Some relationships mean more to us than to them

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

So universal:

A man I used to love came to stay at my flat three months ago. What ensued was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever put myself through.

We’d had a fling three years ago. But that fling was re-flung one or two more times after the first fling ended. I fell in love. I usually preface that sentence with “stupidly,” but I know it didn’t feel stupid at the time. Those feelings, it would appear, were not returned. Against the advice of my friends and family, I said yes to seeing him during a visit to London. In hindsight, I should have heeded their warnings.

As we sat drinking wine in the wee small hours, he veered the conversation in the dangerous territory of his love life. “The thing is, I’m just really difficult to love,” he told me. I — a person who had, unbeknown to him, loved him once upon a time — told him he wasn’t. He snapped at me: “you don’t know my experience.” Perhaps not, but I do know my own.

Sometimes you feel things. Sometimes other people don’t. Don’t take it personally.
What happened next sparked an epiphany. He reeled off the important romances he’d had in recent years. My name was notably absent from the list. “Before my ex, there was no one for three years.”

I nodded and made all the right noises, but my head was quietly totting up the maths. In this equation, the answer was clear: I was “no one”. What had been a fallow period of unromance for him had been a phase of unparalleled heartbreak and self-torture for me.

Later, I cried down the phone to a friend as he slept peacefully on the sofa downstairs. It was a moment of realisation that I had lived an alternate reality in which I’d deluded myself that I’d mattered to someone. The truth of the matter was that I didn’t make the cut of memorable romances.

Realising that he’d meant a lot more to me than I had to him was a necessary realisation, albeit a painful one.

Sometimes you feel things. Sometimes other people don’t. Don’t take it personally.

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