Do you remember when we were little? When we spoke of growing up, we played house, and just couldn’t wait to find our soulmates so we could have our happily ever after? Do you remember how the real grown ups would look at us meaningfully saying, “Stay young while you can.” I remember and I wish I could go back to being eight years old when commitment meant sharing the cookies my mom would pack in my lunchbox with the cute boy that sat next to me.
I might have met my soul mate. A month ago. And a few days ago I ran.
He’s wonderful – smart, sweet, good-looking, and I can talk to him for hours. I can also sit with him in silence for hours. I love how I fit in his arms and I shared with him things about me in that short month that I hadn’t shared with people I had known in years. And he continued to care about me despite my feeling like a defective human being. He teaches me about life and history and ethics and movies and baseball. He listens to me talk to him about chemistry and education and football and my favorite Netflix shows.
But I’m only 22. I have so much more I want to do with my life. I graduate in two weeks from college and am going to graduate school. I don’t want a boy distracting me while I learn how I can change the world. But part of me wants a boy there to support me when I feel like I’ll never be able to do just that. But what if he leaves the moment when I need him? And then I regret ever needing him in the first place. He called me this morning, demanding answers.
“I thought we were so good. I know it wasn’t very long but I didn’t think this would end. There was nothing wrong. What is it that you don’t want? What did I do? Give me something more than ‘I just can’t do this.'”
Oh, how I wish I could. I sat there thinking about all of the lies I could tell him to make him hate me. I don’t actually like you. It was all a game. I’m actually in love with someone else. My parents don’t think you’re good for me. I don’t trust you. I don’t think you’re going to make me happy two months from now. There was so much I could say to make it easier for him. But I couldn’t lie to him. I promised I never would. So all I could do was tell him that relationships scare me. And I am not ready to face that fear yet.
Why are we so ready to find our husbands when we are eight years old but then the moment I turn eighteen, I am terrified that my husband will enter my life because I know I will never be able to accept it. It’s all too hard. I can’t trust him. I can’t make the commitment. I just am not ready. And man, it sucks. But tonight, I go to sleep alone. My phone will be turned off because I know no one will contact me. And I’m oddly comfortable with it. And I think that might be what worries me most.
Keep to your roots,