The Man Who Loved Me but Didn’t Like Me

I was once involved with a man who loved me, but didn’t like me. His compassion took care of everything from a bad day to a bad cold. He’d wrap me up in blankets and words, but then he’d settle back into indifference. He wanted me to be happy and well. He just didn’t want me all that much. The love in the room was so thick we couldn’t see the real problem, so we treated one another with kindness and never worked out why that didn’t feel kind at all.

By the end of our relationship, I wished he would rail and swear at me. I wanted a sign that he had enough passion in him to bring forth anger. He didn’t. Not anymore, anyway.


When we met, we had enough starlight to light our romance and yours, but we killed it with years of arguments about inconsequential things. He left the fucking milk out. I got water all over the bathroom floor. He woke me up every damned morning. I shouldn’t be sleeping so late anyway.

One day, I noticed there was something between us. We were not what we were before. I could see it in the water. I could taste it in the air. The indifference in his silence grew and grew, and I became scared we’d forget why we bothered to connect at all.

He was a rare breed. He lived by his integrity, so I had absolute faith in his principles. He was the kind of man who’d cancel his day just to take me on an adventure. He was beautiful, too. He was everything you and I could hope for in a man, but he got paint all over my favourite top, dammit, and he was always playing that godawful noisy game.

I lost him in so many ridiculous ways: by killing him with a thousand paper cuts. By forgetting how very lucky I was to have him in my life. By behaving as though the person in my bed was an extension of me and must therefore live up to my smallest expectations.

In the end, I stopped fighting over who left the milk out and began fighting over the apathy that had infected everything. There was no rescuing it at that point. We’d taken our destruction too far, and that’s how we lost an inimitable fairy tale because someone left out the milk.

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