I Don’t Love You Either

Dear X,

I’m breaking up with you. Obviously, that comes as no surprise to you. After all, you’ve been insisting that I was much too good for you throughout our whole relationship. I can already hear your voice in my head: “Oh, I always knew it was going to end. I mean, why should such an awesome human being like you ever choose to love me?” What a fucking perfect way to close the circle of our relationship.

I’m sick, so terribly sick of you denying your own self-worth. Do you think it’s funny to be with someone who’s constantly telling you how much inferior they are to you? How it’s a miracle that I had ever stooped to look at you, how much you are beneath me, how you were always expecting me to cast you away because of the subhuman status you thought you inhabited.

The truth is: I’ve loved you. I truly have. I tried to change your mind so many times. I tried to show you how amazing you were in my eyes, how beautiful and interesting. But you were so determined to hate yourself you wouldn’t buy any positive thing I said about you. It’s just so fucking hard to stay with someone who always half denies that I could ever truly be in love with them. Because that’s what you were doing, you see? Every time you told me: “I’m still waiting for you to open your eyes and see me for the worthless thing that I am,” what you were actually telling me was that my feelings for you were a delusion of my fucked-up brain. With all your insults against yourself you were also insulting me.

So, my breaking up with you is a self-fulfilling prophecy, I guess. You were right, after all. I can’t stand being with you anymore.

Yours sincerely,

Y

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4 responses to “I Don’t Love You Either

  1. hypodemicnoodle

    Hey Fabia, good piece with good insight. I identified strongly to person X (from past experiences) and was inspired to write the following reply/riposte.

  2. hypodemicnoodle

    Dear Yvette,

    “X” and “Y”? You always liked to talk in algebra and generalizations and because it gave you the power to go back later and change the facts.

    A year on from your break-up email, I’ve decided to reply. Through the therapy I started back when we were together, and the sense of self-worth nurtured by my new girlfriend, who I dearly love (for all the right reasons this time), I now feel ready to tell you my side of the story.

    It was 2011 and I idealized you from the moment we met in the Linguistics seminar. The fact was you were a year older than me, you had travelled the world, you were better at English. You were from Zürich, I was a country boy. You had had partners, I was practically a virgin.

    These were facts, but you were right when you said it was embarrassing the way I kept thinking that made you a better person. They didn’t. And you were also right on this count: by putting you above me I was insulting you for being deluded. You got it.

    And yet…

    We were together for two and a half years. Two and a half years you wanted to be with someone who threw himself at your feet at every opportunity. You were in love with a lackey, a slave, a dog.

    And you wanted that so badly.

    You secretly loved to hear me self-immolate myself and elevate you to a goddess. You think you were so kind and empowering when I lay at your feet, when the truth was you were aggressive, ironic and haughty, just like you were in your break-up email. You unconsciously knew your aggression kept me in my place.

    “So”, you ask, “why was I the one to end it”? I was thinking about that myself – and, true to form, beating myself up about it – until I realized the truth, which was you had to end it to save any illusion of mastery over me.

    Our last date before the break-up email was that walk on the Uetliberg, when I was telling you the therapy helped, enthusiastic about the plans I had for my new job and the trip to Peru. I was talking about myself for a change, and not how wonderful you were. The fact was I was beginning to understand I could be independent, and I didn’t need the mechanism of our relationship.

    And that is why you had to break up with me. You knew I would not be under your spell for much longer. You always had to have the last word, so you broke it off with me in a flurry of swearing and accusations that masked how manipulative you had always treated me.

    Dear Y., I hope you’ve met your Z., and I dearly hope, for your sake, you don’t subtly denigrate and dominate him as much as you did with me. Because as time goes by, you’ll begin to run out of letters.

    Things will soon start to get lonely up there on your pedestal.

    Yours sincerely,

    Xavier.

  3. Hello there, thank you very much for your reply and your break-up letter. I really liked it! It’s interesting, isn’t it, how a break-up always reveals the extremes of human emotions because it’s one of the rare times when humans can be completely honest with each other (not that this is always the case, of course). I was fascinated by how your perspective on the letter was slightly different from mine and how I’ve acquired a new insight through your response. So, again, thank you very much! 🙂

  4. hypodemicnoodle

    cheers fabia! the first bit of “creative writing” i’ve written in a couple of years so thanks for the unexpected inspiration.
    i’ve only had a couple of break ups in my life and i’m not so sure they were completely honest… so many emotions involved/urge to save face/save partner’s face etc. i think that’s why in my response i made it so xavier had over a year to look back and process things.
    my best mate told me once that the time when partners are most honest is directly after having lots of sex… ok it’s übertrieben but if youre looking for moments when you can be yourself, open and spontaneous, that’s got to be one… otherwise those intense experiences like when you have long holidays together or do extreme sports or something maybe… i guess you get closer to your real self then… or right at the beginning when you are just exploding with love and let all your barriers down… but in break ups i kinda think the barriers are often up again…
    look forward to reading your next!

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