daydreams, but the reality of who he was means I’ll never be tempted to make those dreams a reality.
Seeing where he is today makes me totally cringe. When we were almost-together, we both had so many dreams and ambitions for our lives and our futures… but while I’m chasing mine down, he hasn’t moved an inch. Knowing that I’m growing into the person I’ve always wanted to be and he’s just the same old asshat that I had to let go of only validates why I had to give him up.
I was willing to settle — and he made me realize why I shouldn’t. The almost-relationship never comes to fruition for a reason, even if we wish that reason didn’t exist. I let our fling last longer than I ever should have because I didn’t realize my own worth — but now that I’m past him, I know good and well that settling isn’t in my cards, and it never should’ve been to begin with.
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