A Love Letter To The Tinder Matches That Never Were


I know we spent a lot of time getting to know each other. I remember all of the late-night conversations and the way it always felt the first time we truly connected. I know all of your favorite bands and how you like to drink your coffee. I know what scares you most and what your biggest dreams are in this life. I remember it all.

It is amazing how much time we can invest into someone we hardly even know. One day, this complete stranger pops up into your life, and all of a sudden, things have the potential to change for you forever. I often wonder if you could have been that change in my forever.

Sometimes I was the reason that our connection fizzled out. I would look at you, and I would listen to you. I would take in each and every word you spoke, and then I would decide that you were not my person. I have always had a difficult time seeing past the potential of a first date.

I knew that I would either connect with you or I would not. I did not want to go on a second date with you just because I was lonely or just because I thought that maybe this time, I could make this work. I could make you work. I could mold you into who and what I have always been looking for. Maybe this time I could finally cave and become everything that you were looking for. Maybe this would be the time when I finally just gave up.

But I knew that would not be fair to you. I knew that you deserved more than someone who decided to settle for the next person who showed genuine interest in them. I knew you deserved someone who looked at you and just knew that this was their person. I do not know if I ever could have looked at you and felt that security, that magnetic pull. Sometimes when I looked at you, all I saw was a clear picture of a future I never wanted.

This is why I pushed you away. This is why I was distant. I did not want you to get any more attached to me, so I did my best to detach from you before you even had the chance to try. Sometimes I wonder if I even really tried or if I just let my own fear of commitment, of something finally working out, get the best of me. Some nights, I lay awake and wonder if it was you I did not like or if I just do not like myself.

I often justified my ghosting through my busy work schedule. I could find an excuse for every day of the week as to why I could never go out with you. I refused to carve out even a moment of my time for someone who just wanted the chance to get to know me. I refused to acknowledge the choice I perpetually made to value my career over genuine human connection. I refused to acknowledge just how afraid I was to meet someone new. I have always found it much easier to lose myself in my work than to risk losing myself to another person. I have used my career as a defense mechanism and as a shield. Any time any person has shown the slightest interest in me, I panic and hide behind a mountain of paperwork and appointments. I would do anything to avoid opening myself up to someone new. I have learned that if I never go on the date in the first place, then you cannot hurt me.

But that does not mean that I cannot hurt you. The amount of time I spent getting to know you, only to avoid ever having to spend any real time with you, is perplexing. I know that I did so much to try to win your affection, and then once I did, I moved on. And on. And on. Again. And again. And again. I cycled through you like you all were just names on a list to check off and not actual people with actual feelings living actual lives behind those screens.

I know that I have told you that I am sorry. I’m sorry does not make up for the coffees bought that I never drank or the t-shirt from my favorite band that I would never even make time to get from you. Nothing can really make up for your wasted time. For someone who has been hurt and recycled in the exact same way that I have done to you, I wish that I had a better reason for why I did it. And why I continue to do it.

I’m sorry. I was busy. I just didn’t feel a spark. Maybe we should just be friends. These are just a bunch of letters and words that I would string together instead of telling you the truth. I was scared. I am scared. The idea of meeting someone new and making myself so vulnerable in such a cold, heartless world is overwhelming. The idea that you could eventually become another name that I will never forget and another story that will haunt me every day of my life is terrifying. Where will the hurt go when there is already so much here? How can I take back everything I told you once it has already been said? I cannot take it back, and the hurt will overflow and pour out of me. How could I ever let someone in again, now that I know the true cost of heartbreak? How could I ever move on?

I hope one day that you find your person. Maybe you already have. I hope I am not the reason that your heart has turned cold. I hope I have not done to you what so many others have done to me. I hope you know that you really are someone special. I hope you know just how worthy you are of a wonderful, loving relationship. I hope you know that you deserve to have someone by your side who actually wants to be there. You deserve someone who trusts in the value of human connection, instead of someone who runs at the first sign of potential. You deserve someone who will make time for you and for their career and for both of your dreams to come true. You deserve to have someone give you all of the love you so readily give to others. You deserve to be happy. And you will be.

I am so sorry that I could not be that happiness for you. I am sorry that I gave you hope only to take it all away as soon as things got too serious. I am so sorry that I just can’t be your person.

The right person for you is out there. The right person for you will stay. The right person for you was never meant to be me. I was just another stepping stone to the relationship you really deserve. You were just another lesson for me on how not to treat another human being.

I will never be your person, and I think that is what’s best for both of us.