Dear Doug

I do love you. I really, really do.

But with loving someone comes the inevitable frustrations of why can’t you give me what I need? Why can’t you be everything I need? Why can’t you be “perfect”?

I know that is an unfair request. But I’m human. And sometimes we humans can get caught up in these silly and unrealistic ideals. I don’t actually expect these things from you. I just hope you will love me back in a way that is compatible with how I have fallen for you.

I want to see you succeed. I want to see you be happy with where you are in life and where you’re going and even where you have been, even if where you’ve been isn’t exactly a very nice or happy place. I just want you to be content. I don’t want to see you wishing you could get out every second of every day (even though I know you already do feel that way) and I hope you can find and surround yourself with some really incredible people who make you feel really good about who you’re becoming in life (and if that happens to include me then even better).

You’ve told me you love me. You’ve given me little pecks and you’ve kissed me so hard my mouth got swollen. You’ve held my hand and you’ve tickled me and given me “belly jelly”. You’ve driven me around while I didn’t have my license and you’ve “sang” along with your shitty rap songs. You like to squeeze my butt randomly just cuz you like it and you look at me and laugh a little and when I ask why all you say is “you”.

These are all things I love about you. These are some of the things that made me fall in love with you. Doug, I love you. You’re my best friend and my favorite person to be around. You make me feel good about myself and you have (unknowingly) helped me become a better and all around happier person. And I don’t know how one properly thanks someone else for doing all this. I don’t know if one can.

Whether I like it or not (and I don’t, I hate cheesy things. With my entire being I hate cliches and I hate admitting shit like this) you have changed me and you’re someone that someday when I’m looking back on this time in my life I’ll think about you and I’ll miss you. I’ll want some kind of excuse to get in touch with you again (assuming we lose contact) but ultimately it probably won’t happen. We’ll have moved on.

That makes me sad. Because you’re a really cool guy. And because I love you. And it hurts to think and even kind of admit to yourself that you’re in a relationship that in all likelihood is not going to last into adulthood. That’s upsetting as fuck. I hate thinking about the fact that one day you probably aren’t going to be in my life. That’s an odd and uncomfortable and sad feeling for me.

But Doug, the point of this letter isn’t to tell you about how we’re going to go our separate ways one day. I’m sure you already know this or have thought about this fact before. The point of this letter is to tell you that I love you. But I don’t always feel like I know that you love me. I don’t feel like you’re always able or willing to give me what I need.

Relationships are all give and take and I feel like I’ve given you a lot, maybe more than you realize. From my perspective though I feel like you haven’t really given me much at all.

I’m worried that subconsciously you use me. For money, food, sex, validation…

I don’t think you know you do it. I don’t even know if you are actually doing this at all. But the point is that I don’t feel like you really love me. I can’t tell half the time.

When we’re together and sometimes when we text I can feel like “alright this dumb boy really does love me too”, but then you go and pull shit like this. And I just don’t know. I can’t tell. And you have terrible timing too.

The first time we “broke things off” and you thought that it was permanent it was right after you told me you loved me. (This is where my insecurities are stemming from, by the way. That’s kind of a big deal that that happened and the way you handled the situation was not exactly mature or very reassuring for me).

And now this time it’s right after we’ve had sex. Like literally not even 12 hours after.

And it’s 4 days after you asked me how it would feel to date a college guy next year, implying you hope/expect us to be together that long.

And here you go breaking it off again, without any real explanation.

Doug, I love you.

But I’m not about to let you inadvertently walk all over me because you don’t know what you want or when you want it or how you want it. I have to look out for my own well being. And while when we’re together I feel really, really happy, oftentimes after you leave I feel like shit. Because I don’t know how you feel. Or at least I don’t feel confident that I do. Or that you do. And I can’t just sit around forever waiting for you to figure it out. That’s not fair to myself. I deserve more than that.

And maybe this letter is pointless. Maybe you know exactly what you want/need and you just haven’t communicated it very well up to this point. I don’t know.

I just know that I love you. And I want this – us – to work. But this is only going to work if you can be more vulnerable with me. I’ve really put myself out there for you. Gone out of my comfort zone countless times. And I don’t know if you’ve really done that very much for me at all.

I just need you to tell me how you really, truly feel about me.

Because loving someone and not knowing for sure how they feel is so much worse than them not loving you back.

I’m a big girl Doug. I can handle it if you don’t love me. I can move on. It won’t be the end of my world.

Love,

Naomi

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