Impact Of An Almost Relationship.

We ran in these same circles for years. The appearing and vanishing act like it wasn’t such a big deal. And every time he entered my life, I listened to my heart instead of my head holding onto hope that maybe this time would be different. Maybe this time we’d get it right.

I held onto the one day and the maybe and the promises I wanted to be real. But I think in my heart, I knew it would never end the way I envisioned it.

Still, every few months I’d wake up and look at my phone. “Hey.” As if months didn’t pass since the last time we spoke and conversations that went from talking to screaming to swearing we hated each other. To another ending to a relationship that wasn’t one.

But every time I caved.

A conversation turned into likes and follows even though we blocked each other.

It was a vicious toxic cycle and I hate how much I loved it.

Pining after someone who was so close, but kept me at arm’s length like love was something to be won over.

I swore it was love but what it really was, was infatuation for something I wanted but he was also the last thing I needed.

And every night I swore I wouldn’t answer, but the text or call would come in late and I’d whisper into the darkness. We each said everything we wanted to hear as if we were in a play we didn’t need to practice.

It was almost a relationship, but only the bad parts. The parts where I’d stare at my phone when I’m out and I pretended it wasn’t fazing me that he wasn’t answering. But in my mind, I wondered who he was with.

Moments where he’d switch the read receipt on and off just to fuck with me.

Moments when he knew I was out and who I was with, and he knew exactly what to say to stop me in my tracks. And I’d stare at the guy in front of me then look back at my phone, every night ended alone.

Blowing up my news feed and looking at every story just to remind me he was there.

The coming and going as he chose as if I was some choice he got to make.

And every time he left I was the one hurt and mourning a pain I grew so used to.

And when it finally ends, like really ends, and you look at each other and you realize you can’t keep doing this. There are two emotions you are overcome with, sad because it didn’t work out the way you wanted. And relief that it’s over.

It’s the little things.

Texting shouldn’t leave you so paranoid, but it does.

You shouldn’t go into a date expecting them to cancel, but you do.

Ghosting shouldn’t be what you expect, but you suddenly do.

You shouldn’t have to try so hard, but you are. Because the past taught you love was something you had to prove you earned.

Love and relationships shouldn’t be something you fear, but you do.

Expecting the worst of someone shouldn’t be where your head is at, but it is.

Milestones shouldn’t leave you taking a deep breath, but you do just that.

And someone treating you well all the time shouldn’t be so foreign, but it is.

It’s needing that reassurance in someone and you feel guilty for it.

It’s not trusting someone even though they’ve given you no reason to.

It’s wanting to explain to someone new I continued to choose someone who did nothing but hurt me.

In making that choice it turned into a pattern of going after people who were emotionally unavailable.

And instead of walking away with self-respect, you tried to find validation in others like their approval and a relationship label would heal you.

It’s the fear of a relationship ending that hasn’t even begun yet.

It’s your inability to take things slow because someone taught you in the past, it’s not about who you are, but rather what you can do for them.

You think all guys want is something from you and begin to not only not trust them, but you don’t trust yourself either.

It’s the social media games you let them play and you fall into it even though you know that game better than anyone.

It’s subconsciously messing things up because endings and relationships not going your way are what you’re used to.

It’s that moment someone says something genuine and they don’t have motives and you are questioning everything about them.

It’s crossing paths with really great guys and growing so afraid of it.

It’s looking at yourself in the mirror and doubting what you see. That someone could want you the same way because all you knew in the past were series of people who made it all about the chase.

Almost relationships aren’t a step towards getting actual relationships it puts you a thousand steps in the wrong direction when you finally meet someone good and decent because you doubt them.

Getting out of the cycle of an almost relationship isn’t the hard part. The hard part is when you have to recover from it.

It’s an old habit that dies hard.

It’s realizing yeah, you chose someone you shouldn’t and part of that is on you.

But it’s also walking away from that realizing what you actually deserve and being brave enough to let someone in and give that to you.

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The Ghost From Room 314.

It was about 1997 when my family and I vacationed in Mount Washington. To this day one of the most beautiful hotels in New Hampshire sitting right alongside a river in the middle of the mountain.

“There was a big fire here in the early 90s,” the concierge told us.

“Did everyone survive?”

“No,” he replied. “We get a lot of reports that ghosts are still walking around this hotel haunting the place. I wouldn’t go up to room 314 after dark if I were you.”

I walked away asking my dad about it. You tell a nine-year-old something and they believe it.

“He’s just trying to scare you.”

“Well, I don’t believe in ghosts,” I replied.

