It was never you.

I have always been a serial monogamist. The first boy I ever dated for real, I dated for 2.5 years. It’s true what they say about no love ever being like your first. I don’t think I’ll ever like a human that much again.

The next guy I dated, roughly a year and a half after the first break-up, I also dated for 2.5 years. That guy and I “lived together.” He would stay with me over summers and long breaks. We ended in an explosion, the way young adults who don’t know themselves yet do. He was very sweet though. Always cleaning my room while I was at work and queuing up my favourite soccer game to be watched when I got home. Sometimes I get so caught up in how good my memories of us are that I have to have my friends remind me that he told me he’d been sleeping with other people over the phone, and never came home again.

While I was dating him, I met someone. Someone intoxicating. Addictive. We tried to be something after the end of my relationship, but it never worked out. We were too…us. We were fireworks and running through the streets in the dark. We were that “one last drink” at the end of the night. I remember having a terrible day. I sat at my dining room table drinking and staring at my meds, wondering how long it would take for my emotions to stop eating me. He came through the door and I stood up in my chair. I melted into him as he carried me into the safety of my suite. A few weeks later I remember looking into his eyes and realizing he loved me.

I started dating you three weeks later.

And it took me 3 years and 2 months to realize it was never you. You were a shield. You were distant and didn’t need much attention. You were an ornament. We were never fireworks. We were the Fox and the Hound. Co-existing because it was what we knew. We didn’t care that it didn’t make sense. We spoke about this very early in our relationship. We said that if we ever met people who suited us better, we would part ways as friends. The unfortunate part of this agreement was that I didn’t want to be with the people who suited me. They were passionate and fierce. I needed time to hide and recover from my childhood.

Unfortunately for us, I did recover. And waking up one day, in a blanket of a relationship doesn’t end well for anyone. There was no parting friends. There were breaks where I would stay with my parents, siblings and friends. There were long conversations with men from my past about where I had gone and how I had gotten here. And finally, instead of fireworks, we were fire, and we burned bright. We burned so hot that in the end there was nothing left. I regret my decisions, but I’m proud that I can now admit to myself what I did.

It was never you.