February 10, 2016

It’s Over—A Valentine’s Gift of Painful, Beautiful Truth.


It’s over.

I stand with my shoulders slumped, words evaporated from my mouth, my tongue paralyzed, not knowing what to say. I’m speechless for once, numb, confused; my heart’s still beating in the background—yes—but everything’s fuzzy, hazy, swirling, swaying in shocked slow motion.

I don’t know what to feel.

It’s over?

Tears run down my cheeks. They sting, they burn, transforming my face into a weeping willow lake.

I inhale sharply and cringe between the tears, remembering we had these sweet plans to spend our Valentine’s weekend snuggled up together, eating ooey-gooey chocolates, sipping rich red wines, taking long walks in the mountains and giving each other kisses—but we have given each other a different gift instead.

Something bitter. Something raw. Something harsh.

But maybe this not-so-sweet something is even better than chocolate. Maybe it’s chewier than caramel, more satisfying than a kiss.

Maybe it’s deeply delicious, because it’s real.

Yes, it’s painfully beautiful, a sacred gift—one we couldn’t find in any drugstore, stacked neatly next to the singing Hallmark cards or plush, smiling bears and candy hearts, oh no, it’s something rare, something much harder to come by.

The truth.

Finally, after so many months of struggle, we were brave enough to be honest with ourselves and each other.

Because you, my love, you are my perfect almost. You’re so close to being everything I need, but not quite. And I’m so close to being everything you need, but not quite.

You are my perfect almost.

You’re the hot pink sneakers propped up in the hallway that look sweet and fabulous from afar with their lime-green laces, but they’re just a tiny bit too small, and give me terrible blisters every time I wear them.

You’re the vintage floral silk blouse hanging in my closet—beautiful, elegant, timeless, with tiny velour buttons on the sleeves—but when I put it on, the threads rip, the buttons threaten to pop off, and I feel stifled, suffocated, always taking it off within minutes, never actually able to wear it out of the house.

It doesn’t fit.

And neither do we, darling.

Maybe we used to fit, maybe we once lined up like two beautifully broken pieces of sea glass, but we aren’t lining up now.

We bend, we stretch, we rip at the seams, we try so hard to meet in the middle and make this work—but we can’t.

We fall tragically short.

When you reach out to touch me, I back away; I turn, show you my snarl and become a thick sheet of ice. When I reach out to you, I can’t even feel your heart anymore—there’s a blank, vacuous space where I used to feel your smile and savor the sun-drops of your sweetness.

Love is hard and love is tough, and it can sometimes feel like hell, but it shouldn’t be this hard. It shouldn’t feel this lonely.

Passing like two ships in the night, we see each other’s light in the distance, smile faintly and wave a half-hearted hello as we’re carried abruptly by life’s crashing waves, in wildly different directions.

Life is pulling me left. And life is pulling you right.

Maybe the thread that once connected us snapped from the choppiness of the waves, from the iciness of our hearts, from the vast difference of our dreams.

Yet, still, we try.

We ignore the anxious drumming in our guts, the fact that we hardly even want to be around each other, the fact that our visions of the future look nothing alike.

We think, if we just force it enough, then it will feel right.

But late at night, when we’re tired, when we’re tender, we can’t force it, we can’t lie—and in those fateful moments before we fall asleep, we know things aren’t okay.

The truth is, there’s a giant hole in our love, and it’s eating us alive.

You are my perfect almost.

And as delicious, as yummy, as dangerously, torturously good as “perfect almost” loves can be, they are just that: almost’s, not quite’s, sort-of loves. Half-hearted, empty, lonely loves that smell of hope and possibility, that promise to be so much more—

But they never actually will be.

They are like buds that will never blossom, a spring that doesn’t come, a blizzard that doesn’t produce a single snowflake.

And maybe I used to be okay with that, but I’m not anymore. I don’t want to pretend anymore.

The truth is, our love no longer has a pulse; it’s dead.

It’s painful to realize this; it hurts to see it, because once we see the truth, we can’t un-see it. We can’t be blind anymore. We can no longer live comfortably in our lie.

But deep in the tender, torturous throes of heartbreak and pain, there’s freedom.

Freedom in knowing we both deserve better.

And yes, this may seem like the most f***ed up Valentine’s Day gift of all time—I don’t want it, you don’t want it—but we need it like a strong, bitter medicine.

It’s the gift of truth. The beginning of an ending. It’s a blessing, in its own strange, terrible way.

Some blessings are draped in gold and coated in ruby red rose petals; some are cloaked in heartache—but the package doesn’t matter.

A blessing is a blessing, even if it’s dripping in tears, stitched in pain.

And truth is always a blessing, even though it hurts like hell, even though we can’t wrap it up in a pink satin bow or sweeten it with a comforting cloud of honeyed perfume. And even though it’s not something we appreciate right now, we will in the future.

One day, we will appreciate this Valentine’s Day spent alone, sad, empty and crying, because even though we will be grieving, we will also be waking up to our own hearts again. We will be remembering what we truly want, what we truly need, what we truly deserve.

It’s time to let go.

Let the breaking apart of our hearts be a blessing to us both.

Because my sweet, perfect almost lover, I know I’m your perfect almost, too.

I know I can’t give you what you need. I’m so sorry. I wish I could, but…

It’s time to let go.

Let’s give up our delusion, our pretty romantic illusion; let’s be honest, and let’s be real.

It’s time to let go.

Let’s embrace each other one last time.

I’ll walk away; you’ll walk away,

With the knowing

In our hearts

That we needed


That this love



The love

We longed for


Not quite.


Relephant Read:

A Letter to a Broken Love: How Did we Get Here?


Author Sarah Harvey

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: LK/Flickr


Read 1 Comment and Reply

Read 1 comment and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Sarah Harvey  |  Contribution: 84,555