But for that week it sat in the back of my head. What was in that room after it got dark? Probably nothing I thought. Another ghost story.

Days later, I entered the main elevator and a man I hadn’t seen all week was working it.

“The Second floor please.”

“Yes ma’am,” he replied.

“You know the man working told me there were ghosts in room 314 that came after it got dark, is that true?”

“Only one way to find out isn’t there?”

I nodded. “I’m Carla.”

“I’m George, nice to meet you.”

I exited to my floor. And thought about what he said.

The next night before dinner, I looked twice at the hotel’s old elevator not many people used. I thought for a minute about using the main one but instead, I used that one. A couple exited and I stepped on alone pushing three.

Level Two.

Level Three

And just as I approached the third floor, the lights went out and the elevator stopped. Lights flickering on and off, I continued to push the lobby button but it was stuck. Then I started to cry, reaching for the red phone.

“I’m in the elevator,” I said screaming into the phone. The woman on the other end told me to remain calm and it would be okay.

Moments later the lights went back on and instead of going to the third floor like originally planned, I got redirected to the lobby.

Walking off the old elevator in tears, I ran to the main lobby towards the elevator, where I had once met George, only he wasn’t there.

I then went to the receptionist.“Excuse me, do you know where the man who works the elevator is?”

She looked at me puzzled.

“Sweetie, no one has worked in that elevator since the early 90s. Is everything okay? You looked like you saw a ghost.”

I walked away heading to dinner, believing every ghost story I ever heard from that day on.

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Wanting Something More.

Late night whispers and slurred words turn so quickly into waking up next to a stranger like the night before didn’t happen at all.

A look across the room thinking maybe it could be more.

More than where is this going later?

Will this be just another goodbye?

And numbers exchanged and you’re staring at your phone.

Waiting.

Talking, but is anything actually being said?

Because no one knows how to listen anymore when all anyone cares about is what they are going to say next.

We are all a little jaded when it comes to love.

I know who burned me but I wonder who did the same to you.

Because there was once a time where all of it didn’t scare us so much.

A time when commitment beat not caring.

A time when problems were talked about and worked through and you came out the other side together.

Now the first mistake you make is a goodbye without the word and a compilation of stories ending at another dead-end.

Watching others get it so right wondering where you went wrong this time.

Kissing strangers in a club because that’s what you are supposed to do.

The word relationship stings a lot more for people who want it badly.

When did a text grow to mean so much and a simple answer leaves you feeling less anxious than before.

Because the excuse I didn’t get your text doesn’t work anymore.

And you are staring at your phone every five seconds wondering did you word what you just sent correctly.

When a reply makes you look back at how long it took them to answer.

And you gauge that on when you’ll send the next text.

When you post a story or a picture in hopes just that one person sees it or likes it.

When social media adds validation to how people feel about you simply because everyone is afraid to say they care.

When everyone is so afraid of getting hurt they don’t give people chances.

When you jump too far ahead because you’re afraid of something going wrong, the natural progress of relationships doesn’t happen when you’ve slept with a person so quickly. But that’s become normal.

When first dates turn into job interviews because everyone judges each other a lot more harshly now.

When you cancel, but stay home alone only you keep talking to the person all night.

When running into one another in public is this awkward silence that somehow says everything it needs to.

When rejection paralyzes you so much you fear even making any move.

When they say chivalry is outdated but hope and pray to God it isn’t.

When you want something more than dating that’s become casual.

When wanting to meet someone you have an emotional connection with seems foreign.

When you want someone you wouldn’t be afraid to bring home to your parents.

When staying in with someone on a Friday night just watching T.V is more appealing than going out and blacking out for shits.

When you finally bring someone around during the holidays and your heart beats a little faster because every year before you wondered when that would happen.

When patience and faith that one-day things would change becomes your reality.

When you begin to heal from the past because this person taught you it’s okay to have skeletons in your closet.

When you put your trust in someone and finally they don’t let you down.

When suddenly you are telling this person everything you’re too afraid to say out loud.

When they become a part of your routine.

And you begin leaving things at their place.

When “I” turns into “we” so easily. And you swore you’d never be one of those people.

But with them you are.

When the words I love you don’t leave you empty because there’s comfort in hearing it back.

When you suddenly have another gift to buy at Christmas.

And someone to kiss on New Years.

You look at them and realize it’s okay to have wanted something more.

Because you look them in the eyes and realize…

Every disappointment.

Every letdown.

Every heartbreak.

Every moment of confusion.

Every tear.

