A letter to my “toxic love”


This is the second part of my letters to the men who broke my heart series. I shredded more tears for this man than for anyone else. It was a co-dependent relationship which brought out the worst in me.

Dear _____,

I don’t think we have ever spoken since the call happened three months after our break up. I remember the last time you called, I just stared at the vibrating phone with my tears dripping down until it went to my voicemail. I really wanted to pick it up and hear your voice, but I didn’t because I know it could suck me right into that toxic whirl. I could not get my hopes up again.

You are the second man I have loved with all my heart. Our love was overpowering, blinding and passionate. It literally made me feel head over heels. I was walking on clouds. After months of “he likes me, he likes me not”, I could finally be with you. I could not believe you’d love me back. I thought I was the luckiest girl on Earth. I felt like a high-schooler again.

What I didn’t know then, was that the attraction we felt was merely infatuation.

Even from the start, I knew we had zero in common. I had no idea how we fell in love, but I didn’t care. All I knew was that I loved you and you loved me. We could deal with compatibility, deal breakers and other things later. If we loved each other enough, it would all be okay.

Turns out it was not okay. It was either love wasn’t enough to bridge differences or we didn’t love each other enough to make concessions. I wondered how we could fight almost every time we talked even though we swore we loved each other so much. The more I realized it wasn’t working, the harder I pushed, the further you pulled away. I thought I was just trying to make it work, but you weren’t helping. I thought I was the only one trying to save the relationship. I tried every day. I cried. I pleaded. I screamed. I wondered why you wouldn’t call more, care more, talk more and tell me you loved me more. Why couldn’t you be what I wanted you to be if you loved me so much? Why wouldn’t you change for me? After months of hard work, I was finally exhausted. I had to end it even though I had wanted you to try one more time with me. I guess you were exhausted too.

It took me a ridiculous long time to get over you. It wasn’t because of the love. It was because I couldn’t get over the fact that you didn’t want to stay. You just agreed to end it. Just like that.

For the longest time, after all the so-called love I had for you had faded, I have regretted having waited so long to end things with you. I hated myself for prolonging my misery because I wouldn’t accept defeats. I was blinded by the desire to have a working relationship despite every sign telling me we were just completely wrong for each other.

After a long time of soul searching and self growth, I’ve found that I didn’t know how to love when I was with you. I didn’t even know expecting a man to change was the first sign of a doomed relationship.

I didn’t write this to blame you. I’m writing this to claim my own responsibility. Us being incompatible is one thing, but I was also possessive, immature and insecure when I was with you. I never gave you space when you needed it. I thought I was being considerate but I wasn’t. I was too needy. I was too emotional. I never respected you and your way of love. I thought mine was the ONLY way.

There are so many things I’d have done differently if I could go back to that time, but oh well. I’ve learned from OUR mistakes, yours and mine. I have grown from a spoiled drama queen to confident, independent woman because of our painful relationship.

I have overcome that bitter stage. Now I know how to respect myself and the other person. When I love again, I’ll love more wisely.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope things are well.



About Nicky

Nicky English is a journalist, an educator, a podcaster, a couch potato, a dreamer, and a child at heart. Learning is her passion, so is the English language, which she believes is the tool to unlock the door of knowledge. Born in Hong Kong, she received intensive writing training at The University of Iowa, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. Apart from the Hawkeye State, she’s lived in Chicago and Philadelphia. When she was a guest student at Georgetown University, she fell in love with Washington, D.C. She also has a Master of Arts in Communication. A little side note—she cannot imagine a world without her Mac and iDevices. Like many crazy ones, she hopes to change the world one day at a time.
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2 Responses to A letter to my “toxic love”

  1. Pingback: lessons learned from my heartbreaks | Half an ABC: Nicky English's blog

  2. Pingback: I made an impact to a teen girl’s life | Half an ABC: Nicky English's blog

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