Relationship Stories

If I Had Known…

Two weeks after we met at an event, he messaged me.

Him:
I managed to get your contact from a mutual friend and I hope that’s okay? I just wanted to tell you that I very much connected to many of the qualities that I saw in you during that short time, and I was just wondering if you are dating at the moment, and if you’d be interested in having dinner together sometime in the near future. If not I completely understand. Please do not be afraid to answer no. I Hope to hear back from you though!

I was flattered. I mean come on, being asked out by someone who seemed perfect in every way was thrilling.

He was a songwriter and a guitarist who appreciated art and nature and had a special sensitivity and charm that made him unique and drew me towards him

Me:
Here is the deal; I am NOT DATING right now, and don’t plan on dating for quite a while. There are many things I need to focus on in my personal life before I can even consider it. Nothing personal at all, but I am not in a place where I feel ready to date, for MANY reasons.

I appreciate your honesty and thanks for the kind offer, but I will have to say no for now, for personal reasons. I hope you understand and aren’t hurt by my “rejection.”

Then he proceeded to send me a long thought-out letter pleading for me to give him a chance, begging that I reconsider.

When I left it unanswered he resent it, “Just in case it didn’t send properly the first time.”

If only he knew why I hadn’t responded right away… What I was busy dealing with. How I was unsure if I’d make it out that week alive. Literally.

I was angry; he was teasing me. I couldn’t start a relationship — I was unstable. But his offer was so enticing and his persistence was only exasperating my dilemma.

Me:
Listen, I will try to make this as brief and to the point as possible. I’m not able to date right now for various reasons.

When will you be able to date? He asked.

It can take a few months or a few years. Either way, now is not the time. I get how badly you want this to work, or for us to at least meet, but for reasons I prefer not to get into, I cannot do any of that right now.

Again, I want to clarify that this has nothing to do with you!! I appreciate your persistence and I feel bad that I am disappointing you and not giving it any chance at all. But for now, it’s what I have to do. My advice to you is either wait around (it can take a while, no guarantees) until I’m ready to date OR give up.

I’m really sorry. I’m sorry not just for you but for the both of us, because I may be giving up on the opportunity of a lifetime. There are just other priorities in my life that I need to focus on now. I would prefer if we stopped emailing for now, and I’ll be in touch with you regarding any changes in my “dating” status. Thanks for understanding. And I apologize again.

I was angry, confused, scared and curious. I didn’t want to take a risk and get hurt. Sharing myself with someone else, being vulnerable — those were things I shied away from.

How could I trust another person? A man. After what I went through in the hands of the last man I was with. What if I liked him and he rejected me?

I couldn’t handle heartbreak and didn’t want to subject myself to potential hurt. I can’t go through that again.

Just a few days after my please-never-talk-to-me-again email, I wrote to him. I couldn’t just stay. I needed to hold him. I wanted to hear his voice. I wanted to hear from him.

I sent him my number and asked him to call me. I told him there was something we needed to discuss.

When he called I explained that my hesitation was a product of my fear. I told him that I had been badly hurt in the past and that the whole dating and relationship stuff has overwhelmed me. But I was giving in.

I wanted to get together. I was ready to give him a trial.

That day he came to meet me at my college campus.

I was so scared and worried of the unknown. I wasn’t even sure what I was doing, Everything seemed so different, so daring, and so real.

It was the best seven hours I’d ever experienced. And all we did was walk around campus hand in hand and talk.

We really connected through our conversation. He allowed me to see the parts of me that I had forgotten about.

He enabled me to see the potential I possessed and he believed in me so much more than I ever believed in myself.

He gave me so much hope. I suddenly was reminded of what I was passionate about, of what I wanted to gain and achieve in my life.

He recognized my value, my passion, and the potential I had. He challenged me that I really CAN change the world, and I suddenly wanted to prove him right.

He changed the world already. He changed my world.

I told him everything, more than I’d told anyone before.

I told him about my struggles and challenges in life. There were dates after that one, but he started withdrawing as my emotional state at the time didn’t allow for much of what he wanted.

He didn’t want to get involved with me when I was so fragile.

When we jointly decided to end it, I sobbed so intensely.

I had a hard time catching my breath. I was sad. Very sad. But I was able to recognize that the intensity of my pain and the loss I was experiencing was a sign of how much I had gained from the few weeks I had spent with him.

That night in the depths of despair, he sent a second email begging me to give him a chance and just meet up for one date. That email gave me hope.

There was someone out there in the world, who didn’t know practically anything about me, but saw the potential that I didn’t see in myself.

It challenged me to see my worth and perhaps give myself another chance.

And I did. I pulled through. I struggled and I made progress throughout the weeks and months following. I felt more hopeful and I took more risks, even when I knew they could lead to disappointment.

I wasn’t going to break down and give up. I would keep trying. Keep fighting. And if I were to die fighting, that would be so much more valuable than dying of despair. I exhibited strength and I pulled through.

It pains me to tears that things didn’t work out between us, but I smile because I appreciate the enormous impact he ultimately had on me.

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Nwabueze Favour is a blogger, writer, content developer, a data analyst and a development enthusiast. A social media expert, an avid reader and a lover of books, music and movies.

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