What It Feels Like To Fall In Love With Someone You Know Won’t Commit


I knew from the moment we met, you would wreck me.

The way your eyes caught mine from just a few feet away at a crowded bar. You had that kind of look that said trouble, like those blinking caution signs on the side of the highway at night. Yet still you pulled me in like some irresistible, magnetic force that drew me to you in the kind of way you know is wrong, but couldn’t possibly resist if you tried.

With the faint smell of cinnamon whiskey on your breath, you leaned in closer, whispering how beautiful you thought I was, slowly, while ever so slightly grazing my leg with your hand. It’s like you knew exactly how to find the weakness in me. Another hour of conversation, and a few more drinks in, soon I was putty in your hands.

As I finally mustered up the courage to ask you on a date, your friend broke into the conversation with a ostentatious laugh, only to inform me that the girl across the bar belonged to you, and that it wouldn’t be an option to go any further than what was already seemingly inappropriate to those I didn’t care to notice around us. In that moment, I should have turned and walked away. I had been here before countless times, and knew that all roads leading to you would be a dead end. Yet in your soft voice and drunken gaze, you divulged to me that it felt like you had known me your whole life, and we absolutely had to see each other again.

Fast forward to a few months later. Months of drunken exchanges in bar bathrooms, driving hundreds of miles late into the night for a few hours together, saying “I love you” only to hear the disclaimer, “but I’m not IN love with you,” I quickly discovered that I had become the other woman — even better, the other woman in love with the one who couldn’t commit. You told me time and time again that she wasn’t the one, and that what you felt with me was unlike anything you had ever felt before. You assured me that soon enough we would be together, and somewhere in my distorted haze of loving you, I actually believed you would. Yet the days continued on, and as you’d leave town for weeks on end, our paths continued to cross with her on your arm, and a pitiful look of “I’m sorry” in your eyes. I couldn’t help but wonder if you told her the same kind of promises you told me, only to leave you with the best of both worlds — two women, neither getting to have your full commitment to a faithful, loving relationship.

The days and nights we spent intoxicated off of one another, tangled in hotel sheets and backseats of cars, I wouldn’t trade for anything. What we felt for one another giggling late into the night and falling asleep with my head on your chest was as genuine I could have ever imagined. But knowing in the back of my mind that you would never fully allow yourself or your heart to belong to me was a merry-go-round version of limbo I couldn’t remain in any longer.

I often think about what it would have been like if things were different on the night we met. If you had been alone, or if you had been capable of love, or loving me like you said you did. Would we live happily ever after? Would I have been enough for you? Or would your fucked up past of heartbreak and baggage keep you cold and closed off to the idea of being vulnerable for years to come? I guess we’ll never know.

What I do wish is that one day you’ll see yourself the way I had the chance to see you. On those mornings where you rolled into my chest and sleepily whispered good morning. On those afternoons where it took hours to say goodbye after “just one more kiss.” On those nights where you wrapped your arms around me as we sat on the hood of your car, gazing up at the stars. Just a beautiful, careful human being, afraid to put their fragile heart back on the line after it had been broken too many times. Even in your cracks, I saw perfection. And in that perfection, I saw home.

Just know that no matter where your lonely road takes you, I still hope someday it leads you back to me. Because maybe in a different time, or a different set of circumstances, you and I could finish what we started. And even though you’re known to many as the one who couldn’t commit, you will always have a place in my arms and my heart to call yours.

featured image – ►►haley / Flickr