I want you to know I respect your relationship.
I know that you love her, and I will not do anything to get in the way. Even still, I cannot change how I feel.
I have been down this road before, with unavailable men.
I fall deeper into the rut of unreturned sentiment. I read the cues of your body language and every subtle signal with an adept eye and tingling skin. You see, I was never one for the language of words—I speak in energy. And yours pulls me in.
But I want you to know that hearing you speak of the troubles in your relationship breaks my heart. Not because of false hope or disillusioned dreams of promises never to be spoken. Rather, because I know it tears you up, standing on the edge.
I don’t know why I feel this way. Why I pine for someone who loves someone else. Why our timing is off. Why you stared at me with interest in your eyes, all those years ago, and I knew you to be a better fit than the quick sink of the ship I was trying, desperately, to salvage.
I don’t know why as soon as I found my fins, carving venture from the mound of underwater treasure discovered in the wreck, you had already decided to walk on two legs—right into her arms.
I don’t know why we’re drawn to each other at inopportune times.
But I do know this: I know that I trust. I know that even when my heart breaks at the replayed story I find myself immersed in, that this tale is playing out for a reason.
And I trust how I feel.
Which can be summed up by the notion, that when you are around, I have less need for words. And more comfort in feeling strangely understood.
Don’t worry, I know the difference, between understanding and love.
Understanding stems from listening without agenda. As well as from gliding along a similar wavelength. Understanding is more passive than fiery, action-oriented love.
Love means sacrifice and compromise and a host of other words far more challenging in practice. Love stems from choice.
I know the gravity in the choice you have made.
Even more, I trust that your choice has been made for a reason. As have my feelings.
I trust that I will one day glance back fondly, at this fleeting feeling, as just another soul-contracted interaction with someone who may not have spent more than the blink of a spidery eyelash, considering me as anyone other than bright eyes and a warm smile, even during the storm.
Ultimately, each of us stands, exactly where we should. So at this point, I choose to give up the thinking of what could-be, if-only.
Because while you have been wrapped up in the fairy tale of your current relationship, I have been writing my own story, word by word. I have been exploring the art of loving myself. I have spent years discovering my likes, wants and musts. Including my own boundaries.
So, with your choice already made, know that I will be fine. And even with the next choice you make, I will still be okay.
And then with the choice that I make, in response to all this feeling, I will be even better than okay. As will you.
Because I choose the water that feeds the bottom of love’s cavernous soul.
I choose trust.
This piece was published on Elephant Journal.