Oh sweetheart. I’ve been here once before — my sophomore year of college. I sold my heart to a stunning thief who hadn’t done anything to deserve it and then pinned my own feelings on me. As if my feelings for him were my fault and a burden. As if laying in bed naked with not a millimeter of space between us, earbuds in, eyes half-closed and dazed, lost in quiet conversation was temporary and also my fault. I endorsed his denial of reality when he said that publicly, we were not dating. I believed his reasons were valid, but became chained to an emotionally one-sided “not-relationship” that had no strings because we were “not dating.”

We fucked after watching his old copy of Ex Machina on the first night that we were “not dating. ” I wore his t-shirts and reveled in the smell of our bedsheets and his tweed jacket, but never in his presence because I couldn’t risk him thinking we were dating. I couldn’t risk him knowing how invested I was. I was buried in my love for him, but we acted like friends in public because we were “not dating.” We never had other lovers. We could if we wanted to, but neither of us did. I rejected two other men because I was “not-dating” my “not-boyfriend” and was not polyamorous.

He could go wherever he wanted because we were not dating. He’d disappear into the mountains for days on end, but if I inquired towards his whereabouts, suddenly I was the clingy “not-girlfriend.” I mean, who was I anyway? Just a girl invading the space of a guy who had every right to not respond because there were no obligations. We weren’t dating. He was a name and a shattered, marble physics mug to my dad. He was a ghost to everyone else I knew and still when I mention Jake, they ask — who?

It’s like he was never in my life at all sometimes.

Thanks for sharing ❤

Software Engineer | Musician | Dog Rescue Work | Bisexual poet and creative dark romanticist who writes about mental health, sexuality, & love.