The Heartbreaking Truth About Being The Rule When You Wish You Were The Exception


I asked him to let me go, but I wasn’t ready to give up on us.

We all want to be the exception, but most of us end up being the rule. I took a chance on a guy who has never had a girlfriend. He’s never experienced the compromise that comes with being in a relationship; never experienced heartbreak, and most importantly, he’s never been in love.

But for the last year, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. He ended up being a great boyfriend, and not by my normal standards, but instead, he offered me something more, something better. He gave me intellectual conversations, challenged me to push harder than I was pushing myself, and would not let me accept being complacent. Our relationship wasn’t easy; I never felt comfortable, but it felt so right, constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone.

Something else you should know about him. He’s very good at his job, from closing deals, to managing clients, consulting his boss on best practices, and mentoring and coaching his juniors. He gives it his all. On top of that, he’s currently enrolled in a rigorous MBA program at USC. He sets high expectations for himself, and he’s disappointed when he doesn’t meet all of his goals.

We were dating about nine months when I told him I loved him. I didn’t expect him to say it back. He’s a thoughtful person in what he says. He gives 100% in everything he does, and doesn’t say anything unless he means it. So, after I told him I loved him, I wrote him a letter. I let him know that it’s ok that he doesn’t love me back yet. I told him that when he’s ready, I would be here.

Fast forward our relationship five months from the day I told him I loved him. I was feeling stagnant. Arguably, this is the worst way you can feel in a relationship with another person. If you’re moving backwards, its clear that the relationship is headed the wrong direction, and that should be an easier decision. If you’re moving forwards- well, that’s the whole goal of dating, is to make it to the end and spend the rest of your life with your one true love. I wasn’t moving in either direction. I thought I owed it to myself, I thought I deserved more.

I wasn’t looking for him to tell me he loved me. I wasn’t asking him to make a decision on whether or not he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. All I wanted was for him to say that he felt we were moving forward.

So, on the Saturday night before Superbowl, I threw a Hail Mary.

I asked him to let me go if he didn’t think I was the one. Instead of telling me that he wasn’t sure if I was the one, or telling me that he didn’t love me, he hurt me more by not being able to tell me we were moving forward.

We broke up that night. It was a mature conversation, and we acted as grownups. The next day, I realized I wasn’t ready to give up on us. But it was too late. As mentioned before, he is thoughtful with his decisions, and once he decides something, that’s what he sticks with.

I wondered if I had given up too easily, not put up a big enough of a fight. Here I was, dating the most amazing guy, and I just asked him to let me go.

But then I realized, if I was the girl for him, me asking him to let me go wouldn’t have ended the way it did. It’s a shitty feeling. It sucks. You want to be the exception, not the rule. You want to be that special girl in his life that changes his world. I know that one day, he will meet the girl who ends up being the exception for him, and I hope he can feel about her the way I felt about him.

Things don’t always have to be “bad” in a relationship for it not to be right. I have high expectations, and I don’t ever want to settle for anything less than amazing. I won’t settle for being patient with someone I feel so sure about. Sometimes, it’s just bad timing.

In another life, maybe we could have made it work. But for now, I have to be selfish and do what I think is right. For me, that means being with a guy who wants to build a future with me as much as I do with him, or not be with anyone at all.