“You Taught Me How To Love“
Knowing me as you do, you’ll remember I despise love letters – so pompous and posturing – emotional blackmail invariably the aim. However, I feel I owe one to you, the love of my 30s, thanking you for the years we spent together; a letter from one no longer in love, who can now love all the stronger because of you.
Our relationship taught me how to love as an adult, and you remain the only man I have ever set up house with. People declared us opposites: introvert and extrovert, sportsman and hedonist, music lover and word obsessive.
We saw beyond the superficial. You are one of the few people on earth who has never bored me. Fifteen years on from our meeting, everything you say remains fascinating. I value your opinion above all.
This is a letter of gratitude and apology, but no regret. I am delighted to have had you as one of my life’s shaping forces. Our love might have been enough for many people. However, we both concluded we would be happier on our own, despite the punch to the gut of our parting.
Thank you for sharing your wit, your intellect and endless talks. Your generosity and tactility – such great man arms! – provided support both physical and psychological.
I will be forever grateful for the way you saw my faults and loved me regardless; for being my family. Thank you for everything I learnt, albeit so much came too late.
I apologise for myself: for being a gadabout, for my drinking, for not being ready and not seeing the preciousness in the mundane. I’m sorry trouble didn’t pull us together, only dragged us further apart, leaving us lonely and mystified.
My brothers will miss you – how you made them laugh. And how lacerating it was when they came to help us move, me weeping into my chip packet as we sat in our now empty home, raising beer bottles to our separate futures. I wished you every possible luck for this future, sweetheart, and begged you to make me a place in it.
For this was no mere failed romance – it was a triumph. I love you and I still love you, as I adore your new partner for being the woman I couldn’t be.
We know each other’s places in our lives – no longer a lover, but a lifetime ally, as the years have proved.
All of which means that, in the end, I didn’t need to write this letter. A different kind of love transcended all.
* An Excerpt from “The Love Letter I Wish I’d Written” Article | The Daily Mail | by Hannah Betts