Is it That Hard? by Anonymous

Dear love,

Is it really that hard to say that you love me in front of someone else? I don’t understand. I listen to you talk to a friend on the phone and you end the conversation with, “I love you!” You do it so easily because you know no one is going to mistake that love as anything other than the love of a friend for another friend.

Then, last night, when I called you and you were with someone else, and when I said, “I love you,” you fell silent. You tried to compensate with something about having a good night, or seeing me soon, but the pause and missing profession of love was evident, palpable, tangible. I realize it’s because of multiple reasons, who you were with not wanting to or ready to answer questions, and also because, knowing your own feelings, you fear they would show more than the love you expressed to your friend.

But, what you probably don’t know, is your silence stood between us, and it stands between us now. Yet, you likely don’t realize it stands between us, and I don’t know how to tell you this without hurting you, something I’m not wont to do.

I’ve always felt we should be proud of our feelings for others, and if you can’t be proud of how you feel for someone, then maybe you shouldn’t be with that person. I’m proud of how I feel for you. I love you, and I really don’t care who knows it or what they think about it. I mean that. I think you know me well enough to know that about me.

There have been so many times in my life I’ve professed love to someone only to get silence in return, or the horrid ‘thank you’ instead of a genuine profession of emotion. I know the sting, the slap, the pain of stating your love and then the horrible pause of silence where the world stands still, sound and time slow, and nothing, absolutely nothing is said, nothing stirs, nothing comes.

I thought, having outgrown naiveté and youth, I would never be subjected to another bout of deafening silence like that again.

And here I am.

I love you.

  • [emptiness]
  • [alone]
  • [fear]
  • [sadness]

See, the silence carries much with it for me, and while that’s not your fault, it was your silence that triggered it.

I’m not angry, so please don’t think I am. I’m sad. I’m scared. I wonder if I’ll ever be someone you can be proud to love, in front of friends, family and strangers too, or if I’m always going to feel like I’m a dirty little secret. In my youth, that might have been exciting, but today, I seek more, and I want that more from you.

I just don’t know if you’re ever going to be able to give me that more without taking something away from you that you need. I realize it’s not a matter of desire or willingness, but perhaps truly is a matter of ability.

And I guess that’s what scares me the most.

I tell myself, “Just don’t say it, and then it won’t hurt when you don’t hear it back…” but the pain of not saying it is nearly as great as the pain of not hearing it.

I hate that it matters so much. I know it’s just words, but words are my game, my livelihood, my addiction, my fetish, my comfort, my life. I’m sorry that it matters so much. If I could change that, I would. I can’t change it.

It matters.

Yet, I love you. That’s how I feel, so I say it. I really don’t care who knows or hears it. I wish I could give that freedom to you too, for both our sakes.


The writer of this piece would like to remain anonymous, but I’m sure they will be reading, so be sure to leave a comment of support, encouragement, praise, etc. Thanks!

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5 Responses to “Is it That Hard? by Anonymous”

  1. sara says:

    Better not to hear it at all then to be told a lie and have to deal later with the betrayal and hurt that inevitably follows such a lie. I’m truly sorry your beloved does not own his/her feelings in quite the same way you do, but if you truly believe they love you, let their actions speak more loudly than their (lack of) words. If you don’t believe they love you, move on and find someone who does.

  2. Donna says:

    We say actions speak louder than words, but truly those 3 little words speak volume. I would personally by leery of someone who could not speak those 3 little words as freely as you do. If there is hesitation in speaking the words there is also hesitation in the feelings.

  3. Tay says:

    Sometimes the inability to say “I love you” isn’t about a lack of love, but more of an internal war the person has been dealing with. Maybe they’ve uttered those words before and been hurt so badly that they haven’t brought themselves to say them again. On the other hand, maybe the person isn’t sure what they feel is love. That doesn’t make it a bad relationship, it just may mean they need more time. Depending on how much time you’ve vested in the relationship already I wouldn’t jump right to dumping the person and moving on. Life isn’t a romance novel. Some people know they’re in love within weeks, some within months, some within years and others may never know it.

  4. Amy says:

    I agree with Tay. Very well put. After a while, the words I love you can become less meaningful. Instead, look to see if his actions speak love. If so, you have your answer as to if he truly loves you. If not, then you have your answer there as well.

    I wish you the best.

  5. Deb says:

    Wow.. this hit really close to home for me.. I have so been there. Am there again actually only.. my love.. he does love me.. I do see it in his actions…always.

    Still.. the words are so important to me.. To hear them has been something, that is missing for me. And for me it’s not an I love you, after I have said it first.. I don’t want an echo.. I want to be able to say.. I love you too. That is what I want… need? Long for…

    And I don’t think he realizes that I do hold back.. not say it, so that I don’t get the echo… And you are right.. it is just as painful to not say it, as it is to not hear it. I hold back saying all kinds of things that hearing this would open the door for. The amazing parts of me that he does see… they really do pale in comparison to the parts I hold back simply because.. I love you.. is not a part of his language.

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