Suddenly became worth it as they kiss your forehead saying goodnight and not goodbye.

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Why She’s Single.

You call her jaded when it comes to love but it’s hard to get excited about anyone or anything when the outcome seems to be the same.

You tell her to try harder when it comes to love but every time she does, she comes on too strong and it pushes people away.

You tell her she’s different, but it’s still not enough to appease you.

You tell her not to change, but you still don’t choose her.

You tell her she’s beautiful but what she hears is, not beautiful enough.

You tell her to care less when it comes to love but in a generation of casual hookups, if it means never speaking to the person ever again after leaving the next morning, she’d rather wake up alone.

You tell her she chooses the wrong people but every one of them has her fooled saying and doing all the right things to get her to fall, only they have no intention of catching her.

You tell her to not be so on edge, but how can you not be when ghosting without an explanation has become her norm.

You tell her she’s too guarded, but every relationship she gets herself into is another reason why she needs to watch her back.

You tell her she needs to change and every time she does it’s still not enough. She changes herself so much she forgets who she is.

Fixated upon her reflection, analyzing every flaw. Wondering exactly what it is about her they don’t like.

You tell her to focus on herself, yet all the accomplishments and awards and areas of her life that should attract someone, doesn’t. So she pines after achievements because at least that’s consistent.

You tell her she needs to be more confident, but how is she supposed to when across the board it seems she has everything going for her?

You tell her to not fear love but she looks at the guy standing in front of her who she gave everything to and he broke her.

‘I love you’ slipped out of her mouth only to be met with silence followed by explanations.

She’s tired of people having to justify why this thing that looks and feels like a relationship, will never actually be one.

You tell her she needs to stop thinking so much but when every move she makes is judged harshly, she goes from making moves to be frozen.

You tell her she needs to move on from the past and skeletons that dance with her. But when every step forward leads to them somehow knowing, then she takes three more back because suddenly when she’s not available, they grow more interested.

You tell her she needs to trust more but all she’s learned is the only person she can trust is herself and even in those moments, she questions that.

You tell her to be happy alone but is that bad to want to share a life with someone?

You tell her she needs to put herself out there more. So she downloads apps and goes on dates only to realize very few people’s standards and ideals of what dating actually should be, align with her own.

You tell her all these things and she’s just left confused and alone and not sure what to do.

You tell her to be patient and wait, that the right person will come, so that’s what she’s doing.

Waiting for someone she doesn’t know even exists, but hopes and prays he comes soon.

Lying there alone at night wondering when someone will lay next to her and want to stay.

Standing alone in a bar, making eye contact with strangers. Hoping maybe it clicks. But in a sea of people, she feels more alone, it’s ironic how company can do that to a person.

The truth is, maybe there’s enough alcohol to change her for the night but when she wakes up she still has a heart that’s different than all of them.

So she stumbles out alone as passer-by’s drop lines to ears that are mute because she’s heard it all.

She’s believed it all.

And she learned.

But she holds onto a faith that’s growing weary, as walls build up hoping just maybe someone will care enough to show her it was all of them before who were flawed, not her.

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I Hope You Choose Someone…

I hope you choose someone who never stops picking you first.

I hope you choose someone who makes you feel a sense of wholeness even if you never felt empty before.

I hope you choose someone who answers every text you send, immediately.

Someone who calls you right back when they’ve missed it.

I hope you choose someone who builds you up in such a way they make you feel like you’re the most beautiful person in the whole world.

Someone who looks at you and says, ‘I’m the lucky one,’ even if it feels like you’re the one who lucked out.

I hope you choose someone who meets you halfway and never makes you feel like you have to try that hard.

Someone who reciprocates everything you have to give.

I hope you choose someone who compliments you in such a way you’re the best version of yourself standing next to them.

Someone who simply brings out the best in you and pushes you to achieve more.

I hope you choose someone who takes care of you. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally.

Someone who doesn’t judge you too harshly when you aren’t at your best, but steps up when they need to.

I hope you choose someone your friends like because they see how happy this person makes you.

Someone your dad respects, even though he’ll never think anyone is good enough.

I hope you choose someone who respects you. From opening doors to pulling out chairs to taking your coat.

Someone who shows through the little things they care.

The person who takes the time to learn about every scar in your past and runs your fingers over it showing you there is a beauty to the things that hurt you. Because it made you who you are.

I hope you choose someone who would make sacrifices for you.

Someone who understands and respects relationships are about give and take.

I hope you choose someone who cares about the little things, like you getting home safely, you putting your seatbelt on and if you’re feeling better after a cold.

