A Letter To My Almost Boyfriend Who Never Was

For the few months you were in my life, you saved me.

To The Almost Boyfriend Who Never Was iStock

Hey you.

I find an inexplicable desire to thank you. Even if you were only in my life a brief moment, your influence was limitless.

For the few months you were in my life, you saved me. You never knew it, but you did.

That broken little heart of mine fell for you the moment you said I had pretty eyes at the bar. Cheesy, sure, but hell, it worked. In fact, it worked well enough that I held your hand the rest of the night. 


And so we went on as college kids do. A handful of dates that included Greek functions and frozen yogurt. What seemed like nothing at the time resulted in the ability to mend my heart.

Even though you ended up hurting me, you reminded me of who I was. By then, I was confident about my love for cats, my need to help others, and my ability to trip over nonexistent objects. Most importantly, you reminded me how to smile.

It felt good to smile at you. You were immature; I was naïve. You were straightforward; I was complicated. You had feelings for more than just me. But I was just happy to have feelings for someone else — or to have feelings other than wretched sadness.


Yeah, you'd misspell words but I'd still smile at your text. You wouldn't remember me taking you home, but you'd appreciate waking up to water, Advil, grilled cheese, and a get-well note.

But we didn't work.

Life went on and it went on easily without you. I always considered you just a fun memory of college among the rest. I've seen you since then. It was always paired with a short smile and small talk.

I didn't think much about it until three years later when I agreed to a date when you sent me an out-of-the-blue text. I went in with no expectations. I laughed at the idea of where we were headed when the car pulled up.

I fell into your smile so quickly I had to look away. But I couldn't ignore it when you listed everything you remembered about me, because truthfully, I had forgotten.


Somewhere between beating you at arcade games and you winning me two tacky stuffed pandas, I remembered one thing: A broken heart can still feel. Somehow, you've found your way to me twice now — each time after a breakup. From your silly remarks when you try to sound smart to impress me to that sweet smirk you give me when I notice you staring, it's always been easy being with you.

I had forgotten that it shouldn't be that hard.

Even so, we're probably not meant for each other. You hate my cat. It drives me crazy that you always lose your wallet. You like scary movies. I cringed when you took me to one. But then again, you'll sing country with me and you won't let me win at air hockey just to be a gentleman.


Maybe in the short term you're just what I needed to smile again. I'll be grateful for your presence in my life either way. You were never perfect and neither was I — but you reminded me that I didn't have to be.