A Story About Never Being The One
*Originally published on Thought Catalog.
I am not for everyone. I have repeated this phrase to myself so many times, but I don’t think it will ever start bringing me comfort. Every time I begin a new adventure in the world of dating, I am so hopeful that this time will finally be the time. But it never is, and I am never ‘the one.’
I am the stepping stones on your path to true love. I am the one you date while you are picking up all of your pieces from the last time your heart broke. I am always here to comfort you, but you are always running when I need you the most. You are on your path to getting better and finding yourself, while I am just the roadside motel where you lay your head at night when your journey begins to feel like too much. I am always just a little too much.
I will never be good enough for you to stay, but I will always do when everyone else has left you. I am just the training wheels you use while you learn how not to treat someone you love. Once you have outgrown me, you never look back.
I hold you in your darkest moments, yet you release me once I shed a single tear. I teach you not to be so afraid of love, and you remind me why I am so terrified to fall. Every time I look at you, I wonder if this will be the last time I will ever get to. I search your eyes for the truth, but I always come up empty-handed. I want to believe so badly that you love me, too, but I have been in those arms a hundred times before, and I can always tell when they are starting to lose their grip.
I am just the runner-up and the consolation prize. A dozen trophies line my walls, all boasting the same phrase, “you tried.” I will never have that shiny gold star or brilliant blue ribbon. I am just the one you ask to take the photo on the most important day of your life with the most important person in your life. I am in the background, while you are living out your dreams in the limelight.
I am your escape plan for when times get tough. You know that you can count on me to be there when you need someone the most, and I know that I can count on you to leave me once you have had your fill. I am here for you to have fun with, when you need a vacation from the dullness of your mundane life. I never knew how much having fun could hurt until you told me that was all that we were.
I am the one you fantasize about, but I will never be the one you live out your dreams with. I am good enough to hold on to for now, but I will never be the one you truly want to embrace. I take your abuse so that the next person does not have to. I am your plaything, your punching bag, and everything that you are ashamed of. I am your darkness that will never see the light. I am the lies hidden behind your smile, so that you can go on living happily, and I can continue wondering why this always happens to me.
I am your free therapy sessions and your safe place, while you have become the reason why I need therapy. I ease your anxiety, as you only heighten mine. Your head in my lap brings you comfort, and all I can think of is if this will be the last time that I ever get to hold you. I welcome you back, again and again and again, knowing each time what will be the outcome, yet hoping each time that I will finally be wrong.
I am the one who makes your nightmares go away, and you are the reason I cannot sleep. You think of me when you are lonely, and I think of you because I am in love. I am only temporary, and they will always be the permanent ones. With me, you recover. You recuperate. You heal. With me, you are loved until you are finally capable of loving someone else.
I am longing for the day I finally get to be that someone else. I am everything that is wrong with love, and yet, I am everything you need to feel right. I am the one who fixes you so that they do not have to. I pour myself into you to bring you back to life, and my only reward is getting to watch someone else reap the benefits of everything I just created. I am the bitter one, the one on the sidelines who is always getting the sideways glances. I am the one they always talk about, and yet, somehow never remember. I am just the lonely one, taking in the broken, but never taking the time to heal myself.
I will always be here to save you, without expecting you to do the same. You can push me down over and over and over again, but I will never push you away if you need me. I am a lover. I am your lover. But we will never be in love. Your feelings for me are empty, while my feelings for you are endless. I will always be the one you turn to when everyone else turns you down, but I will never be the one you settle down with. I will never be the one you choose.
I will never be ‘The One.’