An Open Letter to the Men I Was Too Afraid to Love

I haven’t had a “boyfriend” in 8 years. Considering my age 8 years ago, some might say, “girl, that doesn’t even count.”

If you’re still judging me for the whole 8 years thing, you have about thirty seconds to get over it. Between 2010 and this day in August 2017, I’ve dated/dealt with/talked to (whatever you kids are saying now) three guys who appreciated different things about me, but had one thing in common: they were ready for commitment. This is for them.

This isn’t for the men who texted me a few times a month for a while, or don’t know what my concentration is in school. This isn’t for the men who wasted my time and became upset when I told them that’s what they were doing. This isn’t for any man I’ve slept with by accident. All two of you. This is for the men who were secure in us. If you’ve been in the position, you know exactly what I mean.

To the men with good intentions, but it just didn’t go anywhere, it was for the best. I hope my failure to reciprocate didn’t cause you to feel self conscious or insecure. I hope love greets you with the open arms you deserve. I hope “the one” values you and your contributions to her life. I’m sorry your vision for us was never tangible.

To the Men I Was Too Afraid to Love,
Thank you for seeing me. I hope my fear hasn’t brought you pain you’ve yet to recover from. I’m thankful you chose to accept my friendship, and I think it is better this way. I hope you’re receiving the love and appreciation you deserve; I apologize for not being able to provide that when you were searching for it within me. From OoVoo calls until I had class at 9 AM (I have always hated getting up in the morning), and BBMing until the early hours of the morning, to FaceTime calls while you were on the clock but wanted to see me, I appreciate each of you. Each of you taught me different things. Each of you were vulnerable with me. Each of you deserved more of me than I was willing to give. It was a combination of poor timing, immaturity, and being unsure. Unsure if it’d be worth it, unsure if I’d be able to fulfill the role you wanted me to play, unsure if you’d be able to fulfill the role you wanted to play. To the man I shared 3-4 of the last 7 years with (#OldBay), I found myself with you. I never thanked you for allowing me to be…me. For loving and exploring, me. For being present and my best friend. I hope I never made any of you feel as though you were not good enough.
If I did, I apologize, and that was never my intention. I used school as a way out – a way to end things when I realized I was falling. Genuine interest is super rare for me, so when it happened my life was in a frenzy. Then of course, one of you would have been long distance, and I was not ready for that AT ALL. Sh*t, that would be difficult for me now. The decision I made to terminate things when I did was built on the foundation of protection. I wanted to have the conversation before it was too late, and friendship was no longer an option. I was so afraid. It wasn’t until recently that I realized sis you might have a problem.  It’s possible none of you really care for an apology or an explanation, granted for two of you our situations were 4+ years ago, but, I’m sorry.
I think as a woman dedicated to my craft, I just leave love in the background. I’ve always been comfortable alone. Allowing someone to disrupt the peace I find in solitude is alarming. Frankly, it usually is not worth it, and I have the right to choose myself each time. Loving is hard, and dedicating my life to work is just easier. It doesn’t matter if my clients wake up one day and never want to speak to me again. Classwork can’t tell me it doesn’t love me anymore. This could be elementary, but I genuinely believe I’ll just “know” when it’s right. Love is beautiful, it’s comforting, it’s fun, but it’s also stressful (sometimes), time consuming, and demanding. Love is never enough. I felt so safe with each of you, and I’m so grateful for that. None of these romances ended on bad terms, which was intentional. If I broke a heart, I’m sorry, but pretending to be ready would have caused bigger problems. #OldBay once told me I was too tough to love anyone. I remember the first time he told me he loved me, and the first time I said it to him. He was the first man I ever said it to.
I tried to make this more personal for me than any of you. Our time was for us, and I wanted you to know it mattered. I want you to know you were always good enough. I was never ready, and oftentimes I’m unsure if I’m ready now. Maybe it’s not commitment, it’s vulnerability. Maybe it’s going out on the ledge and realizing I’m the only person standing there. Maybe it’s the sense of security I feel knowing I only have to depend on me. Maybe it’s knowing nothing lasts forever. I don’t know, but I hope, one day, I can figure it out. I think I deserve that.
Thank you, for everything.

3 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Men I Was Too Afraid to Love

  1. Chymere A. says:

    I honestly and truly felt this; every word resonated. I've been there with a few and looking at my life in retrospect, I too have been single for a substantial amount of time, probably in equal capacity as you. Perfectly worded and I sincerely hope that one day, you will meet someone that you know is your perfect fit and you'll finally understand the preparation it took to get to that place.


  2. Kam says:


    Thank u so much for sharing and taking the time to read this. It's the most personal piece I've written, and I was unsure anyone would be able to relate. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I also hope you connect your perfect match!!! Blessings always. Thanks again xoxo


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