Someone who will send you flowers and knows exactly which ones you like.

Someone who shows effort and caring is okay and this is what you deserve.

I hope you choose someone who doesn’t want to change you, but does help you to see your full potential and what you can amount to.

Someone who genuinely wants you to be happy because you being happy makes them happy.

I hope you choose someone who doesn’t make you question your self-worth or if you’ve done something wrong.

The one who isn’t afraid to apologize when they are wrong and makes it up to you.

I hope you choose someone who still makes you a little nervous when you see them.

But at the same time, there’s confidence to everything about you two together.

I hope you choose someone who makes you realize they are the only choice that makes sense in your life.

Because the day you met them, was the day you started feeling alive for the first time in a long time.

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I’m Always Going To Be…

I’m always going to be that first text.

The one doing double takes looking at my phone.

The one who answers quickly regardless of how much time you let pass.

The one who sucks at hiding emotions.

You look at my face and you see every emotion across it.

I’m always going to be the one making the plans.

The one investing more time, emotion, and effort if I think you’re worth it.

I’m always going to be the one who falls a little too fast and hard.

No matter how many time I crash at the bottom.

The truth is, there isn’t a painful enough ending that’s changed me.

Sometimes I wish there was.

I’m always going to be the one that tries a little too hard for someone.

And it isn’t that I don’t know my self-worth or I’m overcompensating for things I lack.

It’s just who I am. Even when I wish I was someone else.

Someone who puts 110% into everyone and everything.

And when you tell me to care less, I’m not going to know how to.

Trying too hard to please people has always come very naturally to me.

To me, it doesn’t seem like much of an effort at all.

I’m always going to look at others before myself.

My greatest attribute is also a shortcoming.

Selfless over selfish.

When maybe sometimes it should be the opposite.

Giving my best, but always expecting the worst.

The one who constantly tries.

The one who is tired, but still finds the energy and time to not let people down.

Even though so many people in the past have let me down and disappointed me.

I hate being asked the question “would they do the same?”

Because most the time they wouldn’t.

But I’ve never based my life on keeping score but rather what value do I add to someone else’s life.

And it isn’t just romantic relationships, it’s every relationship.

Every friendship.

Every family relationship.

Always being the one who takes care of everything.

And even when it’s hard, I make it look easy.

Even when I’m tired, somehow find energy.

Running myself thin is what I’m used to.

Even when I need to be in two places at once, I somehow make it happen.

And if I let someone down, I take it very personally.

Wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Doing everything I possibly can to make others happy.

Hoping and praying it’s enough.

And thank you’s get replaced with silence.

Appreciation turns into expectation.

And people ask why I try too hard.

And sometimes I wonder it myself.

Sometimes I wish I had a heart that cared less.

A brain that didn’t constantly over analyze things thinking maybe it’s me.

Someone who didn’t take things so personally.

A heart that cares too much seems to be the one that always gets hurt the worst.

But somewhere on the verge of faith being shaken, I think and hope and pray someone sees the value in a heart that’s soft in a world that’s tried so hard to make it hard.

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Comfortably Numb.

The almost relationship.

The casual consistent hookup that never turned into more.

The emotional connection where you each knew something was there, but you left it ambiguous.

The what if.

The hardest relationships to get over will always be the ones that don’t meet the definition of what a real relationship actually was, but everything felt the same.

To sit here and tell anyone what they felt wasn’t justified or acceptable just because it didn’t turn out how they hoped it would, would be like telling every person who has ever been dumped they aren’t allowed to be sad about it.

The only difference between these two types of relationships was some label.

But justifying how someone feels based on labels, is complete and total bullshit when I love you means the exact same thing.

Sometimes we end up loving the people who weren’t entirely ours more than we did those who gave us that title. Pining after the person we wanted, even if they were the last one we needed.

The what if factor. The maybe. The one day.

They leave you with a hope you don’t ever truly let go of.

It’s people who haunt us years after the fact.

The moments we wonder could something still happen.

You hate yourself for admitting it but if they one day wanted you, you let them have you even with the pain they’ve caused.

When real relationships end, there’s this odd comfort with a start and finish.

But with the other relationship, you don’t get closure. You’re left with all of these feelings that didn’t exactly go away, you were just left to let them linger within you.

Real relationships get a goodbye and you heal.

But the other relationship, you just have to move forward and at any moment that person can come waltzing back into your life as they did often and those feelings resurface again.

You don’t get healing with the person you never dated.

You just learn to live with this pain that becomes comfortably numb.

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