In the end, I finally got to hear his voice, to tell him how much I love them all, how much I wish I could be with them. It didn’t make it any easier to break up, but it did take away the feelings of bitterness and helplessness that came from being confined to the internet. It did my heart and soul good to cry real tears to him, to tell his ears all the things I’d typed but never got to say.
As much as online relationships are still a mystery to me (The combination of seeing the movie Her, reading The Circle by Dave Eggers, and trying online love has convinced me that modern times are completely unfathomable.) I don’t know how I would have made it through these winter months without him, without the daily images of their gorgeous and complicated life, without his affection—it was all completely irresistible. But at the same time, it’s a relief to let go of my fantasy of them and accept what’s real—they don’t have room in their lives for everything I have to offer, they aren’t able to give me what I really need. It’s a relief to love them for what they are rather than try to wait or fight for things to change, to accept them and try to let the crush part go.
Dear Mystery Man,
The fact that I can even write you a love letter means you’ve taken me a long way forward. Thank you for keeping me company in such hard, cold months. Thank you for loving me in the ways that you could and for letting me love you too. Thank you for giving me a clearer picture of what I want someday, of why I have to pull my attentions close to home and be present here with my whole heart. I don’t know how to stop longing for you and the Ladies, I probably won’t. I hate that circumstances keep us apart and I will miss you very badly.
Until you, I hadn’t told a man I loved him in a romantic way and had it returned since 1995. I’ve always fought a very deep belief that it couldn’t happen, and now it has. Thank you for letting me say it, and hear it, and practice it, so that when the heartbreak heals I’ll believe a little more that being loved by a man is something I deserve. It’s such a blessing to meet someone whose heart is as eager and voracious and fragile as mine, to believe that such a thing is possible. I’ll look for it in future loves, and think of you.
I still wish I could give myself to you and the Ladies, every single part of me. I don’t really know how to let you go, so I’ll carry you around in my heart forever like all the other characters. I wish there were anything I could write that’s as beautiful as the sound of your voice.
My heart is broken but much better for having let myself love you. Thank you all the way to the stars.